Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Aaron Portzline at Puck-rakers,
Ryan Malone is not going to sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins, unless the Penguins significantly up their offer. It’s looking more and more like the Penguins will get Evgeni Malkin signed to a contract extension and be able to keep right winger Marian Hossa. That will show Malone to the door.
An NHL source said that Malone has been low-balled twice by the Penguins and is ready to leave July 1 as an unrestricted free agent. Malone’s rights could be traded before that day, of course, and the Blue Jackets are a likely destination.
The source said the Penguins have already made the Blue Jackets an offer for Malone’s rights.
From Tony Gallagher of The Province via the Ottawa Citizen,
What can occur is that officials in either sport who faithfully follow directions are traditionally given the best games to work and that’s all that need be done to assure that impropriety is possible.
Take the recent Stanley Cup playoffs. This is not to suggest there was anything improper going on in any way, but this is how it could have gone off the rails and how things can happen when the best interests of the commissioner or the league are well known.
As the Detroit Red Wings-Pittsburgh Penguins series progressed, it became apparent with the TV ratings coming out daily and obviously building with every game, it was in the best interests of the league that the series go as long as possible, no matter who won.
*this appears to follow a recent theme of Gallagher’s
From Rob Rossi at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
[Evgeni Malkin] said the prize he really covets—a long-term contract extension with the Penguins—is on its way.
“I’m thinking maybe five or six years,” said Malkin, set to enter the final season of his three-year entry-level deal. “I’m an easy guy to deal with. I’d love to stay in Pittsburgh.”
The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement forbids the Penguins from signing Malkin to an extension until July 1. Malkin said he expects the extension will be signed “soon” after that date.
From Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
I buy into the argument that the Hart should go to the player adjudged most valuable [to] his team. If you want a flat-out best player in a single season award, call it the Wayne Gretzky and we’ll move on, but whatever criteria you use to determine this thing the guard has clearly been changed. The new generation of NHL stars has arrived and, for now at least, Ovechkin and Crosby or Crosby and Ovechkin are likely to lead the way.
That doesn’t augur well for stellar stay-at-home defencemen or 2.00 and lower Goals Against Average goalies, but so be it.
Update 11:28am ET: More thoughts on the Hart from Jeff Z. Klein at Slap Shot in the New York Times.
From Mike Brophy at The Hockey News,
As I was saying, the Penguins are built on a foundation of young studs, the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Marc-Andre Fleury. That is the core of a team destined to get back to the Stanley Cup final before too long – as long as they continue to be coached by Therrien.
It’s not as though he’s the only man who can guide this club, but give credit where credit is due. Does anybody out there believe the Penguins would have managed to steal two games off the powerful Detroit Red Wings in the final if not for the defensive teachings of the guy they call Mike?
From Dan Rosen at NHL.com,
The decision, though, is up to Roberts. He said he would have to take the summer to reassess his situation and his drive only because of the arduous season he has just gone through.
Roberts, as we mentioned before, is the king of fitness, but he has battled a respiratory infection, a broken leg, a high ankle sprain, a groin strain and a mild case of pneumonia this year.
“Well, I mean obviously I’d be lying to you if I didn’t think about (retirement),” Roberts said. “For sure it’s a thought of mine, but it’s nice to have my legs finally. It’s been since Christmas. I’m excited about the way I feel.”
The way he played in the Stanley Cup Final, too.
From Robin Collum in the Edmonton Journal, the words of John Osgood:
“I’m a hockey dad, so I know it’s a 60-minute game, and I knew that in Detroit in Game 5 when they scored in the last minute to extend the series.
“So in the last minute in Pittsburgh when it was 3-2 and everybody was up cheering, I was sitting. I was watching the screen, and it was 5.2 seconds left, and the puck was at centre ice, so I risked standing up and starting to celebrate,” he said. “Then, all of a sudden, it’s a two-one-one down low, Crosby’s got the backhand, Hossa’s got the puck and throws it through the crease.
“But it worked out and it was so emotional, but a sense of relief, too, that it was over. I think I was more nervous than Chris was.”
From Aaron Portzline at Puck-rakers in the Columbus Dispatch,
The Pittsburgh Penguins won’t be able to keep their Stanley Cup runner-up club together because of salary cap issues. It looks like the Blue Jackets are prepared to offer a helping hand.
The two clubs have had preliminary trade talks, the Dispatch has learned. The discussions have involved Pittsburgh trading the rights to one or two of their pending unrestricted free agents—players the Penguins have decided they can’t keep because of the salary cap—to the Blue Jackets for draft pick or player compensation.
It’s unclear who the players are, but Ryan Malone and Brooks Orpik seem like logical choices.
John Buccigross’ final column of the season. From ESPN:
As fans of the game who give our money and time to the sport, this should make us proud. Nothing comes easy or cheap on the road to the Stanley Cup. Our champion is 100 percent deserving. This is also true for NCAA hockey, Canadian Junior, Minnesota high schools and every hockey trophy from mite to beer leagues.
Staying away from “boom thinking” has kept the Red Wings consistently excellent from top to bottom. Their portfolio has netted four Stanley Cups since 1997. They live in an old, rundown ranch, but they have no mortgage payments and, thus, live below their means.
From Pierre McGuire at Sports Illustrated,
The NHL got a dream finals this spring: Its biggest star, Sidney Crosby, facing the Red Wings, perhaps its most entertaining team. After getting essentially anonymous matchups in 2006 (Carolina-Edmonton) and ‘07 (Anaheim-Ottawa), the league can now hope (off the record, of course) for a Penguins-Wings rematch in 2009. Here’s a look at each team’s off-season challenges.
Red Wings: Though nine of last season’s regulars were 35 or older, don’t expect this deep team to drop off.
Plus SI’s Michael Farber reflects on the series and its fantastic finish.
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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