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More Winners And Losers From Yesterday

from the CP at CTVNews,

Free agency day didn't have the wild money tossed around like usual, and trades overshadowed most of the signings. Yet there are still some clear winners and losers from July 1.

WINNERS:

Restraint
With the weakest free-agent pool in recent history, NHL general managers kept themselves from overpaying. No contract was longer than six years, Andrej Sekera's US$33 million with the Oilers was the most money and Mike Green's $6 million with the Red Wings the highest cap hit.

The Battle of Alberta
Edmonton continued its makeover by improving the blue line with Sekera, so the Calgary Flames brought back goaltender Karri Ramo at a reasonable $3.8 million and signed sought-after "utility tool" forward Michael Frolik. The next few seasons of this rivalry should be fun.

Phil Kessel
Traded to the Penguins, Kessel doesn't have to be in the spotlight on a team with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. At a cap hit of $6.8 million, Kessel just has to score 30 -- or more -- goals and go about his business in Pittsburgh.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A Look At The Secondary Ticket Market With NHL 2015-16 Schedule Released

By Mike Shackil,

Last week, the NHL released their full schedule for the 2015-16 season and tickets were placed on the secondary market almost immediately. With fluctuating ticket inventory at this point, prices are constantly moving, but it is still not too early for hockey fans to think about some of the premier matchups that are teed up.

 With secondary market ticketing information provided by TicketNetwork.com, below are some of the highest-priced games of the season in terms of average ticket price and their get-in price. It’s worth noting that the get-in prices in this early stage are more accurate projections of what the final prices will be.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tiqiq

Peter Karmanos On Fire

from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Carolina owner Peter Karmanos offered a blistering critique of the way the Penguins do business during a meeting with Raleigh-area media Wednesday.

He took numerous shots – some subtle, some not – at the franchise, with general manager Jim Rutherford the primary target. Rutherford was the Hurricanes’ GM for two decades until he was replaced by former Penguins center Ron Francis in 2014, shortly before Rutherford was hired here.

Among Karmanos’ observations:

On the large contract Rutherford gave to winger Alex Semin, who was bought out this week – “Ultimately, I take responsibility for everything. I do not have to take responsibility for Pittsburgh signing [Phil] Kessel, however. [The Penguins actually traded for Kessel, who has seven years left on his contract.]”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: peter+karmanos

Is Kevin Shattenkirk Available?

from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

In what continues to be the case locally, Blues’ trade talk is overshadowing the scheduled events on the NHL calendar.

Over the weekend, the chatter garnered more attention than the league draft, and on Wednesday, word of the club perhaps being interested in dealing defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk consumed the opening day of free agency.

The Blues have been the subject of much trade conjecture over the past couple of months, but for the most part, it’s been confined to a handful of players: T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund and David Backes to name a few.

Now, the Blues have put Shattenkirk in the mix, at least gauging interest in what the All-Star could bring, according to league sources and media reports that have cited Edmonton, Columbus and Philadelphia as possible partners.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong did not immediately return a message late Wednesday. Jordan Neumann, Shattenkirk’s agent, told the Post-Dispatch that he believed the reports are “not true.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+shattenkirk

The Best UFAs Left

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

For now, with the dust slowly settling on the first day of the signing season, the market is still flush with unrestricted free agents who could make a difference with a new team.

Here is a list of some of the best still available (by position and in alphabetical order):

Note: All salary cap figures are from war-on-ice.com.

FORWARDS

SEAN BERGENHEIM, MINNESOTA WILD

Previous cap charge: $2.75 million

Bergenheim had one goal in 17 games and no points in three Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Wild. However, he had 18 points in 39 games with the Florida Panthers before he was traded to Minnesota in February. Bergenheim has 17 points in 26 career postseason games.

BRAD BOYES, FLORIDA PANTHERS

Previous cap charge: $2.625 million

The Panthers bought out the final year of Boyes' contract, making him a free agent. He had 38 points, including 14 goals, in 78 games last season. That was two more points than Boyes had in 2013-14 in the same number of games, but his goal production dipped by seven.

read on

Also, the full list of available players.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Jim Rutherford Feels He Made The Right Move Acquiring Phil Kessel

from Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Does the newest Penguin and the centerpiece of the convulsive nine-player trade Wednesday with the Maple Leafs come with the kind of carrier-approved baggage that fits easily in the overhead bin or safely under the seat in front of you, metaphorically speaking, or is it of the oversized, overstuffed variety that has been out of his possession and possibly augmented by materials from persons not known to him?

“I don’t have any concerns,” said Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford in a Fifth Avenue bunker hours after he’d acquired the one goal-scorer in the trade market he coveted above all others. “Everybody gets a fresh start in a new place. You always hear stories about different people in different situations, but I feel very comfortable with getting Phil.

“I’ve done a lot of homework on this and I’ve talked to a lot of people. I do believe that getting a fresh start, getting out of Toronto, where he went under the microscope from day one, he was always the guy, the guy that got blamed when things weren’t going well, and he doesn’t have to be the guy here. We have a bunch of them.”

