Kukla's Korner Hockey
– Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that Blake Wheeler, selected by the Coyotes in the 2004 Entry Draft, has rejected the Coyotes contract offer and will become an unrestricted free agent.
“We offered Blake a contract which was both commensurate with his draft position and far exceeded any guaranteed contract he can receive, under the current CBA, with any other team,” said Maloney. “He has decided, however, that becoming a free agent is in his best interest.
“We are very happy with the compensatory pick we will receive for Blake not signing, which will be the fifth pick in the second round. This is a very deep draft and we now have five picks in the first two rounds, which is very exciting.”
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
Not for a minute do I doubt that Saturday night’s Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals will be one of the most arresting spectacles the NHL has seen in years. The Maven urges all hockey fans to watch. Perhaps more importantly, expect the Penguins to do what all those media geniuses said that they could NOT do after Game Two in Detroit, and that is get right back into the series.
Yessiree, Bob, I fully expect the Finals to be tied at two some time before 12:10 a.m. on Sunday morning.
“I don’t know why I have lasted, to tell you the truth,” he said. “There are times I have done some things I thought I was done for, but I’m still here. They must like my suits or something.”
Don Cherry at WTAE in Pittsburgh and video too…
Vincent Lecavalier will be the guest on the NHL Hour today, hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
At show time, you can listen live by going to the NHL Network Online, then on the “NHL Livewire” link in the left column, and the show will then be accessible in the right column.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Mike Babcock woke up Thursday, after the Detroit Red Wings’ first loss in the Stanley Cup final and did what he usually does the morning after a game: He talked to his wife and he talked to a fellow coach Dave King — and not necessarily in that order, either.
Babcock did it for reasons that he patiently explains all the time: That lifetime learning is a core belief; and that no matter how long he stays in the game, he doesn’t pretend to have all the answers.
Luc Bourdon of the Vancouver Canucks was killed today when his motorcycle crashed
into a tree
into another vehicle.
Alanah at Canucks and Beyond is providing updates to this tragic story.
from Empty Netters,
We don’t care what team you root for. If you’re a fan of hockey, you were a fan of that game last night. That was perhaps the best final game since Game 1 of the 2006 final between Carolina and Edmonton (AKA, the “Ty Conklin” game). There was end-to-end action. Big shots, big saves, even bigger hitting. When you tune in on television or plunk down your money to attend a game, you want games like that.
The hitting was intense but clean. The sport is never more beautiful to watch than when two teams are doing everything to beat the daylights out of each but not resorting to the cheap stuff like the Penguins initiated at the end of Game 2.
Q. Mike, you have a younger, bigger team than Detroit. Brooks was up here earlier talking about how you had hoped to make this a long series, and if so, that you thought you could pound them a little bit and take advantage of the fact that they’re an older team. Can you talk about that a little bit?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: There’s no doubt we want to be physical. And we’re both here to play a physical game. But honestly, we’re taking - the way I see it, we’ll take it game by game. And we’ll see at the end where the result’s going to be.
One thing for me that I see, our team, first of all, is getting better every game. Our team is getting more comfortable every game. Our team’s got more confidence every game.
Update 1:01pm ET: Interview with Ryan Whitney & Brooks Orpik now added below.
Q. What do you feel like you did better in Game 3 than you had done in the previous two games, and what do you feel like you have to do better still in Game 4?
ADAM HALL: Well, I think we were just able to do a better job limiting our turnovers and forechecking, and I think that was kind of a key to help creating more offense for us.
MAXIME TALBOT: Yeah, we made some little adjustments. And obviously I think that the desperation in and the crowd got us going. Yes, we had a little slow start, but I think after that yesterday it was a cliche but we talked about getting the first goal, and that was huge for us. And we got it, and it was a different game for us. Because it’s easier to play, when you play against the Detroit Red Wings and they have the lead, it’s kind of hard to come back because they’re so smart and experienced.
From Ben Wright at Blueland Blog,
I was told John Kincade mentioned it on the air yesterday so I don’t feel like I’m spilling the beans, but I wanted to be one of the first to congratulate Craig Custance on an upcoming career move. Craig is leaving the AJC to become the national hockey writer for The Sporting News. Craig has done a great job as the Thrashers beat writer and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working alongside him as both of us covered the Thrashers in our own ways. I’ve learned plenty from Craig and he’s been nice enough to let me jump in on interviews on many, many occasions.
KK passes on our congratulations as well. We’ve cited many, many stories from Craig over the past couple seasons and he’s always done a thorough job covering the Thrashers for both his newspaper and in the online format. We’ll look forward to his national perspective in The Sporting News.
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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