Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jeff Gordon at STLtoday.com,
[Doug] Weight is looking to play another year and St. Louis has become home. Is there a fit here?
Maybe, maybe not. I recall that Weight was unhappy with how coach Andy Murray was using him last season, before his deal. Murray saw Weight as more of a role player at this late stage of his career, a designation that Weight resisted.
But if Doug did return to the Blues as a free agent, he would have to embrace a third- or fourth-line assignment if the lines fell that way.
more on the Blues summer priorities
All the news from Spector:
Thankfully we’ll know in about three weeks what Sundin will do, putting an end to months of speculation over his future. I still have my doubts that the Leafs will buyout Tucker but I am convinced Raycroft will be bought out. As for Redden, why would the Leafs want him?
From Pierre McGuire at Sports Illustrated,
The NHL got a dream finals this spring: Its biggest star, Sidney Crosby, facing the Red Wings, perhaps its most entertaining team. After getting essentially anonymous matchups in 2006 (Carolina-Edmonton) and ‘07 (Anaheim-Ottawa), the league can now hope (off the record, of course) for a Penguins-Wings rematch in 2009. Here’s a look at each team’s off-season challenges.
Red Wings: Though nine of last season’s regulars were 35 or older, don’t expect this deep team to drop off.
Plus SI’s Michael Farber reflects on the series and its fantastic finish.
From David Staples in the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
“The song has a long and storied history in Canadian sports, and has become ingrained in the hearts and minds of hockey fans across the country. It is an iconic tune, embraced by Canadians everywhere, and we felt it was imperative to save it,” said Rick Brace of CTV Inc.
The rhetoric is getting out of control here. The CBC wasn’t going to burn all copies of the song, after all, just stop playing it on Hockey Night in Canada.
*previous updates on KK
From Rick Westhead at the Toronto Star,
Toronto lawyer Richard Rodier is part paranoid, part Canadian patriot. Both personality traits surface when he discusses his partnership with Jim Balsillie and their efforts to bring a NHL team to Hamilton.
His past clients?
“I can’t tell you. Solicitor-client privilege.”
His relationship with Balsillie?
“I don’t know. We work together.”
However, suggest that he and Balsillie would both be a lot closer to getting an NHL team if they were more diplomatic with the league, and Rodier warms considerably.
From Ansar Khan at MLive,
“I think Jimmy Howard is very close, if not there, to playing in the NHL,” Holland said. “I’m guessing Ozzie can play 50 games, maybe more. The 20-30 games that Chris doesn’t play in a parity league, those are key points. The hardest thing is, we’re trying to continue to be a Cup contender. How do you move young people into your team at a key position?”
Even if the Red Wings anticipate Howard being the backup, they are likely to pursue a low-priced, experienced goalie, in the wake of Dominik Hasek’s retirement.
more on signing Brad Stuart, Mike Babcock, etc
From the Ottawa Sun,
As was first reported in the Sun on the weekend, Calgary Flames D Dion Phaneuf will be the main cover boy for Electronic Arts’ NHL 09 video game.
But the two-time all-star and 2007-08 Norris Trophy finalist won’t be getting the video game limelight all to himself.
Two countries will sell games with a player other than Phaneuf on the cover—one of them Sweden, where Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson draws the coveted cover spot. Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin will be on boxes in Russia.
From the Denver Post,
Is a deal between the Avalanche and goalie Jose Theodore imminent? Judging by the words of Theodore’s agent, Don Meehan, that seems possible.
“I think things could accelerate quickly,” Meehan said Monday.
Theodore will meet with Meehan today at the agent’s Mississauga, Ontario, office to discuss what Meehan said was a contract offer by the Avalanche.
From Ken Warren at Canwest via the Vancouver Sun,
“Guys get fast-tracked because of free agency at 27. You need cheaper players. You’re going to see lots of players come right out of junior who are going to play on the big team.”
More and more, NHL teams appear to be building around a core of franchise-type players, signing them to multi-year contracts while filling in the rest of the roster however possible.
“You’re locking up five or six guys long-term, with big money, and your other guys are moving on,” Murray said. “That’s why we’ve increased the amount of people on our amateur scouting staff. Every team has over the years. Since the new [collective agreement between the NHL and the players’ association], you have to draft guys who can come up and play. You can’t have a draft where you get nobody. That kills your organization.”
From George Richards of On Frozen Pond at the Miami Herald,
That said, I do think the Panthers and Jokinen will probably part ways in the coming weeks. I don’t think Olli and [Jacques Martin] like each other very much, and if JM was still the coach, Olli would probably have found himself somewhere else.
But know this: JM is not going to trade Olli away out of spite, is not going to settle on a deal just to make the deal. Certain other GMs of this franchise may have made up their mind to trade a fella, then made sure that was done.
JM is not that kind of a GM. Jacques Martin is patient to a fault, and is not going to be rushed into making a major deal like this without doing due diligence.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org