Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/15/10 at 08:49 AM ET
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
• But just as a current contract is undergoing scrutiny, Bloch’s decision is affecting a future deal: the pending extension for Zdeno Chara. The 33-year-old defenseman is entering the final season of his contract, and while nobody expected Kovalchuk to be lacing up his skates at age 43, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Chara still in uniform in his 40s. Chara, who once relied strictly on brawn and intimidation, has already begun his transition into a Nicklas Lidstrom-type defenseman with an emphasis on positioning, smarts, and stick skills….
• While Philadelphia and San Jose are most likely in the mix for Antti Niemi, the Cup-winning goalie cut loose by the Blackhawks, don’t rule out Washington. General manager George McPhee has been telling other GMs he’s committed to youngsters Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth, both on their entry-level deals. But with plenty of cap space and arguably the league’s best offensive duo in Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in their sweet spots, it’s risky to lean on two young goalies.
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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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