Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
This year, starting with this week in Wilmington, both natives of La Belle Province (Bergeron hails from Quebec City, Fernandez from Montreal) are hoping 2008-09 will be scripted in a different fashion.
“It’s obviously going to be a step-by-step kind of thing,” said Fernandez, who skated with Bergeron and Providence assistant coach Rob Murray for approximately an hour yesterday. “It’s been a long time. But I want to get in there. I need to get in there.”...
Bergeron has been symptom-free all summer and has been working out six times a week, mimicking the workouts he has gone through during previous offseasons.
“It does feel like routine,” Bergeron said. “I’ve been working out like this every summer since I’ve been playing pro. The only thing that’s different is that I started a little bit earlier.”
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
Ray Emery’s NHL career is taking a detour—through Russia, where he’ll collect his paycheque in rubles.
The goaltender—whose contract was bought out by the Senators last month—has agreed to a one-year deal which could pay him in excess of $2 million plus bonuses next season with Atlant Mytishchi of the newly-formed Continental Hockey League in Russia, Sun Media has learned.
Update 11:15am ET: From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
“The reality is that since Ray’s buyout there hasn’t been a lot of interest, it doesn’t seem like someone (in the NHL) wants to give him a second chance right now,” Emery’s agent J.P. Barry told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. “It’s a terrific offer from Russia and we’ve been speaking to them for several weeks since the buyout.
“I’ve been talking to Ray a lot over the last couple of months and I know he’s taken a lot of steps to make changes. This is his best opportunity to play next year.”
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Peterburg Times,
Ollie Kolzig said he seriously considered retiring after leaving the Capitals as an unrestricted free agent; that is, before the Lightning presented him with a situation that “made sense.”
Now the 38-year-old goaltender, with a one-year, $1.5-million contract, is talking about proving, “I can still be a dominant goalie in the NHL,” and that last season “was more an aberration than anything.”
continued plus Andre Roy and Chris Gratton will not be back with the Bolts…
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.”
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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