Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
According to a source, the Blackhawks will announce later Monday the signings of restricted free agents Ben Eager, Troy Brouwer and Colin Fraser to contracts.
The forwards are believed to be among the number of players who didn’t receive their qualifying offers by the June 29 deadline.
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Still, there have been some significant moves thus far and there are probably more to come. Who knows where Alexei Kovalev will land?
Here are my five most significant moves:
1. Marian Gaborik signs with New York Rangers: Gaborik is one of the most gifted and exciting individuals in the National Hockey League and he proved that this past season when he tallied 13 goals and 23 points in 17 games with the Minnesota Wild.
2. Nikolai Khabibulin signs with the Edmonton Oilers: ...For his part, Khabibulin enjoyed a solid season, too, helping the Chicago Blackhawks make it to the Western Conference final. The Oilers are much further away from being a team that could make it to the conference final, but the playoffs should be attainable.
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
Extreme makeover? Or did the Montreal Canadiens really improve themselves by adding three new forwards and two defensemen at the cost of letting their first-, third-, fifth- and seventh-leading scorers walk?
This is a touchy situation, especially after the Canadiens were expecting to celebrate the team’s 100th anniversary with a run for their first Stanley Cup since 1993 ... and instead stumbled down the stretch, replaced coach Guy Carbonneau and then bowed out in the first round of the playoffs to the hated Boston Bruins.
One so-called hockey expert commenting on the Montreal Canadiens’ latest flurry of moves —bringing in Scott Gomez, Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta up front and Jaroslav Spacek and Hal Gill on defense at the expense of free agents Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, Robert Lang, Chris Higgins and Mike Komisarek—spoke thusly: “I’m not sure but that they have gone sideways.”
via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed forward Ville Leino to a two-year contract, a source said on Monday.
The deal is worth $1.6 million, the source said.
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
Free agency has been a fun ride so far, but sometimes you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone. Sometimes it’s the player who doesn’t re-sign who has one of the biggest impacts on the team he leaves, which may explain why Carolina GM Jim Rutherford rarely lets any of his charges out of the family….
Nikolai Khabibulin, G – Once a Blackhawk, now an Oiler. On paper, Chicago is a Stanley Cup contender this year, except in one glaring category: goaltending. Cristobal Huet is officially the go-to guy finally, but that’s not necessarily the best news for Hawks fans….
Kyle Quincey, D – Briefly a King, now heads to the Avalanche. Quincey was actually dealt by Los Angeles to Colorado as part of the Ryan Smyth trade, along with Tom Preissing. To me, this deal was incredibly strange if you’re a Kings fan….
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey announced today that goaltending coach Pierre Groulx and assistant coach Perry Pearn have been added to the team’s coaching staff to work alongside head coach Jacques Martin. These nominations complete the Canadiens’ coaching staff which also includes returning assistant coach Kirk Muller.
Pierre Groulx spent the past four seasons with the Florida Panthers organization under head coach and general manager Jacques Martin, as well as Peter DeBoer during the 2008-09 season. In his first two seasons with the Panthers, Groulx worked primarily as video coach before adding the duties of assistant/goaltending coach to his resume in 2007-08.
Perry Pearn is a career coach with a long and successful track record at the amateur, international and professional levels. Pearn has spent the better part of the past five seasons with the New York Rangers as an assistant coach. Prior to joining the Rangers, he had worked as an assistant to Jacques Martin with the Ottawa Senators from 1996 to 2004.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
When Sullivan suffered his back injury in February 2007, the one that kept him out for almost two years, insurance paid 80 percent of his $3.2 million annual salary. But if Sullivan were ever to injure the back again, insurance would no longer pick up any of the tab.
“It would be an exclusion, because once you have a pre-existing injury, that’s it,” Predators General Manager David Poile. “So if he was ever to go down with the back, insurance is out. If he injured a knee or something else, you could get the insurance. But not if it’s the back.’‘
from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,
In this time of economic uncertainty the NHL’s “cost certainty” has again lavished millions on players whose contracts ran out at the right time.
On day one of 2009 free agency the 30 team’s spent around $450,000,000….
Here’s my early run-down:
ANA – retained aging superstars Selanne and Scott Niedermayer
ATL – seem to be enamored with Leaf cast-offs
BOS – made Mark Recchi the new Chelios
BUF – again, trying to fall to the floor…and continue to bitch about ’99
Two hundred fans may have protested yesterday at the Bell Centre, demanding GM Bob Gainey get Alex Kovalev back with the Habs.
However, Gainey told CJAD’s Andrew Carter this morning, that won’t be happening.
Gainey says Kovalev will definitely NOT be coming back.
An offer had been made to Kovalev on Canada Day but an amount hadn’t been agreed on.
Gainey says another player became available and was willing to come to Montreal, therefore the money for Kovalev went instead to that contract.
from Mark Madden of the Beaver County Times,
* Rob Scuderi at $3.4 million per year makes little sense anywhere, zero sense in Los Angeles. Scuderi at his best just won’t make the Kings that much better. Scuderi can be a piece in a championship puzzle. But a No. 5/6 defenseman can’t elevate a scrub club.
* Jay McKee can do everything Rob Scuderi did.
* The Penguins’ main contractual issue now is extending Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang past next season. Gonchar is the power play’s linchpin, exquisite on the breakout, a solid minutes eater and the team’s conduit inside the mind of Malkin. Letang is necessary for the long-term quality of the club’s blue line corps. Letting either go is not an option.
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