Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Gallagher at the Vancouver Province,
If Chris Drury or Daniel Briere leave Buffalo, they’ll obviously go where a team needs offence. Ditto Scott Gomez, one of the legion of New Jersey Devils who’ve had their fill of life in Lou Lamoriello’s successful Gulag and want to experience a less restrictive lifestyle, to say nothing of perhaps a more open approach to the game.
Of course, the smart guy may take Detroit as his cue. Knowing Bertuzzi would like to go back to the Wings, you would have to think if the Wings pass on making an offer, their medical staff heavily influenced the decision.
This one should be most interesting unless Detroit straight up takes him off the market.
What about Peter Forsberg? Will we get into Roger Clemens territory when it comes to the immortal Foppa?
read on...more UFA talk…
from the Sun-Sentinel,
Martin added that, “there’s probably a good possibility we’ll get Belfour back” for next season. Despite discussions with Belfour’s agent, the team has held off on re-signing the 42-year-old, who’s set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
By trading forward Chris Gratton on Thursday, the Panthers look like they intend to make a move soon. Not only did they clear $1.5 million in salary, but they also added a second-round pick to their other two second-rounders, one of which was acquired in the Todd Bertuzzi trade.
The Panthers’ most viable trade targets are San Jose’s Vesa Toskala and Anaheim’s Ilya Bryzgalov. Toskala, 30, was 26-10-1 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .908 save percentage last season. He makes $1.375 million, about four times less than the Sharks’ other starter, Evgeni Nabokov, who was 25-16-4 with a 2.29 GAA and .914 save percentage. Nabokov, 31, has a no-trade clause in his contract.
According to the Toronto Sun, the Ottawa Senators have fired general manager John Muckler.
Muckler wouldn’t discuss the issue with the paper, directing all inquiries to Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.
“I haven’t been told anything,” Muckler told the Sun when asked about potential changes.
The paper notes that Melnyk’s spokesman, Ken Villazor, would not deny the report, saying “the owner has released a statement that he was reviewing all management with the club.”
continued... and nothing on the Toronto Sun’s website yet…
added 6:57am, from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via the Toronto Sun,
The Senators could announce that general manager John Muckler has been fired by as early as today.
While Muckler wouldn’t comment yesterday, referring all questions about his future to team owner Eugene Melnyk, two senior NHL executives told Sun Media they believe Melnyk gave Muckler his walking papers on Friday.
added 10:25am, from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“No decision on John’s (future) has yet to be decided .... by any of the parties,” said Mlakar. “And, decisions on multiple fronts, WON’T (his emphasis) be decided until the end of the weekend.”
Mlakar’s e-mail went on to confirm that roles are changing: “The organization continues, and intends to continue, to work through exciting new plans and objectives for all senior management. This is not unusual.”
That means Muckler will likely get moved into another role with the club and coach Bryan Murray could be installed as the GM as early as tomorrow.
frrom the Columbus Dispatch,
Howson will spend lots of time in the next few days with director of player personnel Don Boyd and director of amateur scouting Paul Castron, as well as the scouting staff.
“Generally, general managers rely on their scouts heavily heading into the draft,” Howson said. “I will have some input because I do know some of the players I am interested in, and I’ll be interested to hear their take on those players.
“I certainly know some of the players I am not interested in, and I’ll be interested to hear their take on those players.”
The Blue Jackets, at No. 7, appear to be stuck firmly in the second tier of elite players.
from Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune,
Members of the Original Six franchises faced vengeful behavior and scandal while fighting for postretirement benefits. Only in the past decade has the league’s rank-and-file recovered from the shock waves generated by Alan Eagleson’s contentious tenure as executive director of the NHL Players Association.
“We fought our tails off in the 1960s for decent benefits,” said Lightning founder Phil Esposito, the No. 5 goal scorer in league history.
The former NHLPA president turned 65 in February, and Esposito said he’s receiving an annual pension of $32,000 (Canadian) following a 19-year Hall of Fame career.
A Q & A with Dallas Stars GM Doug Armstrong in the Dallas Morning News,
Now, if we can find a player to go into that top six, via trade or free agency, we’ll do that. But if not, we’ll count on the group of Modano, Morrow, Lehtinen, [Mike] Ribeiro and players like [Jussi] Jokinen and Loui Eriksson. If those players can’t get it done, then we’ll go looking for others.
much more on the Stars…
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the team has acquired the five-time 20-plus goal scoring left winger Sergei Samsonov from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Jassen Cullimore and left winger Tony Salmelainen.
“We believe Sergei can rebound a give us a spark on the power play and offensively as well as improve our overall skill level,” said Tallon. “We feel he has a lot left in the tank and playing under Denis Savard will bring out the offensive creativity that he has shown in the past.”
added 1:13pm, from Habs Inside/Out,
The Gazette’s Pat Hickey says the Canadiens intend to buy out Cullimore, who earned $1.9 million this past season and would have earned $1.925,000 in 2007-08.
It would have cost the Habs $1.175 million each of the next two years, against the cap, to buy out Samsonov. Cullimore will cost them $611,666 each of the next two years.
I have had a few emails asking me what team would be getting Marleau in a trade. I respond, relax, he isn’t going anywhere…
from the Mercury News,
If the sides cannot strike a deal during the summer, Marleau said he is willing to continue negotiations during the season. Some players have used the start of the season as a cutoff date for contract talks.
“If you’re talking and if things are going in the right direction, I guess it makes sense to keep talking,” Marleau said.
The downside of not reaching an agreement is the Ryan Smyth scenario. Edmonton traded Smyth, the heart of the franchise, at the trade deadline because contract talks collapsed as the clock was winding down.
“I understand what you’re saying, but I think we’ll have a good grasp of the situation way before that,” Marleau said. “Also, Edmonton was out of the playoffs, and I don’t see ourselves being in that position.”
from Theresa Tedesco of the National Post,
According to insiders, Mr. Bettman and William Daly, the NHL’s deputy commissioner, told Mr. Balsillie that if he wanted to buy the Predators, he had to make a “good faith” attempt to keep the team in Nashville, and not to sabotage its chances of surviving in that city.
Apparently, Mr. Balsillie was troubled about not having certainty about his ability to move the team, and was clearly uneasy about his previous experience with the league. Before he publicly announced his bid for the Penguins last October, he had a similar conversation about moving Sidney Crosby and the team if the arena funding didn’t materialize. Apparently, Mr. Bettman agreed at the time, saying “I’ll be the first to help you pack your bags.”
more... long but interesting read…
from the Edmonton Journal,
The Oilers have put together DVDs before, trying to get the gospel out to sponsors, but, in this case, the spiffy eight-minute presentation is a marketing tool for the free agents like centre Scott Gomez or Daniel Briere or defenceman Kimmo Timonen and Brian Rafalski. They’re trying to sell players on wanting to tug on an Oiler jersey. It features highlights from the club’s Stanley Cup run in 2006 and pictures of their glory days in the 80s, fans singing 0 Canada at Rexall Place in the playoffs, a few scenes from backyard outdoor hockey games, spliced around a narration from assistant coach Craig Simpson. He settled here after joining the Oilers in a 1987 trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for Paul Coffey.
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