Kukla's Korner Hockey
The closing ceremony begins in Vancouver so we may as well start with the trade talk….
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
Money is not the issue for (Don) Maloney; it’s his belief that success is built and then ensured through a solid foundation. Any deal he makes would fit that parameter.
“I still believe we are growing this franchise,” he said. “We expect to win. We’re a playoff team, and we think when we get there we have a chance to win, so that’s why we’re looking (for) help, but . . . the price right now on some of these players, that’s the challenge.
“This isn’t a money decision for us right now. We’ve been able to save enough in our budget to give ourselves room for paying the next six weeks. This is more of the asset price that we have to give up to acquire, and a second-round pick and prospect for a guy for six weeks, that doesn’t cut it for me at all.
“That’s where maybe somebody else is wiling to pay, but I’m not. We think we’re good enough, and we like the group. If we can find a way to be better, we’ll do it.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The NHL trade freeze for the Olympic break will be lifted Sunday at midnight, which means teams that want to bulk up for the playoffs will finally be able to make moves again in advance of Wednesday’s deadline.
“There are going to be some trades and I would think there could be some done before the actual (deadline) day,” said Senators GM Bryan Murray.
“Nobody reacts until they have to react. The deadline is all about urgency and some teams are going to feel the urgency.”
Here’s a team-by-team look at what could happen:
ATLANTA: There’s plenty of interest in D Pavel Kubina. Expect to see RW Colby Armstrong moved, while LW Slava Kozlov would have to waive his no-movement clause.
ANAHEIM: D Scott Niedermayer and C Saku Koivu were both available earlier, but the Ducks are back in the playoff hunt. GM Bob Murray might try to add a forward.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The Kontinental League is poised to make a huge offer to future unrestricted free agent Ilya Kovalchuk this summer, while quietly working with the NHL to come to an agreement that would prevent it from poaching players who are under contract.
KHL president Alexander Medvedev said in an interview with THN.com and ESPN.com Saturday morning that SKA St. Petersburg, which is sponsored by the Gazprom company of which Medvedev is deputy chairman, will make an offer better than any NHL team can under the current CBA when Kovalchuk’s contract expires. If that happens, it will mark the first time the KHL has managed to lure a superstar player from the NHL in his prime.
added 6:53pm, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN with his take on the same topic.
from the Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
As for Sexton, he told me he’s been really busy talking with GMs the past week after a slow first week to start the Olympic break. Sexton said he’s moved closer to making a trade and that there aren’t just a couple of possibilities, but “a whole host of deals” being discussed.
The Panthers could get back players, prospects, draft picks or a combination.
That said, Sexton told me, “make no mistake — there will be no fire sale.”
He said he doesn’t feel like has to make a certain number of deals by Wednesday. He also said he wants y’all to know that the trade deadline is just the beginning of his plans when it comes to changing the makeup of the roster.
“Phase 1 is until Wednesday. Phase 2 is the draft. Phase 3 is free agency. Phase 4 is right around training camp, start of regular season,” Sexton said.
from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,
I see no reason to deviate dramatically from the plan this coming week. We need to keep our core group of young players together.We need to reward young players for their hard work and loyalty.
I don’t see us doing anything dramatic this week. I want to temper folk’s expectations.
We want to improve the team but NOT take risk of trading young assets now for older players with big ongoing contracts that would hinder us from keeping our core together. That would take us off our plan….
We won’t do anything dumb. We won’t get too far off our plan.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson and the agent for unrestricted free agent Raffi Torres spoke during the Olympic break and were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension, the Dispatch has learned. Torres almost certainly will be dealt by Wednesday’s trade deadline.
No surprise here, of course. Howson likes Torres—he’s been part of two organizations that traded for him—but the Jackets are anticipating the return of Nikita Filatov and are likely going to be spending money on rebuilding their blueline.
Clearly, Lawton and Tocchet are not in the same book right now, let alone on the same page. And that is not what is best for this team.
And once again, the hockey world is taking notice of just how dysfunctional things are being run down here in Tampa in the past 24 months and waiting to see what happens next.
-Eric Erlendsson of Bolts Report. Read more on the state of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
via Darren Dreger Twitter, Alex Auld claimed by Rangers on re-entry
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
Team brass have stated there will be changes, but time will tell if the rebuilding starts at the March 3 deadline or if the changes start unfolding at the draft and/or on July 1 when free agency opens.
“It’s your future. You don’t know where you’re going to be in a week,” winger Fernando Pisani said. “I think the worst part for everybody is the not knowing. But it’s one of those things, it’s really out of my control.”
“It will be an interesting three days but as a player, as an individual, you just can’t think about all the rumours or the what ifs,” said defenceman Tom Gilbert.
“It can be tough when you do hear rumours. You think, what if I end up here. You can get caught up in it ... but maybe five per cent of the rumours are true.”
Pisani and Gilbert, O’Sullivan and Ladislav Smid have all had their names linked to one deal or another. Smid, Andrew Cogliano and Dustin Penner were offered to the Ottawa Senators for Dany Heatley back in June.
“You never know what’s going to happen. They could keep this group together for the rest of the season,” Smid said. “We just have to stick together and win some games.”
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
Keep an eye on two NHL players in the coming weeks, because I have a feeling that both Alex Ovechkin and Martin Brodeur are coming out of Vancouver with a burr under their respective saddles.
Ovechkin had the 1,000-yard stare as Team Canada ended Russia’s medal hopes in a brutal 7-3 shellacking that saw the Canadians simply dismantle a Russian squad many thought would at least be competitive with Canada.
That didn’t come close to happening and Ovechkin was completely shut down by the Canadians, going minus-2 with just three shots and a very bad feeling about the experience.
continue and numerous hockey topics…
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 email@example.com