Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Burke is pitching hard with whatever he has left, which isn’t exactly a pharaoh’s tomb filled with fabulous jewels and antiquities.
To get the second pick, if he can do this at all, he might need to move in two steps. Getting to fourth overall (Atlanta) or fifth (Los Angeles) could allow Burke to sell Lawton on a deal that would still allow the Bolts to get one of the top five players in the draft.
Understand, however, none of this may happen, no matter how hard the flamboyant Burke tries, and be assured he is enjoying himself immensely while creating the perception that the Leafs are a relevant player again at this draft.
When it’s all over, he may just have to be satisfied with hard rock Canadian junior defenceman Jared Cowan at No. 7, unless chief scout Dave Morrison hands him a piece of paper with the name of a Swedish prospect like Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson or Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
A hyphenated player, after all, would add a little dash.
Chelios wanted out of town 10 years ago when things were turning bad. Now the Hawks are Stanley Cup contenders and they should be thinking about getting better and taking the next step, not bringing back former greats who are way past their prime.
I like Cheli a lot, and he would come cheap, but it’s best he goes and plays somewhere else.
-Tim Sassone of Between The Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald. Read a bit more on this topic…
from Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy,
There are still rough patches, battles fought for respect and unfortunate generalizations made. (Lord knows I’m as guilty as anyone of that last one. Note to Self: Not every newspaper writer is stone-faced in the press box. Just more than a few of them.) But the gap has closed dramatically, to the point where blogs are influencing not only traditional media but the very leagues they cover.
Coming up, 10 stories, trends and scandals* from the last season that captured this moment in one way or another.
10. The Jaromir Jagr(notes) Rumor War
“JAGR CLOSE TO SIGNING WITH EDMONTON OILERS: SOURCE” was the blaring headline from Edmonton Journal blogger David Staples, as his Cult of Hockey site went out on a limb and reported that Jaromir Jagr was to leave the KHL for the NHL back on Feb. 10. This info came from “Euro-hockey expert Peter Adler.”
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Brendan Shanahan seemed to be leaning in this direction since the Devils’ season ended on April 28, but his agent Rick Curran confirmed today that the 40-year-old winger intends to play at least one more season in the NHL. It would be his 23rd season in the league.
That said, there have been no conversations so far between Curran and Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello about re-signing Shanahan, who is slated to become an unrestricted free on July 1—now only one week away. .
“I can’t say that I’ve had any conversations with any club, but Brendan is definitely going to play hockey next year,” Curran told me today.
via Brian Sandler of WKTV,
Having to choose between a return to the National Hockey League and a return to the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia, goalie and Whitesboro native Rob Esche has chosen the latter, telling WKTV he will honor the final year of his contract with SKA St. Petersburg.
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
Ownership updates were the theme of the day at the Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday.
Commissioner Gary Bettman updated the board on a number of franchise situations during a session of five-plus hours. Another briefing came from Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillette, who is in discussions to sell the team to three members of the Molson family. Bettman said the talks are in the preliminary stages, but said he was excited to see a well-known family involved with the sale.
continue for more topics discussed…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The days leading up to the NHL draft are a fascinating time for GMs and player agents. Scheduled meetings in hotel rooms, hotel lobbies and, of course, hotel bars—the chatter is through the roof as the trade talk intensifies leading up to Friday night’s first overall pick.
There’s more trade talk than usual for two reasons—all 30 GMs are in the same town and the first-round picks can be involved in possible deals. Once the first round comes and goes Friday night, fewer moves usually happen.
“The draft, to me, is an opportunity to improve your hockey club,” Thrashers GM Don Waddell said Wednesday. “We have the fourth [overall] pick in the draft. We’re looking for a top-six forward and a top-four defenseman and you may acquire that either via trades or free agency. Certainly we’re going to look at the trade market.”
In other words, the fourth overall pick is in play from Atlanta—for the right price.
One guy who won’t be moved this week is Thrashers star winger Ilya Kovalchuk, who is one year away from free agency, a critical time when a player of his caliber must either be signed to an extension or moved in order to get maximum value for the asset.
read on for more talk..
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
With only two days remaining before the Islanders make the first pick of the NHL draft in Montreal, excitement for the draft party planned by the club Friday night at the Coliseum is building as free ticket requests have climbed past 22,000. Team president Chris Dey said that’s a great indication of the vitality of Long Island as a hockey market, but there’s no mandate from the business side to general manager Garth Snow to draft fan favorite John Tavares ahead of Matt Duchene or Victor Hedman.
While the Islanders’ marketing department has worked hard to hype the draft party, Dey said, “It’s not like we put anybody’s name on it. We did what we normally do. We came up with a good idea to ticket the party. If we did it the way we normally do, which is just open the doors, we wouldn’t have had any idea what to expect.
“Fortunately for us, from a planning perspective, we decided to ticket it. Now, we know. It’s exciting. When you work hard every day, you hope you can get this kind of excitement and momentum behind what you’re doing. It’s a great time for us.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
• This weekend should also provide some drama on the Anaheim Ducks’ front. GM Bob Murray should know imminently whether defenseman Scott Niedermayer will return for at least one more kick at the can (the smart betting is he will). With Murray’s shrewd acquisitions of Ryan Whitney and James Wisniewski, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of room economically or ice-time-wise for veteran Chris Pronger, who has one more year left on his deal at $6.25 million and/or soon-to-be free agent Francois Beauchemin….
• Another guy bound to be in the middle of about a million rumors this weekend will be Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi, whose young Kings took a big step forward last season by hanging around the playoff picture well into the second half. Lombardi is now on the hot seat to get the Kings into the playoffs for the first time since 2002….
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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