Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Are you like me? At a certain point — probably around Tuesday, when they signed Brandon Bochenski, did you finally and completely lose count of how many player transactions the Tampa Bay Lightning had completed in the past three weeks? And further, did you wonder if they were planning to play four forwards and one defenceman most shifts under new coach Barry Melrose since it seemed as if every one of those new faces played up front (or did until Andrew Hutchinson signed the other day).
continued and more NHL topics…
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
That means Ottawa only has $9.8 million left to sign winger Antoine Vermette and defenceman Andrej Meszaros while it searches for a second-line winger and a puck-moving defenceman.
The Senators usually like to keep $1 million for injuries or a possible move at the trade deadline, so Murray is in a bit of a pickle as he awaits Vermette’s arbitration case.
A league executive predicted yesterday that based on Vermette’s 24 goals and 29 assists last season, he’ll probably be awarded around $3.5 million in arbitration. The executive said the $3.75-million average salary R.J. Umberger, who had 13 goals and 37 assists last season, recently signed for with Columbus is a good comparison.
We all expected this…
The Tampa Bay Lightning and general manager Jay Feaster have parted ways. Sources tell TSN that club has negotiated a settlement on the remaining three years of his contract.
added 1:06pm, from Lightning Strikes,
Feaster said he will not be available to the media Friday, but had two extensive quotes in a team release.
“For the past two weeks I have watched from the sidelines as Brian Lawton, Len Barrie and Oren Koules executed to perfection the game-plan they shared with us prior to the NHL Draft in Ottawa,” Feaster said. “During that time it became apparent to me that this new ownership group did not need my advice or expertise, and I came to the conclusion that it was time to move on. When I expressed that sentiment to Oren and Len they immediately agreed to honor my contract and accept my resignation. I thank them for working with me through a difficult time and I wish them every continued success.”
from Erin Chenderlin at the Tampa Bay Lightning website,
TBL.com: The Penguins, in just three seasons, went from last in the East in 05-06 to Conference champions this past season. Do you feel the Lightning are on the brink of doing something similar?
RM: I think the East is so close, if you really have a top power play and your special teams are good, those are some big things that can really carry your team. Obviously you need solid goaltending and I think [Mike] Smith and [Olaf] Kolzig are great goaltenders. Like I said earlier, those big pieces are there and they’re bringing in experienced players, so it’s not quite like Pittsburgh where they’re starting out young, but they’re bringing in guys that know how to win and want to win.
from Loose Change of the Hockey News,
The European leg of this thing is going to take longer than usual this time around. Sweden alone is going to take three weeks – four if we’re slowed by any more caribou herds. Everyone is blonde here, even the redheads are just blondes with freckles.
I think we’re going to some festival tomorrow celebrating some sort of ancient Viking thing…or it could be a strip club. It might even be an ancient Viking strip club. I’m also really hoping I get to see where ABBA is buried.
Well, last stop on the tour is Henrik Zetterberg’s house. I still think it’s a stupid idea that I have to visit the players in alphabetical order, but who listens to trophies anymore?
via the OC Register,
The Ducks plan to announce Friday the signing of veteran defenseman Steve Montador to a one-year contract worth approximately $800,000.
Montador, 28, notched a career-high eight goals and 15 assists, along with 73 penalty minutes and a plus-1 mark, in 73 games for the Florida Panthers last season.
The addition of Montador gives the Ducks seven established NHL defensemen and increases the likelihood of one being traded. The most likely candidate to be on the move is veteran Mathieu Schneider, whose $5.625 million salary-cap hit is probably unworkable given that the Ducks will pay standouts Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger a combined $19 million in 2008-09.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
While the Canucks were trading for Bernier and chasing Sundin, every other team in the Western Conference was also making significant changes. You can argue about the merit of a lot of those changes. But you can’t argue the West won’t be vastly different next season, which raises the question: Have the Canucks done enough to stay competitive?
Decide for yourself.
The Ducks’ big move was adding old pal Morrison, who’ll try to recreate the Andy McDonald role on the second line. They also had four of the first 43 picks in the amateur draft.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
“Alex Ovechkin just called me to say we have a great group of guys,” Théodore said during his introductory news conference yesterday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “We like to have fun, win and work hard. When he said that, I knew I made the right choice.”
Théodore also revealed that he delayed re-signing with the Colorado Avalanche because he suspected that Cristobal Huet might not return to Washington. When Huet bolted to the Chicago Blackhawks, Theodore quickly agreed to a two-year, $9 million contract on July 1.
from Sam Adams of the Rocky Mountain News,
After Sakic and I made a 572-yard walk together up the 18th fairway at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on Thursday, he didn’t have an answer for me.
“I wish I had an answer to give. At the end of the day, it’s how I feel, if I want to do another year or not,” the Avalanche captain said during his round of play in the celebrity tourney….
I came here believing Sakic would call it a career. But being around him briefly Thursday, and hearing him use the term “we” several times, it sounded as if Sakic has more than a Favre-like itch to return.
“Camp is not until Sept. 18, so I still have a little time to figure it out,” he said. “I’ve talked to (Avalanche general manager) Francois (Giguere) a couple of times, and we’re all good.
“Now it’s weighing the options. I just want to make sure the decision is 100 percent and you don’t go back on it. The good thing is, I still have two months….”
from Rich Hammond of the LA Daily News,
The owners of the Kings have talked with several parties, including the ownership group of the Boston Celtics, about buying a minority share of the hockey franchise, the Daily News has learned.
Sources indicated that no deal is imminent and that in any scenario, Anschutz Entertainment Group will not relinquish operating control of the Kings franchise, which it has owned since October 1995.
In a phone interview Thursday, Kings governor and AEG president Tim Leiweke confirmed that he has spoken to the ownership group of the Celtics, led by Wycliffe “Wyc” Grousbeck, about a “partnership.”
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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