Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Even the smug man in charge at NHL headquarters would surely agree last week was an especially bad one.
As he addressed the league’s board of governors in New York, Gary Bettman admitted he had no clue that two of his closest NHL confidants – L.A.‘s Philip Anschutz and Minnesota’s Craig Leipold – had lent San Jose banker Boots Del Biaggio a combined $17 million (U.S.) to help him pay for a $25 million stake in the Nashville Predators.
NHL owners were speechless, according to a source who attended the meeting, as Bettman grumbled he had been in the dark. Neither Anschutz nor Leipold had made him aware of the cozy back-door deal.
Update 11:56am ET: (Alanah) Reading that article a bit closer, I noticed this blurb at the bottom that seemed worth noting—
Former Bruins star Bobby Orr has filed a grievance with the NHL Players’ Association against Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, the Star has learned. Orr alleges his player agency spearheaded negotiations with the Islanders in 2006 on behalf of the goalie, but was fired shortly before he signed a 15-year, $67.5 million contract extension. Orr is fighting for his agent fee.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
• Apparently Russian hockey geniuses already have forgotten that Evgeni Malkin choked in the Finals. Why else would a few Super League teams want to offer him a contract that would make him hockey’s highest-paid player by a wide margin?
• No matter which team gets him, Marian Hossa will become the most overpaid-underachieving UFA. The Bruins are believed to be one club especially interested in his services after failing to nab the Slovakian winger at the trade deadline this past season.
read on and other NHL bits…
The New York Rangers were granted permission by Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher to talk to free-agent-to-be Mats Sundin before the Montreal Canadiens were last week, Sportsnet has learned.
My opinion on this, which is only going to get bigger the next ten days, Mats doesn’t sign with anyone until after July 1st.
update 8:14pm, from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
There are other teams interested in Sundin - the New York Rangers and Detroit are believed to be among them - but Fletcher dismissed a Sportsnet report Monday that the Leafs had given the Rangers permission to talk to Sundin before giving the same opportunity to the Canadiens.
“That is absolutely untrue,” Fletcher said yesterday. “We gave exclusive negotiating rights to the Montreal Canadiens and nobody else.”
more on Sundin…
added 8:33pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The truth is, this is all happening too fast for Sundin, who doesn’t feel comfortable being pressured into deciding right now which NHL team he wants to play for because he hasn’t gone through his annual introspection of whether he is even going to play another season.
From Tom Benjamin at Canucks Corner:
Iain McIntyre tries to explain why so many stories printed in the run up to the draft turned out to be so much crap. Among other explanations - like the unsurprising revelation that general managers lie - we get this:
[T]he [Ryan Malone trade] story got ahead of the facts. That happens frequently in the Age of the Blogger, who has chewed down the standards of journalism the way the pine beetle has decimated B.C. forests.
I was one of only a few hockey bloggers when I first started with this hobby and I can say without any equivocation that the standards of hockey journalism had been decimated long before anybody considered us to be part of a new age. Bloggers haven’t really changed anything.
From Jim Gintonio at the Arizona Republic,
Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet has decided not to return to the team, an NHL source has confirmed.
Tocchet is expected to join the staff of new Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Barry Melrose, whose appointment is expected to be announced at a news conference on Tuesday.
from Gare Joyce at ESPN,
The best stories from the second day of the NHL draft are the dark horses, prospects who fly well under the radar. Here are three names to write down and remember.
Jesper Samuelsson (seventh round, No. 211 overall to Detroit)
The final selection in any draft is usually just fodder for a trivia question. When Detroit owns that last pick, though, you’d better make note of it. More than any other franchise, Detroit has managed to find NHL stars in the late rounds, which is like finding diamonds in a coal mine.
read on and two more dark horses…
From Channel Canada:
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Georges Laraque drops the gloves and calls the shots when he slides into the main chair as guest host of Off The Record (OTR), tonight at 6 p.m. ET on TSN.
Not one to back down from a good fight – or a good debate – Laraque will ask the hard-hitting questions to the show’s guests, which include Penguins teammate Gary Roberts, who will be featured in-studio during the Up Front and Next Question segments of the show. [...]
The other guests on tonight’s show will include Detroit Red Wings Senior Vice-President Jim Devellano. Together, Laraque and the guest panelists will take on the key newsmakers and hottest sports topics of the day, including NHL free agency.
In nearly 2,600 episodes, Laraque is the first NHLer to ever host the show.
This is appearing on Canada’s OTR only, not the ESPN version. But it should be available in the online video archives at TSN after the show, for anyone (Pens fans!?) who may be interested.
Kukla’s Korner has launched a contest today at 99designs.com, inviting our artistic-minded hockey friends from around the internet to design a great new logo for the website
There’s a $200 prize for the best logo and we intend to implement the winning entry into KK’s new website design coming later this summer (with the hard work of Kevin at Venn Communications, I should add).
All the details can be read in the brief. Contest closes in 7 days.
Note: submissions must be submitted via 99designs.com. Please don’t email them to us directly as they will not qualify for the prize.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Since the implementation of the cap, however, it’s the teams with either the willingness to keep pace with the rising cap ceiling or with sufficient cap space which more often than not wins the bidding wars for the top UFA players.
With the salary cap ceiling expected to rise to $56 million and the cap floor to $40 million, which teams could be this summer’s big spenders?
The Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings appear to have little reason to make a big splash in this summer’s UFA market, as it would seem to be in their best interest to use their available cap space to keep their roster together. But if GM Ken Holland has money to spend never rule out the possibility of his landing a top UFA player
read on for more teams…
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today the team has re-signed forward Andrew Ladd (6-2, 201) to a two-year contract.
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