Kukla's Korner Hockey
Aaron Portzline at Puck-rakers writes:
Apparently, Nick Kypreos reported on Sportsnet last night that the Blue Jackets were going to trade defenseman Jan Hejda and a fourth-round pick to the Flyers for winger Mike Knuble.
This is ridiculous. This is crazy. This will not happen. Not a chance.
Well, that seems pretty definitive. Although this doesn’t stop the kids on HF Boards from tackling the rumor from every angle they can think of as well (and Kypreos doesn’t fare too well there either.)
Must be a slow day in rumor land.
from Frozen Royalty,
...But the big question is, in September, when the Kings open their 2008-09 training camp, even if Bernier once again shows that he is their best goalie, will they give him that chance, knowing that they are likely to once again struggle mightily and compete for last place in the NHL standings (and the first selection in the 2009 draft that comes with it) as opposed to a playoff berth?
To be sure, if the Kings decide to once again send him down rather than expose him to another porous defense and another a losing atmosphere, Lombardi and Hextall will very likely have to do some damage control for Bernier’s psyche.
“I’ll be mad, really mad,” Bernier said about that possibility. “But it depends on so many things. If I come here and don’t deserve to stay here—last year, I thought I deserved to stay here. That’s why I was so mad. But if I come here and I have a bad camp, they have the right to send me down.”
It’s possible Mats Sundin’s long-awaited decision on where or if he will play could come before Friday. “Aug. 1 is a soft deadline,” agent J.P. Barry said
“Hopefully, we’ll know whether he’s going to play or not. It might take a little longer to figure out the team situation,” Sundin’s agent, J.P. Barry, said.
From James Mirtle at the Globe & Mail:
NHL salary arbitration hearings have been few and far between this summer, and there’s a reason. When cases go to a hearing, they can often get ugly, as players, agents and teams fight for dollars under the salary cap.
Washington Capitals defenceman Shaone Morrisonn is the only player who’s been through the process this off-season. He was awarded a one-year, $1.975-million (all currency U.S.) contract last Saturday after a hearing last Thursday in Toronto.
According to arbitration documents obtained by The Globe and Mail, the Capitals offered several less than flattering assessments of Morrisonn, a stay-at-home defenceman who was fourth on the team in ice time last season. Calling him “one-dimensional,” Washington argued that Morrisonn received substantial playing time in 2005-06 and 2006-07 on a weak team as a result of being “at the right place at the right time.”
Neil Bristow at Hockey Prime Time has an interview with Nashville Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne online which he was good enough to mention to me today. Rinne is set to back up Dan Ellis this coming season (which didn’t impress Brian Costello at THN very much yesterday) so maybe now’s a good time to get to know the guy better.
From Hockey Prime Time:
Neil Bristow - You made your NHL debut Dec.15th 2005. Can you share with us a little of what that was like? What was going through your mind at that time?
Pekka Rinne - It was something that I had always been dreaming of. At that time both Tomas Vokoun and Chris Mason were hurt and I got the call. Everything happened pretty fast and I didn`t have time to stress about the game, we won the game and it was just amazing experience I’ll remember for rest of my life.
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.
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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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