Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- Defencemen I’d take ahead of Ryan McDonagh: Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, Alex Pietrangelo, Zdeno Chara, P.K. Subban and Ryan Suter. And that’s it until Erik Karlsson starts playing both ends of the ice.
- Los Angeles wants to keep leading playoff goal scorer Marian Gaborik — they’ve offered three years and $15 million, which would require a hometown discount of sorts. To keep Gaborik and (Mike) Richards, it means sacrificing a veteran free agent defenceman like Willie Mitchell or Matt Greene.
- Somebody is going to pay Anton Stralman a lot of money in free agency and somebody is going to end up disappointed.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- There is no doubt (Brad) Richards will receive attractive offers from a number of clubs. He will be made more than whole on his new contract. He will get to choose. But just as this most amicable of divorces wasn’t sought by the Rangers, it wasn’t sought by Richards, either. His heart was/is all here even if his head knew it would not be possible to stay. So it will be another dramatic change for Richards, now 34, who doesn’t like changing routines much at all.
- It sounds as if the Rangers have allotted approximately $4 million per to keeping Stralman, likely for a three- or four-year term. … The Blueshirts, by the way, are expected to pass on qualifying defenseman Justin Falk, who played in one game after Dec. 29, 2014 — the season finale when Girardi was rested. Falk, who is owed nearly $1.025 million on his qualifying offer, will become an unrestricted free agent.
- Instant karma in Pittsburgh, isn’t it, where ownership and upper management’s hissy fit — which accompanied the dismissal of GM Ray Shero and road to perdition on which coach Dan Bylsma was sent — has been duly noted around the league.
- The Hall of Fame selection committee meets on Monday. Dominik Hasek and Mike Modano should be slam-dunks in Year 1 of eligibility. Peter Forsberg is a trickier case, but clearly belongs. Of course, so does Eric Lindros.
Wait: Rob Blake isn’t in yet?
read on for more Rangers talks...
NEW YORK (June 21, 2014) – The NHL today announced the home openers for all 30 clubs for the 2014-15 regular season. The League’s complete 1,230-game schedule will be released tomorrow – Sunday, June 22 – at 4:00 p.m. ET.
FULL LIST OF HOME OPENERS, 2014-15 SEASON
Anaheim Ducks: Friday, Oct. 17 vs. Minnesota
* Arizona Coyotes: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Winnipeg
Boston Bruins: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Philadelphia
Buffalo Sabres: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Columbus
Calgary Flames: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Vancouver
Carolina Hurricanes: Friday, Oct. 10 vs. NY Islanders
Chicago Blackhawks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Buffalo
Colorado Avalanche: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Minnesota
Columbus Blue Jackets: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. NY Rangers
from the Florida Panthers,
Florida Panthers Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that Gerard Gallant has been named the club’s new head coach.
“We are pleased to welcome Gerard as the new head coach of the Florida Panthers,” said Tallon. “He is an individual with tremendous character, integrity and a strong passion for the game and has experience as an NHL head coach. Gerard is an excellent teacher and motivator who possesses the leadership qualities and hockey knowledge that are necessary to lead our team.”
from Matt Larking of The Hockey News,
Just as I know I’ll drop an obscene amount of my budget on a quarterback this summer, I know we’ll see a new class of Clarksons and Stephen Weisses on the NHL market, especially with the cap rising. Here are five UFAs I expect will be vastly overpaid. I’m not saying they stink – only that they’ll earn more than they should.
1. Paul Stastny
Weiss was a 30-year-old pivot with a career high of 61 points coming off an injury shortened campaign, and Detroit still decided to pay him $4.9 million per season. Stastny, a 28-year-old pivot, has topped the 70-point mark three times, is relatively healthy and lit it up with 10 points in seven playoff games this spring. After a subpar 2012-13, it seemed preposterous that he’d match the $6.6-million average annual value of his expiring deal. A year later, he could find $7 million on the open market. Enough teams are desperate at his position that we should see a bidding war. He’s a No. 2 center about to earn No. 1 money. Stastny is solid, but he’s not that good.
read on for the other four players...
