Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
As season turned to post-season turned to off-season, Joe Public and his friends have not witnessed the Senators getting any better.
And that’s only because they’re not.
The team’s response thus far to a tailspin that saw it barely qualify for the playoffs, then leave quickly and quietly under the guidance of the Pittsburgh Penguins?
Replacing one of the all-time leaders in coaching victories with a man who has not been a bench boss in the NHL yet this century, adding a backup goalie and third- or fourth-line winger.
The Senators have also bid farewell to the best defenceman in franchise history, the only goalie that ever took them to the Stanley Cup final and one of the best fighters in the Eastern Conference.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Without Jagr to both blame and lean on all at once, everyone will come under more scrutiny; the coaching staff and the players, alike. For all of his imperfections, Jagr was kind of like that cereal, Captain and Crutch. Now, Jagr can’t be anyone’s excuse. Avery’s absence will be felt on the ice, even if the Rangers are sure he won’t be missed anywhere else.
There will be a gust of fresh air in the room next season that might enter with the Rangers billed as The King and His Court. Henrik Lundqvist, who always has shared the greatest part of the burden with Jagr, will be held to the Brodeur Standard, one that has nothing to do with exchanging salutations or shaking hands.
from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,
The NHL Players Association announced Saturday that 15 players had elected to have salary arbitration, and Filppula, 24, was the only one for the Wings. Filppula could have signed an offer sheet with another NHL club, but that threat has been eliminated by him filing for arbitration. A Vancouver radio station had reported that the Canucks were preparing to send an offer sheet, but that never happened.
NHL.com has a list of the players who filed for salary arbitration today.
from Empty Netters,
The Penguins have signed Capitals agitator Matt Cooke to a two-year deal.
Cooke is an agiator in the mold of Sean Avery, Jarkko Ruutu or Steve Ott. In addition to that “skill” he’s also a fairly decent penalty killer.
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
GM George McPhee deserves credit for acting swiftly in securing Plan B, but, if I’m a Caps fan, it’s going to be a while before I find a comfort level with the team’s new No. 1 man.
We all know Theodore, still young at 31, has the physical composition to be one of the league’s best stoppers. His Hart and Vezina trophies in 2002 are testaments to his skill.
It’s the ensuing years that would have me nervous. His plunge in Colorado, and accompanying off-ice distractions, had some thinking he was playing himself out of the league.
from Russo’s Rants,
As I’ve been reporting since July 1, the Wild has an offer in on the Vancouver Canucks unrestricted free agent (Brendan Morrison). The two sides have talked a lot.
He is expected to make a decision early next week, and I can tell you, the Wild has no clue which way he’s leaning. The offer is there. It’s up to him.
more on Morrison and the Wild…
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Only the best team in the Eastern Conference.
Only a club whose elite young core is nearly secured - Jordan Staal being the final item on the to-do list - for the next several years at unbelievable bargain rates.
So, please, spare us the wailing over Hossa. Spare us the fretting over Ruutu and Conklin.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Two league executives told Sun Media yesterday that Senators GM Bryan Murray could have a trade for a blueliner worked out in the next couple of days.
The whisper among NHL executives is Murray was busy working the phones yesterday with offers on the table for Sharks defenceman Kyle McLaren and Ducks blueliner Mathieu Schneider.
The NHL supplied extra security in the press box when the Ducks and Oilers met for the first time last season, at Honda Center. The league might need armed guards the next time Burke and Lowe are in close proximity.
-Dan Wood of the OC Register
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
“Why panic?” Gillis said. “I think we will be better when the season rolls around because we’re actively working on a number of things now.”...
Gillis said his offence hasn’t yet improved, and still needs work, notably a front-line centre.
“We’re going to be patient and try and make smart moves and not put ourselves in a position where we are boxed in with long-term contracts with players who might not fit,” he said.
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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