Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the NY Post,
Lou Lamoriello is believed to be working feverishly to trade some veterans for draft picks. Failing that, it would appear that waiving — and probably waving goodbye to — several players is his most likely solution. Players in the minors don't count toward the cap, even if on one-way contracts. Unless Lamoriello delivers a miracle, he will have to cut his payroll some $1.77 million by Oct. 1 to come under the NHL's $39 million salary cap. He has promised to comply. Trading partners may be few, facing their own cap constraints while hoping to grab down-going players for the minimal waiver price instead of yielding draft picks. Should the Devils later recall any vets who went unclaimed at full salary on the way down to Albany, other teams could claim them on their way up and only have to pay half their remaining salary, with the Devils paying the other half. And — get this — the Devils' half of the claimed recall's salary would count against New Jersey's cap, this for a player they no longer own. Should a recall go unclaimed by others, the Devils, of course, would then have to pay all the remaining salary, which would all count toward the cap.
from the Toronto Star,
The best news? Even the losing team wasn't complaining about the rules. The basics of a much, much improved NHL game were on display for the first time in T.O. last night, and there was an awful lot to like and very few people prepared to complain. There was none of that lazy hooking and tugging, and a surprising amount of hitting for a pre-season tilt, won 5-2 by the Ottawa Senators over the Maple Leafs. "You could see tonight it doesn't affect the amount of hitting at all," said Sens coach Bryan Murray. Yes, there was a boatload of penalties, and 19 power plays in all, 10 for the hometown Leafs. But half of those were calls that would have been made the last time we saw the NHL, and it certainly didn't destroy the game. Both teams seemed generally prepared to play by the new rules, particularly the new standard of enforcement on what can and can't be done to a puck carrier. "The word of the league and the intent has been accepted by the players," said Leaf head coach Pat Quinn. "I think a lot of that has to do with the players wanting to put those standards in, and being part of the process."
from the Nashville City Paper,
The new equipment for goaltenders in the NHL is supposed to make the open areas of the net easier to find, but at least a couple of Nashville Predators veterans have not noticed any extra daylight. “I’ll be honest with you,” said Predators center Greg Johnson. “I haven’t seen much of a difference at all other than the glove. I expected to see a little more net, and I really haven’t.
from the Toronto Star,
Hockey is back and, apparently, all is forgiven. It is as if the Maple Leafs, frozen out of the Air Canada Centre for 16 months in a bitter NHL labour dispute, never went away. Nor did the affection of Toronto hockey fans for all things blue and white. An exhibition game against Ottawa — 5-2 for the Senators — turned into an exhibition of love last night as the Leafs went from being on ice to on the ice. And a standing-room-only crowd showed up to welcome their heroes home. Those fans, starved for shinny entertainment, stood and cheered every goal by the locals. They also stood in lengthy lines for concessions and souvenirs. And, more telling, they stood in lines at the ATMs, getting more cash to feed the money-making beast that is the Leafs. Back with the team is the $12.50 draft beer (28-ounce domestic), the $4.40 pizza slice and the $25 parking space. If there was resentment at having the game yanked away for a season, it was almost invisible here last night. "Are you kidding? It's Toronto. They could go away for five years and everyone would come running back just as strong," said 21-year-old Will Mauro, whose family has season tickets in the golds "I can't wait to get to my seat again."
A story from the Russina paper Sports-Express just hit and it involves both Datsyuk and Kovalchuk. The partial translation is in the comments of this section, but if anyone can do better, please pass it on. What I get from the story and I am not even 50% sure of this, is both Datsyuk and Kovalchuk will be back with their respective NHL teams in the future. Again, a better translation would be appreciated.
I like the idea the rules seem more cut and dried for the refs. Consistency will be the key! from the Calgary Sun via Slam,
The key changes brought forth for hockey's rebirth were prominently on display during last night's 5-4 Chicago Blackhawks win over the Calgary Flames in pre-season action at the United Center. A goalie -- Philippe Sauve -- was penalized for playing the puck outside the trapezoid area behind the net. A now-allowable two-line pass resulted in a breakaway. And lots of obstruction penalties were called. Lots and lots and lots of penalties. A grand total of 28 powerplays worth nearly 43 minutes resulted from the steady parade of players headed for the sin bin. Yet Jarome Iginla said he and his teammates were fine with the game's direction. "It seemed a little more cut and dried for the refs," said the Calgary captain, who played his first pre-season clash. "It was a tough game as far as penalty killing and powerplay but I think we'll be able to adjust.
from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,
Dr. John J. McMullen, one of the best friends hockey -- and the state of New Jersey -- ever had, died at his home in Montclair, NJ, Friday night at the age of 87. McMullen, who also once owned the Houston Astros, brought the Devils to New Jersey from Denver in 1982. A New Jersey native, McMullen served heroically in the Navy during World War II and resigned with the rank of Commander in 1954. Throughout his life, McMullen remained an avid sports fan and bought the Devils on May 27, 1982, convinced that the state of New Jersey could support an NHL team at the Meadowlands. "The response was wonderful," said McMullen at the time of the purchase, although he'd have to pay an unprecedented NHL transfer fee. "The alternative was no team," said McMullen.
from MSG Network,
When the season previews start, if you hear it once you'll hear it a thousand times, the Islanders have been built to succeed in the new era. And, oh, by the way, this is Alexei Yashin's team now. Yashin understands that this will be a popular theme for everyone -- fans, the NY media, even the national media. Not to mention, his GM mentioned it 10 or 11 times in the offseason. In any event, Yashin insists "that it's not really his team any more than it used to be." But that shouldn't be interpreted as a deflection of his responsibility; rather, more of an admission that he was probably trying as hard as he could to make it his team in years past, but it just didn't happen.
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Just a week into training camp and it already had become a question: "Are you feeling the love right now, Derian Hatcher?" as in love for Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock? It is easy to ask the injured defenseman such a question these days because he has yet to step onto the ice while rehabbing partially torn ligaments in his left knee. Hatcher's idleness has allowed for a comfortable distance between him and the tough taskmaster he came to know in Dallas. So when he was asked if he was or was not feeling the love, a big smile crossed the face of the 6-foot-5, 235-pound defenseman. "I'm lovin' him now [because I'm not in camp]," Hatcher said, laughing. "Are you supposed to love a coach? I don't know. I heard guys never loved Scotty Bowman."
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.
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