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Category: NHL-Teams

The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown Down

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

First, know this about Gary Bettman and his capricious prosecution of circumvention against the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk—it’s personal with the commissioner, the way it was personal when he and the Board of Governors canceled a season in order to get rid of Bob Goodenow.

It’s personal because Bettman had been telling NHL general managers for months to stop signing players to dramatically front-loaded lifetime contracts designed to massage the cap hit before New Jersey’s Lou Lamoriello, of all teams and of all people, simply defied the commissioner.

Bettman’s ill-advised quest to impose a one-size-fits-all cap onto 30 teams with varying needs and constituencies is in tatters. The Kovalchuk contract, which meets every legal standard outlined in the collective bargaining agreement, is merely the latest example of a powerful team acting creatively in order to keep as much of its personnel intact as possible.


added 9:14am, from Mark Everson of the NY Post,

The Devils might have five million reasons to worry about the Players Association’s expected filing for arbitration of Ilya Kovalchuk’s rejected contract.

A league source said the NHL is not threatening, but also not dismissing the possibility that the Devils might be liable for a fine of at least $1 million. The fine could go up to $5 million should an arbitrator finds that their $102 million, 17-year contract is indeed a circumvention of the collective bargaining agreement.

In addition, Kovalchuk himself conceivably could be liable to a fine between $250G and $1 million.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Wayne Fleming Discusses Cherepanov’s Death

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

Imagine watching one of your players dying. New Lightning assistant coach Wayne Fleming always will have that memory.

As coach of Avangard Omsk in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, Fleming saw one of his most gifted players, forward Aleksei Cherepanov, collapse into the arms of teammate Jaromir Jagr on the bench near the end of an Oct. 13, 2008, game against Vityav Chekov.

Team doctors tried on the bench and in the dressing room to revive Cherepanov, 19, who died that night at a local hospital of an apparent heart attack….

Is there anything you take from what happened?

From a team perspective, it was like taking a crystal vase and dropping it on the concrete floor and trying to pick up the shattered pieces. It was devastating. But it was the individual, too, that passed away. The thing that really hurts is not only do we lose a great player, we’re missing just a fantastic young man. He had a great smile on his face. He was the golden boy of the KHL.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aleksei+cherepanov, khl, wayne+fleming

Tough Guy Needed In Detroit?

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

The increased need for exacting retribution seems evident. Large and physical opponents frequently run at Rafalski, whose back is sometimes a concern. They also seem to increasingly target Lidstrom, whose 40-year-old reflexes have reduced his once Houdini-like talent of always escaping. And among all of the Red Wings injuries last season, at least a couple more than Kronwall’s occurred as a result of a tough, even dirty, hits for which there was no reckoning.

“It’s been a decade-long question,” Holland said. “But I guess the question is do you want Helm on the team, or a tough guy? Do you want (Patrick) Eaves on the team, or a tough guy? Do you want (Kris) Draper on the team, or a tough guy ...?”

Holland went on with the sequence of questions, until he had mentioned several more players.

There clearly was a sense, Holland said, that the Stanley Cup winners in 1997 and 1998 were built on toughness and skill, with Martin Lapointe and McCarty especially suited to the roles of third- and fourth-line forwards, and Brendan Shanahan, Bob Rouse and Jaime Pushor on the roster.

more on this topic and other issues facing the Wings…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Man They Called “Murder”

from edbreadsaid at the Sporting News,

One can only imagine the thrill of being young, rich and a handsome big league hockey player plying his trade in the Big Apple New York, New York. Many of the Rangers reveled in the lifestyle their celebrity granted them. Although not the street corner heroes they would have been had they played in Canada, they found a different type of status here in the playground of the rich and famous. Appearances on talk shows, winning tables at the best restaurants and staying out late at the trendiest discos were Big Apple perks. Over time many players have come to New York and reaped its rewards and just as many have had to leave because of them. Donny Murdoch was one of the latter.

