Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe Smith of Lightning Strikes at the Tampa Bay Times,
It's not that easy. First of all, the market is not nearly the same as it was last summer, not with the salary cap staying relatively flat this season (up from $69 to $71.4 million). And with the Canadian dollar dropping 23-percent since Valentine's Day in 2013 (now trading around 75 cents), there's a lot of uncertainty on what the cap will be like in coming years.
"It's really difficult right now to plan with this cap crunch," said NHL Network analyst Craig Button, a former Flames general manager.
That's the tough task ahead for Yzerman, who'd love to lock up Stamkos while also preserving the core of what he hopes will be a perennial Stanley Cup contending team. Even the Blackhawks, a model franchise with three Cups in five years, lost key players Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya this offseason, not being able to afford them all. And, like most strong teams, Yzerman's group will only get more expensive in coming years. Forwards Alex Killorn ($2.5 million cap hit this season) and Nikita Kucherov ($711,000) will be restricted free agents next summer. Braydon Coburn's $4.5 million hit could come off the books then, as will Mattias Ohlund, who continues to be on long-term injured reserve. But if Stamkos' cap hit, let's say, increases $3 million per year (to the Toews and Kane $10.5 million annual average), there's not a lot of wiggle room, especially with Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Victor Hedman among those needing new deals (and likely big raises) in two years.
"For the Lightning, $1 million is very significant," Button said.
from Marty Klinkenberg of the Globe and Mail,
It will be highly coveted, and the card company promises it will be a challenge to find. There hasn’t been a player of such magnitude to enter the game in at least 10 years.
“We have been planning on this since Connor was 14,” says Chris Carlin, senior marketing manager for California-based Upper Deck, the NHL’s lone licensed trading-card partner. “This type of player comes around very seldom.”
There is speculation Mr. McDavid’s rookie card will be worth $250 to $300 straight out of the pack. Mr. Carlin says the buzz is beyond anything the company experienced with Sidney Crosby.
“Connor is not just attracting interest from hockey, he is attracting sports fans, investors, gamblers and speculators,” Mr. Carlin says. “We have card dealers telling us that people are calling and saying they want to buy a case this year instead of a box. Everyone wants a piece of Connor.”
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
The owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins are asking $750 million (U.S.) for the team, but face long odds of finding a buyer who’s willing to pay that much because of the flagging North American economy and uncertainty over the future of the Canadian dollar, sports investment bankers say.
A $750-million transaction price would mark a record for a U.S.-based NHL team, said Drew Dorweiler, a Montreal economist who has been hired by the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Manchester United and other sports teams to estimate their franchise values.
“It does seem a bit steep with the economy and for that market,” Dorweiler said. “Pittsburgh is certainly not one of the largest cities in the U.S.”
via the Calgary Flames,
After hearing Madi's story, Joe Colborne decided to surprise her for her birthday.
from Jonathan Wllis of Sportsnet,
It’s always difficult to identify breakout players; by definition, these are individuals who have never in prior seasons accomplished the things they are about to accomplish. However, analytics offers us some hints as to which individuals might be on the cusp of a revelatory performance. The following are five candidates for big seasons.
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
MacKinnon is the kind of player who might get the “sophomore slump” label after falling from 63 points as a rookie to 38 a year ago. It’s unfair, because he was a dramatically better player in Year 2 of his NHL career. His line (with Ryan O’Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog) improved according to every five-on-five metric we have available.
Consider shots. In an average hour with MacKinnon on the ice, the Avs went from being out-shot 33-30 to outshooting the opposition 33-31, going from just below team average to well above it (as Colorado tends to get out-shot). His personal five-on-five scoring numbers were almost identical year-over-year, and he shot the puck far more frequently, almost 20 percent more than he did as a rookie.
Why did his scoring fall? Colorado’s power play imploded, with the unit’s goal production down nearly 30 percent from the previous season, and MacKinnon’s personal shooting percentage fell markedly, down from a reasonable 10 percent to a lousy 7.3 percent.
He’s 20 years old, all of his personal performance markers at even-strength are pointing in the right direction, and he’s coming off a year where everything went wrong on both the power play and as a shooter. He shouldn’t just match his rookie scoring totals, he should blow past them.
read on for Nazem Kadri, Justin Schultz, Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Strome...
