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Category: NHL-Teams

Devils/Kovalchuk Press Conference

The embed feature has been disabled, so watch the press conference at NH.com.

It is scheduled to start at 1:00pm ET.

added 1:50pm, from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,

Ilya Kovalchuk met with the media in New Jersey this afternoon for the first time since signing his 17-year contract worth $102 million. He sat alongside managing partner Jeff Vanderbeek, coach John MacLean and team president Lou Lamoriello. Martin Brodeur, Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were among the teammates who attended. Here are some highlights:

Kovalchuk on why he picked New Jersey: He said he was impressed with the professionalism of the organization and that he learned a lot about winning in his short time. “There is unfinished business,” Kovalchuk said. “That was the biggest reason.”


added 5:08pm, You can watch the press conference below…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Will The Blue Jackets Fill A Need On Defense?

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

Many believe that after a nearly two-week lull in free agency, a mild flurry of moves is set to follow, that the next wave of GMs getting their rosters settled in advance of 2010-11 is about to take place. And if you’re a GM needing one defenseman—much less two—the temperature has just been increased.

Don’t be surprised if Howson begins taking a different tack this week. Here-to-fore he was content to let the summer play out, to let Vancouver GM Mike Gillis, Toronto GM Brian Burke and possibly others weigh their options for the players they’re peddling. In Vancouver’s case that’s Kevin Bieksa, and in Toronto’s case it’s Tomas Kaberle.

Howson is a patient man, but not when duty calls. Though he’s not making annual blockbuster trades or monster free agent signings—as some would like—he has never been guilty of letting the virtue of patience turn into a vice. Howson is not the type to get caught with his well-pressed pants down, yet he has to know he’s running that risk here.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Spezza Talks- He Wants To Be In Ottawa

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

There’s been plenty of debate on the issue of Spezza’s mindset since Murray told the media Spezza informed him he wouldn’t “object” to being dealt.

“At no point did I ever demand a trade,” Spezza said Tuesday at his annual charity golf tournament, being played at Greyhawk. “I’ve seen a lot of what’s been written and talked about ... at the end of the year I was pretty emotional and upset ... I was upset at us losing, and I was upset at a bit of the response I got.

“I talked to Bryan and (said) I read the newspapers, I see every year there’s trade talk about me. I just basically told him, if you want to move me, you can move me. Obviously, I had (a) no-trade clause coming up on July 1. I want to be here, but if he thinks it’s best for the team for me not to be here, and the city, then he can move me.

“He told me he wasn’t going to move me, and to be honest, I was happy about it, because I like being here in Ottawa.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jason+spezza

Can These Records Be Broken?

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

Most points, career: Wayne Gretzky, 2,857

Given the way the game is played today, many of Gretzky’s offensive marks will be hard to beat—after all, he played in an age when offense was king. Today’s goaltenders are better-coached, far more athletic and have better equipment; teams also pay a lot more attention to keeping the puck out of their next….

Most goals by a rookie: Teemu Selanne, 76 in 1992-93

Selanne was an untested kid from Finland when he burst into the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets in 1992-93 and immediately began terrorizing goaltenders. He blew past Mike Bossy’s rookie record of 53 goals and didn’t stop until he’d reached 76, tying him with Buffalo’s Alexander Mogilny for the League lead….



Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Yzerman Plan

from Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,

It’s an interesting way to go about his business, though. Yzerman told the world he’ll build the Bolts through scouting and player development, then acquired four 30-plus guys. And to clear space on the salary abacus, he added a guy who will be the third-highest paid player on the team.

It might seem like a backward way to build, but it makes sense.

No, it really does.

Getting older now allows the Bolts the chance to be more competitive immediately. Nothing’s worse than a three-year building plan that calls for lots of losing, especially when fans have been forced to swallow lots of losing already.

It’s tricky and I’m not sure I agree with all of it, but there is a plan there and that’s refreshing to see. While wandering in the wasteland the past three seasons, the Bolts’ plan seemed to be drawn up on the back of a napkin with a felt-tip pen that promptly ran.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sharp Staying In Chicago

from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,

...Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said on Monday that Patrick Sharp wouldn’t be traded, it doesn’t mean goalie Antti Niemi is as good as gone.

