Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Contrary to popular belief, the New Jersey Devils are not a bunch of automatons. Too much personality. But you’d be excused for thinking that GM Lou Lamoriello spends his time in some elaborate control room in the Prudential Center meticulously guiding all the movements of his players.
How else do you explain this franchise? In what has become an almost annual event, the Devils lose a major component and everyone declares this to be the year they’ll plunge to the depths of the Eastern Conference…and stay there. But there is no organization in the league that is better equipped to deal with a major departure than the Devils. And if the first two games of this young season are any indication, they’re going to be the Devils-you-know again.
The Devils are a major cockroach in the NHL’s food chain....
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
...let’s break down the deal:
2013-14 $3.5 million (includes $1 million in signing bonus)
2014-15 $5 million (includes $1 million in signing bonus)
2015-16 $6.5 million
2016-17 $6.5 million
2017-18 $6.5 million
2018-19 $6.5 million
2019-20 $5.75 million
2020-21 $5.75 million
The contract also includes a full no-trade clause throughout and, of course, is not front-loaded like the back-diving deals of the past CBA; the salary variance rule in the new CBA having its impact right off the hop.
Also, notice how the lowest salary amount comes next season in 2013-14 at $3.5 million? My guess is, Zajac’s camp, led by agent Kurt Overhardt, figured to protect against possible escrow payments.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Well, Ilya Kovalchuk said finally said something definitive today and, though it wasn’t that he isn’t coming back to New Jersey, it wasn’t exactly comforting either.
After playing again today for SKA St. Petersburg’s 4-2 win over Salavat Yulaev in Ufa, Russia, Kovalchuk expressed a desire to remain in the KHL for the remainder of the season while acknowledging his contractual obligation to the Devils.
“I want to stay in St. Petersburg but I have contractual obligations in the NHL, which will be hard to break,” Kovalchuk told Sport-Express in Russia, according to the sports daily’s U.S. correspondent, Slava Malamud.
Malamud later clarified that Kovalchuk was speaking about remaining with SKA St. Petersburg for the remainder of this season and then returning to the Devils in the fall.
via the NJD website,
The Devils organization is pleased to announce that it has completed a refinancing of its credit facilities with CIT Group acting as lead arranger. The organization believes that its successful refinancing during a work stoppage demonstrates the strength of the Devils franchise and the Prudential Center, enabling it to continue to execute on its business plan. In addition, in connection with the refinancing, Jeff Vanderbeek and his affiliated entities purchased the stakes of his co-owners, Brick City Hockey and its related entities.
Statement from Jeff Vanderbeek:
“Today’s announcement is good news for Devils fans though I fully recognize fans' frustration with the work stoppage. Our future is now secure and we can be confident of continued on-ice success. Our team has gone to the Stanley Cup Final 5 times in the last 17 years and following the most recent run to the Stanley Cup Final last year, we are excited about our future -- for Jersey's team and Prudential Center, home to the 2013 NHL Draft.
I am grateful to Mike Gilfillan and Brick City Hockey for our former partnership. Together we shared a passion that led to the building of the Prudential Center – truly a shining jewel of a facility and in my view one of the best arenas in the entire world. The Rock is a great legacy for which we will always be proud.”
from Rich Chere of theStar-Ledger,
“It’s coming down to the wire right now,” Lamoriello said. “We’ve just got to trust the people that are involved. I’m embarrassed we are where we’re at. That’s the best expression I can use.”
He didn’t want to think it would take this long.
“I really didn’t know. Like everybody, I hoped not,” Lamoriello said, “but we are where we are right now and we’re getting to the 11th hour. I’m just hopeful everything can work out.”
In past lockouts, Lamoriello has taken an active role in negotiations, but that hasn’t been the case this time.
“I’m not involved the way I was in the past. I can’t answer why,” he said.
from Melissa Hayes of The Record,
Governor Christie placed the blame for the continued cancellation of National Hockey League games on league leadership and said the lockout is taking a toll on the state’s largest city.
“When you can’t have a good relationship with your folks, your labor, three times in a row now to the point where you lose most of or entire seasons, it reflects I think on management,” he said. “I mean listen I worked it out with state workers they come to work every day.”
With the Prudential Center, where the New Jersey Devils play, in the heart of downtown Newark, Christie said he’s concerned about the impact no season at all would have on the region.
“A lot of restaurants and other attractions have built up around the Prudential Center,” Christie, a New York Rangers fan, said. “They’re very dependent upon the fans who come to watch the Devils, a lot of folks employed at the Prudential Center and these businesses. I’m concerned about it.”
“I still really believe there’s hope to salvage something from our season and I hope everybody will come to their senses and try to figure something out. We’ve come a long way since 2004 to get this game to a better state as far as competitive balance and everything else. I didn’t think we’d still be talking about this lockout in December. That’s the thing that bothers me the most.”
-Martin Brodeur on the lockout. More from Brodeur by Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette.
"You know what I’m worried about? I don’t live in a hockey-driven town, New Jersey isn’t like Toronto or Montreal or Detroit. And people now that I see don’t even think about talking to me about hockey. The first few weeks, yes, but now no one does. I don’t know if it’s because there’s not enough coverage in the U.S. about what’s going on, but I think it’s going to affect people tremendously, fans are going to move on and find a different source of entertainment. It’s going to take a long time for them to readjust and get back to hockey. Eventually I think people will because our sport is pretty special."
-Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils on the lockout. More from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
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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