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Category: NHL-Teams

Khabibulin Sentencing Comes Down Today

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

The minimum mandatory sentence is 30 days in jail for extreme drunk driving, but he could be imprisoned for up to six months. The 37-year-old Khabibulin was found guilty last Friday afternoon of two impaired driving charges—one for exceeding a blood-alcohol level of .08, the other for being over .15—and an excessive speeding charge.

If Khabibulin goes to jail, that would muddy the Oilers goaltending situation even more. As it is, hockey conspiracy theorists are having a field day.

There has been rampant talk that the Oilers could use Khabibulin’s sentence against him—as a way of getting out of their four-year, $15-million US contract with the veteran netminder for failing to report to training camp next month. There is talk that former Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi is waiting in the wings to be signed.

But would anybody be saying this if Khabibulin had played 60 games last season and won 35 of them, rather than just 18 games after requiring back surgery? Probably not. Chances are the Oilers will stand behind Khabibulin, regardless.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Evening Line

“It’s minor, nothing major. He started to skate three weeks ago and felt some discomfort. It’s not the same as last year, it’s in a different location. So it’s a little confusing.’‘

-Ken Holland, GM of the Detroit Red Wings on the knee issue with Niklas Kronwall.  More on this from Ansar Kahn of Mlive.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: niklas+kronwall

Maltby Close To Signing Two-Way Contract With Wings

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland will meet with Maltby later this week, and Maltby’s agent, Anton Thun, said, “I anticipate we’ll have some news by the end of the week.’‘

The club has a standing one-year, two-way contract offer on the table to the longtime Red Wing.

Maltby, 37, has been exploring the free-agent market, but Thun said his client’s preference is to remain in Detroit.

“He’s been with Detroit a long time (since 1996), his family is there,’’ Thun said. “I think we can come to a mutually agreeable contract.’‘

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kirk+maltby

Keeping The Core

from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,

As teams get used to the rhythms and realities of operating under a cap, identifying and keeping the core young players together has become essential. Both the Penguins and Blackhawks did that, locking up key twenty-somethings to long-term deals. That continuity is required to remain in the contenders mix for an extended period of time, and both past champions certainly qualify as top candidates, with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Marc-Andre Fleury in the fold in Pittsburgh and Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook still in Chicago.

Add the Washington Capitals into the conversation with Alexander Ovechkin, Mike Green, and Nicklas Backstrom under 25, well paid and part of an elite roster, and you have the best examples of teams that have flourished through the draft after failing on the ice for years. All three are deep as well, with plenty of other players in their prime as complimentary pieces. For these three teams, the expectations are high and, with that, their youthful nuclei have inherent pressure to produce. For the Caps, that means playoff success. For the Penguins, a return to the Cup final, and for the Blackhawks, the challenge is defending their title with a group that is vastly different than the one that succeeded.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Phaneuf Ready For The Season

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The defenceman’s game-day scowl was screwed on pretty tight, three weeks before camp medicals on Sept. 16.

“It was a long summer and it’s no secret we weren’t happy where we finished last year,” Phaneuf said. “Back at the first press conference I said what a huge honour it is to be the captian of this team. But I’m not going to change.”

Phaneuf got the gig because he can bring an intimidation factor to his own dressing room. But he also made sure to call every new Leaf acquired since July 1 to introduce himself and give a pep talk, which hasn’t always been the protocol around here in the 43 years without a Stanley Cup.

“I talked to every guy and everyone was excited for the chance to play here,” Phaneuf said. “Camp is coming up quick and we have to be ready. Every guy we added will help us.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf

Andrei Markov skating again;  no Price news is (good?) (bad?) no news

18 days to training camp, and we have some good news: Andrei Markov is back on skates. Yes, the Canadiens best defenceman is skating on his own and apparently ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, the result of a hit during the playoffs so many months ago. More on that available here:

Markov back on skates

However, there is still no news regarding unsigned Canadiens starting goaltender, Carey Price. Vacationing in Quebec, I am able to testify first-hand that the “holdout” whispers are beginning. It is quite strange that neither player nor team has commented on the contract in weeks, as normally the odd quote filters out to diffuse the situation publicly. Perhaps we’ll hear more in the coming days, but for the time being we are bombarded by the sounds of silence.

In other Habs news, it was announced today that Jaroslav Halak is on his way back to Montreal…for a large public autograph signing next weekend. You can bet thousands will line up with their “HALAK” stop signs to get them signed and say thank you. Normally I am not a fan of these sorts of things, but proceeds from the sale of pictures Halak is signing are going to charity, so I think it’s a pretty neat gesture. From the reaction to the announcement on the radio, the city is still in love with the Bratislava Brick Wall.