Bowman continues to negotiate with Niemi’s agent, Bill Zito, on a contract for the restricted free agent who is scheduled to go to arbitration on July 29. It’s believed both said are trying to come up with a creative solution that will keep Niemi in Chicago and allow the Hawks to stay under the salary cap.

However, it still might come down to the arbitration hearing and what Niemi gets awarded. If the money is too much, the Hawks can walk away from the ruling and Niemi becomes an unrestricted free agent, likely to be pursued in that event by a number of teams including San Jose and Washington.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Devils See Something In Kovalchuk

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Value is an increasingly difficult thing to assess in today’s NHL, given the latest contract bombshell: The New Jersey Devils signing Ilya Kovalchuk on Monday to a deal reportedly worth $102-million (all figures U.S.) over 17 years – provided he plays until the end of the 2026-27 NHL season as a latter-day Chris Chelios.

Of course, no one believes that scenario will unfold, least of all Kovalchuk himself, who will earn the vast majority of those dollars in the next 10 years after which the contract presumably tapers out in a bunch of years at insignificant money. Assuming the NHL actually signs off on the deal, the Devils’ philosophy here is clear: Collective bargaining agreements will come and go over those next 17 years.

It will be someone else’s problem to navigate the long-term implications of the deal if the NHL ever comes up with a way of punishing teams for so cavalierly ignoring the spirit of the salary cap (even though it looks as if the Devils did nothing illegal under the agreement as it is currently structured).


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Kings Took A Chance On Kovalchuk

from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,

The Kings didn’t know the structure of the Devils’ proposal and were surprised by the spike after the second season. General Manager Dean Lombardi acknowledged that his offer, made last Thursday in his third round of talks with Kovalchuk, wasn’t in the ballpark.

He felt he couldn’t pay Kovalchuk $11.5 million in any season because that would become the starting point when he negotiates a new deal with defenseman Drew Doughty. He wouldn’t be able to afford Kovalchuk, core players and other pieces, which makes some sense.

But when will an elite free agent agree to come here for less? To come here to win, not to use the Kings as leverage to make financial history?

That’s what Kovalchuk wanted from the start: to trump countryman Alexander Ovechkin, who has a 13-year, $124-million contract with Washington. Kovalchuk will earn more than Ovechkin in six seasons, and he must love that.

Nor was the $102-million total a coincidence. Kovalchuk rejected a 12-year, $101-million offer from Atlanta before the Thrashers traded him to the Devils in February and no one thought he’d equal that. He beat it, if barely.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

What To Do With Souray?

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal at the Calgary Herald,

There’s not a big market these days for Souray’s skill-set — big shot, big minutes, toughness — because he has two years left on his deal. His tough style of play, which has resulted in injuries (wrist, shoulder, concussion and hand), has also scared off a few teams.

The Oilers’ best bet is to move Souray to a team that is long way from the NHL required cap floor of $44 million. The Atlanta Thrashers have $36.2 million committed to 15 players. The New York Islanders have $36.5 million for 21 players. The Colorado Avalanche have $38 million for 20 players, and the St. Louis Blues are at $40 million for 20 players.

But those teams might also want Tambellini to include a younger player in any deal.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

Wings Were One Of The Teams To Show Interest In Gagne

from John Boruk of CSNPhilly,

What were Gagne’s main deciding factors?  Would you believe: cap space. Ironically, he didn’t want to be with a team in a similar situation the Flyers had put themselves for a couple of reasons. Primarily, he is not looking at this as a one-year rental. That may or may not be the situation in Tampa Bay, but he wanted to know that there would be plenty of cap room to sign a multi-year contract past this upcoming season. 

Surprisingly, the Detroit Red Wings had expressed interest and wanted to add Gagne, but with less than $4 million in cap space, the idea of joining one of the most successful franchises in hockey didn’t seem too appealing. The same can be said for his hometown Montreal Canadiens. 

Ironically, it was conversations with former Red Wing and Tampa GM Steve Yzerman sold him on the idea that he could become part of the Lightning’s rebuilding process, and Gagne feels they are a playoff team that will only get better.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: simon+gagne, simon+gagne

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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