Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Howard Berger at the National Post,
Tucker has a no-trade provision in the four-year, US$12-million extension he signed last March, and he has been evasive when answering questions from reporters about his willingness to waive the clause. But, after the Leafs’ morning skate at Montreal’s Bell Centre on Thursday, Tucker opened up a bit, and he sounded like a man who is firmly entrenched in Toronto. “I believe in the organization and playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs,” he said. “I signed here last year to stay. At that particular time in my career, I could have taken the option to explore free agency and I didn’t. Not only have the Maple Leafs been good to me, but I think my allegiance to this team has shown in the last eight years.” When asked about the prospect of changing his mind before Feb. 26, Tucker replied, “I don’t see myself changing that philosophy.”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The Star has learned the NHL’s salary cap will rise by about $3 million (all figures U.S.) next year – the third straight rise in the cap under the current collective bargaining agreement.
“It depends on a lot of factors, but I expect the cap will go up at least $3 million,” said a source.
The rising value of the Canadian dollar is one reason forwarded for an increase in revenues, but commissioner Gary Bettman has said merchandising revenue and ticket sales were up across the league.
more on how the increase of the cap can help the Leafs…
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
For the love of God, for pity’s sake, somebody shoot this team.
Put it down, out if its misery.
And if Mats Sundin isn’t saying today, where do I sign, or un-sign, then he’s a sadomasochist, perhaps a fool.
What the captain did say last night, after taking nearly an hour to emerge from the inner sanctum of the dressing room, was: “Everybody that wore the sweater tonight should be ashamed of the way we played. The effort we put out in front of our home fans was embarrassing.”
from the CP,
Wayne Gretzky was breaking the hearts of Maple Leafs fans at the same he was inspiring one of the team’s future players.
The Great One was the star of a memorable seven-game series in 1993 as the Los Angeles Kings got past Toronto and advanced to the Stanley Cup.
It was a time when interest in the game was growing in California and Robbie Earl was just getting started in organized hockey near Los Angeles.
Earl was raised by grandparents who had previously lived in Toronto and exposed him to hockey at a young age. But Gretzky’s presence also played a part in developing his interest.
from the Toronto Star,
Just as he had no choice but to accept his suspension, he would also have no choice but to accept his fate if he were traded. Antropov may be among the most vulnerable of Leaf stalwarts.
Teams looking to load up for a run at the playoffs will consider he earns a reasonable $1.95 million (U.S.) a year, he’s signed for next season, he’s having a career year, and, perhaps most importantly, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause. He says he wants to stay.
“Of course,” says Antropov. “But it’s not up to me. Ask Cliff Fletcher.”
more and other Leafs mentioned too…
No Olaf Kolzig for the Caps. They’re starting Brent Johnson in goal. In the newsroom on Tuesday, some vile cynic wondered aloud if the Blue Jackets led the league in facing back-up goaltenders. They do not, actually. That would be Toronto, center of the hockey universe, which has seen 20 No. 2s this season. Man, 41 years without the Cup in Toronto, and now opponents are trotting out their back-ups. Harsh.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
McCabe is not considered one of the veterans Fletcher will try to move by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. He has a no-movement clause in his contract, but even if he did waive it, McCabe will cost a team $5.75-million (all currency U.S.) against the salary cap for the next three seasons. Not that he wants to go anywhere, anyway.
“Yeah, I got that clause, but no one’s ever spoken to me about doing anything about it so I’m not too worried about it,” McCabe said. “I signed here to play here. I want to be here.”
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
If Sundin stands his ground on this, the Leafs need to get his signature on a new contract now, so that they don’t lose on both ends of a polarizing predicament. And if Sundin is being truthful about wanting to end his career in Toronto, then he should prove that with a renewed commitment.
However, asked several which ways if he’d re-sign Sundin this summer – whatever happens Feb. 26 – Fletcher declined to oblige.
“That’s a decision that would be entirely up to him. He is in a position to do what he wants.’‘
Not true. Sundin can’t say yes if the invitation is never extended.
If there’s no separation, both parties need to re-affirm their vows.
from the Toronto Sun,
Will Bryan McCabe return to the Maple Leafs lineup just in time to be traded?...
There are many things that McCabe is looking forward to when he rejoins the Leafs. Repeatedly answering that question is not one of them.
“Look, no one (from management) has approached me about (waiving it) yet,” McCabe said. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
“I’ve said all along I want to be a Toronto Maple Leaf. That’s why I signed here.”
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Legality and necessity demand Peter Karmanos make Jim Rutherford fulfil his contract to the Carolina Hurricanes.
But Karmanos’ friendship with Rutherford would let the latter go to work for the Maple Leafs….
“First of all, it’s not appropriate to be discussing this when Jim’s in the second of a five-year contract, and a lucrative one, too,” Karmanos told Sun Media yesterday from the offices of the Compuware Corporation in suburban Detroit. “But I would not stand in his way, only if the situation did not allow him to do his job.
“I would grant permission for the Leafs to talk to him, but I would want to hear the level of control he has. It might be something I could help him negotiate.”
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