Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brian Costello of The Hockey News,
When the Hall of Fame’s selection committee gets together Tuesday to select its 2009 inductees, it will have three easy decisions and at least one difficult one.
The easy decisions are for three of the four openings in the players category. Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull and Brian Leetch are clearly shoo-ins and make this year’s class one of the most memorable in decades. All three are first-time eligible this year and the debate among the 18 selection committee members won’t be long or spirited.
The fourth opening is the one that will spark plenty of dialogue. The other first-time candidates (retired three years from hockey) are Luc Robitaille, Alexander Mogilny and Dave Andreychuk.
via Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
“Boy, that’s a tough one,” said Weir, who counts former playmaking center Adam Oates among his friends and who has skated with the Washington Capitals in the past. “All I can go by is I watched quite a bit of the World Junior this year, and Tavares looked unbelievable. So, I’d have a tough time picking against him. I think any of those three…it depends on what the team’s needs are. I don’t know what the Islanders really need.”
Told they are the lowest-scoring team in the NHL, Weir said, “Well, I think Tavares would probably be a good pick.”
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
Although it seems a year, only a month has passed since Keenan paid for the sins of the many. Since the three-day-late media conference to address his dismissal, in which Sutter only half-joked he was, at that moment, the best replacement candidate, not a peep of comment from down Olympic Way.
Sutter’s Bonded Plumbing Service has ensured no leaks.
Which, naturally enough, has precipitated a flood of rumours. Most wild, a few wilder. One making the rounds had Sutter waiting until reaching Montreal to name the new coach, far from the prying eyes of the local camera-toters and scribblers and in keeping with his sense of humour.
Another insisted the GM had, as hinted at, taken over himself and just didn’t feel like putting out a release. Rumours then surfaced that someone had spotted Montreal Canadiens ex-coach Guy Carbonneau furtively entering and exiting the Pengrowth Saddledome wearing a skull cap and moustache, disguised as Bearcat Murray.
Well, there’s been no shortage of scuttlebutt.
The man still considered odds-on-favourite for the job, Brent Sutter, would rather talk about the appalling lack of precipitation up northwest a spell than the lack of news being surreptitiously filtered out of the Saddledome.
added 1:03pm, from TSN,
Sources tell TSN that Brent Sutter is in the final stages on the details of an agreement to become the next head coach of the Calgary Flames.
He is expected to be named in the near future.
Should Sutter be named the new bench boss in Calgary, it would be due to New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello giving the club permission to speak with him, as Sutter owes the Devils a year on his contract.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
For the first time since the lockout, the salary cap won’t rise. But it is expected to be in the $54 million-$56 million U.S. range, and the Canadiens have 11 NHL players under contract with a commitment of only $23.5 million.
General manager Bob Gainey gave himself a great deal of flexibility by finishing the season with 10 players who could become unrestricted free agents on July 1 as well as three restricted free agents. But there is also the potential of gaping holes in the roster.
For starters, Gainey must make decisions on which of his own potential UFAs to keep, and hope that the keepers also decide they want to stay in Montreal.
Once that task is completed, the next step will be to assess the available free agents and hope he can lure some of them to Montreal. This has proved to be a difficult task in the past, but money shouldn’t be a problem.
Basement flooding at 12:30am is not good, may as well do some posting while drying out some large towels…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The stability and financial future of the Phoenix Coyotes was one of several topics discussed by members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association at its annual summer meetings for North American players, held here Friday, and according to Glenn Healy, the NHLPA’s director of player affairs, there is frustration that they have no say in the matter.
“You need to have leverage and rights before you can take a position,” Healy said. “We have no ability to dictate anything.
“We were told in September that the team was okay. We were told in February that the team was okay. In fact, at that point, [the NHL] had already infused tens of millions of dollars into the team. Any media outlet that wrote that the team was in trouble was ridiculed.
“So from that standpoint, we basically had the burlap bag over our heads with regards to the Phoenix situation, which is disappointing because we consider ourselves major stakeholders in the game, and it affects not only our 23 players there, but a whole bunch of players who used to play there as well.”
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants at the Star-Tribune,
As for Marian Gaborik, Chuck Fletcher said he “intends to push the process forward next week so we try to get a sense from them” whether or not he’s willing to re-sign in Minnesota.
Fletcher won’t put a deadline on Gaborik, but he did say, he’s working the phones on trades, and a lot of what he does will depend on what he hears from Gaborik. There are things out there “that make sense for us,” he says.
If Gaborik isn’t re-signed by the Draft and a trade is available to make, Fletcher may just have to pull the trigger even if it means definitely closing the door on Gaborik.
from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
It appears the “staged fights” rule recommended by the NHL’s 30 GMs will not see the light of day.
The players discussed it at their meeting here this week and they recommended to their members on the competition committee to vote against it. The committee needs seven of 10 votes to pass a new rule and they won’t get it if all five players vote no next Thursday when the group meets in Montreal.
The union brought in a number of tough guys Wednesday and they shared their universal thumbs down on the “staged fights” rule proposition.
continued plus some goaltender equipment & Pronger talk too…
Ten years ago, most of us were watching the same thing on television, game six of the 1999 Stanley Cup finals.
Now some members of the Buffalo Sabres are talking about the triple overtime thriller that ended with “no goal.”
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The closer the calendar creeps toward July 1, the less likely it appears the Predators will sign many of their more significant potential unrestricted free agents.
That was the sentiment expressed Friday by Predators general manager David Poile when asked about the status of players including Steve Sullivan, Joel Ward, Vern Fiddler and Greg Zanon.
Poile said he planned to speak with the agents for all four players in the coming week and didn’t rule out any re-signings.
But he added that “it just feels like we’re going to July 1 (unrestricted free agency) with everybody unless somebody comes back to say they’re changing their positions. We haven’t had any of that.
“What we’re offering and what they’re asking for is a substantial difference, and that’s why those deals haven’t been done.’’
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
While there have been preliminary discussions about the possibility of an outdoor game, January 1 in Calgary between the NHL and Calgary officials, the National Hockey League Players Association says it’s unaware of the planned doubleheader.
‘‘This is all news to me. We are breaking news, this is an insider moment that Calgary is potentially going to get an outdoor game and this is the first I’ve heard of it,’’ Glenn Healy, the NHLPA’s director of player affairs told TSN.
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.
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