Kukla's Korner Hockey
TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun have the latest on the coaching vacancies in Pittsburgh and Vancouver, the trade market for the top three centres reportedly available and if P.K. Subban will receive an offer sheet in free agency.
Could restricted free agent P.K. Subban draw an offer sheet this summer?
Dreger: He'll definitely be a prime target but it is hard to say that it is likely to happen. However, the longer the negotiation - or lack thereof - between Newport Sports and the Montreal Canadiens drags on will create a target for Subban from an offer sheet perspective. However, in saying that, there is no chance the Canadiens would not match and it sounds like the Canadiens are prepared in case of that situation.
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
The Jets showed improvement under the guidance of Paul Maurice and having a full training camp under the head coach should help with the further implementation of the core principals and values required to help try to snap the string of consecutive seasons without a playoff berth.
However, another critical element for the Jets finally reaching that goal will include an upgrade of the current roster.
With that in mind, here are five storylines to watch:
1) Has Evander Kane played his last game with the Jets?
It’s a question that has been asked numerous times and it’s one that seems to be picking up steam once again. Can Kane be had for the right price? Perhaps, but the price tag is going to be steep, as it should be. Thirty goal scorers that can kill penalties, skate like the wind and play a physical game don’t exactly grow on trees. No, Kane hasn’t reached his potential in three seasons with the Jets, but he hasn’t had the benefit of regular linemates or been given much first-unit power-play time either. I remain of the belief that Kane could become a more consistent game-breaker if used frequently on a line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. However, if Cheveldayoff is blown away by an offer, I could see him pulling the trigger. But Kane — who is under contract for a cap-friendly deal of $5.25 million through 2017-18 — won’t be moved for shock value alone.
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
Burke was in rare Burke form at the fundraiser: Angry, charming, often hilarious, passionate about his fight against homosexual bullying, even suggesting at one point that, if he had the chance, he’d come back and work for the Leafs.
“I would take the job in Toronto again,” he said. “I had no regrets about working here. I loved it.”
As for the Toronto media, well, Burke didn’t actually bring the topic up. Someone asked for his thoughts and Burke, as he often does, held nothing back, suggesting at one point that 95% of the Toronto media are “conscientious, thorough guys.”
“The other 5%,” Burke added, “well, it’s a shame that we’re not allowed to kick the s--- out of them.”
Now, that quote has to be put in some context. Generally speaking, Burke was being funny. Indeed, he had the well-heeled crowd in the palm of his hand for most of the night with his often outrageous and caustic comments, particularly concerning the media. But there was a definite theme to his diatribes.
“It is a death of a thousand cuts,” said Burke when the subject of the Toronto media was raised during a Q&A. “And I loved working here. I thought I had the best job in hockey when I worked here. In Calgary, it’s not a whole lot better in terms of the media coverage. But you have 80% of the media that are ethical people that give a s---, want to get it right. The other 20% ruin it for everybody (he later jumped to the 95/5 formula).
Bob McKenzie of TSN paid a visit to NHL Live today and discussed the Penguins and Vancouver coaching positions, then moved on to the Florida coaching job.
Up next was some Jason Spezza talk then a minute or so on Martin Brodeur.
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward Jamie McGinn to a two-year contract through the 2015-16 season.
McGinn, 25, recorded 19 goals and 19 assists for 38 points in 79 games for the Avalanche this past season. The Fergus, Ontario native set career highs in points, assists, game-winning goals (3) and games played, while his 19 goals fell one short of his personal best (20 with Colorado/San Jose in 2011-12). He ranked fifth on the team in hits (140).
McGinn went on to finish fourth on the Avalanche in playoff scoring with five points (2g/3a) in seven postseason contests.
“Jamie is coming off a very good season and played an important role for our team,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Sakic. “We’re excited to have him under contract for another two years.”
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
The Avalanche wants Paul Stastny and Ryan O'Reilly to be part of the team for several years to come, but only if they agree to fit in with the team's salary structure.
That was the main message to come out of a news conference Thursday at the Pepsi Center in which team executives Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy laid out their vision of the near-term future.
Sakic, the executive vice president of hockey operations, said negotiations toward new contracts for two of their top forwards will continue as the days tick down to the July 1 start of NHL free agency — but could not guarantee either will be signed to new long-term deals.
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that Bill Peters has been named the team’s head coach. Peters will be the 13th man to serve as head coach for the franchise, and the fourth since the team’s arrival in North Carolina. Francis will introduce Peters during a news conference on Friday at noon in PNC Arena’s Varsity Club, which will stream live on CarolinaHurricanes.com.
The Hockey Hall of Fame will make the announcement of the 2014 Inductees on Monday, June 23rd at 3:00pm ET.
from Mike Brophy of CBC,
Only members of the Hockey Hall of Fame's selection committee may submit nominations for election. I am not a member, but I have a few suggestions for those who are.
Here are four players and a coach who have been overlooked.
Yes, Claude Lemieux. Hockey is not all about goals and assists, although the case could be made that Lemieux was a handy scorer in his 1,215-game big-league career, during which he scored 379 goals and 786 points. Lemieux was like Larmer -- a complete player who tormented his opponents with a physical game that at times crossed the line. But hey, Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Mark Messier crossed the line at times, too.
What Lemieux did to Detroit's Kris Draper in 1996 was indeed despicable. Lemieux hit the Red Wings grinder from behind into the boards, breaking Draper's jaw and shattering his cheek and orbital bone. But that does not define his career. Lemieux saved his best hockey for the post-season, helping Montreal (1986), New Jersey (1995) and Colorado (1996) win Stanley Cups. In 1995 Lemieux scored 13 playoff goals and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
"I don't know if he's going to retire or not but I know he went home to think about it. I just felt we had younger players coming along that we had to move into the lineup. I thought it was best for this organization that we move forward a little bit.
"It was just time for me. And that [Koivu] was the hardest decision of the three, as you can well imagine. Again, Jonas did so much for us. But we have pretty good kids there, so the writing was on the wall there.
"But Saku, I had to do a lot of soul-searching on that one."
-Bob Murray, GM of the Anaheim Ducks when announcing Saku Koivu, along with Jonas Hiller and Daniel Winnik, would not be re-signed by the Ducks. More from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants at the Star Tribune,
The NHL has implemented a significant change from last year regarding the free-agent interview period that begins next Wednesday.
In a memo sent yesterday to all teams and subsequently forwarded by the NHL Players’ Association to all agents, the league will now allow clubs and agents to discuss general parameters of a potential contract for a pending restricted and unrestricted free agent....
In the June 18 memo (read over the phone to me by an agent), the league states, “After discussions with a number of general managers, we have revised and hopefully clarified with regard to last summer the permissible parameters of player contract and communication during the applicable interview periods.
“Please be advised that clubs are permitted to discuss the potential interest in as well as general parameters of a potential future contractual relationship with another club’s pending RFA or UFA during the applicable interview periods. The clubs may not enter any agreements or make any binding offers, promises, … oral or written concerning the terms of a potential SPC (standard players contract) with another club’s pending RFA or UFA.”
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