TORONTO (September 2, 2015) – Bryce Salvador has announced his retirement from the National Hockey League (NHL) after 14 seasons.
Salvador played in a total of 786 career NHL games with two teams, the St. Louis Blues and the New Jersey Devils. He scored 24 goals and 86 assists for 110 points in his NHL career. Salvador, a six-foot-three, 215-pound defenceman, played in 74 playoff games and reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2012 with the Devils. He captained the Devils for the final three seasons of his career.
“I would like to thank my wife, April, for her unconditional and ongoing support, and love. I’m blessed and so thankful that my two sons, Pierson and Hudson, were able to see and remember me play as I thought my career was over when I missed the entire 2010-11 season due to injury. To my parents, and my extended family, as well as Bonnie and Gerald, thank you for all your love and support,” said Bryce Salvador. “I would like to thank the Lethbridge Hurricanes and GM Bob Bartlett, the St. Louis Blues and GM Larry Pleau, and the New Jersey Devils and GM Lou Lamoriello, for giving me the opportunities to play hockey. Thanks also to my teammates, the owners of each of these organizations, and to the fans for bringing excitement and energy to every game. I look forward to a continued involvement in hockey for years to come.”
from Realty Today,
Hockey living legend Jeremy Roenick could not sell his house in Scottsdale, Arizona so he is trying a different approach: For $30,000 a month, he will be glad to rent out his home.
After sitting idle in listings for over a year, Roenick has decided to put a "for rent" sign on his 10,000-square-foot residence instead and hopes that renters are willing to pay the $30,000 a month price tag attached to it. The mansion sits on 19 acres of land just outside Pinnacle Peak and has its own private baseball field....
The house has seven bedrooms with eight baths and two of them are master suites. There is a swimming pool and spa outside, as well as a mini golf course. There is also a 2,000-square-foot stand-alone guest house complete with its own kitchen and a garage that could fit four cars.
a bit more
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,
The veteran blue-liner is seeking employment in the National Hockey League.
As of Tuesday, he was still waiting.
“I spoken with a few teams,” Sarich, 37, said after an informal morning session at WinSport. “That’s been obviously the goal — to try to see if there’s any interest out there. Nothing so far. I’m just going to keep skating … trying to get my legs underneath me.”
As most people know, the former member of the Calgary Flames hasn’t suited up since that horrific cycling crash in Invermere, B.C.
That was July 2014.
Sarich suffered five cracked vertebrae, muffler-burns on his shoulder and wrist from sliding under the offending truck, severe road rash. (“My helmet was busted up in probably seven or more pieces,” he said a month after the wreck. “It was just in pieces hanging by the chinstrap and was actually choking me, so good thing I had that on because it helped in saving my life.”)
Sarich, not surprisingly, was unable to perform at all last season.
But after a full summer of training alongside brother-in-law Nick Schultz, defenceman of the Philadelphia Flyers, Sarich says he’s eager to resume his career.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
When the Devils bought out the final season of forward Dainius Zubrus' contract on July 29, Shero explained that wanted to create some roster flexibility up front in case he is able to add another forward at some point before the season starts.
Shero is still pursuing that possibility, but said “there's nothing imminent.”
“We're looking at those things whether it's a signing or a trade or potentially a tryout situation with players that are looking for jobs still or a trade with any team,” he said. “That's a constant evaluation that will kind of go on until training camp or after training camp. So, we'll see. There are players that are still out there. We've been in touch with agents and teams and we'll see where that's going to lead us trytout-wise, trade-wise or signing-wise.”
At this point, Shero doesn't know yet if any players will attend camp with the Devils as tryouts.
“Sometimes these things happen the day before,” he said. “I've been in touch with different agents and players, as every other team has been, and we'll just see. But there are no tryout invitations out at this point at all.”
When asked if the team would be more likely to invite a forward or a defenseman, Shero replied, “It could be both.”
read on for updates on Bryce Salvador, Ryane Clowe and Martin Brodeur Day...
Shawn McKenzie reports from Toronto where the NHL rookies are getting their photos taken for their Upper Deck rookie cards.
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