As stated, Kesler is a tremendous player and could end the Blackhawks’ nonstop carousel at No. 2 center. He would have an instant chemistry with Kane, given their international play together in past Olympics. That’s all good. But there are always prices to pay. It just seems, for the Blackhawks, the move is not worth what the prices could be.
-Tracey Myers of CSNChicago on the report (Garrioch) stating Kesler wants to play for Chicago or Pittsburgh. Read more on this topic.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
One thing in l’Affaire Jason Spezza that has become clear is that Spezza is no Dany Heatley. What isn’t so clear is whether or not Spezza actually asked for a trade out of Ottawa. Senators GM Bryan Murray maintains that Spezza did, those close to the player say that isn’t exactly the case.
According to sources close to Spezza, the scenario went down a little differently than it’s being portrayed. In his exit interview with Murray, Spezza laid his cards on the table. He told Murray that if the Senators were intent on a quick rebuild and were in the acquisition mode in terms of bringing in top-end talent, he wanted to be a part of it. But if the plan was to tear down the roster and rebuild the team with young players and draft picks, it might be best for the organization to maximize his value now and that he would not stand in the way of a deal involving him, provided it was not to one of the 10 teams in his modified no-trade clause.
from Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea,
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Friday made some of his most pointed comments to date regarding what he views as his team’s fatal flaw.
Appearing on the NHL Network’s NHL Live! program, Wilson was asked by host Steve Mears what needs to change regarding the team’s culture after the latest playoff failure.
“There’s a comment that was made by a group of my players, that we were co-workers and not teammates,” Wilson said.
“Really, what that means is they really hadn’t dug down to be there for each other and commit to what teammates have to do to be successful. Look at L.A. The things that they did, the game sevens where they just stuck with it, coming back against us, taking care of each other. Ours was somehow lost a little bit. Our players acknowledged it, I’ve listened to them, our coaches have acknowledged it.
"That’s what I’m talking about when it comes to culture, is being a great teammate and playing the way that we need them to play, not the way that they want to play.”
continued and below, listen/watch Doug Wilson on NHL Live yesterday...
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The perils of the free-agent market, especially on July 1, are beyond clear. A team is most often overpaying for a player with a limited understanding of his entire package. As Jets coach Paul Maurice says, "You never really know until you own it."
The market was already tilted in favour of players and their agents under the previous system. But adding a five-day interview period to get fans and owners salivating, will in some cases result in more pressure on GMs to spend, spend, spend.
This convention was in place last season, but was compressed due to the lockout. This will be the inaugural five-day session of legalized tampering.
With all 30 GMs gathering in Philadelphia next week and with the interview period opening at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, there is potential for some backdrops right out of Jerry Maguire. GMs getting their licks in before free agency officially opens on July 1.
Agents getting the opportunity to crank up the price of their clients, with the luxury of time on their side.
Maybe Thomas Vanek will be camped out at The Rittenhouse Hotel. Marion Gaborik at the Ritz. Maybe even Olli Jokinen at the Four Seasons. Big-name free agents open for business in the City of Brotherly Greed next week.
from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The NHL’s frenzy of trading and free-agent signings will begin soon, and by now the Blues certainly must realize what they need to do if they want to make a breakthrough as a serious contender for the Stanley Cup.
The Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks, the Blues’ fellow members of the Western Conference, have each won two Stanley Cups over the past five seasons. And we can continue to stress over goaltending, which obviously is a crucial element in a team’s postseason success.
But the Kings and Blackhawks have used goal-scoring power to grab four Stanley Cups. How do you survive the physical, tight-checking Western Conference rodeo? By having enough players in the stable to emerge and score the big goals at money time....
If the Blues don’t boost their offense this summer, there’s little reason to believe that their performance in the 2015 playoffs will be any different from what we’ve seen over the last three springs.
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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