Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
When a player comes back from an injury, Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau explains, it’s almost like adding a free agent. He is referring specifically to center Michael Nylander, who struggled through last season with a shoulder problem.
But Boudreau could be the coach or general manager in any NHL city. Almost every team has someone looking to rebound from an off year or debilitating injury.
Five players to watch—plus selected others—with the season only two months away:
1. Simon Gagne, LW, Philadelphia Flyers
Gagne played 25 games last season because of the effects of multiple concussions. He has been cleared to play and should be 100 percent when the season begins.
Finally, the last thing I wanted to give you my thoughts on was our free agent signing this year – Michael Ryder.
I know in some circles we’ve been criticized for paying the money we paid to Michael.
We saw him on numerous occasions (he being in the same division as us), and I’ve seen him on a number of occasions prior to that with Ottawa. He’s a player that we made an organizational decision on to bring into our mix, and I don’t feel the need to justify or to address the criticisms that we’ve been given on signing him. At the end of the day, as a management team, we’re judged on these decisions and we’ll be judged on this one. We were and are excited to get Michael, as he’s a young player who can score goals and competes hard. We feel he’s really going to fit into our mix, and we’re going to have some success with him.
-Peter Chiarelli in his blog at the Bruins site.
from Erik Erlendsson at Bolts Report,
And finally, all that talk of Tampa Bay possible being interested in trading for Bryan McCabe, it’s not happening. While the Lightning continue to seek out a trade or two to find a veteran defenseman in some capacity who can not only act as a mentor, but also provide some quality minutes in a stay-at-home type of role. McCabe doesn’t fit that bill at all, and a well placed source informed me that McCabe is not on the team’s short list of targets.
more on the Ligtninng, mostly season tickets talk…
Columbus fans submitted question for GM Scott Howson at Puck-rakers,
Q: Are the Jackets done adding NHL-caliber players to the roster for the offseason? The team is still nearly $9 million under the cap and there are teams out there looking to shed payroll. Has your phone been ringing a lot? Are you more likely to save that money in case you need it at the trade deadline?
A: “We are likely done adding NHL caliber roster players until we get through training camp and get a better feel where some of our young players are with respect to being ready to contribute at the NHL level. If possible, I believe that a NHL team should not operate close to the cap. You need flexibility to deal with injuries and opportunities that may arise. It is very quiet right now as it usually is in August but we are ready for any opportunities that may come our way.”
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
Seinfeld had the Summer of George. I’m predicting 2008-09 will be the Winter of Some Original Six Team. Theoretically, I’m not supposed to cheer, but deep down I’ll have a soft spot this season for these three golden oldie franchises:
Montreal: The Habs are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, they’re holding the All-Star Game and the entry draft at Bell Centre and the club is a bona fide contender in the East. It’d be sweet to see the NHL’s most storied franchise reach the peak again.
He’s (Brett Hull) done a wonderful job and I knew that he wanted to be involved in putting a team together, but he had just been retired two years and all of a sudden he’s general manager in Dallas and doing a masterful job of putting his team into the third round. I think if they had maybe a little more astute coaching, they might have beat Detroit. I said before the playoffs started that it would be Pittsburgh and Dallas in the finals and I wasn’t far astray.
more from Bobby Hull in a Q & A at the the Daily Gleaner…
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Risebrough said he planned to call Gaborik this weekend to set up the meeting.
“I haven’t arranged it yet, but obviously I want to sit down with Marian while I’m over there,” Risebrough said Friday from his offseason home in Banff, Alberta. “I just want to make sure we’re on the same page.”
Gaborik will make $7.5 million in the final year of his contract this season. His average salary cap hit is $6.33 million.
The Wild plans to make an offer averaging in the $8.5 million cap-hit range. As of today, if Gaborik signed any contract averaging more than $7.8 million and less than $8.7 million, he would have the fourth-largest average contract in the NHL after superstars Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and right above Brad Richards and Vincent Lecavalier.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
The Toronto Maple Leafs are one step closer to getting rid of Bryan McCabe.
According to general manager Cliff Fletcher, the high-paid defenceman has “softened his stance” in regards to waiving his no-trade clause. With six weeks remaining until training camp opens, the Leafs are now waiting for McCabe to provide a list of teams he would be willing to play for next season.
“That’s controlled by Bryan,” Fletcher said. “I’m not going to start talking to teams until he tells me what teams he is willing to go to.”
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
Former Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella, who was viewed by many as the most high-profile and possibly most high-priced candidate for the Islanders’ head-coaching vacancy, apparently is out of the mix. Money isn’t a major issue for Isles owner Charles Wang, but there always was a question whether Tortorella and a team committed to long-term development plan were the right fit for each other.
Islanders general manager Garth Snow is expected to sharply narrow his long list of candidates over the weekend and reach a decision on a successor to Ted Nolan early next week, an NHL source said. When contacted by Newsday, Tortorella politely declined to comment on his role in the Isles’ search process.
From Dan Wood at Ducks Blog,
Just because we haven’t heard anything about it lately doesn’t mean that something couldn’t still come from the Ducks’ formal tampering charge against the Edmonton Oilers.
The NHL gave Edmonton until Friday to respond to the charge filed last month by Ducks general manager Brian Burke after comments made by then-Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe during a July 4 interview with Edmonton’s Team 1260 radio.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, who is on vacation this week, is expected to have something to say on the matter after receiving and processing the Oilers’ response.
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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