Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
Question: Of course it’ll be up to the new coach, but does Lombardi REALLY see this team moving forward with LaBarbara in goal? And who would be the backup? Knowing DL, I highly doubt he expects Bernier to make the lineup next year, so what do the Kings intend to do? And are they planning on re-signing Ersberg? I could live with him starting in goal over LaBarbara.
Answer: The plan, at the moment, is to go with LaBarbera and Ersberg. That’s not to say that one of the young guys couldn’t surprise them in training camp, but the Kings don’t go into training camp counting on that to happen.
From George Richards at On Frozen Pond in the Miami Herald:
Speaking of Mats [Sundin], the City of Sunrise has agreed to change its name to “Sundin, Florida” if Mats decides to sign with the Panthers. “No one knows where we’re at anyway,’’ one Sunrise official lamented. “Some people like to call us ‘North Weston’ or ‘South Tamarac.’ It doesn’t matter.’‘
From Damien Cox in The Spin at the Toronto Star,
Fair or not, Tucker was viewed as one of the leaders of the so-called Muskoka Five, a gang now broken up by GM Cliff Fletcher. Fletcher vowed big changes, and you have to give him credit for following through. Tucker’s gone, Mats Sundin’s all but gone, and Kyle Wellwood, John Pohl and Andrew Raycroft are also no longer Leafs.
Bryan McCabe, by autumn, will almost certainly be playing somewhere else, as well. So the players who banded together to defy the wishes of management and remain Leafs at the 2008 trade deadline have, really, gained very little in the end.
Tomas Kaberle, at this point, seems the only one of the five certain to stick around.
from the Florida Panthers blog at the Sun-Sentinel,
I just spoke on the phone to Joe Nieuwendyk, who was playing with his kids and sounded like he’s enjoying the extra time with family. Anyhow, here are his thoughts on a few issues:
Q: What are you looking to do when your contract runs out with the Panthers on June 30? Are the Maple Leafs, your former team, a team you’d want to work for?
A: “I’m keeping my options open. I should know more down the road. ...I’d certainly would listen to what they have to say. [A move there] may or may not make sense.
The Florida Panthers placed veteran centre Jozef Stumpel on waivers on Wednesday, making him a buyout candidate if he clears at Noon et/9am pt on Thursday.
Stumpel is entering the last season of a two-year contract extension that will pay him $2.25 million. The 35-year-old had seven goals and 20 points in 52 games last season.
from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,
Here are nine teams, in alphabetical order, where Emery might fit:
Chicago – Nikolai Khabibulin can become an unrestricted free agent next summer and the up-and-coming Hawks will be looking for a goalie who can grow and develop with its young, talented team.
Colorado – If the Avs don’t re-sign Jose Theodore, they’ll be desperate for a No. 1.
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
The final touches are still being worked on and nothing can be formally announced until July 1, but sources tell TSN the Tampa Bay Lightning and superstar centre Vinny Lecavalier have agreed to terms on a mega-deal that will pay him $77 million over nine years.
The annual salary cap hit to the Lightning will be about $8.55 million for the length of the contract, but the final year of the contract is said to be only for about $3 million, which means that if Lecavalier retired after eight seasons, his average salary would be as much as $9.4 million.
from Habs Inside/Out,
Don Meehan has told La Presse he expects to conclude negotiations on a new contract for Andrei Kostitsyn by the end of the week.
Meehan will meet with Canadiens capologist Julien BriseBois today. Kostitsyn has told his agent he wants to stay in Montreal and is not interested in offers from other NHL teams.
Negotiations that were expected to be difficult and complex, Meehan said, have turned out to be merely complex.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,
Knowing the panicked proclivity of teams seeking a PR splash, Marian Hossa, Bryan Campbell, Ryan Malone, Sean Avery and even Mr. Huselius will find themselves rich boys by the time September rolls around. Given the fulsome praise heaped on him every night of the Stanley Cup final by Don Cherry, Gary Roberts should break the UFA mint as well. (No? How could Don be wrong?)
Once again, the NHL has achieved the neat trick of creating scarcity in free agents, a sure recipe for overpaying the likes of Hossa, Huselius, Pavol Demitra or Avery.
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
The Coyotes’ two first-round draft choices from a year ago have a chance to benefit from the trade that brought Olli Jokinen from Florida for defensemen Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton.
Center Kyle Turris, the third overall pick in 2007, will be able to gain a lot of insight from one of the high-powered centers in the NHL and not have to rush his learning curve.
Defenseman Nick Ross, the 30th pick, has a better opportunity to work his way onto the roster at training camp.
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