Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Buffalo Sabres today announced they have capped their full season tickets for the 2009-10 season at 14,825, an increase of 500 tickets from last year. After renewing 95% of their season tickets this summer, the club was able to issue over 1,200 new season tickets to members of their Blue & Gold Club.
“Season ticket holders are very important to the business success of the organization,” said Chief Operating Officer, Dan DiPofi. “Our fans have been very loyal over the years and we are extremely grateful they have continued to support the team. We take great pride in the partnership we have nurtured with our fans over the last several years.”
I wonder how some of the other teams are doing in season ticket sales? If you know, feel free to leave a comment.
The Edmonton Oilers have signed restricted free agent defenceman Denis Grebeshkov to a one-year contract worth $3.15 million.
The signing avoids salary arbitration between the Russian defender and the club.
Last season the 25-year-old scored seven goals and 32 assists for 39 points in 72 games.
The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed restricted free agent forward Tomas Plekanec to a one-year contract worth $2.75 million. By agreeing to a deal, the team and player avoided a salary arbitration hearing that had been scheduled for July 30.
The Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins have signed goaltender Brent Johnson to a one-year contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
Johnson, 32, played 21 games with the Washington Capitals, finishing with a record of 12-6-2 during the 2008-09 season. The veteran goaltender recorded a .908 save percentage along with a 2.81 goals-against average.
The top 10 shootout goals from last season.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
There are plenty of rumors swirling around Edmonton’s apparent need for a third line center, most of it focusing on free agents Manny Malhotra and Blair Betts. No doubt the roster would really benefit from the signing of character guy like Malhotra, but his asking price (thought to be three years, $6 million) is too high. The familiarity of coach Tom Renney with Edmonton native Betts makes him a logical fit, too, but the guessing here is that Oilers stick with what they have and hope that an option emerges in camp.
As if the loss of Joe Sakic isn’t enough for the sad-sack Avs to deal with, it looks like the schedulemakers had to get their shots in, too. Colorado, which had a league-low eight back-to-back games in 2008-09, has 16 of them slated for 2009-10. So who catches a break? That would be the Blue Jackets, who led the league with 20 B2Bs last season, but have just 12 on the new sked…
read on for some NHLPA/Olympics talk…
from Joe Starky of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Veteran forward Petr Sykora will not return for a third season with the Penguins, but his departure has nothing to do with a supposed rift between he and coach Dan Bylsma, according to Bylsma and Sykora’s agent, Allan Walsh.
A recent report in the Czech newspaper “Aha!” quoted Sykora as saying he did not like Bylsma when the two were teammates with the Anaheim Ducks from 2002-04. The quotes implied that Sykora believed Bylsma had it out for him when they were reunited in February, when Bylsma was hired as Penguins coach.
Walsh said the interview never happened. He said “Aha!” is a sister publication of “Blesk,” a periodical Walsh compared to the National Enquirer, and often publishes its stories.
from Ian Mendes of Sportsnet,
There have been some hints from the Ottawa media that suggest several members plan on crashing Jason Spezza’s upcoming wedding in an attempt to force Dany Heatley to speak.
Personally, I think as a media group we need to act with some class and show a little respect for someone’s special day. Unfortunately, those two words (class & respect) aren’t in many reporters’ vocabularies and it’s a big reason why we are wedged comfortably between telemarketers and personal injury lawyers on the scale of likable professionals….
Jason has asked all of us to respect his privacy on his special day and not show up. He’s hired security to make sure no unauthorized guests (hint, hint, media) try to sneak in. He couldn’t make it any more clear: “I’m nice to you guys 364 days a year. Please give me one day off.”
But I can’t shake the nagging feeling that pack journalism is going to rule the day. Everyone is going to be scared that the competition is going to get the scoop, so we better head to the wedding ourselves.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
These are the teams that for the last few seasons have been taking steps up the challenging ladder to Stanley Cup glory, and all look poised to continue their climb in 2009-10. Maybe one even could reach the top and become the next Pittsburgh Penguins.
1. Chicago Blackhawks—Their run to the Western Conference Finals was a dramatic leap for a team that hadn’t reached the playoffs since 2002, but it wasn’t totally shocking. The Hawks have changed dramatically in the last 24 months by developing a solid young core and have spent to upgrade in other areas.
read on for nine more teams on the rise…
The big bomb that some want right away may not have occurred, but there have still been plenty of adjustments taking place.
“We’ve already made some changes,” said Wilson. “There are seven or eight players (notably Mike Grier, Marcel Goc, Travis Moen) that already won’t be coming back, so we’ve made a level of changes there.”
Plus there could still be more to come.
“Are we pursuing some discussions that may lead so some trades, absolutely,” noted Wilson. “I share this with everybody, I think this is a society of instant gratification. ‘Let’s make all these changes right now.’ That’s not really how it works. It’s been busy with a lot of phone calls. We’re entering into another phase of our team building time.”
added 8:05pm, from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen via the Vancouver Sun,
The Sharks are currently pushing the salary cap limit of $56.8 million US for the 2009-10 season, but their only major long-term commitment is to Boyle, who will make an average of $6.7 million per season until 2014.
If the Senators were willing to take back most of Heatley’s salary in the form of another player or two — Marleau has one year and $6.3 million remaining and Jonathan Cheechoo has two years and $6 million left — there could be room for a deal. (With Heatley and Alex Kovalev currently on the books, the Senators are approximately $2 million over the salary cap, but NHL teams have until September to get under the number).
It all makes a degree of sense and cents. If something was done with the Sharks, Murray would be forced to sell the fans on the merits of an underachieving, overpaid player or two, but that wouldn’t be all that different from the potential Edmonton deal as the Senators would have been taking on Dustin Penner.
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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