Kukla's Korner

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Leafs Lite

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

In a major test of Cliff Fletcher’s resolve to follow a patient, in-house rebuilding plan, the general manager must fight the craving to sign one or two veterans for short-term playoff hopes in favour of augmenting the current Leafs roster with some lesser known free agents, farmhands, perhaps a trade and letting the chips fall.

“There will be no temptation, but let’s get to 12:01 and see what drops,” Fletcher said last night. “We’re not expecting a big-time centre to be there, but we might look for a couple of wingers and then move someone to centre, say Nik Antropov. There are some young free agents, particularly under 30, who could play with our team for a few years and be rewarded in the end.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Pens Still Hope To Sign Their Own

from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The Penguins are believed to have a five-year offer worth $7 million per season on the table for Hossa. That’s less than he will command if he ventures into free agency, but as of last night, he still had not rejected it.

While the Penguins would have preferred to have Hossa’s answer long before this, there’s reason to think they might not close the door on re-signing him even if he hasn’t committed to return by midday….

The outlook for the second-most prominent of the Penguins’ 10 unrestricted free agents, defenseman Brooks Orpik, remains as hazy as that of Hossa.

Orpik, the most consistent and punishing hitter on the Penguins’ blue line, could be in line for offers of $4 million or more per season if he makes himself available to other clubs. That’s more than the Penguins are believed to be willing to pay.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Columbus Chasing Redden

from Puck-rakers,

I’ve been told that the Blue Jackets will make a “significant” offer to defenseman Wade Redden, that he’s been targeted as their No. 1 priority when free agency opens at noon on Tuesday.

There are no guarantees that Redden will sign with the Blue Jackets, of course, but I’ve been told that if Redden turns down the Blue Jackets’ offer, it won’t be because of money.

I’ll take a stab: 6 years, $38 million.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wade+redden

Chicago After Top Players

from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,

“We’re going to go after the best players,” Tallon said Monday. “If we get the right players, we’re a lot closer to being a complete team. We’re going to give it our best shot.”

Tallon said “a lot of money will be spent” around the NHL. He’s most interested in acquiring a standout defenseman. That could lead the Hawks to Brian Campbell, the top blueliner available.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Plus & Minus

from Adrain Dater of All Things Avs,

I have to agree with Giguere when he said he thinks his defense stacks up with the top 5 teams in the league. Clark, Hannan, Foote, Salei, Liles and Leopold is a pretty nice sixpack of D. It’s got two tough, nasty types (Foote, Salei), two reasonably strong, position types (Hannan and Leopold) and two offensive puck-movers (Clark and Liles).

Now, about the goaltending: I’m worried. Sorry, I’m just not a huge Budaj guy. He’s a nice kid who has done some good things. But he’s just got a lot more proving to do to me.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Scenarios

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

The biggest player available on the market is Hossa, who wants to sign with a Cup contender. Part of his future could be tied to Leafs centre Mats Sundin, who has yet to reveal his plans for next season.

The Canadiens, Red Wings, Rangers, Canucks, Blackhawks and Blue Jackets are all going to make a pitch for Hossa….

A big issue this year is with the salary cap floor moving to $40.6 million (the max is $56.7 million) teams like the Kings, Coyotes, Blackhawks and Islanders might be forced to be active….

The Jackets will make a pitch for Redden. GM Scott Howson and coach Ken Hitchcock will try to convince Redden that Columbus is a team on the rise. The Blackhawks and Sharks are also going to pursue Redden

more talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No To Jim

from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,

So with the U.S. economy swooning and a number of NHL team owners facing uncertain and potentially tumultuous futures – some investment bankers say they figure at least a dozen NHL franchises are on the market, either officially or otherwise – what are the chances BlackBerry co-creator Jim Balsillie might land a franchise in the near future?

Not good, current owners say.

While Balsillie’s battle is sometimes viewed as a one-on-one against NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the reality, according to at least four NHL owners interviewed, is that Balsillie has annoyed many of the 30 team owners and probably wouldn’t be approved as an owner even if he was willing to overpay for a team.

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+balsillie

Morning Brooks

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

It is believed that Sundin will ultimately choose between the Red Wings and Rangers, though he is not expected to make a commitment today….

Would Jagr be more amenable to returning on a one-year contract if Sundin stands to be his pivot? Would the Rangers be a more desirable destination for Sundin if he knows he will play with No. 68? Are they interlocking parts? If so, can Sather pull it off?

Sean Avery, given permission to speak with other teams late last week, is believed to have offers in his asking-price neighborhood of four years, $16M from at least the Maple Leafs, Blackhawks and Canucks, with other suitors expected to emerge.

more talk…

also from Brooks regarding Brendan Shanahan,

The Post has been told to expect the 39-year-old winger to go home again - home to New Jersey to complete the circle of his first-ballot worthy Hall of Fame career that commenced with the Devils New Jersey Devils in 1987-88.

more at the NY Post…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Early Morning

Any signings yet, how about trades, did I miss anything overnight?

Did a player put their home up for sale, how about I saw so-and-so in the airport and he told me he is signing today with ....?

Get ready folks, we wil be hearing all of the above plus more.  Do remember, some people just want your hits, the more hits, the more money they make.

We here at KK will be business as usual, providing you with the latest news the hockey world has to offer.  It promises to be a busy day, so get your morning coffee and stay tuned!

Also, a big Happy Canada Day!

Filed in: KK Website Business, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Little Bit Of Everything

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The only way Montreal is not a player for Sundin’s rights, whenever he is ready to start contract negotiations, is if they win, against long odds, the Marian Hossa sweepstakes. Hossa is the top forward up for grabs tomorrow; Brian Campbell the premier defenceman; and Hossa’s long-time of suitors will include two-thirds of the Original Six teams in the NHL (Montreal, Boston, New York, Detroit), plus Pittsburgh, where he finished last season. Even Edmonton and San Jose will make overtures.

Campbell will get offers from half-a-dozen teams, beginning with the Sharks, but also including Chicago, Ottawa and Atlanta. What’ll be really interesting is what happens when Campbell makes his choice, at which point the runners-up that need a boost on the blue line will either turn to Wade Redden as a free-agent possibility, or one of a trio of defencemen that’ll be dangled as trade bait: Mathieu Schenider in Anaheim, Joni Pitkanen in Edmonton and Dan Boyle in Tampa, who starts a six-year, $40 million contract extension signed back in February with the team next season, which will include a no-trade clause (usually they kick in on July 1).


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: free+agents

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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