Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
“I’m not going to get into details, but we had a good meeting,” a cheery Phaneuf said Thursday, chatting with reporters after an informal team skate. “It was good to spend some time with him and have a conversation both ways.
“I’m looking forward to working for Brendan. He’s done a lot for the game, he’s been around a long time and he’s a big addition to our team.”
Phaneuf, who turns 30 the day before Toronto’s last regular season game against the Canadiens, will benefit from the presence of the 37-year-old Robidas. Newcomers Daniel Winnik and David Booth are also right around Phaneuf’s age.
“We brought in some guys with experience, veterans who will help not only on the ice but in the room,” Phaneuf said. “They’re excited to be here and we’re excited to have them.
“Robidas and Polak are experienced, Booth has played a lot of hockey, Leo coming back was a big piece of our team a couple of years ago. With experience comes leadership.”
from Neil Best of Newsday,
At 32, DiPietro's career as a goaltender might be over, thanks to injuries that derailed the 2000 No. 1 overall draft pick, 2006 Olympian and 2008 NHL All-Star, whose 15-year, $67.5-million deal was bought out by the Islanders last summer. (His Twitter handle, @hdumpty39, is a reference to his oft-broken body.)
He last played in late November for the Hurricanes' AHL affiliate in Charlotte.
Would he like to play again? "Everything's kind of in flux right now," he said. "Mind says yes, body says no . . .
"If the opportunity arises, it's something I might think about. But it's been a struggle for the last couple of years trying to figure that out because everything's falling apart. I do not want to play if I can't perform at the level that I think is acceptable."
So for now, at least, "radio is where I'm at," DiPietro said. And he has proved to be good at it, with a dry wit delivered with a Boston-area accent and thorough knowledge of sports and pop culture....
"What's most touching to me is the response I've gotten on Twitter," he said. "This is kind of a weird part of my life here, where I'm trying to make a decision about where I go, and part of me was nervous coming on the radio that I was going to get killed from everyone. It's been the complete opposite. It's been love and well wishes.
from Jason Mackey of Chipped Ice at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
If Carcillo makes the team, the Penguins’ third and fourth lines could feature Carcillo and Steve Downie, two of the NHL’s nastier players in recent years.
Charged with making sure those two play with an edge but still within the framework of the game is Tocchet, who himself played that style.
I asked general manager Jim Rutherford on Thursday whether having someone like Tocchet made it easier to bring in Carcillo, whose history as a player includes six suspensions over eight years.
“He’s played with a lot of different teams,” Rutherford said. “You wonder why that is. But at the same time, when I watch him with those teams, he’s a very useful player.”
And here’s most cryptic part: “I do believe that with the structure with our hockey staff, we’re very comfortable with any type of player.”
Carcillo acknowledged that he and Downie could form one annoying and physical pair — but admitted that he hasn’t gotten that far in his thinking.
It might be wise, Carcillo cautioned, to worry about making the team first.
“I know Steve’s there,” Carcillo said. “I know how he plays. I think we’d be great together, but I haven’t really thought that far ahead. I’ve just been trying to get myself in shape, mentally sharp and go in there with a good attitude and not look too far ahead. At the end of the day, it’s just a tryout.”
from Arpon Basu of NHL.com,
Who are the best 14 players in the NHL at each position as teams prepare for the start of the 2014-15 season? Arpon Basu, Brian Compton, Corey Masisak and Dan Rosen have cast their votes and the result is NHL.com's "Top 14 for '14-15" project....
1. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings, 52 points (2 first-place votes)2013-14: 10 goals, 37 points, 78 games played
None of Doughty's statistics, advanced or otherwise, jump off the page. He was 30th among NHL defensemen in scoring last season and his possession numbers, while strong, are not outstanding. But Doughty has played a central role in two Stanley Cup victories and two gold medal performances for Canada at the Olympics in the past four years, establishing himself as one of the top players in the NHL. All this before his 25th birthday. Scary.
2. Shea Weber, Nashville Predators, 51 points (1 first-place vote)2013-14: 23 goals, 56 points, 79 games played
Weber has scored at least 15 goals in each of the six full NHL seasons he has played. His 129 goals scored during the past eight seasons are 25 more than the next closest defenseman in that span. In addition to that, Weber plays some of the most difficult minutes of any defenseman in the NHL, and he plays a lot of them.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
There will be no tag days for the unemployed Ray Whitney, Marty Brodeur, Derek Morris, Saku Koivu or Todd Bertuzzi, who have been handsomely compensated in their careers–from $40 million to over $80 million–but they love playing so they are not ready to live large, in retirement.
