Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
This Jim Balsillie is really starting to become a pain.
How dare he attempt to bring his maverick money into the staid old National Hockey League (twice) and dictate how things are done?
How dare he recklessly disregard due process and try to circumvent the rules?
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Akim Aliu isn’t the most-gifted prospect available in the NHL entry draft that starts Friday and continues Saturday.
Or the fastest. Or—even though he checks in at a chiseled 6 feet 2, 200 pounds—the largest.
But he likely is the most intriguing.
In large part because Aliu, a center-right winger who plays for Sudbury in the Ontario Hockey League, is a native of Nigeria who did not skate until he was about 10 years old and is fluent in English, Russian and Ukranian.
Aren’t many guys in the Class of 2007 who can claim that.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Rangers’ Plan B in the event of a Nylander defection - a hypothetical the front office never envisioned even as Glen Sather knew he would need No. 92’s agreement on the three-year, $11.25 million deal the GM struck preliminarily with since-fired agent Paul Theofanous - will be to try to convince Scott Gomez and Chris Drury to each accept less than they could get elsewhere to join forces on Broadway.
It won’t be an easy trick to pull, not with ravenous hordes set to pounce on Gomez and Drury both, which is something Sather might want to seriously consider whenever it is he sits across the table from Nylander’s new agent.
much more NHL talk, Larry is all over the hockey map…
from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,
“It’s like running face-first into a celebrity,” said Mike Bolt, who works for the Hockey Hall of Fame and currently is accompanying the trophy. “This is still the best part of the job — the reactions.”
Some people rejoiced Saturday and others recoiled. Stanley stopped traffic and started paparazzi. He touched many while even more touched him.
The Stanley Cup certainly is a pop star, like Prince. Only taller.
“Dude, I’m standing next to the Cup right now!” Patrick McGaughan shouted into his cell phone. “Dude, I’m touching the Cup right now! This is insane!”
McGaughan, a surfer who lives in Aliso Viejo, came here to check out the waves. He ended up taking a completely different sort of ride.
Stanley was photographed standing atop the lifeguard tower at San Clemente Pier, reclining in a lounge chair on Laguna Beach and riding the carousel at Fashion Island.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The great panacea that was a more liberalized version of free agency hasn’t worked out that way for most of the National Hockey League’s big spenders.
In fact, a whopping majority of long-term, big money free-agent contracts signed after the NHL lockout have turned out to be gigantic wastes of money.
If teams could do it all over again, would they be throwing large money at Adrian Aucoin, Adam Foote, Mike Rathje or Alexei Zhamnov?...
Mike Keenan may not be perfect, but give him a great forward, a pair of great defencemen and top-flight goalie, as he has in Calgary, and watch him ride the Flames to great success. This is his kind of team.
many more NHL bits…
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.
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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