Kukla's Korner Hockey
SAN JOSE – Forward Claude Lemieux today formally announced his retirement from the game of hockey at the age of 44. One of the most successful NHL players in the history of the League, Lemieux won four Stanley Cups and is one of only eight players to win hockey’s greatest prize with three different teams (Montreal, 1986; New Jersey, 1995 and 2000; Colorado, 1996).
“I want to thank my former teammates from my entire career for all of their support,” said Lemieux. “I feel very fortunate that I was able to have a career like I had. There have been many great NHL players who did not get the opportunities to win that I had. I played for a long time but it went by so very fast.”
According to TSN, Kent Huskins has re-signed with San Jose Sharks, 2 years, $1.7 million per year.
Link not yet available.
via David Pollak of Working the Corners,
The team signed the 39-year-old defenseman to a one-year deal that will pay him $3.5 million next season, according to a team source. Blake would have become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
During a phone conversation following the draft, (Doug) Wilson was asked how many new players he expects to see on the team by the time training camp opens in September. Half a dozen? A dozen?
“Don’t hold me to this,” Wilson said, “but we’re looking at potentially six, seven, eight changes on the roster. As I say, don’t hold me to that or to a time frame. But that would be realistic.”
In other words, don’t expect a nuclear teal explosion. But don’t expect a small firecracker, either. The Sharks’ roster shake-up will fall somewhere between those two extremes, with the needle leaning toward a surgical and significant attack….
Best guesses on those names: Mike Grier, Travis Moen, Claude Lemieux. Maybe one or two others. Rob Blake? A coin flip.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has said that he intends to try to give himself a boost up the draft ladder to get a selection in the top three.
San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has said no such thing. But the whispers around the league say that Wilson has a better chance of getting one of those top picks than Burke does.
For one thing, Wilson has more to offer. After a disappointing playoff, almost everyone on the team is available. Furthermore, Wilson has done an in-depth analysis and realizes that he has to change the core of his team. That means he’ll move out an elite veteran to get an elite youngster.
more NHL topics from Al…
from Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle,
After another deep run that ought to result in another Stanley Cup (they are playing at home, after all), the Wings showed more age and thinning tread. They may end up being today’s champs, but one has to wonder more seriously about their chances for 2010.
Their core players are still superb, but Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Valteri Filppula and Johan Franzen are all difficult players with which to cope. And as the league’s oldest team, it may have to reinvent itself. . The long list of injuries the Wings have endured makes their choices this summer even more complicated. The Wings aren’t going anywhere, but it is fair to say that their arc has leveled off and may in fact begin to decline. That can’t be anything but good for the Sharks.
There are, of course, the other moving parts here. Pittsburgh remains better than San Jose and in fact has widened the gap based on performance. Chicago has passed the Sharks by any reasonable analysis, St. Louis and Columbus suddenly are part of the mix, and Anaheim is still Anaheim.
more on other teams the Sharks may be competing against…
from David Pollak of Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
And in this morning’s (Wednesday) Toronto Sun, these two paragraphs appeared in a story focusing on trade talk:
“Another GM getting a lot of attention is San Jose’s Doug Wilson. Sources say he has gotten numerous calls about captain Patrick Marleau and centre Joe Thornton after a first-round exit from the playoffs, thanks to the Ducks.
“Wilson insisted he isn’t going to move either player, but he wants to make moves.”
Now what should get your attention is that part about Wilson insisting that Marleau will be playing for the Sharks next season. If true, that would be big hockey news in San Jose.
But I talked with Wilson this afternoon after he got home and he said the report is inaccurate. He said he never said that to anyone and, in fact, didn’t field any questions at all from the Sun reporter present, Ottawa-based Bruce Garrioch.
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News via the Monterey Herald,
My conversation with (Doug) Wilson took place earlier this week before we both appeared on a Comcast SportsNet Bay Area television show, the one which features sportswriters of all ages and sizes, proving definitively that none of us are as smooth or smart as host Greg Papa.
For example, on the show in question, Papa was pressing exactly the right issue with Wilson — whether Shark scoring leader Joe Thornton needs to amp up his attitude in the playoffs — when the general manager inadvertently let it slip that Thornton isn’t going anywhere.
Some had wondered if he might be on the trade market.
“I know one thing,” Wilson said. “It bothers Joe every day right now, that we’re still not playing. That’s the kind of guy we want to be in the foxhole with going forward.”
Okay, that’s one guy who’ll definitely be back for 2009-10. What about the rest? What about captain Patrick Marleau? Or goalie Evgeni Nabokov? Any others?
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
The hard questions were supposed to come from the 2,400 people who showed up Thursday night at HP Pavilion for the annual State of the Sharks session. But none was more blunt than the one General Manager Doug Wilson threw back at the crowd as he talked about the future.
“Is this the final time we have to get kicked in the ass to realize we’re going to commit to whatever it takes to get to the next level?” Wilson said.
The general manager was defining the overriding issues he needs to deal with as he decides what moves must be made after San Jose finished the regular season as the NHL’s best team, only to be eliminated by Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs.
The black drapes that served as the backdrop inside the Tank provided a funeral-like setting, and Wilson talks of his ongoing analysis as an autopsy.
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.
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