Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Philadelphia Daily News,
John Stevens, who in his first full season as coach of the Flyers led them to the Eastern Conference finals, has agreed to a contract extension, a source told the Daily News.
Details are being finalized, but an announcement is expected today.
It was an emotional homecoming for former Regent Park resident and current Philadelphia Flyer Glen Metropolit, as he and New Jersey Devil Kevin Weekes dropped by the Wellesley Community Centre to sign autographs and make a special announcement last Friday.
The duo’s visit was part of the National Hockey League Players’ Association’s Goals and Dreams program, in which the NHLPA donates hockey equipment to children and youth in at-risk communities. Last week’s donation saw 110 new sets of equipment donated to help programs in Regent Park, St. James Town and elsewhere in the city.
The gesture was extremely meaningful for Metropolit, who choked up while speaking to the crowd of youngsters assembled from local camps and organizations.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Simon Gagne has a few words of encouragement for Flyers fans that have seen R.J. Umberger, Jason Smith and Sami Kapanen leave Philadelphia to play elsewhere next season.
“The way I look at it, I might be the free agent the Flyers signed this year,” Gagne said. “I wasn’t a big part of the team last year and I want to be a big part this season.”
Gagne said the concussion symptoms that kept him out of all but 25 games last season are completely gone, thanks to an innovative injection therapy called prolotherapy.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
They’d have to start with a trade package of forwards Scottie Upshall ($1.225 million) and Steve Downie ($821,000). Downie played briefly under recently hired Panthers coach Peter DeBoer when both were with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario League.
The Panthers would need a defenseman as part of the package and the Flyers could free another $2.75 million of cap space by trading Randy Jones.
That would give the Flyers plenty of cap room to take on Bouwmeester, who almost certainly would negotiate a long-term extension that takes him well past unrestricted free agency next summer.
But the Panthers would need more for Bouwmeester than Upshall, Downie and an overpriced Jones. A deal maker would be James van Riemsdyk, the second player taken overall in last year’s draft who will play for the University of New Hampshire this season.
Aaron Portzline at Puck-rakers writes:
Apparently, Nick Kypreos reported on Sportsnet last night that the Blue Jackets were going to trade defenseman Jan Hejda and a fourth-round pick to the Flyers for winger Mike Knuble.
This is ridiculous. This is crazy. This will not happen. Not a chance.
Well, that seems pretty definitive. Although this doesn’t stop the kids on HF Boards from tackling the rumor from every angle they can think of as well (and Kypreos doesn’t fare too well there either.)
Must be a slow day in rumor land.
“I’m there to win a cup — that’s the most important thing on my mind,” said Asham. “Last year with the Devils, we came up short in the first round and that’s definitely disappointing, but this is a new start and I think we have the guts to do it.”
“I think it’s going to be good, I think Philly definitely fits my game. They’re a rough-tough hockey team. I’m definitely going there excited. They had a great run last year in the playoffs and my goal right now is to win a Stanley Cup before my career is over, and I’m running out of years. I think Philly is my best chance.”
-more from Aaron Asham at the Portage Daily Graphic…
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
Our NHL coach of the year is being recognized for what we believe is an underrated turnaround.
John Stevens’ Flyers went from last overall in the NHL in 2006-07, to sixth in their conference, posting a points improvement of 39.
The only coach who came close to matching the feat in 2007-08 was Washington’s Bruce Boudreau (plus-24). That the Flyers toppled the Capitals in the first round of the playoffs, then upset the No. 1-seeded Canadiens in Round 2, carried significant weight in our decision….
Our executive of the year, Red Wings GM Ken Holland, is quick to reference some of his best decisions have been about team-building…in the front office.
He is surrounded by an elite staff of advisors, including assistant GM Jim Nill, vice-presidents Jimmy Devellano and Steve Yzerman, consultant Scotty Bowman, Euro super-scout Hakan Andersson and an exceptional coach in Mike Babcock.
According to the Team 1260 Radio in Edmonton, Lupul has agreed to terms on a four-year extension with the Philadelphia Flyers. An announcement is expected to be made on Monday.
Last season, Lupul scored 20 goals and added 26 assists for 46 points in 56 games with the Flyers. He added four goals and six assists in 17 playoff games.
from Rob Parent of the Delco Times,
Every now and then, however, the NHL finds ways to show how it’s a little bit different.
The most recent example of that is the schedule, which actually shows an increase in travel for the teams, as opposed to the last couple of seasons.
But it does makes you wonder if the NHL realizes that jet fuel costs for its league teams totals something akin to the national budget of a Third World country, or California (same thing).
Apparently, some teams do realize it.
“Since 2006, fuel costs have doubled on our charter jets,” Comcast-Spectacor chief operating officer Peter Luukko said Wednesday, referring to the price of carrying the Flyers from Florida to Vancouver and all points in between.
“That’s a big jump in costs. That has a big effect on the budget, and this year we had to increase our scouting budget 25 percent. That’s directly attributable to fuel costs, because our scouts fly and drive all over the world.”
From the Delco Times:
The Flyers have signed General Manager Paul Holmgren to a three-year contract extension that will keep him at the helm through the 2011-12 season, the Daily Times has learned.
Holmgren was credited in large part with the wheeling and dealing last off-season that took a team that finished last in the NHL and put them back in the playoffs.
Update 3:04pm ET: Also in the same article above, Arron Asham was signed to a multi-year deal today.
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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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