Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Climer of The Tennessean,
With Peter Laviolette now in place as coach, the Preds have shifted gears. General manager David Poile dealt for skilled forward James Neal and has added veteran center Olli Jokinen in free agency. And Poile keeps hinting he’s not done.
It’s about time the Preds rolled the dice. Changing coaches and systems was a start. Acquiring players that don’t treat the goal like a no-fly zone is the next step.
Look, I have nothing but respect for the job Trotz did with the Preds. He consistently got more out of his team than the sum of its parts. The Preds’ failure to make the playoffs in the last two seasons was due to shortcomings on the roster and injuries, not Trotz’s strategy.
But things had grown stale. It was time for a fresh start and a new philosophy, one that doesn’t begin and end with strong defense and quality goaltending.
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
“I regret my actions on Canada Day and sincerely apologize to my fans, teammates and the Philadelphia Flyers organization for my misguided attempt at humor.
Following an investigation, law enforcement determined that charges are not warranted. I have the utmost respect for law enforcement and apologize to the Ottawa Police Department and specifically the individual officer. I will be making no further public comment on this matter.
I will not be distracted from my ongoing preparation for the upcoming season. I remain 100% committed and focused on working with my team to return the Stanley Cup to Philadelphia.”
“We’ve been in contact with Claude and the Ottawa Police Service and have been informed that no charges will be filed. Moving forward, we will deal with this incident internally and we will no longer publicly discuss this matter.”
-- Flyers GM Ron Hextall
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
There are simply too many assets in Vancouver for the Canucks to drop to the bottom of the league the way an Edmonton or Buffalo has. But if they don’t use those assets to get younger — the way Benning turned Kesler into Bonino (26), Luca Sbisa (24), Dorsett (27) and centre Jared McCann at the draft — they’ll hit the same cliff Edmonton and Calgary have fallen off.
This Canucks team will legitimately push for the playoffs, but if we know Benning — and we’ve been, ahem, right about him thus far — he may forego another first-round exit to maximize a couple of veteran assets at the trade deadline.
When you have a blueline that includes Edler (28), Kevin Bieksa (33), and Dan Hamhuis (32 in December), you’ve got options. One of those defencemen may be worth a first-round pick and a legit prospect at the trade deadline, a time when a guy as smart as Benning with a defenceman as valuable as Bieksa can be a lethal combination.
To all of you traveling for the long 4th of July weekend, please be safe and have a great weekend.
If you are staying at home, I will be posting on a limited basis tomorrow, especially after the morning update, but will post any important news.
I will be back on a regular schedule for the weekend but I expect it will be slow, very slow.
Again, enjoy the weekend and hope the weather is perfect for everyone.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed Darcy Regier to a multi-year contract to serve as the team's Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"We are very pleased Darcy has decided to join us in Arizona," said Maloney. "Darcy adds intelligence and experience to our management team. The wealth of knowledge he has garnered as a long time General Manager in the National Hockey League is invaluable to us. He is a great addition to our staff."
President Barack Obama called Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown to congratulate him on the Stanley Cup.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
The Florida Panthers were like a Kardashian sister on two-for-one day at Nieman-Marcus. The Panthers, in no particular order, added Dave Bolland, Jussi Jokinen, Willie Mitchell, Shawn Thornton, Al Montoya and Derek McKenzie. Those six players will represent just under $17 million in cap space next season. Then again, Jokinen did score the 21 goals last season.
Close behind the Panthers are the Buffalo Sabres who signed Matt Moulson, Brian Gionta, Cody McCormick and Marcus Foligno in addition to picking up Josh Gorges' salary from Montreal. The cost for those five players? Just over $16 million on next year's payroll.
From there, we move to a group which didn't quite reach the Panthers-Sabres' level but still had a high old time of it this week. Washington added Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik and Justin Peters. The Islanders signed Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski, Cory Conacher and some other spare parts. Calgary's take was Derek Engelland, Jonas Hiller and Mason Raymond. New Jersey picked up Mike Cammalleri and Marty Havlat in addition to re-signing Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier.
As for your Vancouver Canucks, they'll have $11 million tied up next season in Ryan Miller and Radim "The Dream" Vrbata as well as three depth players for the organization.
Now, here's our question. Look at those teams which were spending like sailors on shore leave and see if you can identify a common denominator. The clock's ticking. The music is playing for Final Jeopardy. OK, time's up.
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at Yahoo,
St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong targeted Paul Stastny in free agency. But before he even had the chance to sign him, the Dallas Stars traded for Jason Spezza.
"I've got to say I was a little bit nervous this morning when Dallas made their acquisition what our Plan B would be," Armstrong said.
Such is life in the Western Conference, where contending teams are playing an escalating game of "Can you top this?" specifically down the middle of the ice. Having a strong one-two punch of centres is necessary given the Los Angeles Kings' duo of Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter and now the Anaheim Ducks' combination of Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler.
"If you want to be one of the elite teams, you have to have it," Stars GM Jim Nill said. "You look at the other teams that are winning on our side now, you need to have two elite centremen."
Nill came from the Detroit Red Wings, who won Stanley Cups thanks in part to having Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov and later Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. In Dallas now, he has Tyler Seguin and Spezza.
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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