Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
In his first public comments since he assumed majority control of the Blue Jackets, John P. McConnell sat down with The Dispatch last week for a wide-ranging interview.
Q: How stable is this franchise?
A: We are the most stable we’ve been. Everybody now is pushing in the same direction. But we still have a lot of work to do. The first thing is to put a competitive team on the ice, a team that wins and a team that people want to come watch. I think we’re there now, if not very close to there. We’ve got to get the building full again. That’s priority No. 1, and then we’ll whittle off the issues as we go.
Q: How important is it for this franchise to keep Rick Nash under contract?
A: Obviously Rick is the center of our franchise. He’s extremely talented. He’s developing his leadership skills. We would like this to be his team and his home for his NHL career. It doesn’t always work out that way, but hopefully that will be the case.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“Right now, asking me if he’s going to be in training camp, the only answer I can give is I’m not sure. But we’ve still got a lot of time and we’re fully focused on trying to get a deal done,” said Meszaros’ agent, Gerry Johansson.
“Our No. 1 priority is to get a deal done with the Senators. That’s where Andrej wants to be. I’d say at this point, we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to get a deal done, but I can’t tell you that we’re close. We’ve still got work to do to make this happen.”
Summer-long talks between Meszaros’ camp and Senators GM Bryan Murray to get a deal done have been fruitless despite hours of discussions.
It’s believed the Senators have offered a contract in the range of $3.5 million (all terms US) a season on a long-term deal, but Meszaros is likely looking at something closer to the $4.5 million per year that Shea Weber received on a three-year deal with the Predators this summer.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
If it decides to terminate the deal, the NHLPA must notify the league of that intention by May 18, 2009. According to Kelly, he plans to wrap up his 30-team tour by late November and then promptly hand over the voting results to the board for review in December. On or about Jan. 1, some 4 1/2 months prior to the deadline, the NHLPA plans to inform the league whether it will opt out.
“We’ll notify the league as soon as possible,” said Kelly. “We don’t want to drag this out.”
Unlike the contentious days leading up to the 2004 lockout, and the many months of vitriol and rancor that followed, union members have voiced little opposition to the salary cap system in place now for three seasons.
read on and some NHL bits too…
from the Rome News-Tribune,
The voice of the Atlanta Thrashers, Dan Kamal, spent a few minutes Friday at the Palladium for the Rome Exchange Club’s weekly luncheon and held a question-and-answer session with club members about the NHL team….
“It’s winning that sells, and I think that’s why we’ll bounce back and be a more successful team this year,” Kamal said.
Kamal said that with a new coach, John Anderson, a minor league coach with four championships under his belt, and a young team that was promoted from the minor leagues, the team will have a chance to make it to the playoffs or further this year.
“This team is going to be under the radar this year,” Kamal said. “And I believe we have the goaltending to be champions this year.”
from Ted Leonsis at Ted’s Take,
I am tempted to out a few message board posters who sent me email after email ranting, cursing and telling me how tough and talented Vishnevski is and how much we needed him on our team; how smart NJ was to get him; and how badly we needed him in our lineup. I have two emails that suggested we trade Mike Green for him straight up. My favorite quote, “Mike Green is soft. He is pretty. He will never make a big impact in the NHL while Vishnevski is tough; plays with snarl in his game; and is a stand-up, bone-jarring D man the likes we haven’t seen in DC since Scott.”
continued… and I would wait Ted. A few Wings fans may be able to work out a deal with you. I have a feeling one or two Wings dmen wil be available soon.
from Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the New York Times,
Oh, and have you heard the latest heap being shoveled by the gossip-mongering character Eklund? He’s got info that the Rangers will trade Scott Gomez to the Canucks to clear cap space so they can sign Sundin. “This source is a source I very much trust,” he writes. “Of course, Mats still has to come to play.”...
Staggering what some people will post in their blogs.
Hey, it’s summer. It’ll make you watch water polo on TV, and make you believe Eklund. You can probably do better things with your time.
more from Stu and some real topics too…
Stu must have caught the blog sometime today, because in the same blog last night Dwayne had Robert Lang signing with the Canadiens if Sundin decided to go elsewhere. Of course, after being blasted about Lang signing with the Canadiens (he is under contract with the Blackhawks), he deleted that portion and changed it around.
But of course, this is the norm for Dwayne, it happens on numerous occasions and to think of it- Dwayne tried to get me to join a professional bloggers association with him.!
Check out Greatest Hockey Legends for some of the great hockey pictures.
Joe Pelletier is doing a countdown and is now on #12 and I have yet to see the below picture. I wonder if it will make Joe’s list?
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…
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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