Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
As the possibility of present and future litigation over the Phoenix Coyotes continues to widen, there is another battlefield that is waiting to erupt. The war thus far has been between the National Hockey League and Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie. But the next fight could be between the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Court filings filed late Friday night show a disagreement between the league and its most powerful franchise, dating back to 2006, over whether the Leafs have a veto over another team playing in their territory.
The NHL had taken the position that a franchise transfer into the home territory of an existing franchise would only require a majority vote among the league’s board of governors. The Leafs, in a letter hand-delivered to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, strenuously objected, and wrote that the club would “reserve all rights to take whatever actions are necessary to protect their exclusive rights to their home territory.”
from Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum at the LA Times,
Acquiring Heatley, who asked to be traded from his first team, Atlanta, and more recently asked the Senators to deal him, would be “too risky,” Lombardi said, an emphatic response that drew applause from the audience assembled at the Nokia Theatre for the final day of the Kings’ first Fan Fest.
Lombardi’s unequivocal answer also should silence the Heatley-to-L.A. rumors that have refused to die, probably fueled by the ample cap space the Kings will have and their need for a pure scorer.
“I would like to focus more on this group reaching its potential,” Lombardi said. “A big part of this process is culture, making an identity. What does it mean to really be a King?”
Apparently, it doesn’t mean whining when things don’t go well and being a bad influence on a group of young players who are only now beginning to become leaders and forge an identity as a team.
more on Heatley and other LA Kings topics…
ST. PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild today unveiled a new third jersey for the upcoming 2009-10 NHL season at a public event held at the Minnesota State Fair’s FAN Central building.
After months of buzz and speculation among Wild fans, the new third jersey was finally revealed today by left wing Derek Boogaard. Based in the Wild’s Forest Green with Wheat trim and a hint of Iron Range Red, the jersey’s classic sports look was the overwhelming favorite of Wild fans surveyed during the summer of 2008. The jersey crest features a script “Minnesota” with “WILD” emblazoned below.
continued including a picture gallery…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
A flurry of e-mails landed here in recent days concerning what some perceive as price-gouging by the Bruins for the upcoming season. Overall, prices have increased by approximately 15 percent (steep in today’s challenged economy) for all buyers, including season ticket-holders. Non-season ticket-holders also get hit with an added 15 percent when purchasing designated “gold’’ games - a variable-pricing tactic the club implemented for 14 games last season. This season, 20 of the 40 dates at the Garden are “gold’’ games. Better team, higher prices. Go figure
more plus other hockey topics, including Jason Allison and the NHLPA…
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson doesn’t doubt the words of prized prospect Nikita Filatov, who said he would consider returning to play in Russia if he was unable to become a regular in the lineup.
“Nikita is a pretty sincere guy,” Howson said.
But he also knows what motivates the 19-year-old winger whom coach Ken Hitchcock likens to former NHL standout Pavel Bure.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s driven to be a star in the NHL,” Howson said. “That’s his No. 1 goal in the NHL.”
Last week in Moscow, the winger said he’s happy with the Jackets organization and the direction his career is headed. The only way he would consider leaving for the Russia-based Continental Hockey League (KHL) is if playing time became an issue with the Jackets.
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
What have the Sabres done since missing the playoffs for a second straight year? They brought in Steve Montador and Mike Grier in an inexpensive reply to critics who said they lacked the toughness and will to compete for a Stanley Cup.
Darcy Regier and Larry Quinn conceded that their team needed more “compete,” without identifying the offending players or moving anyone of consequence off the roster. Max Afinogenov is gone, but it will be essentially the same soft cast of characters that shows up in camp Sept. 12.
Regier has all the excuses. They’re up against their salary ceiling. Free agents were pricy and unattractive. It’s hard to find trading partners in this economic climate. Lately, Darcy sounds more like an accountant than a GM, content to educate us on the nuances of NHL finance.
But in the end, your actions, or lack of them, speak loudly. The Sabres believe in their players. They are building from within, with young guys — and let’s never forget how young they are.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Brian Burke wants belligerence and truculence on the Leafs and the invitation of Jason Allison to training camp is further proof of that. A lot of people who have played with Allison in the past will tell you he has attitude, most of it off the ice ... Allison, by the way, had two speeds when he last played in the NHL: Slow and slower ... One more Allison question: If the Leafs are going to invite him, why not Jeff O’Neill, Alex Khavanov and Aki Berg?
• What wasn’t made public in Patrick Kane’s plea bargain agreement: How large a cheque did Kane write for the beaten cab driver?
more hockey topics…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
While Bryan Murray remains interested in the 28-year-old Comrie, the Senators GM doesn’t have salary-cap room. In fact, he has to cut $1.3 million — a byproduct of not finding a new home for Dany Heatley and his $7.5-million cap hit.
If the Senators aren’t able to trade Heatley before medicals Sept. 12 — and that’s looking more likely — Comrie will have options elsewhere.
“There are five or six teams interested and we’re quite confident that we’ll have something done before training camp,” said Winter Saturday. “Each of them have varying degrees of interest. We’re working on various, different types of structures.”
Comrie, who made $4 million last season, is likely going to have to take a paycut to the $1.5-$2 million range.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes at the St. Petersburg Times,
The agent for free-agent wing Alex Tanguay said his client will sign a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning after he passes a physical that will occur in Tampa on Monday or Tuesday….
Lecavalier, who played with Tanguay for Canada at the 1998 world junior championship, said he spoke to Tanguay twice, including Friday night.
“He asked me about Tampa and I told him about coming to the tam and the direction it is going,” Lecavalier said, and added, “Anybody that plays with a guy like Tanguay, he’s such a great passer and can score. He brings a lot to the team, so I’m excited.”
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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