Kukla's Korner Hockey
via David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Today’s hint of what’s to come: Look for the Sharks to acquire someone to fill the role of fourth-line center as early as Friday, no later than early next week. The goal is to bring in someone with a much grittier style of play than Marcel Goc or Tomas Plihal. Let the speculation begin.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
...That said, I think there might be something to this—though I can’t tell you the extent of the Devils’ interest. The Devils could use a defenseman that can run the power play and Zubov might come cheap on a one-year deal.
Grossman said that there has been considerable interest in the soon-to-be 39-year-old defenseman (his birthday is July 22).
“We’ve had quite a few inquiries, six to eight teams that I would say have legitimate interest,” Grossman said. “It’s a bit of a process on both ends finding a good fit.”
The Rangers are also believed to be among the teams interested in Zubov. Dallas wanted him back, but was hoping he would accept a one-year deal with performance bonuses—which is allowed for a player 35 or older that signs a one-year deal or a player coming off a long-term injury that signs a one-year contract. (If the Devils end up re-signing Brendan Shanahan, they will probably give him a one-year deal with reachable bonuses).
The obvious concern with Zubov, besides his age, is his hip.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Red Wings have 21 players signed for next season at a cap number of $55.2 million. That takes into account 11 forwards, including Abdelkader, who might start the season in Grand Rapids depending on other moves.
It also includes eight defensemen. But if Andreas Lilja, out since Feb. 28 with a concussion, is not ready for the start of the season, he will go on long-term injured reserve, freeing up $1.25 million of cap space. If Lilja is ready, the club might opt to trade a defenseman, creating more cap room.
The Red Wings could use a goal-scoring winger and a gritty, fourth-line forward, preferably with decent size.
General manager Ken Holland said he has interest in some free agents. He also said he might opt to stand pat for now, leaving some cap space for a midseason or trade deadline move.
Here is a look at some forwards—scorers and grinders—still available in the free-agent market, with last season’s team and salary:
from Mike Davies of the Peterborough Examiner,
Kurtis Foster feels he has a lot to prove and will try to do that with his new team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The former Peterborough Petes’ defenceman made a comeback last season from a career-threatening leg injury, but the Minnesota Wild chose not to offer him a contract at season’s end.
Foster missed nearly a year of hockey after shattering his femur in a gruesome collision with the boards when he tripped racing for an icing call in a game against the San Jose Sharks. He played 10 games with the Wild last season, registering a goal, six points and a plus-seven rating.
Foster said new management in Minnesota seemed uninterested in re-signing him so he moved on inking a one-year deal with Tampa.
“I decided Tampa was the best opportunity,” Foster told The Examiner yesterday. “I talked to their GM (Brian Lawton) and he didn’t guarantee me anything, but he said if I came in great shape, work hard and play the way they think I can play, I’ll play a lot of minutes. That’s what I was looking for.”
TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Victor Hedman to a standard three-year rookie contract today, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced. Hedman was selected by the Lightning with the second overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the first time in franchise history Tampa Bay has picked second overall.
“We are thrilled to be able to take this next step with Victor today,” said Lawton upon making the announcement. “He has a bright future and we intend on him being a member of the Lightning for a long time. We are excited to get his signing behind us so he can solely focus on hockey and the continued development of his game.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
His voice quavering almost as soon as he reached the podium, Joe Sakic made it official today – after a distinguished 20-year career, he is retiring from the NHL
also from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“He’s had an outstanding, brilliant career,” Gretzky said. “He’s been a tremendous asset to the National Hockey League. He’s been a Stanley Cup champion and just as important he was a huge part of the [Olympic] gold medal in 2002.
“He was a winner. The thing about Joe is he did it with so much class and so much dignity. He is very humble, very quiet, almost shy. But when he got on the ice he was dynamic and very unselfish. The thing about Joe is that he worked hard every shift, every game.”
What they are saying about Joe Sakic and the top 10 Sakic moments below…
from Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Bernie Federko is out of the Blues’ broadcast booth after 12 seasons and will be replaced by Darren Pang, who has been an analyst for NBC, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC and Canada’s TSN.
Ales Kotalik, an unrestricted free agent right wing who has averaged over 20 goals for the past four NHL seasons, will continue his NHL career in New York. On Thursday, he agreed to terms on a new contract with the Rangers. More details to come.
added 2:53pm, Watch the Sakic press conference below… Live Event!
NEW YORK/TORONTO – NHL Network will be live at 3 p.m. ET today to provide coverage of the announcement of the retirement of Joe Sakic, the long-time captain of the Colorado Avalanche. The two-hour live program will feature an in-depth look at Sakic’s 20-year NHL career and will be hosted by Dan Pollard and analyst Dave Reid, who played with Sakic on the Colorado Avalanche’s 2001 Stanley Cup winning team. Additional guests scheduled to call in to the show include Ray Bourque, Steve Yzerman and Peter Forsberg.
My take is a player like Alex Tanguay, still on the market, would appear out of Detroit’s reach. But what about former Wings forward Robert Lang? He might be had for cheap given that he’s recovering from a serious Achilles’ heel injury.
-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN on a replacement for Hudler. What do you think Wings fans?
More on Hudler and some Zherdev talk too…
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.
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