Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
- There is a strong belief that given the fact the Arizona Coyotes have $18 million in cap space, that UFA centre Antoine Vermette, who won a Cup with the Blackhawks, will simply return to the desert on July 1. He is comfortable there. Makes sense.
- One of the bigger surprises this weekend is the inactivity by St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong. After deciding to keep coach Ken Hitchcock and the club’s staff, there was a strong belief the Blues were going to be aggressive in making changes. The Blues have made the likes of forwards T.J Oshie and Patrik Bergland available, but haven’t been able to get anything done and that has to be disappointing for Armstrong. After making an early exit from the playoffs (again), the Blues can’t afford to go back with same old, same old. A league executive told me in the weeks leading up to the draft that the Blues were one of the most aggressive teams in trying to make changes. That certainly didn’t happen this weekend.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The damage of this past Maple Leafs season lingers and cannot be easily undone.
The Leafs went to Florida hoping to trade more than draft picks and came away wondering where they proceed from here.
The market for Phil Kessel was thin and only marginally active.
The market for Tyler Bozak, Kessel’s centre of choice, was non-existent. The Leafs did not receive a single phone call inquiring about Bozak’s availability.
The two players that Brendan Shanahan would most like to move remain with his club and now a strategy revision of sorts is likely underway.
The Leafs would like to move Kessel, who apparently wants to stay. And they want to keep captain Dion Phaneuf, who apparently wants to leave. And since Shanahan talked avidly about changing the culture and the leadership group of the club, not one player of consequence has been moved out yet.
An alteration of management’s strategy has now become a work in progress and all bets are off about the roster being blown up before September.
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from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Don Maloney nearly slipped out of the building unnoticed. The sly fox had already completed a mind-bending trade that was as much about salary cap gymnastics as hockey, but he played coy when I approached him just off the draft floor.
“I made a deal,” Maloney said. “A small one.”
While that characterization was technically true, the ramifications for the Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers were rather large: Sam Gagner and a conditional draft pick to the Flyers for defenceman Nicklas Grossmann and Chris Pronger’s contract.
The perpetually capped-out Flyers will realize a savings of $7.28-million next season — assuming they buy out Gagner, which isn’t guaranteed — while Arizona moves $7.194-million closer to the cap floor, adds a defenceman and only takes on about $125,000 in actual salary commitments.
Working through the components of the trade, which included the Flyers retaining $500,000 of Grossmann's salary while dealing a future Hall of Famer who hasn't played since 2011, requires some heavy duty math.
What it all added up to is a creative bookkeeping maneuver for both teams.
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
- General manager Ron Francis made it clear that the priority at this point is to try and sign Staal to an extension.
"I’ve had a general and open and honest conversation with Eric’s agent on things," Francis said Saturday. "We’ll continue to have those as we move into the summer. Eric has indicated he wants to be part of the Hurricanes moving forward, and we’ll see if we can get that worked out."
- General manager Jim Benning shed a bit more light on the deal that wasn’t completed with San Jose for Bieksa on Friday. It fell apart because the Canucks wanted a second-round pick in this year’s draft and the Sharks were only willing to provide a second-rounder next year.
"Going in, the market place dictates that Johnny Boychuk went for two second-round picks," Benning said, citing last fall’s deal between the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders. "Kevin is a little bit older. That’s what our asking price was [a second-round pick this year]. I don’t think it’s too much, I think it’s fair. That’s what we were trying to get if we were going to move Kevin."
But for now, Bieksa remains a Canuck, although sources suggest Vancouver is talking to other teams.
"He’s still part of our team. We’ll continue to explore options and see where it goes," said Benning.
They say they want to get younger, but they’re not in the Dougie Hamilton trade talks and instead were pursuing Milan Lucic? They already have a younger, albeit poor man’s Lucic in Zack Kassian, but they won’t give him the slightest chance to succeed.
We’re a year into this regime and that’s way too early to be reaching any conclusions, particularly given Benning has a scouting background and his strength should be at the draft table. But to borrow a phrase from Harry Neale, the overall impression so far is of two guys trying to carry three pounds of bleep in a two-pound bag.
-Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province on the Vancouver Canucks. Read more on the Canucks and the Eddie Lack trade.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have acquired defenseman Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of defenseman Chris Pronger from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Sam Gagner and a conditional fourth round draft choice in 2016 or a third round draft choice in 2017.
The 30-year-old Grossmann registered 5-9-14 and 32 penalty minutes (PIM) in 68 games with the Flyers in 2014-15. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden has recorded 10-69-79 and 288 PIM in 531 career NHL games with the Flyers and Dallas Stars. Grossmann was originally drafted by the Stars in the second round (56th overall) in the 2004 Entry Draft.
Gagner collected 15-26-41 and 28 penalty minutes in 81 games with the Coyotes last season.
SUNRISE, Fla. (June 27, 2015) – A total of 211 players from 14 countries were selected at the 2015 NHL Draft, which concluded today at BB&T Center.
Following is a breakdown of draft selections by birthplace:
United States 55
Czech Republic 11
via the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today they have acquired forward Ryan Haggerty from the New York Rangers in exchange for goaltender Antti Raanta.
Haggerty, 22, totaled 33 points (15G, 18A) in his first professional season with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League last season. His seven power-play goals were third most on the team. Haggerty then recorded six points (2G, 4A) in 14 postseason games.
The Stamford, Conn., native previously registered 84 points (47G, 37A) over three seasons at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Haggerty also participated in the United States National Team Development Program from 2009-11.
Raanta, 26, posted a 7-4-1 record, including one shutout, a .936 save percentage and 1.89 goals-against average in 14 games for the Blackhawks last season. The Rauma, Finland, native also notched an 8-1-1 record, including two shutouts, a .918 save percentage and 2.39 GAA in 11 games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League last season.
Raanta owns a 20-8-5 record in 29 career NHL regular-season games, all with the Blackhawks. He signed his first NHL contract as a free agent with Chicago on June 3, 2013.
from Bill Roose of DetroitRedWings.com,
Pomp and pageantry was definitely not part of the NHL’s inaugural draft when six general managers sat around a hotel room in Montreal to divvy up 21 player prospects.
There were no calls to the podium. They weren’t greeted on stage by the league commissioner. Nobody slipped on a team jersey and cap while smiling uncontrollably as countless cameras and smart phones chronicled the moment of a lifetime.
Peter Mahovlich was part of the league’s first draft in 1963, though he didn’t know about it until the next day when a Red Wings scout called the house.
It was June 5, 1963 inside the Queen Elizabeth Hotel where the Red Wings, with the second overall pick, behind the Montreal Canadiens, selected a 16-year-old Mahovlich, who was finishing his sophomore year at St. Michael’s in Toronto.
“I was playing Junior B hockey at the time and we didn’t ever know there was going to be a draft,” said Mahovlich, now a pro scout for the Florida Panthers. “I found out the next that I was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings.
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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