Free agents still out there that the Canadiens SHOULD be interested in: Owen Nolan, Bill Guerin, Brendan Witt. But I would be very surprised at this point if any more moves take place before training camp – except the presumed signing of Mr. Price.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: markov, price, ufa

HHOF Worthy?

from Adrian Dater at Versus,

Therefore, with apologies again to some of those judged here not to be Hall-deserving, we bring you a determination of worthiness for 10 players. This is not a scientific process; some of the guys technically haven’t retired yet, or haven’t even become eligible for Hall consideration because they haven’t been retired a full three seasons - the usual criteria for induction, unless you’re somebody like Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux and just go right to the head of the line….

Claude Lemieux - Oh boy. This could come down to the final petal on the flower.

He was never a truly great player in the regular season, but Lemieux was great many times in the biggest of hockey games. And it wasn’t just that he scored big goals at times and was fortunate to play on some teams with other truly great teammates. Thing is, Lemieux always seemed to be a presence in games that mattered most.

You just couldn’t ignore him. He was a guy that everybody in the building had something to say about. Yeah, he dove and embellished (Sports Illustrated writer Michael Farber had a memorable line once, that Lemieux played two positions, “right wing and prone”) and he took nights off sometimes in the regular season.

But people forget he did score 379 regular-season goals. Then, you factor in his 80 goals in 279 playoff games, four Stanley Cup rings with three teams and one Conn Smythe, and I have to give him the nod.


more on nine other players…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: claude+lemieux

All Daniel Briere

from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files,

Q: You set a Flyers franchise record for playoff scoring in a single season last year. Did you expect to be that effective in the playoffs?

DB: “No, not at all. Things got rolling. The first playoff series against New Jersey was tough to get going. I don’t think me and Jeff Carter had a single point in the first three games of that series. Then we got hit by some injuries and we needed some guys to step up. I was asked to play a bigger role and was given more responsibilities. My confidence grew with these added responsibilities. I felt good and all of a sudden Peter (Laviolette) ended up putting me, Scott Hartnell, who had somewhat of a tough year like I did, and Ville Leino, who barely played up to that point, together. There probably wasn’t much expected from our line but for some reason chemistry set in right away and things got rolling. It was amazing. It is one of the best feelings in the world when every shift you are going out there you have the feeling you are going to make something happen and you have the chance to score. I know I had a blast playing with those two guys in the playoffs. I am praying that the chemistry stays right off the get-go at the start of next season.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere

Kings Have Big Plans For Willie Mitchell

from Rich Hammond of Kings.com,

Whether he ends up being paired with Drew Doughty or Jack Johnson—the two most likely options, heading into training camp—Mitchell will play a significant role in the Kings’ stated goal of improving their 5-on-5 scoring margin.

Mitchell chuckled at the discovery that he, at 33, is the Kings’ oldest defenseman—now that Sean O’Donnell has moved on to Philadelphia—and the Kings will particularly rely on Mitchell during the first month, while Matt Greene recovers from shoulder surgery.

For the past two seasons in Vancouver, though, Mitchell served as an alternate captain, so he figures to become part of the Kings’ leadership group, if only informally.

“I’ve been fortunate to be around some great, great minds in the game,” Mitchell said. “I was coached by Jacques Lemaire, by Larry Robinson, and I thank God that I was lucky enough to listen to those guys. They’re great, great minds. I played with Scotty Stevens and (Scott) Niedermayer, and I think I learned a lot of things from those great players and great minds. I hope to maybe help out in that capacity a little bit with some of the young players on this team.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+mitchell

Guess The New Group Interested In Buying The Coyotes

from Mike Sunnucks of Phoenix Business Journal,

A mystery buyer has stepped to the forefront in efforts by the National Hockey League and city of Glendale to sell the Phoenix Coyotes to a new owner who will keep the team in Arizona.

An undisclosed wealthy buyer is leading a new ownership group that is interested in buying the Coyotes from the NHL. The league has owned the team since October when it bought the Coyotes via Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Details of the new ownership group are very limited, though Glendale and the NHL could announce details and developments soon, according to sources familiar with the situation. The ownership group has asked for the city and league to keep negotiations private. The new buyer would keep the Coyotes in Glendale and is not a household name. In addition, sources say progress on the purchase is serious and substantial.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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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