Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
Mark Cuban is known for baiting NBA officials, and Dan Marino is the most prolific passer in NFL history. But the Pittsburgh natives now want to expand into a different sport in their hometown -- hockey. The two have joined with a New York City financier in trying to buy the NHL's Penguins from Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux's group, which is selling the two-time Stanley Cup champions even as the team seeks a new arena deal.continued
A Rangers-Islanders game at frosty Yankee Stadium on New Year's Day? There's a chance it could happen. Preliminary discussions between NHL and Yankee executives, the two NHL teams, city officials and NBC---which would televise the proposed Jan. 1 regular-season contest between the arch-rivals---took place last week, according to three people with knowledge of the talks. "Everybody likes the idea," said one person. "But there are some obstacles. The question is whether the stadium will be usable at that time of year for that purpose."continued
Sources tell Sportsnet that the Boston Bruins are expected to announce Dave Lewis as the team's next head coach. Last year's coach Mike Sullivan was fired by the team on Tuesday. It is also believed that Team Canada's Marc Habscheid is close to joining the team as an assistant.
from Darren Dreger of Sportsnet,
Some NHL general managers appear ready to shift their focus away from Chris Pronger and toward the free agent market come July 1 unless Kevin Lowe lowers his asking price. Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe still has an asking price for Chris Pronger considered too high by rival NHL GMs. The Pronger trade is an expensive, long-term proposition. However, the value in this player is enormous and there is a market for him. But, based on conversations I've had with NHL executives, that market will weaken once Pronger's free agent colleagues become available this weekend.more
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Slam,
With so much media attention paid to Nicklas Lidstrom, Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Rob Blake and Ed Jovanovski, it's easy to forget there are other talented NHL defencemen slated for unrestricted free agency when the market opens Saturday. "For free agency, this is the year of the defenceman," Nashville Predators GM David Poile said Tuesday. "We don't know what's going to happen between now and July 1, but if there's not too many signings this week, there's going to be a lot of quality defencemen available."continued...a long list of dmen awaits you...
from the CP via TSN,
The Boston Bruins relieved Mike Sullivan of his coaching duties Tuesday in an announcement that was hardly surprising given the team has been interviewing candidates to replace him. New Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has interviewed former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn and former Detroit Red Wings coach Dave Lewis and planned to speak to other candidates as well. ''Peter communicated to us that he has talked to candidates and expects to give us his decision on a new head coach in the near future,'' added Gorton.
from the Carolina Hurricanes,
Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed defenseman Frantisek Kaberle to a four-year contract. The deal will pay the team’s top-scoring defenseman from last season $2.2 million per year.
from the Longmont Daily Times,
As strange as it may sound, the Colorado Avalanche picking a 37-year-old over a 25-year-old was the right choice. That’s one way to look at the Avs’ choice to trade Alex Tanguay and sign Joe Sakic. The transactions came a few days apart last week, and they make sense. First, Sakic is an icon. He is John Elway on hockey skates: reliable, likeable and the owner of some special talent. Even though Sakic is on the far back nine of his career, signing him last week to a one-year, $5.75 million contract was worth it. He’ll fill seats, he’ll be beloved and, as he has shown year after year, he’ll rack up the points.continued
Barnaby was on the Fan 590 in Toronto and said he had no idea Chicago was going to buy him out. He mentioned it was tough at times playing in Chicago in front of 6000-7000 fans a night. Even the home games felt like road games. Barnaby thinks the Blackhawks are making room to sign a veteran forward that can make an impact. Matthew says he is not worried about going to another team, his agent Larry Kelly will find the right fit for him. Now, my one and only rumor during this UFA season, I have heard Sergei Samsonov is a lock to end up in Chicago.
from the Edmonton Journal,
First Chris Pronger. Now Craig MacTavish? The Edmonton Oilers had an option for one more year with their head coach. However, the organization didn't exercise it, which leaves MacTavish without a contract and essentially a free agent. Given his track record, especially the still-hard-to-believe playoff push, MacTavish will undoubtedly be fielding a lot of offers by other teams in the next few days. But Oilers president and chief executive officer Patrick LaForge believes MacTavish will remain with the club.continued
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