Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Here’s a look at where the teams in the Western Conference stack up after a week of free agency, which has left the cupboard bare with the exception of a handful of players… Check out our Eastern Conference trends here.
Tallon overpaid for both; but if the emerging Hawks become a playoff team, it will be worth every penny to a long-floundering Original Six team around whom there is now a palpable buzz. Now the pressure is on everyone from Campbell to Huet to coach Denis Savard not to screw it all up. Trending: Up
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
But the intriguing aspect Wednesday was the fact that Bobby Ryan, without even teeing it up for the Ducks in the playoffs, has apparently become entrenched as the other second-line wing.
“Our coach (Randy Carlyle) doesn’t just give people jobs,” General Manager Brian Burke said. But Burke also praised Ryan’s work in the American Hockey League playoffs last year.
There were none of the usual qualifications about Ryan. The No. 2 pick in the 2005 draft (behind you-know-who) has gone through his initiation process and will be one of Anaheim’s top six forwards, although he still hasn’t shown he can handle it on the NHL level. He clearly will get that chance now and presumably will be allowed to play through a few mistakes.
more on the Ducks…
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post at All Things Avs,
Don Meehan, the agent for former Avs goalie Jose Theodore and current left winger Ryan Smyth, is one of the good guys in the business….
Today, I spoke with him on the phone about the situation that went down with Theodore and the Avs….
As Meehan said, “Both sides were in a position to make the choices they made. And that’s what happened. I don’t think there’s anybody “at fault” here. It’s just what both parties decided was in their best interest.”
True enough. It’s nothing personal, just business. I know that, and am not trying to take sides. I just personally still find it weird at how the whole thing ended.
Just in case you have missed all of the signings, including the Islanders extending Brendan Witt and the Thrashers signing Eric Boulton, make sure to check out the TSN Signing Tracker...
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Perhaps Barrie knows something we don’t. But we’re betting a top eight defense corps of Paul Ranger, Filip Kuba, Matt Carle, Shane O’Brien, Alexandre Picard, Mike Lundin, Janne Niskala and Matt (and we don’t mean) Smaby will not hold up to the rigors of NHL competition and will be the Lightning’s undoing next season.
And if it’s true the Lightning is shopping No. 1 goalie Mike Smith and plans to go with a tandem of Olaf Kolzig and Karri Ramo next season, the Lightning had better be prepared to lose lots of 6-5 hockey games.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed unrestricted free agent Brandon Bochenski to a two-year contract.
“Bradon is a proven player at the AHL level with more than 100 games of experience in the NHL,” vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton said. “Adding him for the next two years continues to address our need to build organizational depth.”
from the Toronto Maple Leafs,
Cliff Fletcher, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that Joe Nieuwendyk has been named the hockey club’s special assistant to the general manager.
“Joe is an extremely intelligent individual, who has experienced success throughout his entire hockey career,” said Fletcher. “We will value his contributions on all hockey decisions and he will be a great asset to our organization.”
The Montreal Canadiens have signed goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a two-year contract worth $1.55 million, that will see him get paid $750,000 in 2008-09 and $800,000 in 2009-10.
from the Ottawa Senators,
Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray announced today that the club has signed defenceman Jason Smith to a two-year contract.
from TV JOJ and translated by KK friend Roman,
Pavol Demitra will play for Vancouver next 3 yrs. His contract is 4mil per season.
Vancouver contacted Demitra shortly after he said he would not play in Minnesota next season. There is speculation in overseas media that the Canucks contacted him before July 1 which is prohibited. Now it is up to NHL if there will be some investigation.
added 3:34pm, from TSN,
In an interview with Vancouver radio station CKNW, free agent forward Pavol Demitra confirmed that the Canucks are his preferred destination and expects to sign with the team.
“I think there is a good chance,” Demitra said.
“[Current Canucks GM Mike Gillis] used to be my agent for a long time. We are very good friends. I am very interested in playing for [the Canucks].”
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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