Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
The Toronto Maple Leafs are one step closer to getting rid of Bryan McCabe.
According to general manager Cliff Fletcher, the high-paid defenceman has “softened his stance” in regards to waiving his no-trade clause. With six weeks remaining until training camp opens, the Leafs are now waiting for McCabe to provide a list of teams he would be willing to play for next season.
“That’s controlled by Bryan,” Fletcher said. “I’m not going to start talking to teams until he tells me what teams he is willing to go to.”
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
Former Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella, who was viewed by many as the most high-profile and possibly most high-priced candidate for the Islanders’ head-coaching vacancy, apparently is out of the mix. Money isn’t a major issue for Isles owner Charles Wang, but there always was a question whether Tortorella and a team committed to long-term development plan were the right fit for each other.
Islanders general manager Garth Snow is expected to sharply narrow his long list of candidates over the weekend and reach a decision on a successor to Ted Nolan early next week, an NHL source said. When contacted by Newsday, Tortorella politely declined to comment on his role in the Isles’ search process.
From Dan Wood at Ducks Blog,
Just because we haven’t heard anything about it lately doesn’t mean that something couldn’t still come from the Ducks’ formal tampering charge against the Edmonton Oilers.
The NHL gave Edmonton until Friday to respond to the charge filed last month by Ducks general manager Brian Burke after comments made by then-Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe during a July 4 interview with Edmonton’s Team 1260 radio.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who is on vacation this week, is expected to have something to say on the matter after receiving and processing the Oilers’ response.
via WGR 550,
WGR 550 has learned that the Sabres have signed veteran defenseman Teppo Numminen to a contract today. Numminen missed all but one game last season with a heart ailment. The 40-year old underwent successful heart surgery in September of 2007. Terms of the deal were not given.
Update 3:35pm ET: From the Buffalo Sabres, Numminen’s deal has been confirmed—
Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced today the Sabres have signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Teppo Numminen to a one-year contract.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
NHL.com: What do you think is the greatest challenge for the NHL today?
RF: “Oh, well, I think the on-ice portion has made some great strides in opening up the game since the lockout season. I have always felt going way back that our League has the best players not only from North America, but from the world. To allow these guys to show off their talents and display what they can do on thin blades with the puck, and force other players in the League to emulate them and elevate their level will make our game better. I have never been a fan of allowing the other players to pull down the more skilled guys, and in the last few years the game has gotten faster and there are plays that people are just shaking their heads at.
On the other side, the challenge will always be keeping that financial balance. The players deserve to make a good living at what they do and the franchises and owners deserve to make money for their investment and risk.
From Evan Weiner at NHL.com,
The NHL was allegedly interested in moving one of its financially failing teams there in the mid 1970s, and Edmonton was very receptive to either getting a failed team or being part of an NHL-WHA merger.
Skalbania gave Oilers owner Peter Pocklington a chance to add a Canadian icon, Gretzky, which figured to bolster the Oilers’ chances of getting into the NHL. There were two catches. Skalbania offered Gretzky’s services to both Pocklington’s Oilers and to the Winnipeg ownership group and “the Gretzky sweepstakes” would involve a game of backgammon. [...]
Over the years, some people have said that Skalbania really did set down those parameters and others have said the “bet” was just a fable. But there is one man who said the trade really happened over a backgammon board.
First Zetterberg, now Hudler… Maybe the Wings should do a season ticket push using the significant others!
thanks to SnapShots for the heads-up.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
The “official” unofficial practices don’t start for another two weeks. The “unofficial” unofficial practices have been going steady since April, when Brind’Amour started skating by himself a few times a week to rehab the knee injury that ended his season on Valentine’s Day.
“It’s time to pick up the pace a little bit,” Brind’Amour said. “When you’re by yourself, that’s one thing. Passing and going a little harder is the next step.”
Other players started joining him last month, and the ex-Hurricanes still outnumber the Hurricanes, with Brind’Amour and Chad LaRose representing the home team in a group that Thursday included Aaron Ward, Craig Adams, Bates Battaglia (and his younger brother Anthony), Jesse Boulerice and Shane Willis, all of whom live in the Triangle.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer!
“I don’t have any personal goal,” he said. “I think if I bring my best every night, do my best, the numbers are gonna be there. The bottom line is to win and help this team to win hockey games.
“It takes 100-plus points to be in position for the playoffs, so it means 50 wins and it’s got to start the first day of training camp.”
-more from Olli Jokinen at the Arizona Republic…
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
The subtle changes the NHL has made to goalie equipment this season won’t be obvious to most fans, but they will have an impact on several netminders, including Roberto Luongo.
The new specifications, which have already been sent to NHL goalies and equipment manufacturers, won’t result in significant shrinkage. In fact, the NHL, on recommendation from the league’s goalie equipment working group, hasn’t cut back any size limits this year. But some tweaks in the wording of the rules will mean equipment will be more contoured around the calves, knees and shoulders.
One of the key targets for change has been the padding around goalie’s knees, which can be used to close off the five-hole, an issue Marty Turco awkwardly put on the front burner during last season’s widely misunderstood “pad flap” with Luongo.
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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