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Tampa Places Vrbata on Waivers

According to Bob McKenzie on NHL Live this morning, the Tampa Bay Lightning has placed Radim Vrbata on waivers.

12:40pm ET Update: Noted by RDS, it was both Vrbata and Chris Gratton that were placed on waivers.

1:00pm ET Update: From TSN, Vrbata asked to be waived—

The free-agent winger, who was signed to a three-year, $9 million free-agent contract in the off-season is apparently heading home to the Czech Republic to finish the season there. The Lightning will apparently not be responsible for paying him for the balance of this season but the contract will remain in force for the second and third years should he choose to return to the NHL.

“Radim is a great guy and he came into our office on Sunday morning and just told us his confidence is low and he would like to head home to the Czech Republic to finish the season,” Lightning owner Oren Koules told TSN. “He just wants to take the rest of the year off (from the NHL) and try to get his game back over there. If he wants to come back next season, great. That’s his call. This is all very amicable. He’s a great guy who’s really struggling right now.”

added 3:38pm (Paul), via Jamie’s Hockey Blog at About.com,

A bad contract dissolves in a puff of smoke and the cap room magically reappears.

Though the team is framing it as Vrbata’s choice, management must be thrilled to find a dumping ground for the player, the contract and the cap hit.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+gratton, radim+vrbata, waivers

All Malcolm Gladwell

from Jeff Merron of ESPN Page 2,

Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for the New Yorker and the author of the best-sellers “The Tipping Point,” and “Blink.” He’s also a sports fan, and has plenty to say about how his latest book, “Outliers,” published on Nov. 18 and No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list the past two weeks, sheds lots of light on sports.

Gladwell’s formula in “Outliers”: pick a person, place or thing that’s out of the ordinary. Tell the “conventional” story of why it is so. Then tell the story again, adding on layer upon layer that buries the original explanation below an avalanche of additional “reasons why.”...

The first chapter in “Outliers” is about how some Canadian hockey players born in the first months of the year enjoy advantages that those born later in the year don’t have. You also write that birth month correlates closely with success in other sports. Why is this?

It’s a beautiful example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. In Canada, the eligibility cutoff for age-class hockey programs is Jan. 1. Canada also takes hockey really seriously, so coaches start streaming the best hockey players into elite programs, where they practice more and play more games and get better coaching, as early as 8 or 9. But who tends to be the “best” player at age 8 or 8? The oldest, of course—the kids born nearest the cut-off date, who can be as much as almost a year older than kids born at the other end of the cut-off date.

more

The book, Outliners, is available at Amazon.com if interested.

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: malcolm+gladwell

Kindler, Gentler, Brian Burke

From Jay Feaster at The Hockey News,

Brian Burke arrived in Toronto to great fanfare and he wasted little time before demonstrating why he is a media favorite. From quipping that former Leafs captain Mats Sundin has “two dollars less than God” and thus won’t be making a decision based on money, to stating that the Leafs’ third and fourth lines need to bring “belligerence” and “testosterone,” etc., Burkie blew into town like a perfect storm.

While that is the Brian Burke the public and media often see, I want to give you a glimpse into the “other” Brian Burke some of us inside the game are fortunate enough to know: in short, the “kinder and gentler” Burkie.

continued…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke, jay+feaster

Fleury Practices With Penguins

via Sam Kasan of PittsburghPenguins.com,

Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury practiced with his teammates for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury in a game against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 15.

Fleury had been taking shots in pre-practice sessions with the Penguins for the past week but participated in a full team practice, splitting time with John Curry, for the first time since the injury.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc-andre+fleury

All Doug Weight

from A.J. Perez of USA TODAY,

What’s the biggest misconception about playing on Long Island?

