Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,
... In other words, the Kings aren’t exactly headed in the right direction.
Or are they?
Take a close look at L.A.’s roster and there’s hope on the horizon.
The Kings already boast a handful of burgeoning stars up front in forwards Anze Kopitar (20 years and 11 months), Patrick O’Sullivan (23), Dustin Brown (23) and Alexander Frolov (26).
from the CP via the Toronto Star,
Charges levied against a Montreal Canadiens defenceman following an incident at a Tampa Bay nightclub last February have been dropped.
Ryan O’Byrne had been charged with grand theft.
State attorney Pam Bondi says the charges against the Victoria, B.C., native were dropped after he read an apology in court to the victim and agreed to do community service in Canada.
From Adrian Dater at All Things Avs
Raycroft ripped the Toronto media some, for taking comments he made about not watching much hockey away from the rink and branding him as a guy who isn’t dedicated to the game. “I made it to the NHL and have spent the last 20 years of my life dedicated to hockey. I think that shows some commitment,” Raycroft said.
He said he’s looking forward to working with a full-time goalie coach in Jeff Hackett, instead of just a part-timer like the Leafs had, in Bob Essensa. He said he’s working out hard this summer, and is currently in Denver looking for a place for the coming year.
His overall assessment of his future: “I know I still have it.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Even if they get off to a great start, even if they look like a playoff team, will it be enough to keep Bouwmeester in sandals for the long haul? Rookie head coach Pete De Boer represents the fifth head coach to pilot the Panthers since Bouwmeester arrived in the fall of 2002, with Mike Keenan, Rick Dudley, John Torchetti and Martin having all had at least a brief twirl at the post.
And so the Panthers face the grisly prospect that after years of showing so little whatever, they might show in the coming months it might not be nearly enough to keep yet another core piece from sliding away in a market where all too few people care to begin with.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
So let’s get this straight, shall we? Bouwmeester is now going to sit back and wait to see if the Panthers have improved enough and are on the road to respectability before gracing them with a decision on whether or not he’ll return?
When exactly does Bouwmeester himself begin to accept some of the responsibility for the on-ice fortunes of the Panthers? If he’s supposed to be their undisputed No. 1 defenseman, shouldn’t he be expected to have a major part in leading the way to the Panthers becoming a playoff team?
From the Canadian Press,
The family of a budding hockey star who died mysteriously last winter near Windsor, Ont., says he died of an underlying heart condition.
Mickey Renaud, captain of the Ontario Hockey League Windsor Spitfires, died in February at his home in nearby Tecumseh.
In a statement, his family says an autopsy determined that the 19-year-old player died of a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
*Previous report on KK is here.
From Michael Russo at Russo’s Rants,
According to an NHL source, the Wild has placed Bloomington-born, Plymouth resident Mark Parrish on waivers.
If he clears the 24-hour waivers, it is likely he will be bought out of the remaining three years of his contract and will become a free agent.
Parrish spent much of his two seasons with his hometown Wild in Jacques Lemaire’s doghouse.
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.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org