Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,
Nineteen-year-old Mikael Backlund will skate with the draftees and free agents this week. But the hope is the young Swede will knock everyone’s socks off and jump from prospect to producer with the big club.
The greening of Backlund could well decide whether Calgary moves forward or falls back this coming season….
Many scouts feel he’s very close to ready.
And now you can see why GM Darryl Sutter went so far from his comfort level in selecting a European player in the first round of the 2007 draft.
Put simply, this organization desperately needs a skilled player on an entry-level contract to emerge now—not in 12 months or two years.
The core of veterans assembled in Calgary has maybe another season or so left at its peak.
At about $57.6 million in guaranteed money, the Flames have reached the salary cap.
from a poster at HF Boards,
In todays issue of aftonbladet there’s an interview with Sundin, I’ll try translating it here. Sorry for the somewhat rough translation but I’m in a rush for work!
There has been speculation about that you could be waiting until Autumn?
- No, I won’t be doing that. If I decide to continue with hockey I’ll make a decision in august, or maybe even in the end of this month. If I’m going to play it’s gonna be the entire season, I want to be there from the beginning, when the training camp starts.
Vancouver offered alot of money?
- Yes, it’s flattering and a fantastic offer. It’s nice that a club thinks I have that level of competence.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
“Right away I told my agent it was a great fit,” said the 33-year-old veteran yesterday.
Actually, it is a solid match. The Flames were in need of a tough guy with Eric Godard moving on to the Pittsburgh Penguins, especially in a division loaded with heavyweights—Derek Boogaard in Minnesota, Scott Parker in Colorado, Darcy Hordichuk in Vancouver and Zach Stortini in Edmonton.
“Every team has somebody who falls into that job—except the Red Wings,” said Roy, from his off-season home in Montreal. “Calgary—it’s a tough, physical team, and that’s a perfect fit for me.”
from Drew Remenda of the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
One aspect of coaching that will keep you up at night and dominate many meetings with your Assistants is line combinations. I’m sure Todd McLellan has already gone through a notebook scribbling down line combinations and defence pairings as well as Penalty Kill and Powerplay Units. So being a (very) ex-coach I thought I’d try my hand. Of course line combos are open to discussion and criticism.Unlike the real Sharks Coach I will try to explain why I am putting these guys together.
MARLEAU THORNTON CHEECHOO -I know RW tried this last year but he didn’t stick with them long enough- It gives the Sharks a Zetterberg\Datsyuk line if Todd can sell Joe and Patty on a new and necessary style of play.
via Inside the Kings,
There was a report that the Kings might sign defenseman Danny Markov out of Russia. A Kings source said the team talked to Markov but that Markov declined to take a physical in advance and Markov declined. So it seems that unless Markov has a change of heart, he won’t be coming to the Kings.
A Swedish newspaper nearly started an international incident on Sunday as they reported that Mats Sundin has agreed to play for the Vancouver Canucks, a claim that Sundin’s Swedish representative denies.
Sundin’s Swedish based representative Claes Elefalk claims the story in the Daily News is completely false, claiming that reporter Dusan Umicevic contacted him seeking a quote. Despite Elefalk telling the reporter that his information was incorrect, Umicevic published the story anyway.
from the Star-Ledger,
Krawczyk’s sculpture is a 3-story, brushed stainless steel hockey player that will stand at the corner of Edison Place and Mulberry Street in Newark, on the northeast side of the Prudential Center arena….
The hockey player will be outside the entrance closest to Penn Station, and will glow with all the electricity of any big event night at the arena. It will be visible by train, by air, and by thousands of office workers in the glass-and-steel buildings of Newark’s Gateway area.
more with picture…
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
How soon they forget—and for the Blackhawks, that adage is a very good thing.
The club’s first fan convention, which concludes today at the Hilton Chicago Hotel, has been a lovefest.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
Former Toronto coach Paul Maurice has the pole position in the interview process to determine the successor to Ted Nolan as coach of the Islanders. According to an NHL source, Maurice is expected to meet with general manager Garth Snow tomorrow.
The list of confirmed Islanders coaching candidates now numbers seven. Besides Maurice, the list includes former Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella and his assistant, Mike Sullivan, both of whom have received permission from the Lightning to interview. Snow still is waiting for approval to interview former Atlanta coach Bob Hartley and current Providence Bruins coach Scott Gordon in Boston’s organization.
from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,
The key to success in the salary-capped NHL is to build through the draft and spend your money wisely, two things Gainey has done extremely well. He has spread his money out evenly, with three players in the $5-million tax bracket (Markov, Roman Hamrlik and Alex Tanguay), two in the $4-million range (Saku Koivu and Kovalev) and one earning $3 million (Andrei Kostitsyn).
By comparison, the New York Rangers have five players earning more than Markov: Wade Redden and Scott Gomez ($8 million each), goaltender Henrik Lundqvist ($7.75 million), Chris Drury ($7.1 million) and Michal Rozsival ($7 million). Those five players will eat up 67 per cent of the Rangers’ cap space.
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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