Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the Miami Herald’s George Richards:
With the type of season the Florida Panthers went through last year, coach Pete DeBoer said one would have to expect plenty of changes.
Since finishing 14th in the Eastern Conference and last in the Southeast Division for the first time in franchise history, the Panthers brought in a general manager not afraid to shake things up.
You want change? Dale Tallon is ready to bring it.
From the Boston Herald’s Stephen Harris:
The Bruins [team stats] were not a team that needed a major overhaul this offseason.
The B’s could have stood pat, kept their roster all or mostly intact, and likely been a solid playoff team next season. The problems of last season were about questionable attitudes - for certain key individuals and at times for the team as a whole - and, of course, injuries.
But this team finally got its act together late in the season and came within a bounce of the puck of reaching the third round of the playoffs.
From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi:
The youngest captain of a Stanley Cup champion apparently needs to win over NHL writers and players, but not members of his organization.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby finished third in voting for the Hart Trophy (MVP) to Vancouver Canucks center and NHL scoring leader Henrik Sedin, who also bested Crosby for a spot on the NHL’s first All-Star team.
The Hart and All-Star teams are voted on by select members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
From CBC’s Tim Wharnsby:
Chicago Blackhawks blue-liner Duncan Keith capped off a wonderful season, in which he won Olympic gold and the Stanley Cup, by receiving the Norris Trophy as the top defenceman in the NHL.
But his spirit was somewhat subdued because hours before the NHL annual awards ceremony at the Palms Hotel, the breakup of the Blackhawks had begun. Chicago general manager Stan Bowman began the difficult task of alleviating his team’s salary cap concerns by shipping out power forward Dustin Byfuglien to the Atlanta Thrashers in a multi-player trade.
The Winnipeg-born, Fort Frances and Penticton, B.C.-raised Keith found out about the trade from teammate Patrick Sharp while the two were enjoying the bright lights and excitement of Las Vegas.
From various sources, the Edmonton Oilers have dealt a 6th round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for soon-to-be RFA center Colin Fraser.
From the Thrashers:
The Atlanta Thrashers have traded defenseman Mike Vernace, forward Brett Sterling and a seventh-round selection (188th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations, according to General Manager Rick Dudley.
Vernace, 24, appeared in 62 American Hockey League games last season for the Chicago Wolves and Hamilton Bulldogs, tallying 13 points (two goals, 11 assists).
The 6-2, 200-pound defenseman appeared in 12 NHL games with Colorado during the 2008-09 season and has posted 71 points (nine goals, 62 assists) in 236 career AHL games with the Albany River Rats, Lake Erie Monsters, Chicago Wolves and Hamilton Bulldogs. Prior to his professional career, Vernace recorded 124 points (23 goals, 101 assists) in 138 career games with the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League
The Chicago Blackhawks lowered their payroll significantly today, trading Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for the #24 overall pick (originally New Jersey’s), the 54th overall pick, Marty Reasoner and Jeremy Morin.
From the Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika:
The NHL is going through a big transition stage right now as teams get ready for the draft and free agency _ and Western Conferece teams are really seeing big movement.
So let’s track a few of the recent changes.
First of all, the NHLPA on Tuesday extended the CBA so that there will be no labor unrest until after the 2011-12 season at the earliest. They also decided to not change the automatic escalator, meaning the salary cap next season will probably be around $59 million. That’s important for every team. In the meantime, several player movements have changed the landscape.
From the Calgary Herald’s Scott Cruickshank:
OK, what would you do?
Your team has zero selections in the first two rounds of this week’s National Hockey League draft in Los Angeles.
Your team was the third oldest, and the most senior of the non-playoff outfits.
Your team produced the fewest goals in the entire league.
From the Chicago Tribune’s David Haugh:
As notions go, they come no more romantic in hockey than the one Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has heard posed often in the two weeks since his team won the Stanley Cup.
According to the too-good-to-be-true scenario, team captain Jonathan Toews, 22 going on 50, selflessly would approach the GM about deferring the $1.3 million bonus Toews received for winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. That way, the salary cap-strapped Hawks could hold on to one of the good players whose salaries they otherwise would have to dump and keep the gang together.
Cue the sappy music. The gesture would have been better than when Paul Konerko gave Jerry Reinsdorf the ball after the 2005 World Series parade.
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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