Kukla's Korner Hockey
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 Brad Shrade at The Tennessean,
Predators investor William J. “Boots” Del Biaggio III’s trail of financial and legal troubles drew closer to Nashville Wednesday, as the FBI subpoenaed documents from Metro concerning the California businessman and his role in the purchase of Nashville’s pro hockey team last year.
It also has become more clear in recent days that as much as $27 million in debt Del Biaggio incurred on his way to bankruptcy may have direct ties to the Predators deal.
An arena management company, AEG Facilities Inc., is the latest to accuse the high-flying 40-year-old San Jose venture capitalist of fraud, according to a lawsuit filed Friday. The company is a division of entertainment giant AEG, which manages sports arenas and owns the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, and says it loaned Del Biaggio $7 million to help him buy a share in the Nashville Predators.
Since I’m getting so much mail about this—understandably—I thought it would be best to provide another update here on KK.
P.S. KK’s server hijacked my email yesterday for several hours, and when it finally landed in my inbox I got seriously backlogged. So please accept my apologies for the delayed responses.
Thanks to everyone for all the support.
Yesterday, Chris Osgood spoke to Jim Rome on ESPN.
From Larry Brooks in the NY Post,
The Rangers New York Rangers spent yesterday romancing a free agent right wing, and his name isn’t Jaromir Jagr.
Rather, even as No. 68 told The Post that he hasn’t spoken to general manager Glen Sather since the May 6, post-elimination breakup day, the Blueshirts were attempting to entice 21-year-old Blake Wheeler into signing an Entry Level deal with the club.
Wheeler was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2004 and recently turned down their offer of an entry-level contract at the maximum allowable salary.
From Ted Kulfan at the Detroit News,
Holland said he expects veteran forward Dallas Drake to decide about retirement in the next two weeks.
plus more notes on the Wings future
*hat-tip to Spector who summarizes all the latest rumors & news on Brian Rolston, Darcy Tucker, Jose Theodore, Brendan Morrison, Derek Roy and others today.
From Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun via Faceoff.com,
Immediately after his packed, televised press conference at General Motors Place, Linden handed over to the Canucks’ charity the $25,000 he received last month from the National Hockey League as part of a humanitarian award.
It won’t be Linden’s last act of community service even if he never skates another shift in the NHL.
“No, I don’t think that will stop,” Linden’s wife, Cristina, said.
“During my time at Nike ... I got to spend time with Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods,” Canuck president Chris Zimmerman said. “They are extraordinary people. But I have never met another athlete with a bigger heart than Trevor Linden.”
*Video of Linden’s retirement speech was posted here yesterday
From Kirk Penton via the Winnipeg Sun,
[Darren Helm] leapfrogged an awful lot of talent to go from Grand Rapids Griffin in the AHL to fourth-line centre on the Stanley Cup champs.
“Guys that I’ve played with, they just can’t believe it,” Helm said. “... My coach from last year (Medicine Hat Tigers boss Willie Desjardins), he told me he can’t believe how well I played and the fact that I won. He said it’s just such an unbelievable turnaround from last year. I feel the same way. It doesn’t happen ... almost ever.
“My goal this year was to play about five games in the NHL regular season and just be along for the ride in the playoffs. It’s starting to catch up to me now, all the things that have happened.”
From Damien Cox at The Star,
So while the headlines today will note the fact that Cliff Fletcher will be GM of the Leafs through the 2008-09 season – oh gosh, aren’t we all shocked? – the truly important news is that Peddie will remain as team president.
Like a bad odour, you just can’t make this guy go away.
From the day Peddie ascended to the power position of having both the Raptors and Leafs report to him in 2003, the hockey club has gone straight downhill. You’d think his bosses might wonder why there hasn’t been a Stanley Cup playoff game at the ACC since 2004.
Instead, he’s managed to survive. Again.
From Rick Westhead at the Toronto Star,
A prominent hockey memorabilia dealer faces a bizarre $3 million lawsuit several years after police raided a store in Vaughan and seized photos and hockey cards that featured allegedly forged signatures of NHL star Steve Yzerman.
The lawsuit is the second to surface in the past week involving Derrick Luck, who runs Mississauga’s Lucky Sports Management Inc. Luck is one of the top sellers in the hockey memorabilia industry and has had contracts with players including Yzerman, former Leaf Doug Gilmour and Ottawa Senators star Dany Heatley.
The case is certain to increase scrutiny of the multimillion-dollar memorabilia business, one that several leading dealers say is rife with fake signatures and misrepresented hockey jerseys.
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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