Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Since the last time I wrote about NHL ticket prices, the North American economies have become so battered that if this were happening on the ice, the linesmen would have jumped in long ago.
More than ever, I’m convinced that regardless of how the NHL attempts to spin and manipulate the numbers, the league botched the chance coming out of the lockout, and beyond, to address more aggressively the issue of affordability.
And as the crisis continues on both sides of the border, the NHL is going to pay for that lack of foresight, especially in the U.S. markets. It’s going to pay for it in virtually all of those markets, both “troubled” and more traditionally supportive.
From the Anaheim Ducks:
The Ducks announced today that they have signed right wing George Parros to a three-year contract extension. The new contract will keep Parros with Anaheim through the end of the 2011-12 season. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
via the Pioneer Press,
The Minnesota Wild have acquired forward Dan Fritsche (FRIHT-chee) from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Erik Reitz, Wild general manager Doug Risebrough announced today.
“Dan is a versatile player who can play center or wing, a determined player who makes the game harder on the opposition, and a winning player — he’s won a Memorial Cup and a World Junior Championship for Team USA,” Risebrough said in a statement from the team.
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
Ask a National Hockey League general manager to draft any three players from across the league, and it’s not impossible that the three names that come out would be Alexander Ovechkin, Vinny Lecavalier, and Henrik Zetterberg. Sure, Roberto Luongo or Sidney Crosby or Luke Schenn could jump in there - this last possibility is assuming the GM in question only listens to talk radio in Toronto, and then only in the first month of the season - but any GM would be thrilled to sign those first three players to a lot of dollars and for plenty of years.
But at some point there should be limits. That is not to directly criticize the 12-year, US$73-million deal Zetterberg signed Wednesday with the Detroit Red Wings. The deal’s average cap hit is just US$6-million, Red Wings GM Ken Holland is among the game’s smartest men, and Zetterberg, 28, is the epitome of the team-oriented star. This is probably a laudable move.
But even if it is, it doesn’t mean it should be allowed.
from John Grigg of the Hockey News,
In this week’s THN.com Top 10 we’re adding some international flavor by counting down the Czech Republic NHLers we’d most like to have on our roster right now.
Two factors were taken into account: current performance and career projection.
10. Michael Frolik, Center, Florida
If this list was made two months ago Frolik wouldn’t have made it. But an 11-point splurge in December moved him into the top 15 amongst Czech scorers and included flashes of brilliance, showing why the Panthers chose him 10th overall in 2006.
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Colums at CBC,
Considering my recent history with Red Wing fans, allow me to begin this blog with the following disclaimer: I have not spoken to anyone in the Detroit organization about this. It is purely guesswork on my part.
Now, let’s go to the thesis: Ken Holland’s next big negotiation will not be Marian Hossa, Johan Franzen, Jiri Hudler or Mikael Samuelsson.
It will be Nicklas Lidstrom.
from Empty Netters,
Obviously the Penguins have not lived up to this season’s lofty hopes and are struggling to stay in the Eastern Conference’s top eight. Things like that will suck the fun out of any locker room.
But regardless of the differences between that squad and the current crop of Penguins, there seems to a general lack of fun or joy on this team. At least on the ice. We don’t know how they get it back. Winning games like last night’s blow out of the Rangers is a good start. When you’re having fun, winning games just seems to be an easier task.
from Keith Loria at NHL.com,
If you take a gander at the NHL annals from about 25-30 years ago, you might notice that none of the teams had a full-time goalie coach at their disposal. But just as the sport has evolved over time, so has the need for the coaching position to keep an organization’s goalies in top form.
“Look what coaching has done for every other part of the game, and a goalie is such an important position, you couldn’t just ignore it,” said Reggie Lemelin, currently in his 14th season as goalie coach for the Philadelphia Flyers.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
The Ducks have better personnel than their standing suggests. We wonder whether Randy Carlyle is extracting the best from his roster.
We also wonder about Chris Pronger’s future. The big guy remains one of the prime cheap-shot artists. He escaped punishment after a classic, unwarranted, last-second, blindside forearm/elbow to Zach Parise’s head in a game already won at Anaheim. One writer described it as “disgraceful.”
Meanwhile Pronger has a year left on a deal that nets him $6.25 million a season. He could be expendable for younger studs before the deadline.
more hockey talk…
via the Grand Rapids Press,
Grand Rapids Griffins forwards Ville Leino and Aaron Downey were recalled by the parent club Detroit Red Wings on Thursday morning.
The Red Wings were able to create salary cap space by placing defenseman Brad Stuart (ribs) on long-term injured reserve.
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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