Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
And so the dust has all but settled on the free agency battlefield.
There are a few stragglers hiding in the woods, Alexei Yashin, Daniel Markov, Curtis Joseph and, surprisingly, Sheldon Souray. But for the most part teams have staked their claim to improving their lot by throwing boatloads of dough and years of security at this year’s crop of unrestricted free agents. In the final reckoning only a handful will enjoy true success and of course only one will see the ultimate reward with a Stanley Cup next spring. Until then here’s our look at the winners and losers of the free agency conflict.
The New York Rangers…
Dave Stubbs at The Gazette and Habs Inside/Out decided to feature some light entertainment on this hot Friday off-season day. (Not that the Edmonton-Buffalo debacle hasn’t been plenty entertaining, but it’s nice to have a change of pace…)
Here’s one of his entries—you can click here to see the rest.
Caption: “But where the NHL taketh from goalies with a wider net,
it giveth back, with somewhat larger pucks.”
via the Salmon Arm Observer,
And while I’m on the subject of Mr. Niedermayer, who hails from Cranbrook and is likely to retire, I’ll go out on a limb right now and declare him the best B.C.-born hockey player ever.
I know that list includes the likes of Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Cam Neely and many, many others, but I believe his resumé matches up against any of those other players and his skills make him a unique and special player.
I also include the fact he excelled in that stifling, albeit successful, system in New Jersey for so many years. It was not the ideal place for an offensive defenceman but he made it work. Imagine if he was with Detroit during those same years. His numbers would be scary.
From AM570 News,
It was a very frank discussion in an exclusive interview with Jim Balsillie’s lawyer Richard Rodier on 570’s Prime Time Sports last night.
Rodier says Commissioner Gary Bettman is against having more teams in Canada, and believes his client Jim Balisille is being treated differently because of his desire to move the Nashville Predators to Hamilton.
During the interview Rodier says he believes a gag order has been put into place, covering the NHL’s Board of Governors regarding the deal.
from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated,
Sorry, Sabres fans. Tough luck, ye followers of the benighted Fishsticks. I probably can’t stop you from draping yourselves in sackcloth and a thick coating of ashes while you curse the cruel fate of your underprivileged franchises. But I’m here to tell you that hockey fans should be rejoicing, no matter what their team affiliation.
Say what you want about the merits of competitive balance. It’s the presence of teams that are as rich in tradition as they are in talent that makes a sport compelling. And if these spending sprees allow another dynasty to rise up in a well-established market—New York or Philadelphia or Detroit or Toronto, for instance—then so much the better for the NHL.
from Spector at his Fox Sports Blog,
Better get used to more surprises over the remainder of the collective bargaining agreement.
First, save yourself the shock of seeing the cap rise every year and just expect it to happen. It might not increase as much as it did this summer, when the NHLPA exercised its right under the CBA to boost the cap by five percent, but it will likely keep rising by various degrees over the remainder of the deal.
Canadian Press hockey columnist Pierre Lebrun recently said a team executive predicted the cap could rise to $62 million within the next four years.
This from Dave Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,
The NHL lockout was supposed to restore a degree of fiscal sanity to the NHL, right? And in so doing perhaps restore a little good faith between the league and its players – remember “Thank You Fans” stencilled outside the blue lines? – and the money-gouged if unfailingly loyal spectators.
So since Sunday noon, NHL clubs have spent a half-billion – billion – dollars on salaries, locking up players for as long as eight years with strategies that have defied explanation, common sense and logic on many fronts.
Make sure to read some of the comments left there…
If last year is any indication, many deals were announced on July 4th.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
Meanwhile, the next time the NHL and the NHLPA go to the mattresses, the board of governors would do well to instruct Gary Bettman to forget the salary cap and cap the calendar instead. Fifteen years for Rick DiPietro, eight years for Briere, seven years for Gomez - it’s absurd.
Go back to the NHL record books seven or eight years ago and look at the number of players who were stars then, but are half-forgotten now.
Like to have Pavel Bure, anyone? Alexander Mogilny? Donald Audette? Jeremy Roenick? Michael Peca? Owen Nolan? Jose Theodore?
Put it this way: Signing free agents is a crapshoot and the longer the deal, the more crap in the chute.
much more... and note to Jack, there is hockey talk in the States, you just have to know where to find it.
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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