Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Reed at Puck-rakers,
Hitchcock loves the word “compete.” He peppers interviews with it and uses it much like Nash, in every situation. Adjective, adverb, noun, verb, you name it. It is Hitch’s go-to, four-tool word. Last season, he didn’t believe he had enough competitors to fit his demanding style.
He can’t use that excuse this fall. He’s banking on an increased intensity level to help with the scoring until the home-grown talent such as Jakub Voracek and Derrick Brassard ripens.
The Jackets didn’t have a fourth double-digit goal scorer last season until Dan Fritsche recorded his 10th goal on March 14. That’s astonishing.
From Brant James at Lightning Strikes:
The team will begin rookie camp in Victoria, B.C., by formalizing the signing of Steven Stamkos, its No. 1 draft pick in this season’s NHL Entry Draft.
Not surprisingly, Stamkos was offered the most lucrative possible rookie contract as allowed by the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement: three years with a base of $850,000 and a total package value of $2.4 million if he reaches all maximum achievable performance bonuses (a complex set of league-standardized criteria.)
From Spector at Fox Sports,
The Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and Atlanta Thrashers are currently under the league’s cap “floor” of $40.7 million and must add salary to get over that mark before the start of next season.
As per NHLnumbers.com, the Coyotes ($38.592 million) and Thrashers ($37.719 million) are sitting comfortably within striking distance of the cap minimum, requiring little more than a few minor signings to get over the cap whilst filling their remaining roster spots.
The Kings, however, with a payroll of $27.756 million currently sit well below the cap minimum, and with 14 players under contract for next season have a long way to go to get over the cap and flesh out their roster.
from the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres announced today they have added a fifth category to their variable pricing schedule for the 2008-2009 season. The three Toronto games and a Friday night game against Montreal on February 6 will be designated as “Platinum” games, which will be the most costly, ranging from $78 to $233.
The other 37 home games will be allocated in last year’s categories of Gold (10), Silver (15), Bronze (9) and Value (3). The team said prices for Gold games will decrease by 15 percent from 2007-08 will increase on average 12 percent for the remaining categories.
more Sabres news…
“A dream comes true!”
Watch below as Mike Babcock takes control of the Cup.
According to George Richards of On Frozen Pond, Jay Bouwmeester has signed a one year deal with the Panthers.
Updated 12:56pm ET (alanah): From from George Richards at On Frozen Blog —
On the surface, this doesn’t look like the Panthers accomplish much since Jay would have received a one-year deal tomorrow anyway. Hearing the deal is for $4.8 million, and the Panthers felt he could have received as much as $5.5 tomorrow.
The one thing this does is create some good will between the two sides. The fact these two could come to some sort of agreement means Jay may be amenable for something else later one. Signing before going to arbitration eliminates some bad vibes that could come out of the hearing.
from Ted’s Take,
It was such a difficult and painful process and it had so much risk inherent in it. And it isn’t completed. But my sincerest desire is to not only win a Stanley Cup but for the team to be really good for a long, long time. I believe that is the deliverable: Keep a very good team together for a long time to the benefit of the fan base and the franchise itself. And win the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup trophy. We made one tiny step last season. We have to get our team into its prime together. The window has opened and now we need to jump through it.
The latest on Mats Sundin, Nikolai Khabibulin, Teemu Selanne, Dwayne Roloson and more….
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Tallon cannot move Khabibulin by the start of next season then he’ll have little option but to make other deals as he must get under the cap.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
One place, during the NHLer’s recent trip to Africa, had propsfor them to actually demonstrate—branches that crudely looked like hockey sticks.
So, using a lock for a puck, they demonstrated passing and shooting.
“I don’t know if the kids got it,” Regehr says with a chuckle, “or if they just thought we were crazy.”
Crazy or not, the memories that the Calgary Flames defenceman re-turned with from Africa will last with him forever.
from Mike Swift of the Mercury News,
From cultivating gays in San Francisco to trying to make San Jose the launch pad to promote ice hockey in China, Bay Area pro sports teams are facing the demographic fact that the biggest growth in their fan base isn’t necessarily among fans with a lifelong affinity for their sport….
Recognizing that demographic fact, the four mainstream professional leagues are trying to expand their demographic base. They are cultivating female, Latino, Asian, and gay and lesbian fans; signing international stars who can forge lucrative immigrant connections in a team’s home market; and even planting teams outside the United States.
The Sharks are following that last route. San Jose’s NHL franchise will have an affiliated pro team in Shanghai this fall with North American and Asian players - the China Sharks - playing teams from Japan and Korea.
The goal, said Sharks President and Chief Executive Greg Jamison, is to seed hockey interest in the world’s most populous nation.
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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