Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Vincent Lecavalier is the highest-paid player in the league this year at $10 million. The Lightning center signed a monster contract based on previous production and potential for more, but he had only six goals and 26 points in his first 32 games before he had three goals and seven points in a five-game hot streak.
Carolina center Eric Staal has a $6 million salary for this season on a contract in which he’ll average $8.25 million. He was sixth on the NHL’s worst team in goals (six), fourth in points (19) and sixth-worst in plus-minus (minus-10). In all three categories, he’s behind Jussi Jokinen, who is making $1.5 million.
Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, usually mentioned in the same breath in these parts, are together for their ineffectiveness. I’ll go to my grave — hey, don’t get any ideas — believing the Sabres should have kept them for $10.3 million combined because they were terrific here with the right chemistry and ideal circumstances.
Pierre LeBrun on the HNIC Hotstove states Alexander Semin of the Capitals will have a new, one year contract announced very soon.
Contract is between $5-6 million.
added 8:56pm, from Sports Network at KTVU,
The Washington Capitals signed right wing Alexander Semin to a one-year contract extension on Saturday.
Washington general manager George McPhee confirmed during Saturday’s game against New Jersey that the 25-year-old Semin, whose current deal was set to expire at the end of the season, agreed to the extension.
added 10:07pm Tarik El-Bashir says $6M is the contract.
Read Washington Capitals release below…
from Judy Hevrdejs of the Chicago Tribune,
At the moment, though, Toews is sitting in his new condo, 30-plus floors above the hustle and grind and noise of the city on a cafe au lait-toned sectional, its long, comfortable stretches big enough for his 6-foot-2-inch, 210-pound frame.
The sofa — its view-blocking chaise relegated to another room by Toews — faces a 12-foot-tall wall of windows, offering up picture-perfect vistas of Trump Tower, the Wrigley Building, the Chicago River, Navy Pier and Lake Michigan.
“It’s kind of like your cave on top of the world with a view,” says Toews (pronounced tayvz). “It’s all very modern, it’s new, it’s young. I just really felt it fit my personality.”
It’s also quiet, peaceful and big — three bedrooms, three baths, 2,700 square feet — big enough for family and close friends. And exactly what the Chicago Blackhawks’ captain — one of the youngest in NHL history — wanted when he searched for his first home.
from Jeremy Sandler of the National Post,
Optimists among the Toronto Maple Leafs faithful can look at the team’s standing exiting the NHL’s brief break for Christmas and find reasons to smile.
Since losing 12 of 13 games to start the season, coach Ron Wilson’s team is 12-10-3, basically a .500 record.
In one stretch of 17 games, the Maple Leafs went 10-5-2, a run that made “We’re right where we want to be” a theme among many of Toronto’s players before the team travelled to New York for its pre-Christmas 3-1 loss to the Islanders.
But parse the standings any way you like, the overall numbers give a stark reminder of just how bad the Maple Leafs have been.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Nobody would fire a coach at Christmas, right? Not even the Columbus Blue Jackets, whose bench boss, Ken Hitchcock , was feeling the heat thanks to a dismal December in which the NHL team went 1-7-3 to slip to the bottom of the Western Conference? What ailed the Blue Jackets from the start was goalie Steve Mason ‘s sophomore slump, in which he was consistently giving up goals early and often, putting his team behind the 8-ball.
More recently, the Jackets look like a fragile team, their confidence in shreds, skating as though on eggshells. Coaching changes don’t fix that – just ask the Philadelphia Flyers, who are struggling as badly under Peter Laviolette as they were under John Stevens.
continue for more hockey notes…
Everybody and his brother is producing a Top 10 list of the decade, but I have not run into one story (and I may be wrong) that included Jiri Fischer and the night many hockey fans will never forget.
Thank God Fischer is able to lead a somewhat normal life today, but just imagine the consequences if Fischer had not pulled through.
If he had passed away, I am sure it would have been a much bigger story, but as a fan of the game, I am so glad the results were of the positive kind.
Fans of the Carolina Hurricanes may know all about the players and coaches, but they probably haven’t heard about the woman who is an integral part of the all-male team.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
In his minor-league days, Jonathan Quick slept so deeply that his teammates would stumble off their bus after a trip and the equipment managers would unload the gear and think all was done only to find the goalie under a seat, slumbering.
That made for good jokes but bad mornings—especially when the Kings sent goaltending development guru Kim Dillabaugh to Manchester, N.H., to work with Quick. Only Quick was late, having overslept.
A good scare—a demotion to the ECHL during the 2007-08 season—and a good, loud alarm clock changed his habits.
“It was a teaching moment, so to speak,” Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
If Lawton wants to rebuild the team the right way, and some day join the Blackhawks, Penguins and Capitals at the top, captain Vinny Lecavalier has to go.
Right now, his contract is threatening to suffocate any legitimate chance at success for Lawton’s plan. It’s not necessarily the $7.7 million annual salary cap hit, although that’s a pretty hefty number. It’s the cash that he’s owed. Every year until 2016, Lecavalier gets $10 million. It’s way too much money for a franchise that’s already struggling financially.
Factor in his lack of offensive production, and he’s a luxury the Lightning can’t afford.
Well, the family gathering is over so I may as well get a head start…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Thanks to the recession and “the usual suspects,” as a banker of our acquaintance put it, Bettman can expect 2010 to be another year in which he makes like the fellow who keeps a dozen or so plates spinning on sticks. The only difference from 2009 is that the Phoenix Coyotes may not be the plate on centre stage.
Oh, the Coyotes will still be a Class A migraine, since they are losing a good $5-million (all currency U.S.) a month that will be billed to the NHL until it completes the sale of the team to the group of businessmen known as Ice Edge Holdings LLC. But once Bettman convinced the governors at their annual meetings last week that those losses will come out of future NHL revenue and spare them from writing cheques, he kept that plate spinning.
But a couple of dark clouds – the New York Islanders and the Nashville Predators – are moving front and centre.
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.
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