Kukla's Korner Hockey
From James Duthie at The Good, The Bad and The Duthie,
Here’s what happened: Chris Chelios was atop the bar, Coyote Ugly style, Cup in hand, with the packed crowd cheering madly. At some point there was an attempted handoff to Brett Lebda. Whether it was the chaos of the crowd, or the…umm…content of the blood, balance was lost. Down went Lebda. Down went Stanley.
And no, the dent wasn’t “slight”.
In fact, it needed emergency service. Mike Bolt, the Keeper of the Cup, was taken to Joe Louis Arena, where Stan, like a forward who took a puck in the eye, was placed gently on the trainer’s table in the Red Wings dressing room, and operated on.
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com,
You may think differently, but the talent level of the Wings, after Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Lidstrom, can be matched by many of the teams in the NHL. You could change the names of players like Franzen, Filppula, Cleary, Samuelsson, Kronwall and others with players from other teams, and you would get the same talent level.
So what made the Wings tick this season? One answer—Mike Babcock. We may never know what kind of motivational tactics he used, we will only know that they worked and it appears they will have a long-lasting effect on the team.
From Mike Knobler at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Veteran defenseman Alexei Zhitnik remains in the Thrashers’ plans after a season in which he played only 65 games though he was paid $3.5 million.
Thrashers general manager Don Waddell rejected speculation the team might buy out the final year of Zhitnik’s contract.
“That’s never been talked about,” Waddell said. “We think he’ll be a big part of our future. We expect him to come back and be part of our team.”
For more of the latest rumors and signings, be sure to visit Spector.
From John Dellapina at The Blueshirts Blog,
Jagr told me again today that he hasn’t heard anything from Rangers GM Glen Sather since they spoke on the day the team broke up for the season. While such a cat-and-mouse act is long-standing standard operating procedure for Sather, it makes little sense in this case.
Not only can Jagr sign with Omsk-Avangard at any time, there seems to be little to be gained by making him sit and wonder whether the Rangers want him back. His personal experience (see: Washington 2000-2004) is that things don’t go well when he’s playing for a team that doesn’t fully believe in him. And every day that goes by without the Rangers reaching out to him has to make him wonder even more.
from Ethan J. Skolnick of the Sun-Sentinel,
Nearly every weakness can be sold as strength. Before Peter DeBoer could make his first line change from an NHL bench, the successful junior coach had to persuade a potential employer to overlook his relative inexperience.
Never played at this level. Never coached at this level.
“I tried to spin it that I’m undefeated,” DeBoer said Monday of his winning interview with Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin. “I guess he bought it.”
Soon we’ll learn whether DeBoer’s players buy in, too.
from Aaron Portzline of the Dispatch,
After months of planning and strategy, the Blue Jackets’ summer of significant change is nearing the launch pad.
A trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the negotiating rights to winger Ryan Malone could be struck today or, more likely, Wednesday, NHL sources told The Dispatch
more on the Blue Jackets…
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Holland’s top priority is signing No. 4 defenseman Brad Stuart. He earned $3.5 million this past season and could get more money on the open market. But to remain in Detroit, he undoubtedly would have to take less. Andreas Lilja is another defenseman who must decide whether it is best to take less to stay or get a better deal elsewhere….
Holland has made qualifying offers to five restricted free agents: forwards Valtteri Filppula and Ryan Oulahen, defensemen Kyle Quincey and Jonathan Ericsson, and goaltender Jimmy Howard. Filppula, who turned down an offer of a long-term deal earlier this season, could be a prime candidate to receive an offer sheet from another club after July 1, which the Red Wings more than likely would match.
more on the Wings…
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,
A year ago, Paul Holmgren cleared enough space under the NHL salary cap to sign Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell to contracts worth a combined $115 million.
Because of those contracts and the ones he’ll need to give restricted free agents Jeff Carter, R.J. Umberger, Randy Jones and Riley Cote, Holmgren will find himself trying to shed salary while trying to add draft picks and a puck-moving defenseman at this weekend’s NHL draft.
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen via the National Post,
With big names such as Patrick Marleau, Olli Jokinen and Marian Hossa, a pending free agent, available on the trade market and a better-than-average draft class arriving, there could be plenty of activity.
Senators general manager Bryan Murray is believed to have interest in Marleau and Jokinen.
Trade talk among NHL teams has heated up considerably as the draft approaches.
from the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
Blake Wheeler, the highly-sought winger from the University of Minnesota, has advised his agent to finalize terms of a contract with the Bruins, a two-year deal that won’t be made official until July 1, in keeping with NHL bylaws that govern the movement and signing of unrestricted free agents.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com