Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
It’s all in the numbers. The Phoenix Coyotes aren’t moving to Hamilton. Jim Balsillie’s campaign to have the Coyotes relocated to Canada is toast. His Make it Seven campaign now can be called Keep it Six.
So what else did you expect, even though Balsillie’s spokesman suggested “we’re still here” in reply to the ruling on Monday by U.S. Bankruptcy Court chief judge Redfield T. Baum?
“We look forward to hearing from the NHL soon on its view of our relocation application and an appropriate relocation fee, so as to allow the court to determine if that fee is reasonable,” the Balsillie spokesman added. “We still think there is enough time for the NHL to approve Mr. Balsillie’s application and move the team to Hamilton by September. Mr. Balsillie is willing to participate in mediation if the NHL is also willing to do so.”
Hmph! What part of the NHL’s reaction to the bomb Judge Baum tossed doesn’t he understand?
TSN has set-up a list of prominent free agent signings since the end of the 2008-2009 regular season. Included in the list is their All-Free Agent Team.
It is getting close folks, once the NHL establishes the salary cap for next season, look for signings and trade talk to heat up.
Some great pictures from the Las Vegas Sun of Alexander Ovechkin and Ryan Kesler skating at outdoors at Caesars Palace. Both players were there to participate in a NHL 2K10 outdoor motion capture session.
Also some video of AO in action…
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The captain celebrated his 25th birthday yesterday. He has one year remaining on his contract. Beginning July 1, the Jackets can negotiate an extension. Conventional wisdom dictates Nash will re-up this summer or take dead aim at free agency next year—and if the latter course is taken, he will have to be traded, sooner or later, to salvage some value.
One would like to think that Nash wants to stay put. He has said he likes the direction of the team under general manager Scott Howson and coach Ken Hitchcock. He is involved in an assortment of community and charitable projects. He is a quiet sort who does not necessarily miss the din of larger and more rabid markets. He identifies with Blue Jackets fans, and they with him.
While these things will be taken into account, they pale when compared to the import of the contract itself. The next deal Nash signs will likely be the biggest of his career, not only because it will express his desire about where he wants to play, but because he might never again be in a position to make such a monetary windfall.
from Russia Today,
Two players from the Pittsburg Penguins, who took the Stanley Cup last week in a dramatic seven-game thriller against Detroit, may leave the U.S. for KHL this summer, Sportbox.ru reports.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk is interested in Czech Petr Sykora, who played 76 games for the Pens this season, scoring 25 goals and 21 assists.
The club’s contract with the player has expired and, according to his agent, the team is not going to offer him a new agreement….
Another Stanley Cup winner, Miroslav Satan, is wanted in Kazakhstan by Barys hockey club. The Astana team has ready offered a two year contract worth $6 million to the Slovak player.
from Melissa of the Las Vegas Sun,
While the Palms is setting the stage and rolling out the red carpet for Thursday’s NHL Awards, Caesars Palace is rolling out the rink.
The casino has created a skating rink in advance of the annual awards, which are visiting Vegas for the first time this year.
The league has committed to handing out hockey’s highest honors here in Las Vegas for the next three years. What’s more, the NHL Players Association is also holding their annual meetings here this week.
In response, the city and some of its major casino operators are rolling out the welcome mat for the league’s players, managers and fans.
At Caesars Palace, however, the so-called welcome mat is actually a giant skating rink.
OK, technically it’s a synthetic ice surface built with sheets of special plastic, but it skates the same as the real stuff and won’t melt under the desert sun.
Temperatures are, after all, expected to hit the mid-80s today.
Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin will lace ‘em up and go for a skate tonight as part of the demonstration outside the casino’s main entrance.
Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler will also take part.
from Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic,
The NHL commissioner must prove he is as passionate about us as he was in defeating a rogue billionaire attempting to break in the NHL’s back door. But I worry about Gary Bettman’s sincerity.
He claimed there are four groups interested in buying the Coyotes, something a shrewd bankruptcy judge refuted as “hearsay.” Yet none of the interested parties have stepped forward and spoken publicly. None of them have said an encouraging word to us, the potential customers. Isn’t that strange?
When arguing that hockey was still viable in Arizona, Bettman also cited the work of an advocacy group, Save the Coyotes. Problem is, that group was a small pocket of diehards who gathered in a parking lot like the breakfast crowd at Denny’s, and the paltry attendance made the apathy problem seem worse than it really is.
Don’t get me wrong. Those fans are loving, ambitious and more than the Coyotes deserve. Yet by referencing this small group as a beacon of hope, Bettman revealed himself as dishonest or completely out of touch. Neither bodes well for the future.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
Judge Baum avoided making a real ruling on the Coyotes after several failed attempts to push the NHL and Jim Balsillie towards mediation.
I won’t dwell on what you already know.
You know that because of a ruling Monday night, as of today the Phoenix Coyotes are not coming to Hamilton right away and, by the laws of probability, it would appear no new team is coming to Canada for the 2009-10 season.
A bankruptcy judge in Phoenix, Redford T. Baum, has seen to that.
Does that mean Jim Balsillie’s bid to “Make it Seven” is dead?
Not according to the Balsillie camp.
(Bryan) Murray stated that he would like to get a deal done before next week’s draft in Montreal but despite the “off-year,” Murray realizes it will be difficult to get equal value for a sniper of Heatley’s caliber.
“I’m just not going to let him just walk away for nothing as you know. Whether we get the ideal trade or not that is one thing but I have to get something good for this organization coming back.”
The agent for Heatley has also submitted a list of teams that the two-time 50 goal scorer was willing to go to, however Murray stated that list will not necessarily be stuck with if he is unable to find the right deal.
“If he doesn’t want to be in Ottawa and there is team that offers me a deal that I think is a better deal obviously I have to put some pressure on them to accept that or he may end up playing back here.”
“We didn’t interfere with the players. We had five calls in the final game, they were all restraining fouls. There were no roughing fouls, no scrums. The first and third periods of Game 7 were the fastest of the whole series. The players were able to skate freely. The credit goes to the players and coaches.”
-game 7 ref Bill McCreary. More from McCreary from Jeff Z. Klein of SlapShot at the NY Times.
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