Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Tennessean,
So when it was time to sign a new contract last month, Nichol had a difficult decision: Should he stay in Music City despite the uncertainty of the franchise’s situation following this season, or should he hit the open market and find a more stable destination?
In the end, he decided that sticking with a city, an organization and teammates he appreciated outweighed the fear of the unknown.
From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
So desperate to prove his innocence and salvage his reputation, Sean Hill has taken a lie detector test and given blood at an independent lab.
The veteran NHL defenseman claims he has passed both tests and has no idea how boldenone, an anabolic steroid mostly used for treatment of horses, was found in his system following a Feb. 16 drug test.
Friday, minutes after signing a one-year contract with the Wild, the 37-year-old Duluth native talked for the first time about becoming the first player to test positive for a banned substance in the NHL’s performance- enhancing drug program.
“I had no idea what it even was when they called me,” said Hill, who has 19 games remaining on the 20-game suspension he received before the New York Islanders’ first-round playoff elimination game April 20. “I immediately asked to be retested, but they said they don’t do that. ... They said, ‘If we have the science, there’s not much you can do.’ “
*Previously on Kukla’s, the Minnesota Wild’s official statement
From Tim Tucker at the AJC,
...the net result is that the average player salary will be higher next season than in the year before the lockout.
Who’d have predicted that? Not Thrashers general manager Don Waddell.
He discusses the swollen cap and its impact on the free-agent market and the Thrashers:
Q. Are you surprised the cap has risen so high so fast?
A. “Looking back at the lockout, I didn’t anticipate after two full seasons we’d be spending more money in the marketplace now than before the lockout. I am surprised about that. It’s encouraging, because the [salary cap] is based on revenues, but the unfortunate part of it is that it’s based on everybody’s revenues. And our revenues are not as high [as many teams’]...”
From Wes Goldstein at CBS Sports,
Five goals. Just five more goals over the course of an 18-year career and Jeremy Roenick would have had the credentials that automatically warrant Hall of Fame consideration.
A couple of passes off a defenseman’s skate here, a few less goalposts there, maybe a little better aim on an ice-long shot at an empty net somewhere down the line and boom, Roenick would have left the game with 500 goals.
Of course reaching that lofty plateau is no more a guarantee of Hall entry than falling short is of exclusion, and Roenick will certainly get votes by the time he is eligible three years from now. Yet, that milestone number on his résumé would’ve served as a fair reminder about a career that was among the most notable ever put together by an American-born player.
from Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,
“We always had an attitude here that we don’t do these things,” Quinn said at this afternoon’s news conference in HSBC Arena. “When it comes to the Edmonton Oilers, if there’s an opportunity to put an offer sheet on a player as long as we’re alive, we’ll be comfortable doing that. They can expect it if it’s in our best interest.”
Lowe wasn’t impressed.
“It’s quite a bold statement by that organization,” the seven-time NHL All-Star said. “I think it’s rather juvenile on their part.
added 9:35pm, from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
This is what life has become for the Edmonton Oilers: They go after a restricted free agent from another small-market team, something they thought they’d never do; they offer a staggering seven-year contract worth $50-million (U.S.); they tick off the managing partner of the Buffalo Sabres, who vows revenge for “as long as we’re alive.” …
And still the Oilers don’t get their man.
What in the name of Michael Nylander is going on here? Did Chris Pronger’s wife put a hex on Rexall Place before she left town?
from Rangers Report,
The Rangers indeed elected to take Henrik Lundqvist to salary arbitration. No word on a hearing date yet, but there is still the hope the two parties will reach a settlement beforehand.
From the Dallas Stars,
Dallas Stars GM Doug Armstrong announced Friday that the club has signed three players to one-year contracts for the 2007-08 season. The club agreed to terms with Brad Winchester on a one-year contract worth $475,000, while Toby Petersen and Trevor Byrne received two-way contracts for 2007-08.
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
And so the dust has all but settled on the free agency battlefield.
There are a few stragglers hiding in the woods, Alexei Yashin, Daniel Markov, Curtis Joseph and, surprisingly, Sheldon Souray. But for the most part teams have staked their claim to improving their lot by throwing boatloads of dough and years of security at this year’s crop of unrestricted free agents. In the final reckoning only a handful will enjoy true success and of course only one will see the ultimate reward with a Stanley Cup next spring. Until then here’s our look at the winners and losers of the free agency conflict.
The New York Rangers…
Dave Stubbs at The Gazette and Habs Inside/Out decided to feature some light entertainment on this hot Friday off-season day. (Not that the Edmonton-Buffalo debacle hasn’t been plenty entertaining, but it’s nice to have a change of pace…)
Here’s one of his entries—you can click here to see the rest.
Caption: “But where the NHL taketh from goalies with a wider net,
it giveth back, with somewhat larger pucks.”
via the Minnesota Wild,
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed free agent defenseman Sean Hill to a 2007-08 contract.
As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
The NHL suspended Hill for 20 games on April 20, 2007 for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. He will miss the first 19 games of the 2007-08 season after serving one game of the suspension in 2006-07, sitting out Game 5 of the Islanders Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Buffalo.
MINNESOTA WILD STATEMENT ON SEAN HILL’S SUSPENSION
Sean tested positive for the anabolic steroid boldenone during a league screening last season. Sean acknowledges the use of a testosterone booster for which he was issued a therapeutic-use exemption by the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program Committee. We have talked to Sean at length, and he denies knowingly taking any banned performance-enhancing substance. We also researched the situation and the substance Sean tested positive for and found that boldenone can be ingested inadvertently through health supplements and foods. We cannot determine the source of Sean’s test failure. However, we believe Sean did not knowingly take any banned performance-enhancing substance.
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