Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bill Simmons at ESPN Page 2,
4:21: As we wait for Chicago’s pick, one TSN announcer confidently decides, “This is a crucial time for the Blackhawks,” and another adds, “This is a big pick, this is a big pick.” They both have kickin’ Canadian accents. How have I been missing the NHL draft all these years? I feel like someone introduced me to Patron tequila all over again.
4:22: Here’s a cool wrinkle for the first round: Before every pick, each GM walks up to the stage flanked by four cronies, then stands in front of the podium and announces his pick. Imagine if the NBA did this and we could see the likes of Elgin Baylor and Kevin McHale announcing their own picks? Can we make this happen?
Anyway, Chicago GM Dale Tallon is “proud” to introduce tiny Patrick Kane as his No. 1 pick. This kid looks like an altar boy. I’m not kidding—he actually looks like an altar boy. I hope his tremendous upside potential involves puberty.
from the Record,
Stevens and his longtime Rangers’ rival, Mark Messier, are expected to headline one of the best induction classes in the Hall’s hallowed history.
They’ll likely be joined by former Calgary and St. Louis defenseman Al MacInnis and ex-Hartford, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Toronto center Ron Francis.
“It’s a big thing,” Stevens admitted. “I don’t really think of a lot of things, but you think about the Stanley Cup and after that I maybe thought of the Hall of Fame, thinking that would be really neat. That would be some accomplishment to be recognized with other great players.”
added 10:15am, Legends of Hockey has a different spin on the class for this year…
Too many deserving members and only 4 positions. My money is on Messier, Stevens, Larionov, and Bure. Francis probably should get the nod over Bure, but somehow I see the Hall making a bit of a political move here.
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via the Hockey News,
Big decisions lie ahead this week as the start of the July 1 free agency looms. The flood gates open at noon ET next Sunday.
“I expect the first two or three days in July to be pretty wild,” said Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland.
No one will feel the heat more than Sabres GM Darcy Regier. He’s got two of the most sought-after players who are pending unrestricted free agents in Drury and Briere.
“It’s different, I can tell you that,” Regier said of having two of the top free agents in the NHL. “I haven’t experienced this before in 10 years. We’ll see where it goes.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Why would anyone who actually follows the sport continue to pay for season tickets in a building that isn’t sold out when the owner is so ruthlessly savaging the entertainment value for that customer? Some teams do it by mistake, but this is being done simply to cut payroll.
This almost certainly means the Predators will lose revenue this season. If they do, they will have done so intentionally, and every single player in the NHL will suffer when it comes time to calculate both the final escrow payment on this coming season’s paycheque and in the calculation of next season’s cap.
What kind of partnership do you have when your partner takes unilateral action that will further his own financial aims, whatever they might be, by taking money out of your pocket without the least consultation or input from you?
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
San Jose GM Doug Wilson said he’s not trying to trade C Patrick Marleau, but admits he’s had conversations. “If teams are going to call, it’s my job to listen,” said Wilson. “I would think that’s a compliment to us that people would want our players. But I’m not trying to trade Marleau.” ... The Wild and Thrashers have shown mild interest in C Alexei Yashin, who was bought out of his contract a couple of weeks ago by the Islanders.
more player movement talk…
from Lord Stanley’s Blog at the News & Observer,
The NHL Draft typically serves as a cauldron of rumor and speculation, and word swept the draft floor Saturday that the Canes were part of a three-way deal that would send Erik Cole to Edmonton and bring Joni Pitkanen to Carolina from Philadelphia.
Except that Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe said he’d never been offered Cole — but joked that he’d pick up the phone if Cole was available — and Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said Cole wasn’t being shopped: “Wasn’t, hasn’t been, no.”
COLUMBUS (June 23, 2007)—Sixty-three U.S.-born players, representing a record 30% of the total, were selected in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft that concluded today. The previous high was 28.2%, set last year.
Following is a breakdown of 2007 Entry Draft selections by birthplace:
United States 63 (highest percentage in Entry Draft history - 30%)
Czech Republic 5
added 5:16pm, more on this topic from the CP via TSN...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Waddell concluded: “There was a lot of talk going on. It’s only June 23.”
more on the draft and lack of trades… but good advice from Waddell… trades are being discussed of course, but nothing official yet.
From Bob Hunter at the Columbus-Dispatch,
The naysayers who said that Columbus would never be a hockey town should have been there. The city will always be known for football first, but last night provided further proof that if the Blue Jackets ever win, this place will go nuts.
Nationwide Arena was full for the first round of the draft. Full. That rarely happens anywhere, even in places where hockey is a clear No. 1. And the fans were into it.
When Blue Jackets owner John H. McConnell was introduced, he was greeted by a thunderous ovation. He tried to start talking twice and had to stop because the cheering wouldn’t stop. Then, when he thanked “the fans, who have stuck with us through thick and thin, mostly thin,” he drew another roar.
Walking around the media area of the Draft yesterday, I saw an awful amount of folks tuned into Spector’s Rumor site. Lyle I am sure is working his tail off right about now.
I can add a little Detroit talk too, Bertuzzi is looking for a longer contract and may get it from a few teams, one probably NOT being the Wings. Hasek $$$ keeps getting tweaked and Wings are hoping Schneider will take a home team discount.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com