Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Scott Morrison via Welland Tribune,
So this is the so-called off season?
Hardly. In the past week ...
- A general manager who got his team three wins away from winning the Stanley Cup gets fired.
- A coach who was told two months ago he would be back next season gets fired.
- Deposits on tickets for a franchise that doesn’t exist go through the roof.
- The future of a franchise remains in limbo while a quiet cold war between the prospective owner and the NHL builds and the team loses two of its best young players.
- A coach who had 43 wins last season gets demoted to assistant coach, his replacement a surprise but quality choice.
And so it goes ... where to begin?
From Darren Dreger at TSN,
Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery will undergo surgery Thursday afternoon at a Cleveland clinic to repair a partial tear of the meniscus in his wrist.
Rather than risk a complete tear, the decision was made to undergo surgery now.
Emery, who suffered the injury in November, is expected to require two to three months to recover.
The Cayuga, Ontario native is slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1. He made $925,000 this past year and has arbitration rights.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Nationwide Arena is about to play host to an event unlike anything seen before in central Ohio. The NHL draft, especially the first round, is hours of cheers, jeers and NHL celebrity watching.
“I love the buildup to the draft. You can feel a buzz in the building 30 or 45 minutes before the draft gets started,” said Ken Campbell, a senior writer for The Hockey News who has attended a dozen or so drafts. “And this year it’s especially so because the top end of this draft is so up in the air.
“If you’re a hockey fan whose focus extends beyond the local team, it’s really something to see.”
I am on my way to Columbus. Alanah should be around shortly, keeping you updated on all of the NHL news.
I will be back sometime this afternoon and look forward to keeping the KK readers informed of all the talk in Columbus.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Maxim and Igor Gratchev will leave their Billerica home early tomorrow morning and head to Logan Airport, their flight plan scheduled to take them to Columbus, Ohio, their future—once again—uncharted.
“Whoever takes me, I’m fine with that,” said Maxim, 18, pondering what team might select him in the NHL draft that begins tomorrow night—a day he says he has anticipated his entire life. “I want to get my career started, work hard, get on a roster, and by the time I am 22 or 23 years old, I want to be an impact player in the NHL.”
from the Boston Globe,
During the dark days of the NHL’s 2004-05 lockout season, Reebok International Ltd. began poring over hundreds of prototypes for new uniforms, from a Robocop look with protective gear on the outside to jerseys neatly tucked into pants. With NHL players hard to come by during the lockout, Reebok tapped retired athletes and minor leaguers to try uniforms on an ice rink here and hired researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Central Michigan University to conduct thermal and wind-tunnel tests.
Today, the Boston Bruins will unveil the new Reebok uniform, the first NHL team to show off the sleek look with tighter-fitting jerseys and advanced moisture technology. The Bruins also are one of six teams that are using the introduction of the uniform to change their logo and striping, bringing back a vintage look reminiscent of the Bobby Orr era and showing that the redesign is about profit as well as performance.
This is a follow-up to the story Alanah posted two days ago…
from the Russian Imformation Agency,
British Airways has officially apologized to former NHL star from Russia Pavel Bure, who filed a lawsuit with a Moscow court demanding the airline pay $770,000 in compensation for moral damage.
Last October the retired NHL right wing, known as the “Russian Rocket”, was scheduled to fly on BA875 flight from Moscow to London, when the pilot of the aircraft allegedly mistook Bure for a Russian soccer fan, and refused to take off until the hockey star left the plane.
via the Mercury News,
The NHL draft is two days away, and the Sharks are gathering information on important matters such as whether their prospects like prostitutes.
A prospect named Dana Tyrell told the Prince George Citizen about his odd interview with the team.
“They were just firing questions so fast sometimes I didn’t even get a chance to answer,” he said. “But one question they asked was this - if I was in Central Park and I knew I was going to die, would I pick up a hooker, get a cab and drive away even though the cab driver was going to kill me, or get a hotel room to die there? They were laughing at my answer.”
from the Buffalo News,
The NHL free agency period starts July 1, and for the first time people are looking at all the available names, not just the ones on the unrestricted list. There’s a belief Clarke’s offer will be mimicked.
“The rules are there, and I think other teams will start using them,” Clarke said by phone last week. “Why wouldn’t you? Your responsibility is to do what’s right for your team, to help your team as a manager, and if you’re willing to give up draft picks and probably pay a little more to get a player, then why shouldn’t you use the rules? I think it will be used a lot more now.”
Kesler’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, agrees. He said a handful of teams inquired about Kesler before Clarke made his offer in September, and he feels the interest in restricted free agents will turn into action now that someone has made the first move.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The most reasonable process for Bettman to follow would have been to invite Balsillie to Manhattan yesterday to make a presentation to the board and answer a few questions. Nothing formal. No vote on the ownership of the Predators.
Instead, Bettman avoided dealing with the issue at all. The biggest news of the day then became that Jeremy Jacobs, Bettman’s No. 1 supporter, who has singlehandedly remade the once proud Boston Bruins into a failed franchise, is now chairman of the board.
The battlefield is now well-defined. Three Americans – Bettman, Daly and Jacobs – dedicated to defeating Balsillie’s bid to bring hockey to the world’s richest hockey market.
And never having to really explain why.
from the Globe and Mail,
Wayne Gretzky may feel sorry for National Hockey League fans in Nashville, but the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes can see only good things if the Predators relocate to Southern Ontario.
In an interview with CTV’s eTalk, Gretzky said that if the Predators are sold to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie and moved the next season to Hamilton, they would do well in what he dubbed “a great hockey area.”
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