Kukla's Korner Hockey
via NHL Twitter,
Josh Harding re-signs with Wild
added 11:45, via Michael Russo’s Twitter,
Wild re-signs Josh Harding to one-year deal prior to arbitration hearing
from Bill Iezzi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers are in a “holding pattern” regarding unrestricted free agent Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
Although Tollefsen, a 6-foot-2, 211-pound defenseman with a history of injuries, passed a physical Saturday at the Flyers’ practice rink, Holmgren was noncommittal about signing the former Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman.
“He is one of the guys we have interest in,” said Holmgren, who would not identify other players eyed by the Flyers.
“A decision will not be made anytime soon. It is July. We don’t start training camp until the middle of September, and we have time.
“We’re doing due diligence.”
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
“I’d like to add another top-six forward, one that adds a little different chemistry, a little more speed. We want to play a more up-tempo game. And we really want guys that care.”
What free agents are out there? If willing to take one-year deals at lower rates for a chance to play with Lecavalier and juice careers that took steps back last season, Alex Tanguay and Petr Sykora would top the list.
Lawton said he also could trade for a forward, which would better control payroll because of the salary shipped out.
“The question is whether we can get anything done,” Lawton said. “It’s a tough equation. There haven’t been a lot of moves by teams. The faucet was shut off by about July 4, and that is because the league is oversold. But there are some good players out there.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
A high-profile agent told Sun Media yesterday that the current environment for free agents is “all being orchestrated” by the NHL and the plan all along was to make these players sit to see if they’re willing to sign for less money.
Four weeks into free agency, players like Alex Tanguay, Petr Sykora, Manny Fernandez, Marcus Nilson, Dennis Seidenberg, Dominic Moore, Rhett Warrener, Miroslav Satan, Mathieu Schneider, Robert Lang and Brendan Shanahan have yet to sign.
None of these guys are superstars, but they’re household names and in a few cases, it’s a surprise they haven’t been signed. It would appear teams simply aren’t willing to pay their asking price or don’t have the money.
“I think what you’ve got here is something that has been in the works for a while,” said the agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bunch of guys sitting around like this looking for work. This is something teams have been looking at for a while.
“What they’re trying to do is make these guys wait and sweat so they’ll take less money. A lot of these guys aren’t going to do that.”
A league executive, meanwhile, said that’s not the case
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Got a tip late Tuesday night that the Florida Panthers sale to the Sports Properties Acquisition Corp. is not only not dead, but could be voted on Wednesday.
The NHL’s Board of Governors is meeting in Chicago this week with the sale of the Panthers from the Alan Cohen ownership group to the SPAC apparently on the agenda….
We will see what happens on Wednesday. Bill Torrey is in Chicago representing the Panthers; others may be up there as well.
Andrew Murstein, who led the charge for the SPAC, has previously been reported as the new face of the ownership group….
f Murstein comes in to run the team, I would think Randy Sexton staying on as general manager is probably unlikely (yes, I wrote today I thought he was keeping the job).
Murstein is reportedly close to former New York Rangers/Islanders GM Neil Smith, who I have been told is one of a handful of finalists for the job as it stands today.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHLcom via VancouverCanucks.com,
“Obviously when you’re away for that length of time you get concerned,” Vancouver General Manager Mike Gillis told NHL.com. “But the Olympic break does break up the trip, so it’s really two segments of a trip as opposed to one long month away from home. We’re making the best of a situation that’s really beyond our control, and we’re trying to manage it and be as competitive as we can.”...
“The Olympics are an extremely important event, and we could possibly have up to eight players participating from our team,” Gillis said. “It’s a huge event for British Columbia and Canada and we’re going to do our part to make sure it’s as positive and as well-managed as it’s going to be. It’s really up to us to manage it appropriately and get our players ready for it and that’s what we intend to do.”
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has named Brent Flahr Assistant General Manager. Flahr will oversee all aspects of player development and evaluation and assist Fletcher in player personnel decisions, contract negotiations and league related issues.
“Brent is one of the top talent evaluators in the NHL and was an integral member of Anaheim’s scouting staff on their 2007 Stanley Cup team,” said Fletcher.
from John Grigg of The Hockey News,
One squad I see having a good chance to surprise again this year is the St. Louis Blues, who finished an eyebrow-raising sixth in the Western Conference last season, but are still considered by many to have been the beneficiary of a weak second-half schedule and plain old good luck.
But in February, March and April last season, St. Louis managed to earn 68 percent of its possible points – winning 20 of 34 outright and earning a loser point in six others. Nine of those wins came against eventual playoff teams, so it wasn’t just about weak opponents and blind luck; the Blues were playing some pretty damn good hockey. And I think that’ll continue; the Blues are for real – a Central Division dark horse, even….
Would I bet my house on St. Louis finishing the season as a top-three seed in the West? No. But would I drop $25 on it in Vegas? You betcha.
They have not even tendered an offer yet, and would-be owners of the Coyotes already are yapping about having some “home” games in Saskatoon.
Once that news got out, the salivating again began north of the border.
This is, plain and simple, an idiotic idea. What a great way to alienate even more fans, especially season ticket holders. The bottom line is to bring more fans into the fold, not drive them away. For a franchise that prides itself on being fan-friendly, this scheme ranks with the worst of them.
The Board of Governors should squash this one in rapid fashion.
-Jim Gintonio of IceChips at the Arizona Republic.
RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the Hurricanes have bought out the remaining year of defenseman Frantisek Kaberle’s contract. Kaberle was slated to make $2.2 million in 2009-10, but will now collect two-thirds ($1,467,400) of that amount over the next two seasons.
“This move is part of our effort to restructure the Hurricanes’ defense to become bigger and more physical,” said Rutherford. “We thank Frank for his contributions to the Hurricanes, especially the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2006.”
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 email@example.com