Kukla's Korner Hockey
Marian Gaborik’s agent, Ron Salcer (via the Pioneer Press):
“I can tell you that no decision (about free agency) has been made, and that he’s not even thinking about it. He’s focused on coming in and having a great season. If you start talking about next year, I think you’re getting ahead of yourself.
“We’re not going to deny anything the Wild wants to explore. We’re certainly willing to listen, but at this point it’s a hypothetical because I haven’t heard from them.”
“I can only say the Wild went to speak to him and were very respectful and shared information with him, about himself and the organization, and their vision. I think it was a very intelligent move on their behalf to involve him, but we don’t have any set plans (to talk).”
To their credit, the Los Angeles Kings have been willing to try unique marketing efforts in recent years, the hiring of Heidi Androl—originally of The Apprentice—probably being the most well-known.
Continuing that Heidi in Hollywood theme the Kings have enjoyed, the video below depicts Heidi in a new job as an apprentice assistant equipment manager for the team, which eventually gets her fired by Luc Robitaille.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
It wasn’t Erik Cole’s unique combination of speed, size and skill that reminded Deborah Halaby of the son she lost so long ago, although that certainly helped make her a fan of the former Carolina Hurricanes forward.
There was more to it than that, something harder to define about the unspoken braggadocio embodied in Cole’s bull-rushes past flat-footed defensemen and his occasional petulance with the officials that stirred her emotions—and her memories.
“The arrogance—his whole stance,” Halaby says. “Something just clicked. Every time I saw him, it was just Michael. When Erik got hurt and they’d show him on the Jumbotron, my seatmates would look over at me and I’d be crying.”
from Empty Netters,
How much will the Penguins miss Ryan Whitney as he recuperates from his foot injury? You be the judge. Take a look at the top point totals by defenseman the past two seasons:
9. Lubomir Visnovsky, Kings GP 151 G 26 A 73 PTS 99
9. Ryan Whitney GP 157 G 26 A 73 PTS 99
11. Kimmo Timonen, Predators/Flyers GP 160 G 21 A 78 PTS 99
Mats Sundin’s agent is denying a report in the New York Post that says his client wants to join the Rangers.
When contacted by TSN, Barry denied there have been any increased discussions with the Rangers. He told TSN that he has spoken to both the Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers but also has had long discussions with Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher and Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis. Barry said there are six teams interested in Sundin’s services for next season.
Barry also said his client has not made a decision on playing this coming season.
Bad head gear worn by Leafs throughout their history.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins were hopeful that Carl Soderberg, whom they obtained in last summer’s swap with St. Louis for Hannu Toivonen, also would be part of the forward mix. But the 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound center notified Chiarelli some 10 days ago that he has opted to remain in Sweden for one more season. A few months earlier, Soderberg said he would be here in September, and was willing to assume the risk that he could be assigned to Providence.
“It’s disappointing, but we had a good talk,” said Chiarelli. “At least he was persuasive in what he said - he doesn’t want to come to North America and be a marginal player. ‘When I get there, I want to contribute,’ is what he told me.
“And, hey, the fact is, he is only 22 - the age of maybe a college senior - and it wasn’t until the playoffs over there last year that he really had his game going. He wants that one more year over there.”
more hockey notes…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
As usual, there are more questions than answers before training camp, even more so this fall because head coach Craig MacTavish has a healthy lineup and only so many roster spots.
Here are 11 scenarios to ponder:
Q: Will left winger Dustin Penner be shuttled off the No. 1 line with the arrival of Erik Cole from the Carolina Hurricanes for defenceman Joni Pitkanen?
A: Possibly. Penner led the Oilers with 23 goals last year, but only 10 came even-strength, which has to improve. Cole, who turns 30 in November, has more of a pedigree as a scorer and is faster, plus he can be a nasty piece of business when he wants to go to the net. Penner was much better as the season wore on at a lighter weight than the 245 pounds he brought into camp last year. But he still might wind up on the third line.
Also from Matheson,
Sources say former Edmonton Oilers tough guy Marty McSorley is in the running to replace Ray Ferraro on the team’s SportsNet broadcasts.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Free-agent center Mats Sundin has declared his interest in playing for the Rangers this season, well-connected sources have told The Post.
J.P. Barry, who represents the elite, 37-year-old former Toronto pivot, has been in constant communication with Rangers front-office personnel this week, The Post has learned, though the conversations have not reached the stage of a contract negotiation.
There have been no numbers exchanged between Sundin and the Rangers, who have approximately $2 million of cap space to spend on the 2008-09 roster.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Marian Gaborik doesn’t need to play in another city to be among the top scorers in the NHL.
That was the message Wild management delivered to Gaborik during a four-hour dinner meeting last week in Trencin, Slovakia—the first step in a journey the Wild hopes ends in a long-term extension to Gaborik’s contract before next season….
“We showed him a lot more info than any player has ever seen before—how we scout, how we measure players statistically,” Lynn said. “We also listened to his opinions.
“We just talked about the team, how we operate and where we are going, and then his performance and place in the future. So I would say it was a good meeting in that (a) it happened, and (b) Marian had good input, observations and understanding.”
I do hope you are not falling for all of the Gaborik trade talk these days. Just a little bit of advice, it is all made up, trying to attract people to visit a website, you know, for the ‘hits’.
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