Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Hockey Canada and everyone involved has been tight-lipped about the appointment, but a source confirmed last night that Yzerman will announce Babcock as the coach most likely on Thursday in a press conference to take place a few blocks from Montreal’s McGill University, where Babcock played defence….
The only part of Yzerman’s announcement that will be a surprise will be the assistant coaches. Babcock’s assistants are expected to come from a group that includes Ken Hitchcock (Columbus Blue Jackets), Claude Julien (Boston Bruins), Lindy Ruff (Buffalo Sabres), Barry Trotz (Nashville Predators) and Randy Carlyle (Ducks).
from Garry McKay of the HamiltonSpectator,
The Hamilton Bulldogs will have a new coaching staff this season.
Don Lever, who is the franchise’s longest-serving head coach, and his assistant Ron Wilson, who has been here even longer, have been told by the parent Montreal Canadiens that their services are no longer required.
Although both were long-time employees of the Canadiens, the Habs told them by phone that their contracts would not be renewed. they weren’t given a reason.
Both were, in effect, fired by Montreal general manager Bob Gainey who phoned them last week and said simply that ‘the organization is going in a different direction.”
Lever said he would like to have at least been given a reason for his dismissal.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Lever. “Somewhere along the line I must have done something wrong, but they didn’t tell me what it was.
from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Chelios confirmed to ESPN.com on Saturday he’s been asked by team GM Brian Burke, also GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, to join the team in some off-ice role. Burke told ESPN.com there are a number of great players who’ve played a significant role in U.S. hockey over the past decades, “but the greatest warrior of all was Chelly.”
“We haven’t refined his role. All I know is, I want him involved,” Burke said.
The Florida Panthers have breaking news on breaking news!
On another topic, feel like talking minor league hockey? KK member Primis wants your views.
added 12:05pm, Regarding the Panthers… via George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
I hear it’s a player signing, just don’t know who yet. Hope to talk to Randy Sexton soon and get this thing straightened out.
added 12:16pm, via TSN ,
The Phoenix Coyotes may be in bankruptcy but they continue to do business.
Phoenix has traded centre Steven Reinprecht to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Stefan Meyer.
The Coyotes have also signed forward Petr Prucha to a two-year deal.
Reinprecht, meanwhile, has signed a three-year deal with the Panthers.
Not sure if this is the breaking news, the Panther’s Twitter has yet to be updated.
added 12:30pm, from the Florida Panthers,
SUNRISE, FL – Florida Panthers Assistant General Manager Randy Sexton announced today that the club has acquired the exclusive negotiating rights for the Phoenix Coyotes C Steve Reinprecht (REIGN-prehkt) in exchange for Florida Panthers prospect C Stefan Meyer. In addition, the club announced they have agreed to terms with Reinprecht on a three-year contract. As per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
added 12:40pm, One more thing, there is a rumor from a guy who just wants hits to his website that the Panthers have called a press conference. That is completely false, there is no press conference.
from Russia Today,
Two players from the Pittsburg Penguins, who took the Stanley Cup last week in a dramatic seven-game thriller against Detroit, may leave the U.S. for KHL this summer, Sportbox.ru reports.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk is interested in Czech Petr Sykora, who played 76 games for the Pens this season, scoring 25 goals and 21 assists.
The club’s contract with the player has expired and, according to his agent, the team is not going to offer him a new agreement….
Another Stanley Cup winner, Miroslav Satan, is wanted in Kazakhstan by Barys hockey club. The Astana team has ready offered a two year contract worth $6 million to the Slovak player.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• One reason to wonder about Red Wings coach Mike Babcock as the choice for Canadian Olympic hockey coach: The Olympics are one-game playoffs. And the one thing Babcock didn’t do well in Game 6 or 7 against the Penguins was adjust. His team needed to get pucks in deep and to the net, especially in the second half of Game 7, and stubbornly his players kept trying to carry it through crowds, turned it over and generated little offence.
• The only way the Anaheim Ducks steal defenceman Jack Johnson and an early first-round pick from L.A. for diminishing asset Chris Pronger is if Kings general manager Dean Lombardi happens to lose his mind.
more hockey notes…
From Darren Dreger at TSN:
Another bizarre twist in goaltending may soon unfold in Philadelphia.
Sources tell TSN former Flyers goaltender Robert Esche is on Philadelphia’s radar and may be lured back from the Kontinental Hockey League where he was playing with SKA St.Petersburg.
Philadelphia is one of a few teams believed to be interested in Esche, who spent four seasons with the Flyers before moving to Russia following the 2006-2007 season.
Barry Smith, the head coach for SKA St.Petersburg confirms the NHL interest in Esche, but says he won’t be able to let Esche out of his contract, which has one year remaining, unless he can find a suitable replacement in goal.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Both (Barry) Smith and Emery’s agent, J.P. Barry, say the KHL was no summer vacation. It was serious hockey with primitive conditions outside the rink that most NHLers wouldn’t have the fortitude to tolerate.
“To go overseas to Russia to play, to me, means you really want to play,” Smith said. “It’s not easy. It is the hardest place in Europe to go and play hockey – for sure. So he chose the hardest place to play and he played very well, taking his team to first place.
“I think this speaks volumes for a kid who wants to get back in the league [NHL].”
Playing in Russia was very different than North America. Emery would have to show up at 5 p.m. – more than 24 hours before his game – at a gymnasium with other team members where they would bunk-in overnight.
“Forget what these guys were earning, they slept on cots in a gym before the game,” Barry said.
The Flyers will be announcing today the signing of Ray Emery. Good move?
added 11:16am, Official release from the Flyers on the signing…
They way Osgood has played, we’re not sure how Red Wings executive and Team Canada Olympic boss Steve Yzerman doesn’t hand him an invite to the team’s summer camp in August. If four or five goalies get invites, how does Osgood not get one?
-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. More on Osgood vs. Fleury from Pierre…
RDS is reporting that forward Viktor Kozlov has signed a deal to play with Salavat of the KHL for next season. Details of the contract were not reported.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org