Kukla's Korner Hockey
As per Adrian Dater, the Colorado Avalanche have signed Kyle Cumiskey to a one-year, two-way contract. If Cumiskey plays in the NHL, he will earn 708 000 dollars. If he plays in the AHL, his salary will be 105 000 dollars.
The interesting aspect of this is that I would have expected the Avs to be willing to walk away from Cumiskey and that he might eventually have signed in Europe. Instead, the Avs have added another player that will have to fight for a spot on the team during training camp in about a week’s time. It’s even more peculiar considering that the Avs traded J-M Liles to Toronto to make room for their youngsters coming up on D, and instead of showing faith in them, management seems keen on defence by committee.
Let us take a look at the Avalanche’s logjam at defence with a percentage given to every player involved as to their likelihood of making the opening night roster.
Like everyone else here at Kuklaskorner, I wish I had something of a lighter nature to talk about today. This summer has been filled with death, and having to write another post about former players passing away so soon after my Wade Belak post is extra tough. I hoped that would be the only piece I’d have to write about a player death in a good long while. I certainly wasn’t expecting to find myself by my computer ten days later, trying to find another way to put my thoughts into words about a tragedy that has stunned the entire hockey world. But here goes.
I remember when princess Diana died, and where I was at the time. I was sitting in my younger brothers room, playing NHL 96 on SNES, when my father came in and said “turn it off and check the news, there’s been an accident and you need to see this”.
I also remember where I was when I heard that Michael Jackson had died. In bed, sleeping. My girlfriend who had just left for work called me and woke me up with the news.
Wade Belak was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques as the 12th overall pick in the 1994 draft. Although he only played 35 games over three seasons before being traded to the Calgary Flames (in the Theoren Fleury trade), he is still missed and mourned today. I think we’ll start this blog post with a short piece about his career, before getting more personal after the break.
Belak, as mentioned, played only 35 games with the Avs before being traded. He spent much of his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs before being traded to the Florida Panthers in 2008. Not famous for his goal-scoring ability (he had 8 goals in 549 career games), he was known and loved by the fans as a funnyman who gave it his all on the ice and had a wry humor off the ice. He joked about being “the next best thing” when he was traded and Mats Sundin wasn’t in 2008, and during a particularly long goal-scoring drought with the Maple Leafs, he joked that he was doing it on purpose. During the lockout season he played with Coventry Blaze in the British Elite Ice Hockey League and was an instant fan-favourite.
Join me after the break for a more personal take on this tragedy.
I’m currently on a visit to my mother-in-law over the weekend. I brought the regular necessities - clothes, hygien articles, garlic, stake. I was playing with my daughter as my Iphone’s rss-feed reached me with news that aged me slightly - Chris Drury has retired.
I hold Drury in high esteem as a consummate professional. He excelled at sports from a young age, showing talent in both baseball and hockey. Drafted by the Nordiques in the 3rd round he took the college route to the NHL, becoming the first player to win both the Hobey Baker Award and the Calder Trophy.
The Avalanche is a team surrounded by questions as we prepare for the 2011-2012 season. The Avs looked like a playoff team until mid january, only to fall through and end the second part of the season in a way that could have made the Florida Panthers say “Ouch”.
Needless to say, each and every Avalanche player will be facing at least one question that needs to be answered in a positive way this coming season if the Avs are to have a shot at the playoffs. In a bigger series of posts we will begin to analyze the players individually, see what everyone’s question to answer is, and how likely they are to give us a positive answer. That series should be starting up in another week or two, but until then, let’s look at the five most pressing concerns for the Avalanche.
As per TSN, the Avs have signed their two first round selections from this year’s draft, Gabriel Landeskog and Duncan Siemens.
Landeskog is expectod to have signed at the maximum for an entry-level contract, but I have no news about Siemens’ contract yet.
Most fans were expecting the Avs to sign Landeskog, and I’m happy there’s a deal in place for him. He’s expected to get a shot at playing with either Matt Duchene or Paul Stastny. My personal preference would be to play him with Stastny, since Stastny played well with Stewart and might be able to repeat some of that magic with Landeskog on his wing.
The Avs put together a disappointing performance in the 2010-2011 season with few highlights. So, as we look back on the season from the 1st of July 2010 up until now, let’s put a spin on it. Here are the top news-stories with a matching soundtrack.
Warning: Actually purchasing these songs and putting together a CD to listen to may be harmful to your soul. Do you really want to be reminded of this season?
The Offspring - Can’t repeat
Colorado Avalanche started the season with high hopes of repeating the success of 2009-2010, when the club reached the playoffs. With stellar play from Craig Anderson (2.67 GAA) once again, and the young players on the roster taking another step forward, surely this team was bound for the playoffs once again? Unfortunately, no. Anderson was only a year removed from a career season, but didn’t come close this year, playing 33 games with a 3.28 GAA and save percentage below 90 percent. Avs ended up in 14th place in the Western Conference.
Hockey fans, you are in for a real treat!
Enjoy the writings of our new Colorado Avalanche blogger Martin Krantz.
I’m one of what feels like a dozen new bloggers making their way onto Kukla’s Korner. But if I say so myself, I’m slightly unique. As a swede, I’m not only writing in my second language. I also find myself in the position of being the Colorado Avalanche blogger on a site where the Red Wings are pretty dominant. What can I say in my defense?
First of all – this wasn’t how it was supposed to go. This isn’t how my life was supposed to turn out.
Last week, I found a short piece I had written as a 12-year old about what my future would look like 14 years from then. I was born in 1982, so it was written in 94, and detailed my life as of 2006. Let me share it with you.
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