Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Patrick Maloney via Slam!,
This weekend marks a decade since Thornton—one of the best hockey players in the world—was drafted first overall by a rebuilding Boston Bruins franchise in search of a saviour. On his bedroom wall back then was the iconic photo of Bobby Orr flying through the air after netting the 1970 Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Bruins.
Things to come, perhaps.
But now, the image may be just a reminder of Thornton’s rough luck in Boston and the team’s inability to reach the heights so many thought possible that June day in 1997.
From Tim Wharnsby at Globe & Mail,
The Leafs were close to acquiring capable goalie Vesa Toskala from the San Jose Sharks this morning.
The deal will likely cost the Leafs their first-round selection (13th overall), but is conditional on whether the Leafs can sign Toskala to an extension. There could be another player moving from the Sharks for more Toronto draft picks.
Toskala, 30, will enter the final year of his contract that will pay him $1.375-million (all figures U.S.). The Finnish product made a career-high 38 appearances in 2006-07, enjoyed a 26-10- record, 2.35 goals against average and .908 save percentage.
Update 12:40pm EDT… Deal Confirmed
Again from the Globe,
The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired capable goalie Vesa Toskala from the San Jose Sharks.
The deal, which includes forward Mark Bell going to Toronto, has cost the Leafs their first-round selection (13th overall), second and fourth-round picks.
per RDS (translated),
According to what our fellow-member Renaud Lavoie learned, the defender Craig Rivet concluded new a four years agreement evaluated to 14 million $ with Sharks de San Jose, Wednesday.
from Mike Chen at Fox Sports,
The voice stops. Silence. Doug Wilson is at a loss for a word — not words, mind you, but a single word. The San Jose Sharks GM, normally one of the most articulate speakers in the game, can’t quite encapsulate his approach for next season in a single word.
During the course of the past 20 minutes, Wilson touches on many things in very thorough detail. His message is clear, and it’s one that Sharks fans have been hearing in different forms over the past month since San Jose was eliminated in a somewhat humiliating fashion: We will be better.
continued and great job Mike…
I have had a few emails asking me what team would be getting Marleau in a trade. I respond, relax, he isn’t going anywhere…
from the Mercury News,
If the sides cannot strike a deal during the summer, Marleau said he is willing to continue negotiations during the season. Some players have used the start of the season as a cutoff date for contract talks.
“If you’re talking and if things are going in the right direction, I guess it makes sense to keep talking,” Marleau said.
The downside of not reaching an agreement is the Ryan Smyth scenario. Edmonton traded Smyth, the heart of the franchise, at the trade deadline because contract talks collapsed as the clock was winding down.
“I understand what you’re saying, but I think we’ll have a good grasp of the situation way before that,” Marleau said. “Also, Edmonton was out of the playoffs, and I don’t see ourselves being in that position.”
from the Mercury News,
But the arrival of the NFL and Major League Baseball less than 15 miles from HP Pavilion could cause economic headaches for the South Bay’s lone major sports franchise.
Most sports fans don’t have unlimited amounts of money for tickets and merchandise, and could find it just as easy to spend it on the A’s and 49ers instead of the Sharks, though academic analysts say that shouldn’t be a major concern for the NHL team….
Sponsorships could be the area in which the Sharks are most vulnerable.
Though the situation is improving, the team’s sponsorship income still isn’t where it was in 2004 when the NHL canceled its season because of a labor dispute. And sponsorship provides 15 to 25 percent of his team’s revenue, Jamison said.
The Sharks should expect their sponsors to be courted by other pro teams that relocate to the South Bay, said Paul Staudohar, a professor of business administration at Cal State-East Bay.
from the Mercury News,
The Sharks have raised prices in all categories for season and single-game tickets. The most expensive tickets showed the greatest percentage increase, with fans in the lower bowl, in general, facing a bigger bump than those farther away.
read on for the prices…
from Mike Chen’s Hockey Blog,
Thanks to my FoxSports.com gig, I’ll be following up my post-playoff analysis of the Sharks with an interview with GM Doug Wilson (thanks also to the Sharks media relations folks for helping to set this up and PJ from Sharkspage). This is where you, the reader, comes in. I’m going to arm myself with questions from fans, so if you’ve got a question for Doug, leave it here in the comments.
from the AP via Ft.Wayne.com,
Ron Wilson will return to coach the San Jose Sharks next season, general manager Doug Wilson said Tuesday after another week of self-evaluation and soul-searching for the playoff underachievers.
Ron Wilson and assistants Tim Hunter and Rob Zettler will get another chance to coax postseason success out of the Sharks despite a second-round playoff loss to the Detroit Red Wings last month. The postseason exit - culminating with three straight losses - infuriated Doug Wilson, apparently prompting the GM to consider major changes to his winning club.
“This coaching staff will be back, and I’ll look forward to the work we’re going to do,” Doug Wilson said.
from the San Francisco Chronicle,
If Ron Wilson is on the verge of getting fired as Sharks coach, that’s news to Greg Jamison, team president, chief executive officer and the person who manages San Jose’s ownership group.
General manager Doug Wilson only has the authority to recommend such a change, a decision that would ultimately be made by Jamison. And since the possibility of dismissing a coaching staff that signed multi-year contract extensions in November 2005 has not come up, Jamison isn’t expecting any bombshells before the GM’s self-imposed Memorial Day deadline.
“I don’t think that there’s an indication he (Ron Wilson) wouldn’t be here,” Jamison said.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org