Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bolts Report,
Things are so tense right now, it wouldn’t shock me whatsoever if John Tortorella is not behind the bench the next time the Lightning take the ice Wednesday against Minnesota.
There is word running through the grapevine that Koules and his partners want to pare back payroll to the floor, which this year is around $38 million. Can you imagine what this team will look like with a payroll under $42 million next season? You might want to get used to it.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Sources have told The Post that the Rangers’ interest in Boyle goes far deeper than merely acquiring the defenseman as a rental. Indeed, it is believed that GM Glen Sather would ask for permission to negotiate a long-term contract with Boyle, among the most feared power play quarterbacks in the NHL, prior to pulling the trigger on a trade.
The Boyle situation is complicated by incoming ownership’s strong preference that Brad Richards, whose contract runs for three more seasons at $7.8M, be moved as a pre-condition to keeping the defenseman
more on the Rangers…
Per Pierre McGuire speaking on FSN during the Pens/Sens game, a potential landing place for Brad Richards is Montreal.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Rumor is, Tampa Bay Lightning center Brad Richards is available and the Blue Jackets are making a pitch. This is juicy.
The rumor first floated on TSN, the Canadian sports-television network, on Wednesday. TSN suggested that the Jackets were “front-runners” in the bidding. Dispatch reporter Aaron Portzline confirmed as much, and reported that the Jackets had two scouts, including Don Boyd, director of player personnel, scouting the Lightning-Islanders game Thursday night in Uniondale, N.Y.
Oh, man, if the Jackets can get their hands on this guy . . . he’s perfect for them.
from the Tampa Tribune,
If Columbus is considered to be among the front-runners for Richards, then the presence of two Blue Jackets scouts, including the team’s director of player personnel, Don Boyd, will only fuel that speculation.
At the same time, the team continues to discuss a contract extension with D Dan Boyle, although there is no progress to report. If terms of a new contract cannot be agreed upon before Tuesday, it is widely known that the Lightning will explore trading him rather than risk losing him to free agency with any type of compensation.
Other players believed to be in play on the trade market include LW Vinny Prospal, D Filip Kuba, C Chris Gratton and possibly LW Jan Hlavac and G Johan Holmqvist.
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
The word on the street from rival general managers around the league is that Lightning GM Jay Feaster is in a situation where he’s being told by potential team owner Oren Koules to find out what he could get for veteran forward Brad Richards. [...]
First, the team wants to have centre Vincent Lecavalier signed to a long-term contract this summer. They want him locked up and made him a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning for life. Secondly, you know that winger Martin St. Louis is also in for the long haul because his contract gets more affordable with each passing year.
Feaster also wants to sign defenceman Dan Boyle to a long-term contract, but the team also wants to get a No. 1 goaltender somewhere down the line. It’s going to be expensive to do all of that.
more… with ideas about potential destinations for Richards. (*apparently $7.8 million salary isn’t as limiting as I would’ve thought…)
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Speaking of the Lightning – a retired NHLer and one-time assistant coach weighed in Tuesday on the Bolts’ need for a coaching change.
“It’s clear that team has stopped listening to (John) Tortorella,” the former player, who asked that his name not be used, told THN.com. “And that’s not saying Torts has forgotten how to coach. But guys who use his (hard-edged) style only have a limited shelf life….”
more and Richards talk too…
from Lightning Strikes,
Feaster isn’t trading Vinny Lecavalier. He probably wants to keep Boyle. To do that, he has to cut salary somewhere. Richards has underperformed, Forsberg seems out of the equation, so it seems logical Feaster wants to see what Richards’ market is like before deciding if he can sign Boyle, because if Tampa Bay can be out from under Richards’ salary, that makes Boyle’s contract doable.
As we have said, there are a lot of moving parts here, including how the Lightning does Wednesday and Thursday in what will be a difficult back-to-back against the Sabres and Islanders.
from Eduardo Encina of the St. Petersburg Times,
Hockey players have a tough time giving up on helmets, shin guards and other equipment, but there’s something about the feel and comfort of worn shoulder pads that makes them special.
“I’ve had mine since I was 16,” said center Brad Richards, 27. “They’re going to stay with me. They’re not going anywhere. I don’t know if it’s weird, but I can change skates 100 times a year, gloves, all that stuff, but my shoulder pads, if I didn’t have those, I’d be lost forever.”
Much like someone having a worn-in baseball glove or a favorite pair of sneakers, some hockey players don’t want to let go of their favorite equipment, no matter how ratty it becomes.
Some players are the same way with other equipment.
from Lightning Strikes,
Lightning star Vinny Lecavalier said he knows all about the rumor that came out of a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast that said he was tired of playing in a small market and would asked to be traded to perhaps New York, Los Angeles or, surprise, his hometown of Montreal.
Lecavalier said he was called by his agent, who asked Lecavalier if he wanted him to “do something about’’ the story. But Lecavalier said he would rather the rumor die of its own weight. Lecavalier reiterated he is not looking to be anywhere else.
“There was a time when I thought the grass was greener somewhere else,’’ Lecavalier has said of his trade request in 2001 amidst much rancor with coach John Tortorella that almost got him moved the the Maple Leafs, “but it’s not.’‘
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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