Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Paul Altmeyer at Bruins Blog at Comcast Sportsnet,
(Tim) Thomas is an Unrestricted Free Agent next year, and even if he were to double his current salary from $1,100,000 to $2,200,000, he would still be a relative bargain compared to some of the other goalies. Outside of the BlueJackets Steve Mason, who entered the season as back-up to Pascal Leclaire, who has been hurt, Thomas is far and away the best bargain amongst starting goalies. Even with his pay ready to expand, he’ll still be a bargain, unless Mr. Jacobs dusts off the check-book and decides to sign Thomas to a King Henrik-like $7,750,000 deal, or the deal in Calgary where Miikka takes in over $8,000,000 per year,
more with a cost-per-win chart…
Instead of pointing to the numerous Brian Burke stories today, I thought I would just post the video of Burke talking about his future plans for the Leafs.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Real or imagined, the belief this NHL season in the City of Champions was that Craig MacTavish’s future as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers depended upon his team making the playoffs.
The theory went something like this: The Oilers prize loyalty more than most organizations and MacTavish has, through thick and thin, been a loyal company man.
Bright, funny and schooled in the defensive aspects of hockey, he was the right man for most of his time on the job as the Oilers dealt with the challenges of operating in a financially-challenged small market. MacTavish’s tenure with the Oilers is one of the longest in the NHL, surpassed only by the Buffalo Sabres’ Lindy Ruff and the Nashville Predators’ Barry Trotz, two other NHL organizations that put stability first.
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
The Flyers’ pathetic, uninspired and emotionless effort was no match for a loose Toronto team with nothing to lose. The Flyers were handed a well-deserved, 3-2 loss.
The Flyers got a first-period goal from Arron Asham, and Claude Giroux added a late third-period goal, which ignited the Flyers in the last 2:51 of the game, but it was too little, too late.
It’s a safe bet that there was some emotion in the Flyers’ locker room after the game. The loss set their playoff plans back a bit, allowing Pittsburgh to tie them in points with a rout of New Jersey and challenge for home-ice advantage and the fourth seed in the conference, with only six games left to play.
“That’s not the effort we wanted,” defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. “That is not acceptable. That’s not a playoff team that is trying to win the Stanley Cup. Be honest.
“Now it’s time to go. It’s playoff time for us now, too. We’re not in the playoffs yet. We’ve got to realize that so the next six games is our playoff time now.”
from the CP via TSN,
Al Montoya sure didn’t look like a guy making his NHL debut.
Montoya made 23 saves to earn a shutout, Mikkel Boedker and Shane Doan scored a goal each, and the Phoenix Coyotes beat the reeling Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Wednesday night.
“I couldn’t let this feel like my first game,” Montoya said. “I had to play it like I’ve been here before. That’s the attitude I came with.”
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Riding down the elevator tonight, after the latest dismal Avs showing against Phoenix, a Coyotes team official said out loud, “The tank job is in, isn’t it?” He was talking about YOUR Colorado Avalanche.
Serious or not, what the unnamed Phoenix official said is what a couple of other league-related people have also mused lately - the possibility that the Avs are, in fact, tanking it down the stretch to get the highest possible draft choice this June.
Hey, as I said in a previous column, losing every game down the stretch would be a great thing for this team. There is absolutely nothing good that can come out of the Avalanche winning any games down the stretch, and everything potentially good that can come from the worst possible finish.
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
The stars finally seem to have aligned for John Scott and the Wild. Opportunity, attitude and performance have come together just in time for the big defenseman to contribute as Minnesota battles desperately for a playoff spot.
Yet the timing isn’t perfect, because Scott will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
“I don’t know if that’s good or bad,” he said. “You’d have to ask my agent. He says it’s good.”
Though the collective bargaining agreement has allowed many young players to become unrestricted, Scott’s case is unusual. At 26, he already is playing through his third pro contract, though he has played only 16 NHL games — all since Jan. 1.
But he’s been good, good enough to play in 11 of 12 games since being recalled for a second time on March 8. Not bad for an undrafted free agent whose college career was notable mostly because he was considered Division I hockey’s tallest player.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
So, now that the Flames have succumbed to Vancouver, let’s watch this Jokinen fellow. He’s had his honeymoon, and now some hard times.
School is in on the big Finn. Let’s see if he is there to help lead the Flames out of this skid, or if Jokinen is willing to settle for the mediocrity that has thus far enveloped his National Hockey League career.
It seems impossible to think that a group of Top 6 forwards including Iginla, Jokinen, Langkow, Mike Cammalleri, Todd Bertuzzi and the speedy Curtis Glencross would go through as prolonged an offensive slump as the Flames are in.
The pieces are here. So why does the puzzle look so patchy?...
At times like these the leaders have to lead. That means you, Jarome.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
The National Hockey League has disciplined the Toronto Maple Leafs for their handling of defenceman Jonas Frogren’s contract last summer.
Sources say the Leafs have been fined $500,000 for paying Frogren a $755,000 signing bonus which violated the CBA. The Maple Leafs will also have to pay an additional penalty in the form of a draft pick.
It’s believed Frogren used a portion of the signing bonus, $400,000 to get out of the final year of his contract with Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League.
Every month USA TODAY lists their clutch skaters and goaltenders. The criteria used for the skaters include:
• First goal of the game: 75. Assist: 40. If first goal occurs after first period, then 100 and 60.
• Tying goal: 75: Assist: 40
• Two goals ahead (excluding empty netters): 50. Assist: 30
• Pull team within one: 25. Assist: 15
The top two players listed are Steve Sullivan and Sidney Crosby.
read on for much more
from Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
When it comes to hockey’s greatest April Fool’s prankster, however, no one ever topped Paul Wieland, back when he was the director of communications for the Buffalo Sabres. “This was Paul’s favorite holiday,” says Gerry Helper, who is now the Predators’ senior vice president for communicaitons but who got into hockey when Weiland hired him as an assistant 30 years ago. “He told me I was going to write all the releases except one, and that was the April 1 release. He did that every year.
And they were great. The best might have been in the one he composed in the 1970s that was, as press releases were back in the olden days, mailed out in actual envelopes with stamps and delivered by the postal service. This one announced that the Sabres were exploring a new technology that would allow N.H.L. games to be played on plastic ice. This, Wieland wrote, was going to change the game. No more costly refrigeration operations, no more water usage, no more Zambonis.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org