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Category: NHL-Teams

Report- Belanger Signing With Washington

from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail,

According to multiple sources, free agent centre Eric Belanger has a one-year deal in waiting to return to the Washington Capitals. The contract is believed to be a slight raise over the $1.75-million he made last season, to $1.85-million.

What’s interesting is that he has been told not to announce where he’s going, leading to Belanger telling the French language newspaper Le Soleil on Wednesday that he is about to sign but can’t say where due to the fact the team he’s headed to is working on a trade.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+belanger

Hard Knocks - NHL Style

from Greg Wyshynski of PuckDaddy,

You think the same hockey culture that chastised Canadian women drinking magnums of Molson after winning Olympic gold would allow scenes in which NHL rookies hang out in a pub near camp, chatting up fans with around three dozen shot glasses empty on the bar? (Which was a scene from “Hard Knocks” last night.)

We’ve had discussions over the years with plenty of NHL executives and team personnel about candor. About connecting players and fans on a different level than the corporately packaged, delicately filtered way that connection is made today.

Sure, hockey players are boring ... when they have 25 microphones in their face in the locker room, or they’re staring into a camera for three minutes on NBC. Not so much when they’re on the ice during camp, or shooting the breeze in the locker room or sitting around having longnecks after a scrimmage.

That’s the access a “Hard Knocks: NHL” would require. That’s the access that would endear previously random names on a roster to fans watching at home.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Frank Discussion About Gay Athletes

from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal at the Vancouver Province,

The Oilers and (Edmonton) Capitals, said Oilers president Patrick LaForge, will conduct in-house diversity training for both the staff and athletes on both its baseball and hockey clubs, also welcome news.

Those who believe any of this makes it more likely that a gay athlete employed anywhere in North American pro sports will feel secure enough to declare his homosexuality while an active player may be in for disappointment. There have been gay players in major league baseball, NFL football and basketball who have gone public, but only after they retired. No male hockey pro has ever come out.

“In a way, I don’t blame them because in the changing room, where everything is wide open, for a lot of players, they just don’t want to [declare], if they’re not comfortable,” said Georges Laraque, retired NHL player and deputy leader of the Green party. “For me, I couldn’t care less.

“But, a lot of times, if you’re a member of a team, you just don’t want to make guys uncomfortable around you. They shouldn’t be, but you know that if others know [about your sexual orientation, the atmosphere) could be colder.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: georges+laraque

All Tortorella

from Stan Fischler of MSG,

Right off the bat, I asked Torts to give me some reasons for optimism.

“I feel good about what we did so far this Summer,” he shot back. “We didn’t deal any of our kids and the foundation for the team is in place. We have to build a club without relying totally on free agency.

“We want to keep our youthful core and keep adding to it.”

He also is pleased that Glen Sather signed Martin Biron, an experienced goaltender who will provide the Rangers what they’ve lacked since just after the last Lockout; someone who can enable Henrik Lundqvist to obtain more rest than he’s had for years.

“Marty is a good back-up goalie,” said Tortorella. “I’d like to see him play between seventeen and twenty games next season. He’s solid and I expect him to win games.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tortorella

The Drafting (Or Lack) Of European Players

from HabsWatch,

The hockey world changed in 2005 and it had nothing to do with the NHL lockout that cost owners, players and fans the 2004-05 season. Starting with the Crosby draft lottery of 2005 which signalled the end of hostilities between the NHL and NHLPA, teams began a broad, calculated and intentional shift away from drafting European players.

Teams across the league re-focused their scouting and began drafting more North-American hockey players to stock the NHL of tomorrow. How dramatic a shift? Only the Swedish leagues have managed to maintain or increase their average annual crop of NHL draft picks since the lockout.

Looking back at the five draft years preceding the lockout and the six years since has revealed some startling numbers that I haven’t seen discussed in detail anywhere else. Normally my focus is on the Montreal Canadiens but I believe this subject warrants discussion and should be of interest to hockey fans everywhere.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Weak 500 Goal Scorers?

from Michael Rand of the Star Tribune,

Our ignorance of the NHL record book became apparent when we thought, for some reason, that Mark Messier was the all-time leading goal scorer in the league’s history. Don’t ask us why. We remembered that Wayne Gretzky has more career assists than anyone else even has career points. From there, we decided he must not have been that much of a goal man. And we were obviously way wrong.

But back to the matter at hand. There have been 41 players who have topped the magical 500 goal mark in their NHL careers. Who are the weakest members in this group? Since it’s a longer list than the past two, we will accept answers for both top 20 and overall. The goal is to reach a consensus, then go to that person’s house and tell them. (OK, actually it’s just for a little bit of mid-August fun). Here is your list of the 41…

more

My suggestion, don’t vote for anyone.  I believe the writer doesn’t understands how difficult it is to reach that mark.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Players Waiting For A Phone Call

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Pisani, who can’t fathom so many players waiting for the phone to ring with camps approaching.

Pisani doesn’t know if he would take a two-way offer from some team, if that’s all he could get.

It beats the alternative: a simple training camp invite, where trying to make the team would be like trying to bail water out of a sinking boat with a shot glass. Darned near impossible. It’s hard enough making a club when you’ve got a two-way NHL contract and everybody else is on a one-way.

Would he take an invitation to somebody’s camp?

“I’m not sure yet. I haven’t got to that point,” he said.

“I’m not ready to retire.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: fernando+pisani

It’s All About The Dallas Stars TEAM

from Mark Stepneski of Andrew’s Stars Page at ESPN Dallas,

The Dallas Stars have parted ways with some popular individual players this summer, but hockey is considered by many to be the ultimate team sport, and that’s what the Dallas Stars will be emphasizing this season – team.

It’s a message that GM Joe Nieuwendyk and Marc Crawford will push and it’s a message that the team’s marketing staff will capitalize on as well.

“Your marketing message for the year has to flow up from an authentic place; it flows up from the team because you are trying to encapsulate the best of your team. This year it is: ‘It’s About TEAM’ and team will be in all capital letters,” Geoff Moore, executive vice president for sales and marketing. “It’s because the Dallas Stars were not built by one player. Certain players had more to do with it than others, but it was always about a team. “

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Can The Devils Sign Kovalchuk And Parise?

from Marc Everson of the NY Post,

It’s really what late Devils owner John McMullen meant when he said “You don’t want 50-goal scorers. Then you have to pay them.” The update is you have a huge cap hit.

It was a nice try, elegant even, and the Devils’ attempt to keep Ilya Kovalchuk’s cap hit manageable should have succeeded. Now that the arbitrator upheld the NHL’s rejection of the contract, the extra cap space it’s going to cost makes it even more likely that New Jersey will have to choose between Kovalchuk and Zach Parise in its long-term plans, and make that choice now.

It was going to be a tough go anyway, now it’s that much harder. For this season, they can have both if they can get under the cap with Kovalchuk’s hit. Next summer, Parise can become a restricted free agent, and that’s when what they do now will really matter.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Canes Playing With Their Own Salary Cap

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

As an overwhelmingly quiet summer winds down for the Carolina Hurricanes, with training camp a little more than a month away, it’s clear the belt-tightening imposed by owner Peter Karmanos has had an effect on the roster.

Good or bad, it’s hard to say right now, but there’s no question it’s a different look than last year, or the year before, or the year before that.

The question at the start of the summer, when Karmanos insisted general manager Jim Rutherford slash the payroll to stem the NHL team’s operating losses and make the franchise a more attractive proposition for a would-be buyer - no takers yet, it must be noted - was this: What does $44 million get you?

At this point in August, we’ve got some answers.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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