Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
Remember, this is about winning. Kristian Huselius, the free-agent forward the Jackets signed after the Zherdev trade, is talented and appears to be a better fit for Hitchcock than Zherdev was. Raffi Torres, a winger who came to the Jackets in the Brule deal with the Oilers, definitely is.
With hard-checking free-agent defenseman Mike Commodore, those two big Rangers puck-movers (Tyutin and Christian Backman) and former Flyers winger R.J. Umberger, it’s obvious the Jackets now have the kind of players Hitchcock and Howson want, even if they’re not necessarily the best ones.
This is going to be a much different Blue Jackets team than previous ones. Given the record, it isn’t such a bad thing.
from Inside the Kings,
OK, here we go. For those who enjoy soap operas, strap in…
We started with Blake’s statement that the Kings never made him an offer, and with my clarification that Blake’s agent, Pat Brisson, had called Lombardi on Tuesday morning with a one-year, $4-million contract request.
So here’s the time line, according to Lombardi, with quotes from Lombardi added where appropriate.
Here’s what Pat Brisson, Rob Blake’s agent, had to say tonight about the way things went down between Blake and the Kings. It’s lengthy, but if you’ve been following the saga today, you might find it to be a good read. As I told Pat tonight, all I’m trying to get is get the information out there. People can make up their minds based upon what they believe and read. What an interesting subplot to the week though, huh?
from Empty Netters,
After watching Adam Hall, Georges Laraque, Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts and Jarkko Ruutu leave town the last few days, it’s more than fair to wonder if the Penguins have lost an edge in terms of how physical they’ll be next season….
Here’s another quick, hypothetical list of what we would call physical forwards who are unrestricted free agents:
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The future is uncertain for Jagr, who said that he would like to play five more years. He has an offer from Russia. He may have a multi-year offer coming to him from Edmonton.
“People think that it’s better to have a lot of choices, but sometimes having one choice is best because you can’t make the wrong one,” Jagr said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do now, but I’ll make that choice when it’s time.
“I want to thank Glen and Tom and the Rangers. I want to thank all the people who supported me. Being in New York was special.
“And I also want to say to the people like Mike Milbury who made their living by criticizing me all the time, that they can kiss my [butt].”
added 7:44am, Last year, also on the 4th of July, we had this from then coach John Tortorella,
Coach John Tortorella wished Eric Perrin well but also said not to let the door hit him on the way out.
“He can kiss my (butt),’’ Tortorella said.
I wonder who will continue the tradition next year?
via press release:
Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed right wing Brian McGrattan to a one-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
McGrattan, 26, was acquired from the Ottawa Senators on June 25, 2008 in exchange for a fifth round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
From Joe O’Connor at the National Post,
In parting, Avery’s most inflammatory barb was a muted blast at the Rangers’ archrivals in New York.
“If they were smart,” Avery said of the Islanders. “They probably would have tried to sign me.”
The Islanders did not even bid for Avery’s services, and the Rangers backed away from the big money the super-pest was going to bring on the open market, despite the fact the team was 33-14-10 with him in the lineup last season and 9-13-3 without.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
Although the departures of Avery and Jagr, in particular, will disappoint a bloc of fans, the Maven sees only positives coming out of the transformation.
No matter how you shake it, Jagr was a questionable captain with a capital Q. This was evident when he turned down the leadership role after the lockout, only to eventually change his mind.
While he did have a strong home-stretch this past season, and a solid playoff, his performance in the first few months was far below what had been expected of his talents.
more on the NYR…
Update 11:22pm ET (Alanah): John Dellapina at the Blueshirts Blog has an interview with Jaromir Jagr tonight, reflecting on his time with the NYR.
“We’ve been in communication,” Bazos said of Boyle’s camp and the Lightning. “Everybody understands everybody’s position. Dan is going to think about things tonight. We will have further discussions (Friday) to find what is the best option for Dan.”
Said Lightning owner Len Barrie: “We’re working closely with Dan on trying to make this work on both sides. Dan has been a great player for the organization, but sometimes we have to make tough decisions. The good news for Dan is he has an opportunity to get into some great situations.”
Lightning Strikes says tomorrow could be the day Boyle decides his future…
From Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
Just got off a conference call with Rob Blake, who says the Kings never made him an offer. (Left unsaid was that Blake’s agent apparently talked to the Kings on July 1 and asked for $4 million). Before Blake got on the call, San Jose general manager Doug Wilson said he called Blake’s agent on July 1 to inquire about Blake’s services. Here’s some quotes from Blake…
On not getting an offer: “No, i didn’t receive [an offer] from the Kings. As time went past on July 1… I made a decision a few weeks ago, a month ago, that i wanted to play again. That wasn’t going to be happen in L.A. and I had to start looking elsewhere.’‘
Note: Blake was signed for one-year at $5 million earlier today.
via press release:
Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have re-signed defenseman Matt Jones to a two-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Jones, 24, played 45 games with the Coyotes last season, registering 0-2-2 and 10 penalty minutes (PIM). The 6-foot, 215-pound defenseman also played in five games with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) last season.
Update 6:48pm ET: More at the Phoenix Coyotes site.
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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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