Kukla's Korner Hockey
An Open Letter To Their Fans...
As we close in on the one-year anniversary of our ownership of the Florida Panthers, we want to reiterate our commitment to Broward County, South Florida and our Panthers fans and business partners. As we said at the press conference when we bought the team, we view ourselves as stewards of the team for the community and our plan is to build an organization that makes South Florida proud and to win the Stanley Cup in South Florida. Despite media speculation to the contrary, we have no plans or intentions to move this franchise.
We made a commitment to the Panthers and to South Florida when we bought the team to build a successful organization on and off the ice. We have been working hard to live up to that commitment. Starting with the trade to bring Roberto Luongo, one of the world’s top goaltenders, back home to South Florida, and continuing with our committing over $80 million to new players, including bringing six talented veteran free agents to South Florida and resigning all of our restricted free agents, we have dedicated ourselves to improving the team. Off the ice, we continue to expand our community outreach initiatives and look forward to continue to contribute to the quality of life for residents.
It is no secret that the Panthers and BB&T Center have lost tremendous amounts of money over the last dozen years. We are working hard to address this situation, which we believe we can do with the support from our loyal fans, our business partners, the business community and our community-at-large.
We look forward to a winning season and bringing a Stanley Cup to South Florida.
With Warm Regards,
Vinnie Viola and Doug Cifu, Co-Owners
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
Former Sharks captain Joe Thornton said Wednesday that he and his teammates went to Lake Tahoe for a bonding session last weekend to address whatever divide that might have developed in the locker room at the end of last season.
"We all have come together," said Thornton, who lost the captaincy last month as part of general manager Doug Wilson's call for a change in the team hierarchy and culture.
So let's review the Top 10 plays, TSN style, from the NHL rookies last season.
via the Columbus Dispatch,
added 2:33pm, Story on the negotions from Aaron Portzline of Puck Rakers,
Craig Custance of ESPN participated in an online chat today..
Who do the Bruins trade? If Krug and Smith aren't signed before training camp starts are they allowed to attend training camp?
Craig Custance Asked a GM who he thought was the most likely to get traded and he said Boychuk or Bartkowski. Boychuk makes the most sense to me. Clears $3 million plus and is a UFA after this season. And Krug and Smith gain nothing by coming to camp without contracts. Not worth the injury risk when you're negotiating a deal.
I'm having a hard time figuring out Central. If St. louis and Chicago are given, and Wild makes it, Dallas makes it, and increfibly enough Nashville makes it, Colorado is the odd team out. Do you see this happening?
Craig Custance I'm learning towards five teams from the Central getting in but I'm starting to think Vancouver makes a surprise playoff appearance which would give me four Central playoff teams. If I have to pick between Colorado, Dallas and Nashville for the final spot, I'm picking the Avs.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
“All I can tell you is my full attention is on that guy right there,” Yeo said, pointing to veteran Niklas Backstrom on the ice during Wednesday’s informal practice. “He’s the one who is here, he’s the one who put in the work.
“You make plans over the summer. I mean, my staff, we’ve been making plans on who’s practicing, what practices we’re going to have, who’s playing in the exhibition games and this was under the assumption we would have Kuemps and Hards and obviously things have changed dramatically.
“We’ve gone from talking about three goalies to sitting here talking about one (Backstrom). I put on the cool face last year pretending we weren’t frustrated about [our goaltending issues], but we’re not even Day One into camp and we’re already talking about it.”
Added veteran Jason Pominville: "Knock on wood. Hopefully nothing else happens. Hopefully we don't get that 'here we go' feeling again."
SAN JOSE - San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has re-signed defenseman Justin Braun to a five-year contract extension. The extension, which will commence next season, places Braun under contract with the Sharks through the 2019-20 season.
"Justin has emerged as one of our most well-rounded and dependable defensemen," said Wilson. "He's an excellent skater who excels in matching up against the opponents top players on a nightly basis and fits in well with our core group of younger players. We feel Justin has just scratched the surface of his talent and we are excited to have him under contract for the next six seasons."
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
The middle class, as a general rule, is simply paid far too much in the NHL today. It’s not that these players aren’t good athletes or quality teammates, but they are generally replaceable, and they don’t contribute anywhere close to that which the top players contribute.
So teams like Columbus have to hold the line with players like Johansen, and they’ll demonize the agent while trying not to alienate the player to do that. The Canadiens pretty much knew what they had in Subban – he won the Norris Trophy in the first year of his “bridge” deal – but needed to suppress his earning power because they, like all other clubs, are paying too many non-star players in that $2-4 million range.
To the public, and to the player, teams sell the notion that the best must take less in order to help the team be more competitive. The correct and sensible model for the NHL would be to have more players at the max or close to it, and more players below $2 million. Why should Crosby take less so Nick Spaling, for example, can make $2.2 million?
from Martin Merk of IIHF.com,
The number of registered ice hockey players has grown to 1,779,911 according to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s annual Survey of Players that includes 68 countries.
That’s an increase of 8.47 per cent compared to last year. There have been more players in all categories – male, female and junior players.
The number-one country remains hockey motherland Canada followed by the United States, the Czech Republic, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and France who complete the top-10.
But the data also offers other interesting angles. Who would have thought that Latvia has the sixth-highest number of players per capita and that Iceland is ninth before tenth-ranked USA?
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