Don Murdoch or ‘Murder’ as the Ranger fans tagged him was the son of a welder who tore up his junior league making him the toast of Medicine Hat, Alberta. The Rangers made him their first pick in the 1976 draft. Lavishing much money on Don he, with his signing bonus, bought his sister and father new cars, put money in Dads account to start a new business and promptly bought himself an $11,000.oo corvette to go with his posh apartment in Long Island. The media loved him. He was a poster boy for sport. With his long hair and dimples there were plenty of groupies and fans tripping all over him to the extent where fans brought him gifts. He even danced with Margaret Trudeau.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+murdoch

When Did This Happen?

Jill R. Dorson of ESPN Page 2 takes a look at the different license plates that are offered by states…

OHIO: Appears to be the only state with a plate for its Major League Soccer team, the Columbus Blue Jackets. All other pro teams are available, too, and all feature a team logo.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Nothing Wrong With Kovalchuk’s Contract

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

Regardless of whether you thought he was genuine or not, Kovalchuk was ready to play in New Jersey for the next 17 years and retire as a member of the Devils.

Is that so bad? Would you rather he become like LeBron James and hop from one team to the next in search of championships? Or would you rather have a player whose likeness does not have to be peeled off billboards every five years?

“This is a marketer’s dream,” one agent said. “Remember, Kovalchuk’s in a market where there is a huge Russian population and he’s now the 100-million-dollar man. When Alex Ovechkin comes to play, it could be, ‘Come see the dueling hundred-million-dollar men, Washington versus New Jersey, at the Prudential Center.’ I just think it’s fun.”

But is it fun for everyone? Do these types of deals, which have been negotiated by New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and Vancouver — give an unfair advantage to teams with deeper pockets? Does it go against the competitive balance that the CBA strived for?


Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Morning Line

You saw that there were some teams taking advantage of guys in New York; you could see that just watching highlights.  That probably won’t be happening as much now.”

-Derek Boogaard of the New York Rangers.  More on Boogaard from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+boogaard

Will The Canucks Keep Bieksa?

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

Many have jumped to the conclusion the Canucks will be forced to keep Bieksa because of Salo’s latest ailment. Some have argued they may not have a choice. If Salo’s recovery is slow, Bieksa is the team’s only right-handed shot, unless Willie Mitchell enters the equation. In addition, if Salo is out, Bieksa is traded, and Mitchell moves on, Shane O’Brien jumps to the No. 5 slot and Andrew Alberts gets plenty of playing time. Not appetizing at all.

But, that said, can Canucks afford to keep Bieksa?

Consider this, Bieksa has missed more games than Salo because of injuries in the past four seasons. Can any NHL blueline afford to have both the injury prone Bieksa and the injury plagued Salo in the same top six? And do it for a robust $7.25 million combined cap hit? Would anyone want to?

It’s not like the team has a lot of room to take risks. The Canucks are already feeling cap pressure. Jannik Hansen’s deal pushed them over the cap and they still aren’t counting Mason Raymond, who could get $3 million in Monday’s arbitration hearing, or Cody Hodgson who carries a $1.6 million cap hit.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Team Nicknames

from Eliot Kleinberg of the Palm Beach Post,

Buffalo Sabres
The team was founded in 1970. Owners had an interest in polo and were fascinated with cavalry, knight and chivalry themes.

Chicago Blackhawks
Founded in 1926, the owner had commanded a World War I battalion named “Black Hawks” to honor a Sauk chief who sided with British in the War of 1812.

Detroit Red Wings
Founded in 1926 as the Detroit Cougars, the team was renamed Falcons in 1930. In 1932, the new owner, who had once played for Winged Wheelers of Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, renamed team “Red Wings” and adopted winged wheel logo.

read on for the rest of the teams…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Corey Perry

from Matt Vevoda of Ducks.com,

How do you like the team moving forward into next season?

Signing Saku again and adding Toni Lydman on defense, we’re moving forward well despite losing Scotty. We’re a team that is re-grouping and trying to shake off that disappointment. We’ll be hungry. Moving forward, I think we’re going to be good. With Saku back, he is a leader in that dressing room. He’s a big part of the puzzle. When he’s around, he just makes that room lively. We need a lot more guys like him. He’s one of those guys that can lead by example.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: corey+perry

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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