Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Los Angeles Kings have fired head coach Marc Crawford.
Kings president and general manager Dean Lombardi made the announcement Tuesday that Crawford will not return next season as the team’s head coach despite having one year left on his contract.
Note: Kings press release
John Buccigross’ final column of the season. From ESPN:
As fans of the game who give our money and time to the sport, this should make us proud. Nothing comes easy or cheap on the road to the Stanley Cup. Our champion is 100 percent deserving. This is also true for NCAA hockey, Canadian Junior, Minnesota high schools and every hockey trophy from mite to beer leagues.
Staying away from “boom thinking” has kept the Red Wings consistently excellent from top to bottom. Their portfolio has netted four Stanley Cups since 1997. They live in an old, rundown ranch, but they have no mortgage payments and, thus, live below their means.
From the Buffalo Sabres:
The Portland Pirates announced today a new, long-term affiliation agreement with the Buffalo Sabres effective with the 2008-2009 AHL season. The announcement was made by Pirates Managing Owner/CEO Brian Petrovek, Pirates Chairman/Governor Lyman Bullard, Sabres’ Managing Partner Larry Quinn, and Sabres’ General Manager Darcy Regier.
The Anaheim Ducks made the decision to sever its ties with the Pirates earlier this month for reasons of wanting their AHL team in closer proximity.
Looking at the map, I’d have to say Buffalo didn’t share the same concern.
Update 2:47pm ET: And as a commenter just pointed out… the Portland Pirates play in Maine. More coffee for me! Let me kill that map…
Not that it was exactly a secret before this moment, but the Toronto Maple Leafs have formally announced their contract agreement with Ron Wilson. Press conference is being carried live now and can be seen at this link.
More on Wilson at Mike Ulmer’s blog at TorontoMapleLeafs.com, who shares his thoughts on the new coach.
At THN, Adam Proteau provides some analysis on the links between this and Brian Burke rumors:
Really, there can be no more doubt as to who Toronto’s targeting for the GM position. If the team wanted a “proven winner,” it would’ve/should’ve hired Craig Patrick or Neil Smith by now.
The fact they haven’t, combined with Burke’s unwillingness to sign a contract extension after the Ducks prevented him from even talking to the Leafs’ GM search committee –which I believe is currently being jointly sponsored by O.J. Simpson and Iraqis For Finding Weapons of Mass Destruction – tells you all you need to know.
Note: David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail also had thoughts on this yesterday
Update 4:01pm ET: Sharkspage provides a partial transcript of Wilson’s remarks today.
From the AP via the IHT,
Dallas Stars defenseman Mattias Norstrom is retiring with immediate effect, Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet said Tuesday.
“Dallas wanted to keep me, but it is over now,” the 36-year old Swede was quoted as saying on the newspaper’s Web site. “I promised myself 10 years ago that I would quit while I still had a strong position in the team. And now it is over.”
*more details sure to be added at the Stars blog at the Dallas Morning News
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,
“I am now a U.S. Olympian, which gives me thrills,” Burke told Sportsnet.ca on Tuesday. “I wasn’t a good enough player to represent the U.S. in international competition. This is truly a tremendous honour in my opinion.”
Burke was GM of the 1993 U.S. world championship team and helped put together the previous two world championship squads, but this is his first crack at the big show. And it’s not lost on him that 2010 might be it for the world’s very best players.
“When you add to it the potential historical significance, that this well may be the very last Olympics that involves NHL players, then I think it is a very historically important event,” Burke said from his Anaheim office.
Sean Avery worried about his contract? Of course not—he’s onto more pressing issues:
“We want to get it back to the point where girls don’t worry about what US Weekly says. It’s about expressing individual style and just wearing what’s cool. I’m totally consumed by fashion. We want to help them bring their individuality back.”
According to People magazine, Avery is forming a celebrity style business with a partner.
*hat-tip to Sam Weinman at Rangers Report
From Brian Compton at NHL.com,
“Hockey guys are really involved in the community,” Lecavalier said. “Before starting a foundation, I wanted to be established as an NHL player. After the (work stoppage), I said I’m starting a foundation. It wasn’t that easy. There’s a lot of work to do that I had no idea about it. I said ‘I’m starting tomorrow,’ but that’s not how it works. You have to choose what the project is going to be and go and see different people.”
Lecavalier, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery after posting 92 points during the 2007-08 season, was very much a part of the process of this new [Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Center] from the beginning. He’ll even get to voice his opinion, although he said he will leave the final decisions to the experts.
From Jeff Gordon at STLtoday.com,
[Doug] Weight is looking to play another year and St. Louis has become home. Is there a fit here?
Maybe, maybe not. I recall that Weight was unhappy with how coach Andy Murray was using him last season, before his deal. Murray saw Weight as more of a role player at this late stage of his career, a designation that Weight resisted.
But if Doug did return to the Blues as a free agent, he would have to embrace a third- or fourth-line assignment if the lines fell that way.
more on the Blues summer priorities
All the news from Spector:
Thankfully we’ll know in about three weeks what Sundin will do, putting an end to months of speculation over his future. I still have my doubts that the Leafs will buyout Tucker but I am convinced Raycroft will be bought out. As for Redden, why would the Leafs want him?
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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