Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Boston Bruins have wasted no time restocking their blue line as they have signed defenceman Derek Morris to a one-year deal worth $3.3 million.
added 11:18am, from Joe Haggerty of Big Bad Blog at WEEI,
The $3.3 million price tag is a pretty high price for Morris and leaves the Bruins with roughly $1.3 million under the salary cap with Phil Kessel still sitting unsigned as a restricted free agent. The feeling at this address is that the Bruins tried to deal Kessel through much of June, but couldn’t a deal to their liking and aren’t going to deal the 36-goal sniper this summer.
Either he signs a one-year deal with the Bruins for less than $4 million — and the Bruins are forced to trade another valuable dressing room/grit commodity like Chuck Kobasew — or Kessel sits and watches the Black and Gold hockey world move forward without him.
from Carrie Watters of the Arizona Republic,
Friday’s bid deadline for the Phoenix Coyotes included one bid and a near-bid.
A group of Canadian and American investors who came forward earlier this month with interest in the bankrupt franchise filed a letter of intent to bid up to $150 million.
As expected, sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf waded in with a bid worth up to $148 million.
National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said he was pleased to see that offers to purchase the team were filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
“We look forward to continuing the review and approval process,” he said.
added 7/25/09 at 8:36am, from Paul Waldie of the Globe and Mail,
When Research In Motion co-chief executive Jim Balsillie offered to buy the Phoenix Coyotes and move the NHL team to Hamilton, Anthony LeBlanc was so excited he sent his old boss a letter of congratulations.
But soon Mr. LeBlanc, a former RIM executive, started looking more closely at the Coyotes together with a couple of hockey-loving friends from the investment world. Yesterday, Mr. LeBlanc and his group submitted a letter of intent, offering to buy the Coyotes for $150-million (U.S.) and keep the team in Phoenix.
“Southern Ontario can support another [NHL] team – there’s absolutely no question, and I think Jim would be a tremendous owner,” Mr. LeBlanc said from his home in Ottawa. “It’s just we don’t think that Phoenix is the right team because we think there’s a real savvy business case that can be had in Phoenix.”
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
It isn’t often that I get a phone call from Martin Biron.
Actually, over a half-century of covering hockey I’ve never received a buzz on the buzzer from any NHL goalie; at least not out of the blue like this one….
Biron-Roloson will open the campaign, and if I were to turn Marty’s feelings into a hit song, it would be “That’s Quite Alright With Me.”
Or, to put it directly into his final words before our conversation concluded: “I like the way the (young) Islanders are shaping up. When I was with the Flyers, the Islanders always gave us trouble; always hustled; always worked. Last year, with all their injuries and whatnot, they’d lose games by a goal. With our goaltending now, and a healthy team, we could be winning those games by a goal. This is going to be a fun season for me.”
“We could stop now and I could feel pretty comfortable going into camp and the start of the year. But now is the time where some funny things happen. Certain players kind of become available because the first month of free agency has almost gone by. Sometimes there are some veterans that may make some sense to give you some depth or that have won somewhere else.
“It gets to the point where it’s musical chairs. If a player doesn’t jump in and grab one of those chairs by the time the season starts, there may not be a chair left. Some of these players are going to have to take a lower salary than they thought, so there may be a player who pops up that we like and can fit in.”
-Canes GM Jimmy Rutherford. More on Carolina from Paul Branecky of CarolinaHurricanes.com.
from Vito Pilieci at Canada.com,
An Ontario company has developed a new way to sharpen skates that will give the wearer as much as a five-per-cent boost in speed without sacrificing any control.
Called the “Flat Bottom V,” the technology allows for a skate to be sharpened with a squared-off hollow centre. The shape provides the optimal performance on the ice for skaters, according Kingsville’s Blackstone Sports, the creators of the technology….
Traditionally, a sharpener passes a diamond over the skate’s blade, carving out an arched grove. A lower arch provides the skater with more speed while a higher arch provides taller edges that bite into the ice and give the skater more control over their movements.
The Flat Bottom V is created with a device called a “spinner” that contains several diamond cutters capable of carving out the hollow square shape.
The skate-sharpening technology, which is slowly being rolled out to skate shops all across the nation’s capital, proved to be an instant hit with many players within the National Hockey League…
from Edward Fraser of The Hockey News,
THN: Do you plan on making more moves before the season begins or is your roster set?
BL: We’ll probably make another move or two, but that’s not definite. It’s very difficult to get things done right now, very quiet. Most people have already signed their teams for the year and are ready for the season to start.
You have a lot of teams up against the cap; a lot of teams with one-way contracts. I feel a lot better about our position this year than I did last year.
THN: Was Mattias Ohlund the one guy who you had targeted from Day 1?
BL: We had three guys on our list that we really felt would be beneficial and we really felt like we needed to get one of them to get back on track to respectability.
Mattias was on that list, the other two, of course, were Scotty Niedermayer and (Jay) Bouwmeester.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
...without further delay, here are NHL.com’s top 10 Swedes currently playing in the NHL. Noticeable absentees from this list include Mats Sundin, who still is uncertain on playing in 2009-10, and St. Louis center Patrik Berglund, who needs to prove his strong rookie season was no fluke before making the cut.
1. Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Detroit: Let’s call him the best European player in the League right now, although Washington’s Alex Ovechkin quickly is closing the gap. Lidstrom, a six-time Norris Trophy winner, has 997 points and a plus-409 rating in 1,330 career games spanning 17 seasons. His 24:49 average ice time per game and plus-31 rating was tops among Swedish players in 2008-09.
2. Henrik Zetterberg, F, Detroit: The 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy winner turned in his fourth straight 30-goal campaign last season, and he has 405 points in 432 career games—all with the Red Wings.
via Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen had a minor surgical procedure this off-season but is not expected to miss any time, according to his agent.
Larry Kelly confirmed the surgery Friday but referred all other inquiries to Thrashers team officials.
The Thrashers did not immediately have a comment.
added 1:!3pm, The same link as above has now been updated,
Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back earlier this week. He is not expected to miss a significant amount of time when the Thrashers report for training camp in September.
RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired defenseman Aaron Ward from the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Patrick Eaves and a fourth-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
“With this trade, our defense really takes shape,” said Rutherford. “Aaron played very well during his time in Carolina and had maintained that consistency with New York and Boston. We envision him complementing Joni Pitkanen well as a defensive pairing.”
added 11:42am, via the Boston Bruins,
The Boston Bruins have traded Aaron Ward to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2010 draft pick and Patrick Eaves. Eaves is on waivers.
from Ken Pagan of the North Bay Nugget,
Wayne Yeo had been to a private Stanley Cup party before—but it was 42 years ago, when Carl Brewer, the late Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman, hosted a cottage gathering in Keswick, Ont.
He remembers getting to celebrate with Leafs greats such as Frank Mahovlich and watching the Leafs’ 1967 Stanley Cup parade.
Thursday’s Stanley Cup celebration was a bit more special for Yeo and his wife, Barb—their son, Mike, returned to North Bay’s Memorial Gardens with Lord Stanley’s mug and about 1,500 fans joined in the celebration.
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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