The unrestricted free-agents all have shoes older than Nate MacKinnon but they want to keep playing. At present, nobody is offering work, however. So Whitney ($41.9 million in earnings), Brodeur ($81.9 mil), Morris ($39.8 mil), Koivu ($53.3 mil) and Bertuzzi ($47 mil) are waiting by their phones, or at least waiting for a text from their agents.
They all have strong to great resumes, but no job with camps opening in two weeks. If they don’t get one, they could easily say goodbye and say it’s been a terrific ride through a couple of decades, with Brodeur in likely the thorniest position. The winningest goalie of them all, Brodeur (668), still has game (he played 38 games last year in New Jersey, 2,52 avg, three shutouts) but there’s only 60 NHL tender spots and it’s pretty much a closed-shop. He may have to wait until, say, November as Ilya Bryzgalov did last year when the Edmonton Oilers brought him in to tag-team Devan Dubnyk.
It’s that time of year when UFA’s who haven’t signed in July when the marketplace opens, start to get a little anxious.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
... Whew. The summer sure hasn't gone the way that the Sharks wanted, has it?
"It's gone exactly the right way we wanted," Wilson told me on the phone the other day.
See? There's where we all might get confused.
But during a lengthy and healthy discussion of all these matters, Wilson finally figured out a different way to frame his message. Or maybe he finally just said out loud what he has been thinking all along.
"I really want people on this team who are comfortable feeling uncomfortable," Wilson said. "That includes the general manager, the coaches and the players."
In that case, mission accomplished.
Heck, even as a lowly journalist trying to explain the Sharks, I don't feel comfortable telling you what exactly is going to happen this winter or if the team can still put together a decent run at a playoff spot. But I'm comfortable with that. I guess. I think.
This much, I do know: Wilson has given his coach a challenging task.
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche announced today that the team has signed defenseman Tyson Barrie to a two-year contract through the 2015-16 season.
"Tyson is a big part of the young nucleus of our team," said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. "He is a gifted young defenseman who brings a lot of offense. We are pleased to have him under contract and look forward to his contribution this upcoming season.”
Barrie, 23, led all Colorado defensemen with 13 goals this past season, the most by an Avs blueliner since 2006-07 (John-Michael Liles - 14). Barrie finished second among Avalanche defensemen in both points (38) and assists (25) while appearing in 64 games.
from QMI AGENCY at the Toronto Sun,
Goaltender Martin Brodeur says he'd be willing to finish his Hall of Fame career with his hometown Montreal Canadiens.
The 42-year-old has previously said he's “80% sure” he’s coming back for a 21ST NHL season and told QMI Agency this week that he would have no problem backing up Carey Price in net.
"I would like to play one last season before retiring and I want to have fun doing it," said the three-time Stanley Cup winner.
"If the Canadiens made me an offer, it goes without saying that I would listen to what they have to offer me."
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is not among the NHL executives who has contacted Brodeur this summer.
The legal case for the loss of my NHL career is over. I have accepted a settlement agreement which has now been finalized and signed by all the parties.
This day comes with mixed emotions. I am extremely thankful for the compassion and encouragement of so many people over the past decade. These years have been very difficult for me and my family. The injuries I sustained in my rookie year, the years I spent trying to return to my NHL career, and dealing with the loss of my career and the ensuing legal case, have been long and trying experiences. While nothing replaces the loss of one’s dream, I am happy my family will no longer be burdened by an unresolved legal case, and I am grateful to be able to move forward.
I thank the fans and the public who have supported me so passionately and tirelessly, not just across Canada, and the U.S., but around the world – your support has meant more than you can imagine. I thank the people who supported me in this legal case; your courage, and integrity are an inspiration. I thank former Chief Justice of Ontario Warren Winkler for helping with this settlement. Finally, I thank my friends, and especially my family, for your unwavering love and devotion which kept me going over these last ten years.
I look forward to continuing to bring more attention and resources to the prevention and treatment of concussions and other head and neck injuries in sport, through The Steve Moore Foundation.
While my own hockey career was cut short, my love for the game has never diminished.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
“That’s going to be a topic around here, especially as training camp rolls around, but I’m not nearly as concerned with the goaltending scenario as most people,” Walz told ESPN.com in a recent phone conversation.
Why is that? Walz said that, from the people he has spoken with, Harding is reportedly in an “excellent place right now.” Moreover, he believes Backstrom is in much better shape following the second surgery to repair his groin issues. And Walz was thoroughly impressed by what he noticed in Kuemper last season, saying that the 24-year-old has “tremendous potential.”
If Kuemper begins the season with the team’s AHL affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa, and Harding and Backstrom are healthy to start the season, the club should be in good shape.
“If those two start the season, I think both goaltenders will be among top 10 in the league,” said Walz, who now works as an analyst for Fox Sports North on Wild broadcasts.
Walz thinks the biggest challenge for the Wild is not defending the net, but filling it.
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.
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