Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Wayne Fish of phillyBurbs,
Whether they want to admit it or not, the Flyers are about to make an important decision.
Within the next week, they will name a new captain, a designation more significant in hockey than any other sport.
The finalists appear to be fourth-year center Mike Richards and All-Star defenseman Kimmo Timonen. Defenseman Jason Smith held the post last year but he left as a free agent this past summer and will play for Ottawa in 2008-09.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
...But there were still concerns about Van Ryn’s play in his own end. He answered those concerns with a plus-15 season in 2005-06, only to be beset by wrist problems.
“The wrist problems are behind me,” he said. “It’s partly my fault because [in 2006-07] I kept playing because I wanted to try and help us get into the playoffs.”
Glancing down the Leafs’ roster brings a reflective smile to Van Ryn’s face. The road he has travelled in hockey has crossed paths with a handful of people in the Leafs’ organization. He played with Jamal Mayers in St. Louis. In Florida, he also skated with Joe Nieuwendyk, now Toronto’s special assistant to the general manager, and Niklas Hagman, who arrived in Toronto last night. Van Ryn also grew up in Western Ontario playing against Mark Bell and Boyd Devereaux.
“I feel comfortable here already,” Van Ryn said.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Time to send congratulations to Lightning owner Oren Koules, who is getting married Saturday to Toronto native and Los Angeles nightclub and restaurant owner Shereen Arazm.
picture via thechimp.net
from David Staples of the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
Shawn Horcoff is under-rated no more in in his own hometown. The majority of Oilers fans have come to see the self-made player as an outstanding first liner, an all star, good enough to compete for a spot as a fourth line energy player on Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
There is no aspect of the game that Horcoff hasn’t mastered: shooting, passing, skating, checking, faceoffs, defensive zone coverage. And the numbers prove it, according to Oilers fans at least.
But others aren’t so sure.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Brendan Shanahan wants to play this season and he wants it to be with the New York Rangers. All that’s missing now is a contract.
The 39-year-old free agent has been skating with members of the Rangers over the past week but remains without a contract. There has been interest from other teams but Shanahan wants to re-sign with the Rangers.
“We’re continuing to have discussions with the Rangers with the hope of Brendan being able to play there,” Shanahan’s agent Rick Curran told ESPN.com on Tuesday evening. “Unless and until that changes we’re not interested in talking to anybody else right now.”
continued... and that should answer a few of the emails I have received from KK readers. All along I have said Rangers and not to pay any attention to the made-up rumors.
from Damien Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
The agent for Mats Sundin confirmed Tuesday the Lightning has contacted him about perhaps signing the star free agent, if Sundin decides to play and if Tampa Bay is an appealing situation.
“That’s been essentially their message,” Calgary-based agent J.P. Barry said. “There have been a few teams lately who weren’t initially calling on a regular basis, but said, ‘Look, this is our team. We think this is a good team and, obviously, a player like Mats will make it a Stanley Cup team. So, if we’re someone you’d look at, we would try to find a way.’ “
Barry said Sundin will not talk about specific teams until he decides to play, and that may not come until October.
from the CP,
He feels at home in St. Louis now and is ready to assume a leadership role with a young Blues team that has parted ways with veterans Jamal Mayers, Mike Johnson, Ryan Johnson and Bryce Salvador since last season’s trade deadline.
“I’ve always felt comfortable in junior in (a leadership) role and in the minors after a couple years,” said (Brad) Boyes. “I think that I’m getting to that point now where I’ve learned from some great players and I’ve sat and watched a lot.
“We’ve got our leaders, our head guys, but there’s no reason why I can’t help out too.”
From George Richards at On Frozen Pond
The Panthers just called to tell me that defenseman Keith Ballard has signed a six-year contract extension. Ballard, the key part of the Olli Jokinen deal, was set to become a restricted free agent after the coming season.
from Chip Alexander of Lord Stanley’s Blog,
Carolina Hurricanes general Jim Rutherford said today that the team hoped to sign star forward Eric Staal to a long-term contract in the next week to 10 days.
Rutherford would not disclose the financial figures being discussed, but it is believed Staal could receive a seven- or eight-year contract that will pay him between $7 million and $10 million a year.
“We’re continuing to talk and have talked more of late,” Rutherford said. “I would expect us to get a deal done soon. We’re getting to the point we’re just trying to fine-tune it.”
via Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
Lombardi and Hextall made it clear at the GM breakfast that the Kings are still actively pursuing a veteran defenseman. From what I’m hearing, those talks could get particularly intense this week, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a deal get done.
The names? Anaheim’s Mathieu Schneider is one the Kings are seriously considering. Other names under consideration would be San Jose’s Kyle McLaren, Florida’s Karlis Skrastins, Nashville’s Greg de Vries, St. Louis’ Jay McKee and Pittsburgh’s Darryl Sydor.
added 6:44pm, This also from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
The Kings are still looking at a trade as their best option to add a defenseman, but should they shift their focus to the free-agent route, the names they’re looking at would include Jassen Cullimore, Bret Hedican, Keith Carney, Marek Malik and Nolan Pratt.
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