Weight: The Islanders, and Long Island in general, doesn’t get a fair shake. I think when organizations and teams are in stretches like this team has gone through, players are going to second guess about coming here — and rightfully so. It’s tough to bring free agents here. But they’ve done a great job of trading, drafting and building from within.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+weight

Find The Logo

Canton, MA / New York, NY (December 8, 2008) – In celebration of one of the National Hockey League’s most anticipated events – the NHL Winter Classic 2009 – Reebok is offering fans an unprecedented experience through “NHL Winter Classic Reebok Lost Logo Challenge,” a unique contest for both U.S. television viewers and in-stadium attendees that challenges fans to find the NHL player who is missing the Reebok logo from his jersey.
       
On New Year’s Day, 2009, Reebok will give each of the more than 40,000 fans who attend the NHL Winter Classic game between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field a pair of binoculars to find the NHL player on the ice without a Reebok logo. Fans in the stands and those watching on television will have a chance to win. In-stadium contestants will be asked to enter via text or phone, while those tuning in on television will be able to enter online.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

Accusations In Minnesota

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Tobin Wright is the Minneapolis-based agent who works for Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based agent Ron Salcer, the agent who represents Marian Gaborik, Brent Burns and Derek Boogaard.

As I reported Sunday morning, Wright has been banned from the Xcel Energy Center event level. I couldn’t report the reason Sunday. I can now.

Salcer is accusing the Wild of banning Wright as punishment for refusing to testify against Willie Mitchell in his arbitration case against the Wild.

Mitchell claims he had a bulging disc in his neck that prevented him from playing during the lockout. If you were not medically cleared to play as of Sept. 15, 2004, players were supposed to be paid their NHL salaries until they were medically cleared. Mitchell is claiming he was unfit to play, and thus should have been paid his $1.775 million salary from the Wild.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tobin+wright

Just What The NHL Did Not Need

from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,

Even Fox News, a network that can’t be watched by anyone with an IQ higher than a zucchini, jumped all over the story last week. I was checking out of a Wyoming hotel when my jaw dropped at this intro from the Fox anchor: “The National Hockey League, known mostly for its brutality and bloody brawls ...”

Huh? My New NHL? Third man in? Anybody out there remember the last bloody brawl in the NHL?

Whatever, Fox went downhill from there. For a full five minutes, the anchor and two panelists revealed such bottomless ignorance of the league and the issues involved that they might as well have been talking about cricket. The only male on the panel, who claimed to be a hockey player himself, referred to the NHL as a league where “you get two minutes in the penalty box for assault and battery.”

Try telling that to Todd Bertuzzi.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sean+avery

Winter Classic Is A Publicity Stunt

from Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun-Times,

It’s a good thing Wrigley Field is sold out for the so-called “Winter Classic” hockey match on New Year’s Day because the new television commercial from Young & Rubicam/New York intended to spark interest in the game between the Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings doesn’t spark much of anything except a big ho-hum. Hockey fans already have snapped up about 41,000 tickets to the game—which in truth is a publicity stunt more than anything else.

continued

In case you have not seen the television commercial, you can view it here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+classic

Balsillie Name Linked To Buffalo

from WROC-TV,

Rochester-area billionaire Tom Golisano is looking to sell the Buffalo Sabres, according to a report out later this week.

The report in Western New York Hockey magazine, which cites an unnamed source, says that talks are in the exploratory stage.  It goes on to say that Golisano is listening to offers and prices are being discussed.  The source claims that there is a group with NHL expertise involved in the discussions.

The December issue of WNY Hockey will be out Thursday.  The author of the article is Jim Kelley, the magazine’s managing editor….

The source says that Sabres minority owner Larry Quinn is actively looking to find a buyer, and that Canandian businessman Jim Balsillie has been approached by Quinn or an associate.

read on

added 10:50am, BUFFALO, NY (December 8, 2008)—- Statement from Buffalo Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn on the Sabres being for sale:

“We are not in negotiations to sell the team and as we have stated in the past, we will never entertain discussions to move the team out of Buffalo, NY.”

added 3:22pm, Much more on this from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet...

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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