So that’s the working premise for the trade that likely will define Rutherford’s tenure, that the marvelously talented Kessel, a classical NHL blend of speed and snipery, quickly will observe that there’s no smoking on the Penguins bench, and no yawning either, and perhaps discover that a recommitment to conditioning could make his future so much brighter than his recent past.

more

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Not Much Hope In Vancouver

from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,

The Canucks are not helping themselves with their mixed messages. They keep talking about getting younger, but continue to acquire players like Prust who are in their 30s, and chase players like 27-year-old Milan Lucic.

It drives a fan base nuts when you do things like that, even though there’s a chance the opening night lineup could include Frankie Corrado, Adam Clendening, Sven Baertschi and Jake Virtanen.

Rather harshly, TSN’s main Free Agent Frenzy broadcast aired an edited string of calls into TEAM 1040 from inflamed listeners who were going to town on Vancouver’s front office. It means next week’s town hall with season-ticket holders has the potential to be a gong show.

But the truth is, it’s going to take more than one year to really see what Benning’s Canucks are going to look like.

He’s freed up some money for next summer and is hoping now to be a player in the high-end of the free agent market.

If Corrado, Baertschi and Virtanen hit this year, and if Benning can lure a quality free agent or two next offseason, things will change.

But right now? Right now, there isn’t a lot of hope. There is still no succession plan for the Sedin twins and this current collection of Canucks do not look like a playoff team. Like, at all.

Then again, many of us said that same thing last summer.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Philadelphia Flyers Need To Do More

from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,

At the top of that fat content is Vinny Lecavalier and a contract that pays $4.5 million for each of the next three seasons. Why Hextall did not try to buy him out before this is at the top of the intrigue. But if those trade-deadline deals and the great Pronger escape didn't buy your GM some "In Hexy We Trust" points - well, then, Sam Hinkie has a whole lot more work to do.

Here are two thoughts: There are a group of teams that might need dead contracts to reach the NHL's salary-cap basement of $52.8 million. That's how Pronger became a Paper Coyote, and maybe one reason Kings GM Dean Lombardi was even in conversations about Mike Richards with the GMs of Edmonton and Calgary before the Royal Canadian Mounted Police got in the way.

If there's any light in the dark tunnel, it's that Vinny will cost a team less to play for them next season, while counting against the cap more. Just as Pronger costs Arizona $575,00 in real money but counts as $4.5 million toward getting to the cap-mandated minimum payroll of $51.7 million, Lecavalier's real cost from here on is $2 million less than his cap hit.

Still, $13.5 million over the next three years for a 35-year-old player coming off two subpar seasons?

If Hextall pulls this one off and I'm the Phillies, I have Andy MacPhail call him immediately.

That Umberger is even here is the best evidence that, despite refining his public rebuilding message to include a win-now clause, Hextall's target date is not the upcoming season, but the ones after it. He traded a better player for a worse one in the Scott Hartnell deal for one season of cap relief. That's not a win-now strategy.

more

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Glen Sather Did It His Way

from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,

These words, uttered in the aftermath of the 2001 trade that brought Eric Lindros to New York, were the ones Glen Sather lived by throughout a pro hockey lifetime that began when the NHL was still a mom-and-pop Original Six operation:

“It’s better to be a lion for one day than it is to be a mouse for life,” Sather said then, addressing the high-risk nature of the trade for No. 88, and he might just as well have said the very same thing when he traded for Pavel Bure or Rick Nash or Martin St. Louis or Keith Yandle, or when he signed Bobby Holik, Wade Redden or Brad Richards, or when he hired then fired coach John Tortorella.

You know for whom playing it safe really equated to death? Sather, that’s who. Sather, who went for it when the going was good, as it most certainly has been for the last four seasons over which the Rangers have been the NHL’s third-best team — advancing to the conference finals three times, and the Cup final once while finishing with the East’s best record twice and capturing one Presidents’ Trophy.

It’s been kind of the Silver Age of Rangers’ hockey, only without the precious silver chalice.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+sather

Good Riddance Phil Kessel

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The hot dog vendor who parks daily at Front and John Sts. just lost his most reliable customer.

Almost every afternoon at 2:30 p.m., often wearing a toque, Phil Kessel would wander from his neighbourhood condominium to consume his daily snack.

And now he’s gone. Just like that. The Maple Leafs could no longer stomach having Kessel around, the first player to be both punished and rewarded for the saddest Leafs season in history. The Leafs held their breath, plugged their noses, and ostensibly gave Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins because they couldn’t stand having him around anymore.

Really, this was as much about illness and insomnia as anything else: The Leafs were sick and tired of Kessel.

Sick of his act. Tired of his lack of responsibility. Unwilling to begin any reset or rebuild with their highest-paid, most talented, least-dedicated player. He didn’t eat right, train right, play right. This had to happen for Brendan Shanahan to begin his rebuilding of the Leafs. Separation between the Leafs and Kessel became necessary when it grew more and more apparent with time that everything Shanahan values was upended by Kessel’s singular, laissez-faire, flippant, mostly uncoachable ways.

continued

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

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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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