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Andrew Ference Makes His Retirement Official

via an Edmonton Oilers press release,

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Andrew Ference has announced his retirement from professional hockey after 16 seasons in the National Hockey League.

Ference, 38, spent the past four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, where he served as captain from 2013-2015.  He appeared in 147 games and recorded 32 points (6G, 26A) and 108 penalty minutes with the orange and blue.

The 5’11”, 184-pound blueliner spent time with four NHL teams (Pittsburgh, Calgary, Boston and Edmonton) over his 16 year career, after being selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 8th round, 208th overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+ference

The Carolina Hurricanes May Have Found A Buyer

from Sportsnet,

Former Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg is close to buying the Carolina Hurricanes for approximately $500 million, according to reports.

The team would reportedly stay in Carolina if Greenberg successfully acquires the franchise.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Jim Rutherford On Trading Phil Kessel

frm Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford didn't say he'll never trade Phil Kessel, but he painted the high-scoring winger as an important part of his team's roster during a radio interview Thursday morning.

The idea of trading Kessel had been popular talk-show fodder in recent days.

“Phil Kessel's an important part of the Penguins,” Rutherford said in an interview on 93.7 The Fan. “He gets a lot of points. He scores big goals. He sets up big goals. The more impact players that you have, like we have, the better chance you have of winning.

“It may not be on a regular basis, but it may come at a certain time in a series or whatnot, just like it did against Ottawa. Kessel came up with the big goal in that 1-0 game (in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals).

“He's an important part. I don't want to sit here and say that a certain player's not going to get traded at some point in his career. I mean, Phil already did. But that's not something that I foresee happening right now.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+rutherford, phil+kessel

Relax, Stay Calm Or Panic

from Matt Larkin of The Hockey News,

Now the dust has more or less settled. We may see a Matt Duchene trade. Jaromir Jagr hasn’t picked a team yet, or no team has picked him. But, for the most part, all 31 NHL teams are done their primary dealings. Some have improved their forecasts a lot, especially the Dallas Stars. But a few have clammed up and done very little. Should their fans sweat over the inactivity? In some cases, yes, in others no. Here’s a breakdown of the summer’s quietest teams.


Detroit Red Wings
Detroit’s lone acquisition of consequence: veteran defenseman Trevor Daley. Wings fans shouldn’t panic about that, because they shouldn’t want GM Ken Holland to improve this team. Even the Daley signing wasn’t a great idea. The Wings finally ended their 25-year playoff streak and would be smart to bottom out. They look like one of the Eastern Conference’s weakest teams on paper right now, and adding extra pieces would only decrease their chances of winning future draft lotteries.

Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pens haven’t done nothing, technically, as they’ve added Matt Hunwick and Ryan Reaves. The latter acquisition was curious, no doubt, costing them a first-round pick, and it doesn't fit with Pittsburgh’s speed-and-skill-based model that has produced two consecutive Stanley Cups. Pittsburgh also lost Daley, Chris Kunitz, Ron Hainsey, Nick Bonino and Marc-Andre Fleury from its championship squad.

Bonino needs to be replaced. The Pens don’t have a viable third-line center right now. But Rutherford has proven himself as a go-out-and-get-it GM in Pittsburgh. He’s fully expected to make his move at some point before the summer is up....


Boston Bruins
Zdeno Chara is 40. Patrice Bergeron turns 32 this month. David Krejci is 31. David Backes is 33. Even though they also have significant contributors in their 20s in Brad Marchand, Torey Krug and David Pastrnak, it’s fair to call Boston a team trying to win the Stanley Cup right now....

more topics, more teams....

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Hockey Thoughts In Mid-July

from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,

- One thing a few different NHL executives agree on: Offer sheets are coming. Cam Fowler, Martin Jones, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Price are gone from next year’s unrestricted class. “There simply are not enough impact players available in free agency,” one said. “If you need to improve your team — and fast — it’s going to be your best option.”

- It doesn’t sound like players on NHL contracts playing in the AHL will be allowed to compete in South Korea. But, if you spend next season overseas, there’s going to be some room to play. The rules aren’t written yet, but that is the word.

- Everyone decided to take a deep breath and go back to their corners when Matt Duchene wasn’t traded July 1. It sounds like everyone is realizing the possibility he could start next season in Colorado. But remember this: Avalanche assistant GM Chris MacFarland was with Scott Howson in Columbus when Howson waited until July 20, 2012, to trade Rick Nash. Sometimes the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, and MacFarland could be following that blueprint. I wouldn’t be surprised if interested parties (Boston, Columbus, Nashville, Pittsburgh, maybe Calgary) try again to see if anything shakes loose.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Signing Bonus

from Travis Yost of TSN,

Players, agents and general managers have caught on quickly to the benefits of the 'signing bonus heavy' contract – a type of salary structure that allows the player to take the majority of his salary in the form of one cheque at the beginning of every year. 

While these players' cap hits will look the same regardless of how they receive payment, there are two very particular caveats to the signing bonus heavy contract. One, they’re what many consider 'buyout proof.' Buyouts are calculated by taking two-thirds of the remaining salary owed (which does not include signing bonuses), then spreading that number over twice the remaining contract length. Maple Leaf fans came to understand the pain that this can cause a front office under the David Clarkson contract, which was one of many deals laced with signing bonus money.

