Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Tim Wharnsby in the Globe & Mail,
The Toronto Maple Leafs will announce later today that they have signed young forward Matt Stajan to a two-year deal worth $3.5-million (all currency U.S.).
With Stajan under contract that means the Leafs have 24 players signed for the upcoming season for a $51.3-million payroll. The Leafs also are close to signing 28-year-old Swedish defenceman Jonas Frogren.
Update 6:17pm ET: An interview with Matt Stajan at Maple Leafs.com
via the Carolina Hurricanes,
Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team has agreed to terms with restricted free-agent defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on a one-year contract worth $1.2 million. Rutherford also announced that restricted free-agent forward Chad LaRose has elected to file for salary arbitration.
from Empty Netters,
Performances like that led to many wondering if Conklin was really the Penguins’ true MVP. Some even wondered if Conklin should’ve been considered as the league’s MVP. Others even questioned if Conklin should be the Penguins’ starting goaltender regardless of Fleury’s health. Fans embraced Conklin due to the fact he came on board through the most humble of fashions for someone in the NHL yet found a way to dominate games at times as if his name were Brodeur or Luongo.
from Jamie Fitzpatrick at Jamie’s Hockey Blog,
After three seasons, the new salary system is “an abject failure in regard to the goal of ‘cost certainty’” according to Jim Kelley at SI.com.
He’s wrong. NHL player costs are certain, down to the penny. Just ask the army of accountants who calculate league revenue every year. The players’ share is set at just over 56 percent for next season. You don’t get much more certain than that.
Bottom line: If the money wasn’t rolling in, the players wouldn’t be getting it.
Maybe the Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes don’t have enough of that money. That’s their own fault for not selling enough tickets.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
News alert: The Sabres have a poor reputation among players. It has become increasingly evident that the only way to get quality veterans into Buffalo is to force them here through trades. It’s an unpleasant way to survive.
Forget the woe-is-Buffalo excuse. Everybody knows this is a passionate hockey town, but the word has spread about the organization’s business practices. The Sabres are known more for their commitment to the bottom line than their commitment to winning. To players, it might as well be Edmonton.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The fun and games are still three months away, but on this day it looks to us like the best bets to make the playoffs are the teams that did last season: Montreal, Pittsburgh, Washington, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Philadelphia and Boston.
Ottawa, it appears now, will be in the mix with Tampa, Carolina, Buffalo, Florida, the Islanders and the Thrashers for the eighth spot.
To improve the Senators’ chances of making the playoffs, their Murray needs to recreate some magic. He needs to win a trade.
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough tonight announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed forward Owen Nolan to a multi-year contract.
“Owen Nolan is a true power winger who can score goals, play a physical brand, play either wing and take face-offs,” said Risebrough. “We are excited to add a player of his experience and versatility.”
Russo’s Rants reports 2 year deal for $5.5M
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
We must admit we find all the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the media and fans over the amount of money spent during the first days of free agency a bit confusing.
We’re pretty sure Chicago GM Dale Tallon did not knock down some old woman at the Billy Goat Tavern and pull $56 million out of her handbag to pay Brian Campbell to come and play defense for the Blackhawks.
Nor did Cliff Fletcher panhandle on the sidewalk outside the Air Canada Centre to raise the $12 million it took to bring in the anonymous Jeff Finger to play defense for the Toronto Maple Leafs….
Memo to owners: This is what you wanted. If you can’t make it work, boo hoo.
via Russo’s Rants,
According to a knowledgeable source, it’s official. The NHL’s second outdoor Winter Classic will take place New Year’s Day at the storied Wrigley Field when the Blackhawks take on the Stanley Cup-champion Detroit Red Wings.
An announcement is expected next week in the days leading up to the three-day inaugural “Blackhawks Convention” at the Chicago Hilton.
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
The fact of the matter is if I’m an NHL GM and I’m starting up a team and I have one year to win a championship, Huet is not among the top 10 goalies I’d pick to be my starter.
Here are 10 goalies I wouldn’t hesitate picking before Huet: Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Miikka Kiprusoff, Evgeni Nabokov, Henrik Lundqvist, J-S Giguere, Ryan Miller, Ilya Bryzgalov, Tomas Vokoun and Marty Turco.
I’d probably even pick some of this next tier of goalies before Huet: Niklas Backstrom, Vesa Toskala, Marc-Andre Fleury, Rick DiPietro, Tim Thomas, Chris Osgood, Carey Price, Cam Ward, Martin Biron and Kari Lehtonen. That’s why Huet may not be among my top 15.
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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