Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
- The Minnesota Wild may want to rid themselves of a chunk — possibly two-thirds — of Dany Heatley’s $7.5-million salary with the amnesty buyout. But they can’t buy out an injured player, and Heatley recently had knee surgery. He’s essentially a secondary player making first-line money.
- The Montreal Canadiens, meanwhile, will take about two seconds to use the buyout on defenceman Tomas Kaberle, who will make $4.25 million next season.
- Former NHL GM Craig Button wonders if teams will try to sign free agents to one-year contracts so they can see where the salary cap goes in 2014-15. It’s coming down about $6 million from the 2012-13 season, but maybe it will go back up to $70-million-plus in 2014-15.
Also from Matheson,
- Will the Rangers use an amnesty buyout, which would be two-thirds of what’s left on (Brad) Richard’s salary, or about $25 million? That would be a substantial fall from grace for Richards, the former playoff MVP in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup win. What is it with players who sign long-term deals with the Rangers? Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik. Do they go to New York to kill their careers?
- Red Wings forward Valterri Filppula teases you with high-end plays like his backhand goal in Game 2 on Saturday in a 4-1 Detroit win against the Chicago Blackhawks, but he’s done little to increase his value on the open market when free agency starts July 5. He has been outplayed by rookie Gustav Nyquist during the playoffs, giving Detroit lukewarm secondary scoring behind Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
Filppula makes $3 million. Is he really worth any more than that to another team off 17 points in 41 regular-season games and five in the playoffs?
Cassie Campbell of HNIC caught up with Draper to talk about the origination of this tradition.
Mon dieu! Per the Denver Post's Adrian Dater:
Patrick Roy will be the next coach of the Avalanche, according to Roy's brother, Stephane.
"They're discussing the final details of an arrangement. Colorado is going to be very happy. Patrick is looking for a new challenge," said Stephane Roy, the younger brother of his famous sibling.
The Avalanche would not confirm a deal is in place. Patrick Roy could not be reached for comment, and neither could Avalanche vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic.
Stephane Roy, who played briefly in the NHL, posted on his Facebook page Monday night, "For all my friends I'd like you to know before the official news spreads that my older brother will be the new coach of the Colorado Avalanch(sic)."
Carlo Colaiacovo got up.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the fine folks in The Sooner State and hope the many KK members and readers from Oklahoma are safe and secure.
from Pat Pickens of Slap Shot,
At the start of the Rangers’ series with the Boston Bruins in the N.H.L. Eastern Conference semifinals, most fans and pundits gave New York a sizable advantage in goaltending.
It is no secret that Henrik Lundqvist is one of the league’s best goalies. He is the defending Vezina Trophy winner and was nominated for the award again this year. He was hot entering the Boston series, with a 120-minute scoreless streak and .947 save percentage.
Yet, through two games, it has been Lundqvist’s counterpart, Tuukka Rask, a fellow Scandinavian, who has given his team the edge.
Rask’s 35 saves Sunday helped Boston win Game 2, 5-2. He has surrendered four goals on 72 shots in the two games and used his showdown with Lundqvist to keep his focus.
The older I get, the better I was. I was fortunate to be on an Oyster River High School soccer team that was at the tail end of a dynasty (we went 96 straight regular season games without a loss) and we made it to the state championship game in two of my last three years in school. I played soccer at UNH before I had a Joe Theismann-type broken leg... came back for one more season, but was a shadow of what I was... and it got me into broadcasting purely by happenstance. It all worked out OK, and the lessons learned from soccer help me with hockey concepts every game.
and the answer is...
from Neil Greenberg of Capitals Insider,
In fact, it is because this team wins so much that it has fostered what I like to call a Culture of Perennial Disappointment: failing to advance past the second round since its dark-horse run in the 1998 Stanley Cup playoffs.
So, we should be able to agree this organization is made up of winners. However, is it also made up of chokers?
You know, calling the Caps “Choking Dogs” used to be funny. But it isn’t any more. Because it has been happening for 12 years. In nine of their past 12 playoffs the Capitals have either frittered away a substantial playoff lead or lost to a team they finished above in the regular season.
That was Tony Kornheiser’s Washington Post column from 1996, after Washington won the first two games against Pittsburgh before dropping the next four, leading to a first-round exit — a trend that plagues this organization with the term “chokers.” But it is a moniker that, sadly, has been earned.
The Capitals have the worst postseason record in games in which the team can win the series with a victory (minimum 10 games played in those situations):
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish simply isn’t going to pay $5 million a season for a second-line player who has world-class ability.
Although Hemsky goes into traffic, gets hurt and plays hurt — both admirable traits — the Oilers can find better ways to spend his salary. They need bigger forwards, even if they don’t have Hemsky’s skill set, which, apart from his first two seasons, has made him pretty close to a point-a-game NHLer.
The problem is that Hemsky has missed 118 games the past four seasons — a red flag for other teams who like healthier players on their roster.
Can the Oilers get anything substantial for Hemsky these days?
“I don’t think there’s a market for him … I shouldn’t say there’s no market,” said former NHL general Craig Button, who now works for TSN. “But the salary cap is coming down to $64.3 million. He makes $5 million for one more year. Would the Oilers pick up half of that to trade him, 50-50 (with another team)? That would still free up $2.5 million in cap space for the Oilers.
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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