Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
History shows that more free agent signings lead to buyer’s remorse than invites to speak at bargain hunter conferences. Odds are that there’ll be a few spectacular busts among this year’s crop. But whose deal will look the worst by the end of the season?...
2. Markus Naslund (two years, $8 million) and 1. Wade Redden (six years, $39 million)
No, you haven’t stepped into the Wayback Machine. Rangers GM Glen Sather is at it again, signing name players who appear to be well past their best-by dates to contracts that are as generous as a no-bid Iraq contract.
Neither veteran is completely washed up, but at this point they downward slope looks pretty slippery. And it’s worth noting that neither player generated much in the way of mourning upon leaving his previous employer.
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
Tyson Nash, who has not played in the NHL since his two-season stint ended with the Coyotes in 2006, will get a tryout next month with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I’m gonna give it one more last kick at the can,” he said…..
“You know, they’re an older club that wants to win now, and they’re building for today,” he said. “From what I can see out there, they have spots, they want a real competitive training camp, and they’re giving me an opportunity. I’m very appreciative of it.”
from Mike Toth of Sportsnet,
With all the garbage I’ve been eating this summer, I shouldn’t be trusting my gut. But something tells me the Pittsburgh Penguins are headed for a huge fall. The darlings of the NHL last year when they gave Detroit all it could handle in the Cup final, the Pens go into the new season missing some key pieces to the puzzle. Marian Hossa and Ryan Malone are gone and key defenceman Ryan Whitney will miss the first three to five months with a knee problem. To make up for their missing offence, the Penguins are counting on getting some big minutes and big goals out of the mercurial Miroslav Satan, who lit the lamp just 15 times for the Islanders last season.
more NHL bits…
“What they’ve done is just tremendous,” he said. “It has been a long time coming, where you felt that buzz. I can’t say I wish I was part of it right now because I’m a Red Wing, but it’s great to see the fans getting excited again about Blackhawk hockey.”
“I found a new home in Detroit, but Chicago is always going to be home,” he said. “I intend on coming back and spending the rest of my days here, whether as a player or somehow being involved with the Blackhawks.”
-Chris Chelios. Read more from Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune as Chris took the Cup around Chicago today.
from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
I had Jack Johnson on the phone for a few minutes and got to ask a few questions about the upcoming season….
Question: Lombardi has talked a lot about younger players taking ownership of the team. Is that a challenge you’re ready to accept?
JOHNSON: I could definitely see myself in a role like that. I’m looking forward to the challenge of trying to lead the defensive core. Age is just a number, really. The challenge here, trying to help lead a NHL team, is something I look forward too. With all of our captains gone, it’s time to turn it over to the young guys, with the full youth movement. We have so many great young guys. We have Brown and Kopi and O’Sullivan, and guys coming up who have had some time, like Boyle and Purcell. The young guys are going to be a big part of the team now.
more from Johnson
from Brian Biggane at Inside The Panthers,
Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin looked long and hard before settling on Benoit Groulx as head coach of the Panthers’ AHL affiliate in Rochester. And with good reason.
Nothing against returnees such as Drew Larman, Stefan Meyer and Anthony Stewart, but this year’s crop of first-year pros holds the promise of the future of the organization. And it will be Groulx’s job to ready them for the NHL, sooner rather than later.
Groulx passed up one of the most prestigious jobs in Canadian hockey - coach of the World Juniors entry in this year’s tournament, which will be staged in Ottawa - to take this job.
From Damian Cristodero at Lightning Strikes,
It has been seven years since Lightning superstar Vinny Lecavalier almost was traded to the Maple Leafs, and when I say almost, I mean it. Former Lightning president Ron Campbell, who on Friday was named a senior adviser to the new ownership group spoke at length for the first time about what almost went down in December 2001.
Campbell has been credited with stopping the deal that would have brought Nik Antropov, Tomas Hoglund, Tomas Kaberle and either then-prospect Brad Boyes or a first-round draft choice.
“I didn’t stop the trade, per se,” Campbell said. “I stopped the conference call.”
The New Jersey Devils have placed defenceman Vitaly Vishnevski on waivers.The 28-year old blueliner had two goals and five assists in 69 games last season.
The Devils signed Vishnevski to a three-year contract prior to last season.
Update 7:52pm ET: A note from Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice—
The Devils have placed defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski on waivers with the likely intention of buying out the remaining two years on his contract to clear salary cap room. Vishnevski signed a three-year deal last summer for $5.4 million. His cap hit is $1.8 million per season, but he is owed $2 million in actual salary for each of the next two seasons.
Yesterday, the NY Rangers announced their plans for the retirement of three jerseys. Steve Zipay of Newsday.com has more:
The Rangers will raise not one—-but three—-jerseys to the Madison Square Garden ceiling next February: the No. 9s worn by Adam Graves and Andy Bathgate and the No. 3 sweater worn by defenseman Harry Howell.
In two ceremonies that will bring the number of jerseys in the rafters to eight, Graves’ sweater will be retired in a ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 3 prior to the game against the Atlanta Thrashers and Bathgate and Howell will be saluted on Sunday, Feb. 22, before the Rangers host the Maple Leafs.
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
Have heard Richard Zednik’s name tossed about as being possibly traded to Toronto along with MVR (Mike Van Ryn). Have not been able to confirm this in anyway shape or form, but this wouldn’t surprise me. As much as the Panthers like Zednik, there is a thought there that once he comes back his past injury is going to be a distraction. And it will be.
Whatever city the Panthers go to, the local media is going to want to talk to Zednik and do a big story on him. It’s natural. And that means players like Stephen Weiss, Bryan Allen—anyone who was here last year—is going to be asked to comment on said story on just about every road trip.
more on the Panthers…
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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