Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The Kontinental League is poised to make a huge offer to future unrestricted free agent Ilya Kovalchuk this summer, while quietly working with the NHL to come to an agreement that would prevent it from poaching players who are under contract.
KHL president Alexander Medvedev said in an interview with THN.com and ESPN.com Saturday morning that SKA St. Petersburg, which is sponsored by the Gazprom company of which Medvedev is deputy chairman, will make an offer better than any NHL team can under the current CBA when Kovalchuk’s contract expires. If that happens, it will mark the first time the KHL has managed to lure a superstar player from the NHL in his prime.
added 6:53pm, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN with his take on the same topic.
from the Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
As for Sexton, he told me he’s been really busy talking with GMs the past week after a slow first week to start the Olympic break. Sexton said he’s moved closer to making a trade and that there aren’t just a couple of possibilities, but “a whole host of deals” being discussed.
The Panthers could get back players, prospects, draft picks or a combination.
That said, Sexton told me, “make no mistake — there will be no fire sale.”
He said he doesn’t feel like has to make a certain number of deals by Wednesday. He also said he wants y’all to know that the trade deadline is just the beginning of his plans when it comes to changing the makeup of the roster.
“Phase 1 is until Wednesday. Phase 2 is the draft. Phase 3 is free agency. Phase 4 is right around training camp, start of regular season,” Sexton said.
from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,
I see no reason to deviate dramatically from the plan this coming week. We need to keep our core group of young players together.We need to reward young players for their hard work and loyalty.
I don’t see us doing anything dramatic this week. I want to temper folk’s expectations.
We want to improve the team but NOT take risk of trading young assets now for older players with big ongoing contracts that would hinder us from keeping our core together. That would take us off our plan….
We won’t do anything dumb. We won’t get too far off our plan.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson and the agent for unrestricted free agent Raffi Torres spoke during the Olympic break and were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension, the Dispatch has learned. Torres almost certainly will be dealt by Wednesday’s trade deadline.
No surprise here, of course. Howson likes Torres—he’s been part of two organizations that traded for him—but the Jackets are anticipating the return of Nikita Filatov and are likely going to be spending money on rebuilding their blueline.
Clearly, Lawton and Tocchet are not in the same book right now, let alone on the same page. And that is not what is best for this team.
And once again, the hockey world is taking notice of just how dysfunctional things are being run down here in Tampa in the past 24 months and waiting to see what happens next.
-Eric Erlendsson of Bolts Report. Read more on the state of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
via Darren Dreger Twitter, Alex Auld claimed by Rangers on re-entry
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
Team brass have stated there will be changes, but time will tell if the rebuilding starts at the March 3 deadline or if the changes start unfolding at the draft and/or on July 1 when free agency opens.
“It’s your future. You don’t know where you’re going to be in a week,” winger Fernando Pisani said. “I think the worst part for everybody is the not knowing. But it’s one of those things, it’s really out of my control.”
“It will be an interesting three days but as a player, as an individual, you just can’t think about all the rumours or the what ifs,” said defenceman Tom Gilbert.
“It can be tough when you do hear rumours. You think, what if I end up here. You can get caught up in it ... but maybe five per cent of the rumours are true.”
Pisani and Gilbert, O’Sullivan and Ladislav Smid have all had their names linked to one deal or another. Smid, Andrew Cogliano and Dustin Penner were offered to the Ottawa Senators for Dany Heatley back in June.
“You never know what’s going to happen. They could keep this group together for the rest of the season,” Smid said. “We just have to stick together and win some games.”
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
Keep an eye on two NHL players in the coming weeks, because I have a feeling that both Alex Ovechkin and Martin Brodeur are coming out of Vancouver with a burr under their respective saddles.
Ovechkin had the 1,000-yard stare as Team Canada ended Russia’s medal hopes in a brutal 7-3 shellacking that saw the Canadians simply dismantle a Russian squad many thought would at least be competitive with Canada.
That didn’t come close to happening and Ovechkin was completely shut down by the Canadians, going minus-2 with just three shots and a very bad feeling about the experience.
continue and numerous hockey topics…
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Believe it or not, Burke, broom in hand, is trying to do the same type of housecleaning with his NHL squad that he admirably completed with Team USA.
Once the final horn has sounded and the medals — whatever colour they might be — are dangling around the necks of his American players, Burke and his right-hand man, Dave Nonis, will turn their attention to resuming their facelift of a Toronto franchise that has not hoisted a Stanley Cup since 1967. With the NHL’s roster freeze lifted at the conclusion of the Olympics Sunday, Burke has vowed to be “busy” as the clock clicks down to the league’s March 3 trade deadline.
Burke wants to bring the average age of his Leafs down while bringing its intensity up. He wants to change the culture both inside the dressing room and out on the ice.
from Edward Fraser of The Hockey News,
None of us know the details regarding Alex Ovechkin shoving a person with a camera in the wake of Russia’s embarrassing 7-3 loss at the hands of the Canadians, but no matter what the circumstances, the Capitals and/or the NHL need to send a message by suspending him.
The once-congenial and ultra-media-friendly Ovechkin has shown progressive cracks in his off-ice demeanor for some time now, culminating with his Olympic availability where he essentially ignored the English media during the tournament.
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.
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