Two - signing bonus money is guaranteed. And rest assured, that message has been put in the back of every player's mind by every agent worth his salt. 

The NHL is set for another round of labour negotiations soon - perhaps sooner than many realize. September of 2019 is essentially a drop-dead date for both the NHL and NHL Players' Association, either of whom can 'opt out' of the current collective bargaining agreement. (And it will almost certainly happen as we're already listening to early grievances on, among other things, redefining 'hockey-related revenue'). And when it does happen, the clock will begin ticking on the life of the 2020-21 season.

On that point: If you've been keeping a close eye to the timing of the payouts on these signing bonus heavy contracts, you know that the players and their agents have staggered payments in a very peculiar way.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ron Burkle On A Few Topics

from Sean Gentille of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

There’s a lot to unpack in Dave Molinari’s interview with Penguins owner Ron Burkle — so it goes for guys who speak to the media about as often as Radiohead releases albums — and all of it is worth your time.

How much do you know, really, about the money man behind the NHL’s reigning quasi-dynasty, other than “he’s rich?” Not a ton. Read the entire interview. You won’t learn something; you’ll learn a lot of things....

You’ll also learn, odds are, that you share some fan DNA with a billionaire owner. Did you write off the Penguins when Kris Letang had season-ending neck surgery in April? Burkle sure came close.

“I’m a huge fan of Letang, personally and on the ice,” he told Molinari, “and I thought, ‘Well, without Letang, how are we seriously going to get there?’ So [the 2017 Stanley Cup win] had its own reasons to be incredibly fun and rewarding and exciting.”

Burkle also — shocking as it may be — is a huge fan of Marc-Andre Fleury; he called the former Penguins/current Vegas Golden Knights goalie “more of a stand-up person than you could ever imagine anybody being.”

So, it makes logical sense that a guy worth between $1.5 billion and $3 billion would throw away a fraction of that to keep Fleury around. Every NHL owner got a certain amount of money to allow Vegas into the club, and Burkle said he’d forgo the Penguins share of the expansion fee if it meant Fleury stayed on the roster.

“I wish we could have given the $15 million back and kept him forever,” Burkle said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+burkle

Video- Donald Fehr On A Few Topics

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

Donald Fehr stands on the driving range at Glen Abbey Golf Club and swings away at a series of questions facing the National Hockey League Players’ Association this off-season.

The players whose union he oversees aren’t participating in the Winter Olympics. Some are still waiting to cash cheques for last fall’s World Cup of Hockey, a tournament with a future as uncertain as the next collective bargaining agreement.

The salary cap has been growing at a snail’s pace. The gap between the NBA and NHL’s revenue has widened in favour of basketball. And last month, a few select player agents went public saying a group of unnamed NHLers are dissatisfied with the PA’s leadership....

Here are the highlights:...

On how to close revenue gap on the NBA:

"I’ll have you ask Gary [Bettman] about that, but from our standpoint, I think the international markets are key. Look, there’s only three ways to raise revenue. You can charge your existing customers more money—it’s going to be pretty hard to sell more tickets at the ACC at the moment, for example. You can go get new ones. Or you can do both.

"We are, I certainly believe, pretty well situated to take advantage of international markets. There has to be a lot of investment in the NHL [that] ownership is willing to put in, and we’ll see if they do that. We’ll see if [exhibition games in China] is a big step, a baby step, or the only step."

On the slow rise of the salary cap:

"How happy are we that there’s a salary cap at all? The answer is not. Everybody understands this, but the purpose of a salary cap is to place an artificial upward limit on what players get paid, which is below what the owners would otherwise pay....

more with video or watch the video below...

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Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: donald+fehr

A Bad Summer So Far

from Rory Boylen of Sportsnet,

The NHL off-season is far from over, although the summer sun pushes many of the league’s shot callers to the cottage or golf course so transactions tend to slow to a trickle. Most of the biggest free agents are off the board, too.

There are some noteworthy names still available to the highest bidder, but enough moves have been made to give us a sense of who the off-season winners and losers will be.

On Tuesday we looked at four teams that have improved the most this summer, so naturally we have to look at who has improved the least in our “losers” edition.

Montreal Canadiens

Every summer, GM Marc Bergevin seems determined to narrow the Canadiens’ championship window, which now seems to be all about Carey Price and how far he can carry a withering roster.

It should be noted the Habs did have some positivity, adding and signing 22-year-old Jonathan Drouin, locking up Price for eight years before his expiring deal became a concerning story line, and also re-signing Alex Galchenyuk amid a storm of trade rumours.

But overall, there was more bad here.

continue for more on the Canadiens plus Washington anc Chicago....

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink

Arizona Coyotes Name Steve Patterson As Their New President And CEO

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Arizona Coyotes Owner, Chairman and Governor Andrew Barroway announced today that Steve Patterson has been named as the club's new President and CEO. Barroway also announced that General Manager John Chayka has been promoted to President of Hockey Operations and General Manager.

"We are very pleased to name Steve as our new President and CEO," said Barroway. "Steve has a wealth of experience and has served as an innovative and successful executive in the NFL, NBA, professional hockey, professional baseball and college athletics for over 30 years. He's built championship teams and organizations and has managed stadiums, ballparks and arenas across the United States. Most importantly, he previously worked in our market and has the necessary corporate and political relationships to help us secure a long-term home for the Coyotes in the Valley. We're thrilled to have him join us."

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Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+patterson

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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