Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Brian Biggane at the Palm Beach Post,
The word was out about Olli Jokinen. And it wasn’t good.
One league executive, who team was rumored to be among those pursuing Jokinen, called the former Panthers center “a dog” late Friday night and said any talk of sincere interest on the part of his team was “a plant.”
From Rob Rossi at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Marian Hossa has declined an offer to sign a long-term deal with the Penguins and will test free agency.
General manager Ray Shero said today after the NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place that Hossa, a star right wing acquired Feb. 26, will offer his services to other teams as an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
We watched pretty closely and we’re almost positive that when Kyle Beach walked up to the podium shortly before 9 p.m. and pulled on a Chicago Blackhawks jersey, there were no horns sticking out of his head. Neither was there a pointy tail dragging behind him.
Not that you wouldn’t have fully expected to see either the way the 18-year-old from Kelowna, British Columbia, has been demonized in the weeks leading up to the draft. In an interview a few hours before he became the 11th overall selection in the 2008 draft, Beach admitted that in all of the 28 interviews he had, teams were much more interested in his head space than his foot speed.
Get the latest on Evgeni Malkin, Vincent Lecavalier, Patrick Marleau, Brian Campbell and more.
from Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,
Seen Stamkos? Those billboards are all over town, touting the virtues of the 18-year-old the Bolts chose Friday with the No. 1 pick in the draft.
I have a better idea, at least for incoming owner Oren Koules.
That would be Michael Jordan, who has never played hockey (so far as we know). That didn’t stop former Bolts owner Art Williams from declaring 10 years ago on a night just like this that Vinny Lecavalier would become “the Michael Jordan of hockey.” Then, as now, the Bolts built the kid into Superman without bothering to wait for him to grow.
They made Vinny the savior of the franchise before he even knew his way around town.
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
Alex Tanguay got his wish.
Of course, he played a major role it making it come true.
The frustrated former Calgary Flames left-winger was traded to the Montreal Canadiens last night along with a fifth-round pick for the Habs’ 25th overall pick and a second-rounder next year.
Covering his bases, Flames general manager Darryl Sutter first made sure he got a star to fill the space that would be left by Tanguay by picking up the crafty Mike Cammalleri, plus the 48th overall pick in this year’s draft, from the Los Angeles Kings.
from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
Wilson said he has more conversations scheduled over the next couple days with Brian Campbell’s agent, Larry Kelly. And, yes, he said, any reports that say that Campbell has told the Sharks he will not return continue to be inaccurate — “outside speculation.”
So with nothing really to write about for tomorrow’s print edition, let me just say I was delighted when Wayne Gretzky used the 28th pick to select Viktor Tikhonov — who grew up in Los Gatos when his father, Vasily, was with the Sharks as an assistant coach and in other capacities between 1993 and 1995.
Suddenly I had a different angle, even it was only tangentially Sharks-related.
No Patrick Marleau. No Olli Jokinen. No puck-moving defensemen. But Howson got a top-six forward in R.J. Umberger (maybe a top nine) and he kept the No. 6 pick, spending it on Russian winger Nikita Filatov….
The trade for Umberger was struck before the draft. There was lots of back-and-forth, with Howson making his way to the Flyers’ table to chat with GM Paul Holmgren on numerous occasions, and vice versa.
Umberger is not a prototypical scoring-line center. Hell, he might not even be a prototypical center. But look at the Blue Jackets’ roster. Suddenly, he’s a sure-fire, scoring-line center.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
Have the Rangers found the second coming of Marc Staal? Did the Devils pull in another Paul Kariya? And with a relatively high seventh selection, do the Islanders have a third-line forward ready to skate with potential sensation Kyle Okposo?
from Gare Joyce at ESPN,
Gare Joyce says: Lecavalier and Stamkos: Potentially the best one-two punch at center in the league—and more salary-cap headaches down the line.
much more on the first round picks…
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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