Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Apparently, for the first time in ages, you didn’t have to be a savvy hockey fan (a.k.a. a Canadian) to realize the NHL is now producing some of the most entertaining hockey we’ve seen since the inception of the Tuuk blade.
Even Americans, who’d have an easier time finding a BP executive than a hockey game buried on Versus, stood up and took notice of a game too cool to ignore anymore.
Starting perhaps with the Winter Classic at Fenway Park, moving to the Olympic tourney staged in a perfect setting and ending with a playoff that had more storylines than a Ben Roethlisberger pub crawl, it appears the NHL has finally rebounded from the lockout of 2004-05 and is actually gaining momentum.
Oh sure, it helps that the Americans landed in the gold-medal game and teams from two traditional hockey markets starved for Stanley Cup glory landed in the final.
But at the end of the day, the product is what sells NHL hockey, and right now, the speed and skill of the game has helped make it hotter than the Slap Chop.
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon isn’t looking to trade goalie Tomas Vokoun.
Tallon called Vokoun on Monday night and assured him of that.
“He likes me, and he has no interest in shopping me or trading me unless there’s a great deal that would make sense,” Vokoun told the Sun Sentinel.
“Obviously, everybody’s tradable. He said if it was best for the future of the organization, he would have to do it. But from what I understand, he wants me around.”
Nashville, Tenn. (June 15, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed 2010 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner and Brentwood, Tenn., native Blake Geoffrion to an entry-level contract. Geoffrion is the first Tennessee native drafted by an NHL team (56th overall by the Predators in the 2006 Entry Draft) and first to sign an NHL contract.
Geoffrion, 22 (2/3/88), won the Hobey Baker, award given to college hockey’s most outstanding player, after tying for second in the nation in goals (28) and finishing first in Division I hockey in power-play tallies (15). A tri-captain of the University of Wisconsin Badgers in 2009-10, Geoffrion posted 50 points (28g-22a) in 40 games, helping the school reach the NCAA National Championship Game. In addition to recently being named USA Hockey’s College Player of the Year, the 6-1, 196-pound right wing was a First-Team West All-American, and a First-Team WCHA selection in his senior season. Geoffrion was also the Most Valuable Player of the West Regional after leading UW to victories over Vermont and St. Cloud State with five points (2g-3a) in the two games.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Detroit Red Wings will keep their coveted “capologist,” as Ryan Martin has decided to stay with the team rather than become an assistant general manager to Steve Yzerman in Tampa Bay.
“I decided last night, and I talked to Steve last night and told him I decided to stay,” Martin said today. “It was a difficult decision but also a good decision.”
via the Boston Herald,
The Bruins have called a press conference for tomorrow to announce that Vice President Cam Neely will be elevated to the title of team president, according to a club source. It has long been speculated that the Hall of Fame former Bruin, who became a club executive after GM Peter Chiarelli was hired in 2006, would one day stepped into the role of team president, last held by Harry Sinden, who was moved out of that role and into that of senior adviser to the owner, also after Chiarelli was hired.
Detroit’s assistant GM took part in a chat today at the Detroit Free Press…
Is there any chance you guys are looking at Jason Spezza? I know he’s owed $7 million, but is he a possibility? I think he’d be a great fit.
Jim Nill: We would have to trade one of the following players with a similar cap number-Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Lisdtrom.
Who do you see filling the role of the vacated Brad May? Abby is learning the ropes still, and Bertuzzi may sign elsewhere. Do we have anyone that can “keep the flies off”?
Jim Nill: We are looking at a few unrestricted free agents to fill that role.
review the chat at the Detroit Free Press…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
...So, it’s almost 100 percent Whitney is going to hit the free-agent market on July 1. No hard feelings, though.
“It’s exciting,” Whitney told us Tuesday. “I wish I had finished my career in Carolina, but I understand the direction they’re going in. They’re getting younger and I totally get it. I have a lot of respect for Jimmy and have nothing but good things to say about the five years I spent in Carolina.”
“I like Ray a lot as a person, I really do like him,” said Rutherford. “Whatever happens, I wish him the best.”
As has always been the case during Whitney’s underrated career, the forward will enter free agency somewhat under the radar. But there isn’t a deep forward free-agent class this year, especially if Patrick Marleau and Tomas Plekanec stay put, something which has yet to be determined. Even if they don’t, once Ilya Kovalchuk goes, and potentially Marleau and Plekanec, some team will be looking at Whitney in a hurry.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Lawyers for Todd Bertuzzi managed to recover from a gaffe that saw his third-party lawsuit against his former coach, Marc Crawford, dismissed because they failed to file the paperwork to send it to trial.
Ontario Superior Court of Justice case management master Ronald Dash granted a motion Tuesday morning from Robert Ben, one of Bertuzzi’s lawyers, which reinstated the lawsuit. He also granted Bertuzzi’s lawyers’ request, over the objection of Crawford’s lawyer, to conduct an examination of discovery on Crawford. But Dash limited the examination to four hours and ruled it must be conducted within the next 30 days.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
• Don’t know how many of you saw it, but haven’t stopped thinking about the Mike Richards interview after Game 6 of the Cup Final. He said the difference in the series was Chicago had four lines scoring, “and we had only thee.” He was referring to himself, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne. He added it would haunt him all summer. Bob Clarke was right when he said you can’t teach that, and it’s why the Flyers are in great hands with Richards owning the captaincy.
• If I had to guess, I’d say Edmonton is going to stay at the top of the draft. Before the GM meetings, another front-office boss predicted the Oilers wouldn’t trade, saying they are starting over and “there is no better way to excite your fan base than unveiling a number one overall pick. It’s as much a marketing tool as anything else ... It’s sexy.”
more plus sGMs who may have a busy summer…
TORONTO/NEW YORK (June 15, 2010)—Everything needed for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft—including in-depth player profiles, prospect videos, feature stories, scouting reports, statistics, childhood hockey pictures and more about the NHL’s future stars can be found at NHL.com/draft. The all-encompassing NHL.com microsite provides information on draft-eligible players from around the world who have been ranked by the League’s Central Scouting Bureau for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to be held on June 25 and 26 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
In addition, detailed yearly club-by-club selections, historical summaries, selections by league and country as well as many other features that had previously been contained in the League’s Entry Draft Media Guide can be found on the Microsite.
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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