Kukla's Korner Hockey
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Have spoken to a number of folks within the organization (none of whom own the initials J.M.) and even a couple of players. Not one thinks Jay signs a long-term deal here before his hearing, and only one said he expects Jay to be here come the start of the 2009-10 season. It appears to me that there isn’t just one reason why Jay isn’t a big fan of the Panthers; there are quite a few issues here.
Jay’s agent told our Barry Jackson that he rejected the Panthers most recent offer (I have heard almost $6 million per for six years but cannot get that confirmed by the agent nor JM) and they are preparing for arbitration. Which is their right. And, I’ve been told, the Panthers will give Jay whatever the arbiter rules he’s worth for the coming season and roll the dice hoping to keep him.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Saturday morning, Boudreau will put 48 hockey players through their paces in something called the Hockey Resume Free Agent Camp in Niagara Falls, Ont. Now, the Hockey Resume Free Agent Camp and, let’s say, the first round of the NHL draft should not be confused. Hockey Resume is a company that tries to find jobs in the minor leagues, often the low minors, for players who don’t have contracts….
“I’m basically doing it so my son doesn’t have to pay,” Boudreau said. “They wanted something like 400 bucks (actually $325) for the camp and I said I’d help out with a practice and give their camp some validity if my son could attend for free. I did the same thing at the Roger Neilson Hockey Camp last week for my other son.”
From the Stanley Cup Blog at NHL.com,
Just after 9 a.m. that morning, Mike and Maureen Babcock met the plane at the Saskatoon airport and received the Stanley Cup.
There are two things indigenous to Canada – hockey and Tim Hortons coffee, and the Babcock’s merged the two by taking the Stanley Cup to a local Tim Hortons. The only things that could make the morning more Canadian would be if a Mountie carrying a beaver had held the door open for them!
and lots more on Babcock and his face-time with Stanley.
*thanks to Snapshots for the pointer
The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced the signing of forward Marek Svatos to a two-year contract, avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for today.
“Marek Svatos has been a key ingredient to our success the last few years,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere. “He’s scored many big goals for this club and we expect him to be a strong force for us again this season.”
—via Colorado Avalanche, press release
Update 12:53pm ET: According to Adrian Dater at All Things Avs, the contract is worth a total of $4.1 million—$1.75 this year and $2.35 next year.
From Ron Cook at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
My money is on Michel Therrien. It’s been on Therrien since he took the Penguins coaching job in December 2005 and immediately showed he wasn’t afraid to rattle the cages to shake the losers he inherited out of their country club ways. No matter what, the players were going to do it Therrien’s way. It’s no coincidence they soon turned into winners, big winners, nearly Stanley Cup winners last season.
Now, I’m betting Therrien will break one of the most astonishing records in Pittsburgh sports history.
I’m betting Therrien will become the first coach in Penguins history—41 years and counting—to start and finish four consecutive seasons.
Steven Ovadia at Puck Update provides a contrary opinion on Therrien:
Therrien is a dangerous combination of narrow-minded and panicky. You could see it during the finals when he didn’t change anything against the Wings until he suddenly moved Ryan Malone to the top line, only to put things back the next game. I suspect we’ll see more moves like that from Therrien, and as he loses people in the locker room, which is rumored to be the case, these knee-jerk switches will be less and less effective.
I was surprised the Penguins gave Therrien a three-year extension. Watching him coach has often felt like watching someone drive a car that’s too fast.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
With the exception of future Hall of Famer Brendan Shanahan, Mats Sundin (the ponderous one), Joe Sakic and Teemu Selanne, all the big-name free agents have been snapped up, and the complexion of the vast majority of NHL teams is well-established heading into the dog days of summer.
Here’s a look at our Summer Power Rankings with less than two months to go before the start of training camp:
15. Atlanta Thrashers
The Thrashers, Leafs and Isles look to be in a heated battle for the No. 1 pick in next summer’s draft and the chance to land super prospect John Tavares. That’s about as good as it gets for the Thrashers, whose spotty lineup promises to make rookie coach John Anderson’s first season a long one.
From Childs Walker at the Baltimore Sun,
A new arena is a poor risk for Baltimore if the city is counting on attracting an NHL or NBA franchise, sports business experts say, but some agree with city leaders that a proposed 18,500-seat venue could be profitable without such an anchor tenant.
Neither the NBA nor the NHL offers many relocation or expansion prospects, analysts said, and the presence of basketball and hockey teams in Washington make the odds even longer for Baltimore. [...]
NHL spokesman Frank Brown said the league has no plans for expansion or relocation, though several cities have expressed interest. He said questions about the Capitals’ sharing a market with another team are “way too hypothetical for me to answer.
from Ryan Dixon of the Hockey News,
For one of the few times since they moved to TD Banknorth Garden from ‘The Gah-den,’ the Black and Gold are emitting signs of long-term progress.
Everybody knows about the Bruins’ commitment to defense. It starts with coach Claude Julien’s teachings, filters down through Zdeno Chara’s wingspan and touches every corner of the dressing room.
That Boston will play a stingy game is a given. Where I see the B’s branching out, though, is on the attack. Only New Jersey and the Islanders celebrated fewer goals than Boston’s 212 last year, a number that’s sure to improve with the return of one player, the addition of another and the natural progression of two youngsters.
Reports indicate center Patrice Bergeron is on course to return healthy and hungry after a hit from behind by Philadelphia’s Randy Jones limited his season to 10 games last year.
more on the Bruins…
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
The franchise’s most marketable player lauded the offseason roster makeover but made no declarations about his long-range future here other than to express his continued affinity for his adopted hometown. He labeled the coming season a “huge year” in terms of franchise growth.
“It’s always in your head obviously about (where) your following years will be,” said Nash, who scored 38 goals last season. “I’m happy in Columbus; I love it in Columbus. I would stay here if everything lined up right.”
Reaching the playoffs for the first time in franchise history might make Nash’s decision easier and possibly curb speculation that he plans to bolt for a larger market such as Toronto.
“I’m there to win a cup — that’s the most important thing on my mind,” said Asham. “Last year with the Devils, we came up short in the first round and that’s definitely disappointing, but this is a new start and I think we have the guts to do it.”
“I think it’s going to be good, I think Philly definitely fits my game. They’re a rough-tough hockey team. I’m definitely going there excited. They had a great run last year in the playoffs and my goal right now is to win a Stanley Cup before my career is over, and I’m running out of years. I think Philly is my best chance.”
-more from Aaron Asham at the Portage Daily Graphic…
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