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Category: NHL-Teams

New Coaches, New Challenges

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

There are always a handful of coaching newbies sprinkled around the new season, men who will clamber up behind an NHL bench for the first time. Here’s a look at who these new faces are (or familiar faces in new settings) and the challenges they face (in order from most challenging):

Tom Renney, Edmonton Oilers
Renney has a long history as a head coach at a variety of levels, including stints in Vancouver, New York (Rangers) and now Edmonton.

The good thing when you take over a team that finished dead last in the standings is there’s no where to go but up. That said, Renney will have his hands full with a team that has failed to qualify for the postseason since their unlikely run to the 2006 Stanley Cup finals.

His top defenseman, Sheldon Souray, wants out of town; but if the big man with the bigger contract isn’t traded, he will likely be in camp to start and that will provide its own set of challenges.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Is Steve Mason A $3M Goalie?

via Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,

Goaltender Steve Mason and forward Jake Voracek are entering the last year of their entry-level deals, which means that since July 1, the Blue Jackets have been able to sign them to extensions. But general manager Scott Howson isn’t talking about the matter.

It doesn’t matter. The Blue Jackets believe that Mason is going to be a franchise goaltender, so his sophomore slump works to the club’s advantage. If Mason had followed the 2008-09 season, when he won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, with another big year, he might have been looking at $6 million per season. Now, it’s probably half that.

The team’s personnel people think that Voracek will ultimately be a point-a-game guy, so they will try to lock him up long term before he becomes that. The question is whether Voracek will opt for a little more security or take a chance that a big year is coming up. The argument in favor of Voracek waiting is that he could end up on the first line with Rick Nash and Antoine Vermette, which could inflate his totals.

It’s easy to see why Howson wouldn’t want to discuss this in public.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+mason

Wait Some More?

via Darren Dreger of TSN,

An amendment to the CBA and the fate of Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract are tied together, so it’s conceivable, the NHL will postpone its decision, or flat out reject the Devils latest offer until a more concise framework of what teams, players and player agents can and cannot do is agreed on.

The NHL and the NHLPA had productive discussions on Thursday regarding potential changes to the rules that govern players contracts, however, at this point, it seems unlikely the two sides will reach a settlement, complete with a vote from the PA’s 30 player board in time for todays 5pm deadline to determine the validity of Kovalchuk’s proposed contract with the New Jersey Devils.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Will Everyone Be Happy?

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

A decision will finally be made on Ilya Kovalchuk’s latest contract.

Maybe. The league and the NHLPA agreed on a 5 p.m. ET Friday deadline, one that is fast approaching, and one that will reveal whether the league will approve the 15-year, $100 million contract the New Jersey Devils have submitted.

That is unless, of course, another extension is granted. And that appears to be a possibility as the sides work to negotiate parameters in which long-term contracts will be approved moving forward.

“They’re trying to work something where everybody will win,” an NHL source told Sporting News. “It’s possible both sides are going to come out looking good.”

It’s a definite temperature change from Wednesday evening when the New York Post reported that an ultimatum was issued by the league to the players, saying it would approve the Kovalchuk deal only if specific rules were put in place regarding future long-term contracts.

The league was quick to deny issuing any ultimatum.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Evening Line

“It certainly seems unfair they’re going after guys that they approved but there is also nothing in the CBA that says they can’t do it. The league is using the language to their advantage, I suppose.

“Right now, there are a lot of moving parts between both sides and one of their threats is to go back and re-investigate some of the contracts with Luongo being one and [Marian] Hossa being another. That’s something we don’t really want to see but it’s a valid threat by them. We’re not sure how it’s going to come out. That’s for the lawyers to negotiate and we’ll see what comes of it.”

-Dan Hamhuis of the Vancouver Canucks.  More players comment in a story from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Colorado Signs Chris Stewart

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed restricted free-agent forward Chris Stewart to a two-year contract through the 2011-12 season.

Stewart, 22, led Colorado with 28 goals and finished second on the team in scoring with 64 points in 77 games last season.  Stewart, who scored 25 of his 28 goals at even strength, also paced the Avalanche in both game-winning goals (5) and shots (221).  The Toronto native was +4 for the season and added 100 hits and 73 penalty minutes.  Stewart went on to lead the Avalanche with three goals (3g/0a) in six playoff games.

“We are pleased to have Chris Stewart under contract,” said Avalanche General Manager/Executive Vice President Greg Sherman.  “Chris was one of our top offensive players last season and we look forward to seeing him build on what he started a year ago.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+stewart

Canadiens find a Price they like

I came in from swimming to a radio report I’d been waiting, nay hoping for, and was surprised to find it validated many a media members comments from the past few weeks. The reason I was most excited? I can finally stop using puns involving the word price. Yes, Carey Price is again the starting goaltender of the Montreal Canadiens, and all it took was a contract of two years at a total cost of $5.5 million.

This suggests a number of things. Firstly, many pundits in the past two months were correct: the deal would end up being two years. Why? Well, Price likely wanted one year, to prove he was better and could start a full slate of games, and the Canadiens likely wanted a longer deal, seizing the opportunity to lock Price up when his, er, price was rather low due to last year’s lackluster performance.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price

The Other Goalies In San Jose

from David Pollak of Working the Corners,

But how do Niittymaki and Greiss feel about Niemi’s arrival?

Niittymaki said he and the Sharks never really discussed the number of games he might be playing.

“They had Nabokov here who played 70 games a year. I never played 70 games a year. We never really talked about the plan or anything,” Niitymaki said. “I still feel the same. I’ve been in all kind of situations before. I’ve been the number one guy, I’ve been the backup and I’ve been something between. I never look at it and say I’m going to get these games and these games and these games. It’s a long year and there’s a lot of games. Anything can happen.”

Greiss, on the hand, was much more disappointed. He reads the handwriting on the wall.

“We like Thomas a lot, but when a player like Niemi becomes available you have to acquire the asset when you can and you go from there. It pushes Thomas probably into the number three spot,” Wilson said. “I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t disappointed.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Price, Canadiens Agree On A Two Year Contract

MONTREAL  – Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced today the signing of goaltender Carey Price to a two-year contract (2010-11 and 2011-12). As per Club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are extremely happy that Carey has agreed to pursue his career with the Canadiens. Carey is a key member of our Club. He has proven that he has what it takes to be a good goaltender in the league, and we are confident he will perform to the best of his abilities for years to come in a Canadiens uniform”, said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price

No Longer The South-Worst

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

I’ve got a feeling - no, not that tonight is going to be a good night - but rather, that the Southeast will be the most fun (and least predictable) division in the league this year.

The Washington Capitals stand out as the runaway favorites to repeat as division champs, but after that, no team is a lock to make the playoffs.

The expectations for the Florida Panthers are rightfully diminished, but after the shocking performances of Phoenix and Colorado last season, even the Cats can’t be counted out.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been picked by many pundits (including me) to reverse their downward trajectory and make the playoffs. Yet until their reconfigured defense corps and goaltending platoon prove themselves worthy of the affection, there will be cause for skepticism.

The Carolina Hurricanes were one of the better teams during the league in the latter half of the 2009-10 campaign, but some still question their depth, overall team experience and ownership’s focus on keeping salary costs in line with its internal budget.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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