Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated,
It’s time to tap on the breaks there, sports fans. The Penner signing was not the seventh sign of the impending apocalypse. In fact, we’re not seeing salary escalation so much as salary re-allocation.
Semantics? Maybe, but it’s an important distinction.
Yes, it appears the average annual paycheck will hit $2 million this season. That’s about 10 percent higher than the pre-lockout average of $1.8 million, and further proof that an NHL job is nice work if you can get it. But it’s not the amount, it’s how the money’s being spent that should be the focus. That’s because, the Todd Bertuzzi signing (two years, $ 8 million) aside, dollars are being dished more wisely than ever.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
• And how big a stiff might Penner – a former University of Maine standout – be in Edmonton? The occasionally lazy forward is mentioned in the same vein as all-time “flopperoo” Alexander Daigle by Sportsnet.ca’s Alan Adams. Maybe Adams knows something that Kevin Lowe overlooked in the large lad.
• The expansion lineup is as follows: Kansas City, Las Vegas, Portland, Houston. …
much more from The Maven…
added 12:16pm, from the Maven at MSG Network comes this information…
Hockey high-tech is about to end an institution. The era of goal judges – as we knew them – is over. The NHL’s red light-flickers no longer will be seated behind the nets.
In most cases, teams will relocate them to press boxes where they’ll still be able to push the goal switches. But goal decisions ultimately will be made by the referees or, if necessary, the league’s War Room in Toronto.
from All Things Avs by Adrian Dater,
I do know for a fact the Red Wings are sniffing around Forsberg’s corner, and I think you can add Anaheim, Buffalo, Nashville, Edmonton, the Islanders, Pittsburgh and, yes, the Avalanche to that list.
One person with intimate knowledge of Forsberg’s situation is that his agent, Don Baizley, wants to get one last good-sized contract for him. Let’s be clear about one thing: those who think Forsberg will take a hometown discount to return to the Avs are forgetting one big thing: he’s never done that before.
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
August means getting on the rink for the first time in months for many players, as dry land training merges with on-ice exercises. Many times that means relocating from summer homes to one’s city of employment, as players congregate for informal ice sessions prior to camp. For veterans, that may also mean getting their kids situated in schools, and for those who are arriving in a city for the first time, it means getting acclimated to new living accommodations is also a part of the process.
The driving force, however, remains the pull of the game during that last lull before it all begins in earnest. It’s a time for clarity when goals and expectations can be set and measured from the relative calm of summer…
from Pat Connolly of the Daily News,
The National Hockey League’s recent second rejection of Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie’s bid to purchase an ailing American franchise in Nashville and move it to Canada has revived a familiar alarm in this country - we’re losing top-level control of our national game to the southern neighbours.
Spare the hand-wringing, folks. That was lost nearly nine decades ago and we won’t be getting it back in the present NHL that is structured around 24 American and six Canadian teams. Simple arithmetic dictates that the torch carriers from the north won’t win many votes on important issues, such as expansion to Canada. Not even when that makes perfect business sense, as in Balsillie’s proposal to move the terminally ill Predators to Hamilton….
For now and the immediate future, it’s Bettman’s ABC plan: Anywhere But Canada.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
General managers who employ the Group II offer sheet approach are not, “poachers.” They are not creating inflationary spirals in the NHL’s salary structure. They are, rather, simply doing their jobs.
Brian Burke makes me laugh, and not with him. Burke’s all about huffing and puffing about integrity. He’s all about lecturing. He’s all about telling us that Penner is going to be playing for a “grossly inflated salary” when he himself is going to be paying Vancouver lug Todd Bertuzzi $4M a year for the next two seasons.
read on... and some hockey related revenue talk too…
Peter Forsberg skated in a charity game in Finland a few days ago…
via the Denver Post,
Afterward, he briefly talked to local reporters, saying his surgically repaired right ankle felt good.
There has been speculation that the Detroit Red Wings would be interested in Forsberg if he decides to play in the NHL this season. But the Swedish star said he hasn’t been in contact with any NHL clubs and still isn’t sure if he will play in the NHL this season.
He said the foot, which has given him numerous problems in recent years, still needs to be proven healthy enough to withstand the rigors of an NHL season.
from Evan Grossman of NHL.com,
The gems may have all been claimed in the first few days of the summer, but that doesn’t mean the shelves are completely bare. It might be bargain-basement outlet shopping at this point and not Rodeo Drive, but there are still plenty of guys out there that can help your favorite team.
In this edition of Gross Misconduct, we break down the best of what remains, and exactly what these leftovers bring to the table. In some cases, there’s still a lot these guys can bring, provided there are teams still interested in their services.
As you’ll see, clubs would be crazy to let some of these guys sit around much longer.
from the Edmonton Journal,
“If the Ducks called today to negotiate an extension for Ryan Getzlaf, we would definitely return that phone call. When you see (fellow Group II players) Zach Parise just sign an extension a year before his contract is up and Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh do the same, I see teams trying to take care of their restricted players earlier. I see that happening more (than offer sheets),” said Johannson.
“Most players want to sign with their current team, but in the old days, the team had leverage over a Group II restricted free agent. The variable now is the offer sheet, and I see teams revising their ideas about what’s fair to keep their own players.”
from the Ottawa Citizen,
No doubt arbitration is a gamble for both sides and in more than just salary. If Avery’s play falters in the upcoming season, the Rangers will be kicking themselves, especially as they’ll be paying him almost $2 million.
Perhaps the Rangers should suggest to the NHL and its Players’ Association that the arbitration system needs to be revamped in order to make it a less painful process - one in which the clubs don’t come out swinging at their own players and then try to kiss and make up when it’s over. That never helps team spirit, especially when word leaks out as it did in Avery’s case.
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.
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