Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
“They have a lot of skilled players; they’re really good offensively, and they move the puck well,” said Leino, who played in the Stanley Cup Finals with the Red Wings last season. “That’s a really good team, and we just have to play our own game.”
But he sees weaknesses the Flyers can exploit when the teams meet in the Cup Finals starting Saturday in Chicago.
The Blackhawks are the NHL’s youngest team with an average age of 26.2. The Flyers - with thirtysomethings Simon Gagne, Blair Betts, Arron Asham , Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen, Chris Pronger, and Ian Laperriere - have a lot more experience.
“I think they all turn the puck over if they try to make too many plays,” Leino said of the Blackhawks. “We have to be hard on their key guys and get them a little frustrated [because] they can get a little emotional. We just have to have the solid effort we’ve had the last two games.”
from Daryl Reaugh of the Dallas Stars Blog,
• Alex Ovechkin…is a one trick pony and a big game gagger.
• Goaltending…isn’t as important as it used to be, unless your goalies name is Nabokov.
• A taxi from a North American airport to a hotel will make you…want to bath in Purell. Will take 0.63 years off your life. And will challenge your understanding of what the driver is passing off as the English language.
from Gordon McIntyre of The White Towel,
• The 20 Canucks who played significant minutes in the playoffs break down geographically like this: Sweden, 5; Ontario, 4; Quebec, 2; Prairies, 2; U.S., 2; and 1 each from Slovakia, Germany, Finland, Denmark and Austria;
• For Philly it looks like this (there are 21 because they’ve used two goalies): Prairies, 6; Ontario, 6; Quebec, 3; U.S., 3; Finland, 2; Austria, 1.
• And for Chicago: Prairies, 5; B.C., 4; Ontario, 4; U.S., 3; Slovakia, 2; and 1 each from Sweden and Finland.
Does it mean anything that the Canucks had just eight “Canucks” and 10 North Americans in all to draw on?
This isn’t to rehash that sad argument, the one that says teams with European captains can’t win Stanley Cups.
But it does raise the question of whether players who come up through the grind of the North American club system and the CHL’s gruelling playoffs aren’t more prepared for the Stanley Cup playoffs than those who didn’t.
People from Glendale and Winnipeg should be outraged. Bettman and Daly have long told both cities, with straight faces, that they would love to have both of them in the NHL. But not, apparently, before one is told to shut up and cough up, and the other is used coldly as a bargaining chip.
-David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail were you can read more on the Phoenix/Winnipeg talk.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Though their free-agent picture isn’t expected to change as radically as last year – when they didn’t re-sign any of their 10 unrestricted free agents – it’s still plenty complicated.
The Canadiens have roughly $44.7-million (U.S.) committed to 14 players (including the eventual buyout of enforcer Georges Laraque), which optimistically leaves $13-million to $14-million for the remaining nine roster spots.
That could prove problematic in a year where some are due big pay increases.
At the head of the list is centre Tomas Plekanec, who led the team in scoring in the regular season, but faltered disconcertingly in the playoffs.
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
Courting of Marian Hossa began in Dale Tallon’s Montreal hotel room at last June’s draft. It was there that the Tallon, then general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, met seriously with agent Ritch Winter for the first time. It was there he let Winter know just how interested he was in signing Hossa.
It was an unusual arrangement. Hossa wouldn’t become a free agent until July 1, but his one-year deal with Detroit had come with a gentlemen’s agreement: He could negotiate with other teams if a longer-term deal with the Red Wings fell through.
Hossa’s instruction to Winter was simple: Find me a winner. Doing so, however, was a little more complicated.
via Sarah Talalay of the Sun-Sentinel,
Broward County commissioners appear poised to grant the parent company of the Florida Panthers a break on loan payments for building the county-owned BankAtlantic Center.
Commissioners voted 8-0 on Tuesday to direct county staff to come back to the commission June 8 with a new debt service schedule for Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which owns the National Hockey League team and operates the arena.
Sunrise Sports requested the county cut the company’s payments by $2.5 million annually through 2016 and then raise them about $1 million a year starting in 2017, as a way to free up cash for the struggling hockey team.
Sunrise Sports wants to use the cash to help improve the team’s finances.
from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Before he left for vacation this week, Ducks winger Bobby Ryan told me that he thought the Ducks had met with his representatives to broach the topic of a new deal before his current extry level contract expires on July 1.
In an e-mail response on Tuesday, Don Meehan of Newport Sports Management confirmed that talks have taken place recently and that he expects there will be more conversations in the coming weeks between himself, Mark Guy and Ducks assistant general manager David McNab. Guy is Ryan’s longtime agent and other representative.
Ducks GM Bob Murray also confirmed on Tuesday that negotiations are back on.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Detroit Red Wings owners Mike and Marian Ilitch issued the following statement regarding Steve Yzerman’s hiring by the Tampa Bay Lightning:
“Today is a difficult day for us, just as we know it is for Red Wings fans everywhere. It’s hard to imagine Steve Yzerman in anything other than the red and white Winged Wheel as he has been synonymous with the Red Wings and Hockeytown for as long as most of us can remember! We want to congratulate Steve on his new position with the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is an exciting and well-deserved opportunity for him and his family, and we know he will do a terrific job in this next chapter of his life.
from the CP at the Glob and Mail,
Montreal Canadiens goaltender and playoff hero Jaroslav Halak says he wants to take some time away from the game before thinking about his future.
Halak will be a restricted free agent on July 1 with the right to go to salary arbitration if he and the Canadiens are unable to come to a contract agreement.
“Right now, don’t think about it,” Halak said Tuesday when asked what his priorities are when it comes to his contract status. “This is not going to happen today or tomorrow, it’s going to happen over the summer.
“It’s a good question, but right now I just want to go on vacation and put aside hockey and not think about it.”
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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