Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the NHLPA,
Brad Richards is announcing his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following a decorated career that spanned 15 seasons.
Richards played a total of 1,126 career NHL games with five different teams: Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. The talented and highly skilled forward notched 298 goals and 634 assists for 932 points over the course of his career. He also eclipsed the 100-point plateau in career playoff scoring, registering 105 points in 146 postseason games.
“I want to thank the fans and the five organizations I have played for: Tampa Bay, Dallas, and the three original six teams — the New York Rangers, Chicago, and Detroit. During my time with those teams I met many great people. I also want to thank the staff and management in those organizations for all the help and support they gave me. I appreciate all the trainers who did tireless work to help me play and keep me healthy. I had many amazing teammates and made many great friendships along the way that I truly appreciate, and I will never forget the great times we had together. Thank you to all my coaches for pushing, teaching and giving me the opportunity to play this great game. Winning the Stanley Cups in Tampa Bay and Chicago was the best part of my career and I will never forget those moments. Nothing compares to enjoying that night with your team and knowing what you have accomplished together,” said Brad Richards.
added 2:10pm, Tampa release is below...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Like their West Coast counterparts, the Panthers and Lightning used to be pushovers. Four points were as guaranteed as a rejuvenating dose of Vitamin C. Not anymore. In 2016-17, the 28 other teams will require a handful of aspirin to accompany their glasses of orange juice following what could be back-to-back poundings. Florida and California are now the toughest states in the NHL, which would never have been spotted in any crystal ball.
But that’s the reality after the infrastructure that Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman built convinced Steven Stamkos the grass wasn’t greener elsewhere, even if the dollars were. Stamkos left stacks of cash on the table by signing an eight-year, $68 million extension when he could have scored a double-digit average annual value on the open market....
Yzerman’s offseason work isn’t finished. He will re-sign Kucherov, Alex Killorn, and Vladislav Namestnikov. Yzerman would be in better cap space to do so if he trades Ben Bishop, who has one year remaining on his contract. But wheeling the goalie this summer isn’t automatic. The Lightning would be best served with Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy backstopping one more Cup push in 2016-17 before they part ways with the ex-University of Maine netminder.
A two-goalie net is the plan for the Panthers, who supplemented Roberto Luongo by signing James Reimer to a five-year, $17 million contract. It was one of eight deals the Panthers signed in an 11-day span. Between June 23 and July 3, the Panthers committed $203,600,000 in salary to Reimer, Aaron Ekblad, Keith Yandle, Vincent Trocheck, Reilly Smith, Jason Demers, Derek MacKenzie, Colton Sceviour, and Jonathan Marchessault.
General manager Tom Rowe wore out his hand while signing all the contracts. Owner Vincent Viola, meanwhile, monitored his checking account to make sure it wasn’t overdrawn. It was a thunderous announcement by the Panthers: that a first-round playoff loss to the Islanders was only the beginning of their renaissance.
more on this plus other hockey topics...
from Kevin Paul Dupont also of the Boston Globe,
"Victor and I are extremely close friends, we came up in this organization as 18-year-old kids. To say that we're going to be together for the long run, and on one team, that's something special. We have talked a lot throughout this process. I joke with him that sometimes I forget the time difference (with Sweden) and I'm calling him at 4 in the morning. But he's always getting back to me as quick as he can. It was extremely exciting to see him sign. A big reason why both of us stuck around is because of the relationship that we have as teammates and as friends as well."
-Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN has much more on Stamkos plus other hockey notes...
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Steve Yzerman didn’t have to dip into the foolishness that is the free-agent frenzy to land the title of the National Hockey League’s off-season champion.
He did that by keeping his own talented house in order.
After what Stevie Y has managed to accomplish the past few days, it says here his Tampa Bay Lightning are going to be beasts of the east for most of the next decade.
First, after not budging from the eight-year, US$68 million (an average annual value of $8.5 million) offer tabled to Steven Stamkos months ago, even Yzerman admitted he was surprised when the Lightning captain on Wednesday agreed to take the hometown discount — at least in terms of his hockey home in Tampa, that is.
By leaving money on the table from other interested teams, Stamkos understood that his contract — said to have an average annual value (AAV) that is about $2.5 million per less than what the Buffalo Sabres were willing to give him — gave Yzerman some cap flexibility to lock up some other key pieces to the puzzle moving forward.
added 2:39pm, Release is below...
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed captain Steven Stamkos to an eight-year contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Stamkos, 26, played in 77 games with the Lightning last season, recording 36 goals and 64 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes. He ranked first on the Bolts for goals and was second for points. Stamkos also ranked tied for seventh in the NHL for goals and was tied for fourth for power-play goals with 14. He led the team for shots on goal with 216 and led all Lightning forwards for average time on ice (19:45).
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So, where to begin with one of the most dramatic half hours in NHL transaction history?
A head-swirling span that saw a swap of two premier defensemen in Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, and included the trade of a No. 1 overall draft pick in Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils that was followed by the news that Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos re-signed with the team for the next eight years.
Let's just say the collective hockey heart rate is still beating in the red line, even as we begin to consider all that transpired in that magical 30 minutes.
Let's dive in with a swap of Norris Trophy-worthy defenders and marquee players in Weber and Subban, whose names were not once connected in the ever-swirling trade rumor mill leading up to Wednesday's blockbuster but whose swapping of teams will have repercussions in both cities for years to come.
Subban is 27 and under contract through 2021-22 with a $9 million cap hit. So much for Nashville being a small-market team.
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 email@example.com