Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rob Oller of the Columbus Dispatch,
The biggest offseason signing in Blue Jackets history—the face of the franchise, mind you—doesn’t score goals or play defense, isn’t much of a skater and struggles to move the puck. His weight hovers around 275 pounds, on a 5-foot-10ish frame, and the only time he has worn the C is when jokesters liken him to Captain Kangaroo.
This is the guy the Jackets are pinning their hopes on? Yes, and it’s hard to argue against them. Ken Hitchcock, who signed a threeyear extension yesterday to coach the Blue Jackets through the 2011-12 season, is more important to the team than any recent free-agent signing or draft pick.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
I’m still very good friends with Pavol and talk to him all the time,” (Geoff) Courtnall, a former Canuck, said Wednesday from Victoria. “I hadn’t seen him in a year and he came out before he went back to Slovakia.
“We only had one day and night together and he told me he loves coming to Vancouver. I told him if the Canucks are one of the teams that comes around July 1 [free agency], you should definitely think of playing there.”
Demitra has done just that.
Not only has the former Minnesota Wild forward stated that the Canucks top his wish list—a Slovakian newspaper has reported he’s close to signing a three-year, $12-million-US deal—general manager Mike Gillis has acknowledged contract dialogue with his former client.
The only problem might be term, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Gillis is trying to get Demitra to commit to two years instead of three.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Before Emery was bought out of the final two years of his $6.75-million contract by the Senators, some league executives were predicting that teams “would be lined up” to sign the netminder, but it never happened.
It’s believed Emery was offered nothing more than a tryout by a couple of teams, with no promise of a contract.
This is the goaltender that led the Senators to the Stanley Cup final two years ago and now he can’t even get a sniff in the NHL. Why is that?
Talked to agent Don Meehan today (Wednesday). He’s expecting to talk with Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson again on Thursday regarding goaltender Pascal Leclaire, and it sounds like the talks are heating up ... in a good way. It’s believed to be a three-year deal. Money is the issue, but they might be getting close.
I’ve been saying all along that Leclaire signing an offer sheet is unlikely. I still believe that’s the case. But if you’re looking for a candidate, look no further than the Colorado Avalanche. First off, the Avs have quite possibly the worst goaltending tandem in the NHL…
more on Columbus
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
(Brendan) Witt wondered, too, which is why the decision by general manager Garth Snow and owner Charles Wang to give him a two-year extension worth $6 million that will keep him on Long Island through the 2010-11 season is so meaningful. “I was surprised when they told me,” Witt said last night from his summer home in Florida. “I was like, ‘Wow.’ Most teams, the way they operate is they don’t make that decision until Christmas when they realize which direction the team is going, and they ask what you can get for them.
“Snowy has always complimented me on the way I play, the ‘warrior-type mentality.’ I appreciate that, and I appreciate Charles agreeing to do it, too. That shows a lot of loyalty, which you do not find in major league sports too often….
from Empty Netters,
Laraque was unlike anything we’ve seen here in Pittsburgh. He was a black hockey player of Haitian heritage who had corn rows, spoke two languages and dominated just about any fight he was a part of. He was so dominant of a fighter, many opposing goons just simply weren’t all that eager to drop the gloves with “BGL.” And when Laraque did get a chance to go at it, more often than not his fights were fairly boring due to Laraque’s immense strength.
Our first chance to see Laraque ply his craft came in a game against the Rangers March 10, 2007. Colton Orr was the brave soul who decided he wanted to test Laraque:
more with many fight videos…
Instead of being disappointed he couldn’t be the agent behind a monumental deal,(Ritch) Winter left the Hossa negotiations with a different reaction.
“Admiration,” Winter said. “I just think Marian is a quality guy and a quality player. He’s a great player but might be a better man. The overwhelming response was positive; then there was a few scattered negative comments. That, I couldn’t understand.”
more on Hossa from Craig Custance of the Sporting News…
added 9:17pm, from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
Nearly two weeks into free agency, if anything, the Wings have separated themselves further from the pack in the NHL. Even at the minor-league level, Nill admits times have never been this good for Detroit.
“Yeah, depth-wise (best we’ve ever been),” Nill said. “We have a lot of kids turning pro, the Emmertons, Mursaks, Pyett, Abdelkader, so we’re adding some good young kids. “Darren Helm showed he can play. “Up here (Detroit) we’re positioned well for next year, but we still have to go do it. It’s not going to be easy.”
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NYT,
According to an article in Tuesday’s Sovietskiy Sport, KHL president and Gazprom export CEO Alexander Medvedev wants the Columbus Blue Jackets to compensate CSKA Moscow for the Jacks’ signing of 18-year-old first-round draft choice Nikita Filatov. When asked how much the compensation should come to, he answered, “At least half a million dollars.”
from Tencer’s Blog at the Edmonton Oilers,
Moreau knows that fans will be skeptical. With the injury trouble that he and Souray have experienced the last 2 years, it’s human nature to wonder if they’ll be available for 82 games next season. “I’ll be more than 100% come training camp,” Moreau says emphatically. “It’s a pretty simple injury, unfortunately it happened twice. I just broke my leg; there’s no ligament damage. As far as me playing my game and playing tough and physical, there won’t be any ill effects.”
Moreau also knows that it isn’t all about toughness. If the team succeeds in playing a puck possession game, that will take care of a large part of the battle
Earlier today were reports on AM 640 in Toronto, citing a Swedish newspaper which stated Jonas Frogren had been signed by the Maple Leafs. But during the noon hour, Frogren himself gave an interview to FAN 590 and made no mention there was any contract in place yet. (Which is why we didn’t post the news on KK before now.)
Now this from TSN:
The Toronto Maple Leafs had hoped to announce the signing of Swedish defenceman Jonas Frogren on Wednesday but the contract was rejected by the NHL’s head office.
“We are working with the NHL Players’ Association to resolve the matter,” said Don Meehan of Newport Sports, Frogren’s agent. “We remain hopeful it will get resolved.”
The league determined Frogren, 28, must be signed to an entry-level contract as a first-year NHL player despite his pro experience in Europe. The Leafs had signed Frogren to a standard contract.
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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