Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Sportsnet Tracker, Tyler Arnason signs with Rangers, no details yet.
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
Based on how Day 1 of free agency unfolded, it shouldn’t be any surprise that Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis is talking seriously about trying to bring 38-year-old Mats Sundin back for another season.
The kind of eye-popping deals being signed over the course of the day, with the dollar figures and terms being thrown around, simply didn’t fit with Gillis’s salary cap management model.
With all the blue-chip forwards — both real and imagined — having been signed on Wednesday, it leaves the Canucks to look at other options. And, that’s where Sundin comes in.
Some in Canucks Nation will be groaning at this prospect, but take a look at it from Gillis’s perspective.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
For a couple of days now, Internet message boards have been humming with amateur sleuths who have been trying to determine if the Toronto Maple Leafs should be investigated for tampering with the Sedin twins.
Even if most media have ignored this story, they are not alone.
Privately, team execs have been wondering the same thing. Did Leafs coach Ron Wilson breach NHL bylaws on a Toronto radio show when he suggested his team was targeting the Sedin twins a day before the start of free agency?
“I heard what he said and it seems to be a clear-cut case of tampering. He basically tells those two free agents: ‘Hey, we’re coming for you, wait for us,’” one NHL executive said. “There’s not a question in my mind. It could have left the Canucks high and dry. Look at what he said, then look at what (Leafs GM) Brian Burke did. He flew to Sweden.”
“Can we win the Cup? Yes, but 20 teams can win the Cup. I believe we have the potential. The only thing I worry about is do we have the energy to get to the Final three straight years? I’m hoping that the energy of kids like Jonathan Ericsson, Ville Leino, Jimmy Howard, and Justin Abdelkader adds excitement to the core of the team that is in its prime.”
-Ken Holland, Wings GM. More on the Wings from John McGourty of NHL.com.
from Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press,
In sports, people want lightning rods. Winning is more fun if you really want the other guy to lose. To Wings fans, Marian Hossa just became the Other Guy.
Professional sports rivalries ebb and flow more than college or high school rivalries. A Michigan State-Michigan football game always will feel special, no matter how good the teams are, but Lions-Packers is only truly huge if one of the teams is trying to go 0-16.
Red Wings-Blackhawks is now the biggest pro sports rivalry for any Detroit team. You have two Original Six teams who just faced each other in the conference finals and should battle for division and conference supremacy for the next five years. They are ancient and modern rivals.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
A few suggested that Habs heavyweight Georges Laraque should be instructed - ordered, even - to pummel Komisarek, that despicable traitor, during the new Leaf’s first shift against his old team.
A few deleted comments indelicately questioned the marital status of Komisarek’s parents upon his birth, or suggested that he engage in an activity that is anatomically impossible.
Loyalty to a hockey club is a nearly extinct species in this world of free-agency, with players often short- or medium-term mercenaries who lace up for the team writing the biggest cheque.
Many Montreal fans seem to believe it’s almost acceptable - almost - to leave the Canadiens and sign with most any other team when their status gives them occasion to freely test the market. Just don’t make that new team Toronto or, perhaps, Boston.
from Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
Tough times, maybe, but you can’t compare NHL life to an auto worker’s, especially if you’re talking salaries in Detroit. So, haven’t owners and GMs learned anything, especially that there’s a porven fall-off in production and play from players who score big money in the free-agent derby?
In a word: No.
The lure of easy money is certainly attractive to the players, and it seems to be something that owners sign off on as easily as a ticket price hike, but there’s a downside, and it seems to be at the expense of the second-, third- and even fourth-line players, the ones who can help a team win, but don’t share in the glory or wealth of their more expensive brothers.
Take for instance the case of Dominic Moore.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
It’s far better for the Rangers to be patient while surveying an unimposing market that includes comparatively cheap, short-term alternatives such as Brendan Morrison, Robert Lang or Mike Comrie, should it come to that, than rush into a bad contract carrying a long-term commitment to, say, a Saku Koivu.
If Sather isn’t necessarily charged with obtaining a ready-made first-line center before camp commences please, no Mats (Inside Straight) Sundin—the general manager does have an obligation to address the situation at the power play point, also known as the black hole.
For if the Blueshirts are counting on either Michal Rozsival or Wade Redden to be dramatically better than they were last season (and, in Rozsival’s case, the year before last, as well), they are setting themselves up for disappointment and failure.
To that end, Sather is likely to check in on old buddy Sergei Zubov.
via Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
A source has told The Dispatch that the two sides “are not that far apart at all.” Hard to say, though, how difficult that ground will be to cover.
Word is that two contracts have been discussed—a seven-year deal that would pay between $8 million and $9 million per season, and a 10-year deal that would pay between $7.5 million and $8.5 million. Looks like a no-movement clause is part of the package, too.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
So what happened in three years to make the Flyers change Ed Snider’s philosophy and mortgage the future for soon-to-be-35-year-old Chris Pronger?...
“If it was just a normal veteran, we would not have given up youth for that,” Snider said the other night. “But it was Pronger.”
Snider, 76, said it with the reverence usually saved for a Sinatra, a Streep, or a Springsteen.
“He’s not a typical veteran,” Snider added. “He’s one of the greatest players of all time, and we could not turn it down because we needed him desperately.”
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