Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The summation of an athlete’s career, especially those greatest at their sport, always comes down to numbers. So inevitably last week that was the case with Jean Beliveau, the sublime, larger-than-life Montreal Canadiens center, his name etched into the Stanley Cup 17 times, though his unremitting dignity, elegance, and grace truly immeasurable, unquantifiable.
Beliveau’s numbers, including the “4” he wore on the back of his Habs sweater for 18 full seasons, his 10-year captaincy, his bountiful goals and assists, will be easy to summon. They have long been engraved in silver, noted in NHL record books, inscribed on his plaque at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Those numbers are the hard facts of what he was, while his dignity, elegance, and grace, the very being of who Joseph Jean Arthur Beliveau was, are left but to the memory of those who saw him play, knew him in his life off the ice, absent his skates, his stick, or iconic CH sweater.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Having Iowa so close is one reason why the Wild has kept its roster at 22 players the past few weeks as opposed to the maximum 23. It saves money and salary-cap space.
It’s an advantage the Anaheim Ducks (Norfolk is their affiliate), Arizona Coyotes (Portland, Maine), Colorado Avalanche (Erie, Pa.), Los Angeles Kings (Manchester, N.H.), San Jose Sharks (Worcester, Mass.) and even the Calgary Flames (Glens Falls, NY), Edmonton Oilers (Oklahoma City) and Vancouver Canucks (Utica, N.Y.) don’t have.
That’s why as early as next season, there could be a titanic transformation in the AHL. The NHL’s chief development league is well on its way toward several relocations of eastern markets to western markets that’ll include some and eventually maybe all of the above teams.
“It’s a work in progress,” said David Andrews, the AHL’s president and CEO who attended Wednesday’s Wild-Montreal Canadiens game. “It has been for about 30 months. I would say the work is getting a little more intense, and I would say it’s eventually going to happen. We’re essentially working on a framework.
“Our relationship with each of the NHL teams is what our league is about, so if that’s what they want for player development, we’re committed to work with them and make it happen.”
more and other hockey topics...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Future points to salary retention
The Sabres have assets, including power forward Chris Stewart, who is on the Bruins’ wish list. Stewart, Drew Stafford, and Torrey Mitchell, all unrestricted at season’s end, could fill needs for teams in the playoff hunt. But Buffalo’s most significant advantage is its room under the cap. According to http://www.capgeek.com Buffa,lo has the league’s third-lowest payroll. This leaves GM Tim Murray plenty of space to retain salary in any trade. For some teams approaching the ceiling, including the Bruins, salary retention would be required because they would not otherwise have space to bring on acquisitions without sending money the other way. This will allow Murray to ask for a premium in return.
Dealing with the new system
Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, and Vancouver entered this weekend as the top clubs in their respective conferences. Of the four teams, only Pittsburgh has long-term, back-diving contracts (Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin) that the current collective bargaining agreement has stricken from GMs’ toolboxes. The Lightning, Ducks, and Canucks are operating without the benefit of any pre-lockout contracts, which lower a club’s overall cap hit. Chicago (Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa) and Los Angeles (Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Jonathan Quick) are close to the upper limit. They’d be in even bigger cap trouble if they didn’t have these back-diving contracts lessening their cap burden.
more hockey topics...
from Mike Boone of Hockey Inside/Out,
It’s still too early to push the Panic Button.
But you might want to make sure it has fresh batteries.
Remember the good olds days when your Montreal Canadiens were the number one team in the NHL?
That was what, 10 days ago?
The Canadiens have lost six of their last seven games. They are third in the Atlantic Division.
And check the rear-view mirror: the Leafs are five points behind the Canadiens – with three games in hand.
Button finger getting a tad itchy?
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
- The word is Carolina GM Ron Francis is poised to try to cut some cash and willing to move pretty much any blueliner. Naturally defenceman Andrej Sekera, a UFA, will go somewhere along with Tim Gleason and Brett Bellemore but Francis would also like to see if there’s any interest in John-Michael Liles’ $3.875 million cap hit.
- A league executive said New York GM Glen Sather is looking for a forward but he “wants to make a lopsided deal.” Those are usually hard to find.
- Nobody is sure where to start with the Oilers, especially after GM Craig MacTavish’s press briefing Friday in which he tried to defend the club’s record. He can’t — and shouldn’t — and many believe he probably was better off to stay under the radar. The Oilers have been fielding calls for forward Jordan Eberle, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be among those moved. Six teams (possibly Montreal, Ottawa, Columbus, Florida, Anaheim and Boston) have shown interest in forward David Perron.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- A scout I know just returned from watching Jack Eichel play. His assessment: “Honestly, if I had first pick in the draft, I don’t know who I’d pick. Both Eichel and Connor McDavid are that good. They’re quite different, but really impressive.”
- Agent Don Meehan or someone from Newport Sports needs to put his arm around Evander Kane and do the Jed Clampett thing. He needs to have a “long talk with that boy.”
- If Todd McLellan doesn’t make it to next season as coach of the San Jose Sharks, don’t be surprised if he ends up coaching the Edmonton Oilers.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Florida general manager Dale Tallon apologized to Buffalo owner Terry Pagula and general manager Tim Murray for the team's pregame video on Saturday night.
The video interspersed scenes from Buffalo's recent major snowstorm with those of the Panthers' mascot fishing and doing other activities outside in the South Florida sun.
Pagula, who lives in Palm Beach County and recently purchased the Bills, was incensed as he spoke with Tallon about the video.
Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox discussed the following during Sportsnet's Saturday's Headline segment.
The health of Phil Kessel.
The BOG meeting next week and the proposed sale of the Arizona Coyotes.
Friiedman talked about the hit on Corey Perry and also discussed the Edmonton Oilers.
Cox says maybe Chris Stewart to Boston and Friedman mentioned Craig Berube received a vote of confidence in Philadelphia.
Topics discussed tonight from Don Cherry and Ron MacLean-
Discussed the first period of Toronto/Vancouver then the next topic was the Keith Ballard hit on Corey Perry last night.
Then the play of Michael Hutchinson and Bryan Little for Winnipeg was touched on then the Edmonton Oilers situation was brought up.
Don Cherry then talked about Jean Beliveau.
The legendary broadcasters talk to George Stroumboulopoulos about the great Jean Beliveau.
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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