Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Now, you’d like to think there is retribution coming down the road for those teams which spent like French kings, but the truth is, you can’t be certain where this is going. The cap rose to just north of $50 million this summer from $44 million last season and, yikes, $39 million in 2005-06, the first season after the lockout, and the widespread presumption is it can’t possibly go up again.
But the new CBC deals kicks in at $100 million Cdn in 2008-09, up from $60 million this season. Huge markets in Los Angeles, Chicago and St. Louis have been under-performing at the gate and now seem poised to turn their fortunes around. The New Jersey Devils are moving into a new rink. Nashville could move into a more lucrative market.
Add it all up and who’s to say the cap won’t go up again, leading to more fireworks next summer?
from Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger,
“We always feel we have to play the season in October,” is how GM Lou Lamoriello put it, “and not the summertime.” Which is true, but he’ll have to forgive fans if they followed the news this off-season and reached the following conclusion:
The Devils might be coming to Newark.
The Stanley Cup isn’t joining them.
“Some of the most talented teams we’ve had in this organization never had the same success as other teams,” Lamoriello said, “because they were teams.”
But the architect of those Cup-winning teams has something to prove, that his golden touch is still intact, that his system can thrive even when the top players take the money and run.
He also has an arena to fill. Two more links to a Stanley Cup past are gone, just when the Devils need to put their best skate forward as they try to convince people that the trip to Newark is worthwhile. The arena will attract new fans. A winning team will bring them back.
from the St. Peterburg Times,
“It’s an absolutely perfect fit,” agent Roland Thompson said of his free agent client. “He’d like to come back to Tampa, and we’ve had some discussions. If the opportunity came, it would be his first choice.”
The Cullimore inquiry is part of what general manager Jay Feaster said is an ongoing organizational debate about how to fill out the roster….
Cullimore signed with the Blackhawks after helping Tampa Bay win the ‘04 Cup and last month was traded to the Canadiens, who bought out the last season of his contract.
Cullimore will get $1.25-million from Montreal two-thirds of his $1.9-million salary. He likely would ask his new team to make up the $650,000 difference.
But with $42.34-million of a $44-million payroll budget already committed and forward Ryan Craig still unsigned, Feaster probably doesn’t want to pay much more than the $475,000 league minimum.
from George Richards at the Miami Herald,
‘‘It’s a big loss for Nashville and a big loss for these kids and their families,’’ said Jennifer Miller, a director at the Vanderbilt hospital. ‘When they found out about the trade, it was like, `Are you serious?’ He loves these kids and the kids looked up to him so much. He had such a big heart.
``To them, he could do no wrong. He could walk on water to these kids here.’‘
It’s expected Vokoun—a father of two children—will continue his work once he takes up residence in South Florida. It’s unfortunate, but pain and suffering isn’t restricted to one community.
‘‘Life is not fair,’’ Vokoun said. ``You see kids who are sick, and they did nothing to deserve that. They are just innocent kids with their whole lives in front of them. Yet they’re sick. It’s not fair, that’s for sure.’‘
from the Columbus Dispatch,
“We’ve had a couple of calls from agents wondering if we have interest in their clients,” Howson said.
But the conversations have been brief, always ending with a “No, thanks.”
“We believe in the two goaltenders we have,” Howson said. “It’s just as simple as that.”
The Blue Jackets will head to training camp with oft-injured Pascal Leclaire and veteran Fredrik Norrena duking it out for the No. 1 job.
It’s not among the most highly regarded 1-2 punches in the NHL, but Howson doesn’t appear worried.
from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,
Bryan Murray may want to trade Gerber, but he can’t cut off the nose to spite the Senators’ face.
It will require a delicate balancing act to ensure that Ottawa’s net and wallet are not left sparely filled—and it’s a move that could set the tone for Murray’s tenure as GM in this city.
However, don’t be surprised if the other shoe fails to drop before Emery’s situation is settled.
After all, who knows how much longer Gerber will reign as the highest paid goaltender in the city?
Right now, there’s no clear-cut answer on how to deal with Gerber.
But if Murray finds him too difficult to unload, with Emery standing by in the meantime, palms outstretched, the solution may be thrust upon the GM far quicker than he expected.
from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
Fact is, however, that higher ticket prices beget more revenue, which begets a higher cap, which ultimately benefits the Rangers and every big-market franchise and consumer around the league.
The fans all across Small Market NHL might want to consider that before buying all the new apparel and licensed products the league is creating for this season with its introduction of new uniforms and new team logos, for without any meaningful revenue-producing programs coming from Sixth Avenue, the 2008-09 cap will increase in direct proportion to increased ticket prices and merchandising dollars.
more from Brooks, including Sutter talk, and Larry has a question for Kenny Holland…
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
In fact, big-market teams do have a distinct edge. Teams from larger (see: wealthy) markets, such as Philadelphia and New York, can offer longterm deals loaded with more money up front because they can afford to buy out players toward the end of the contract. The structure of the deals helps them circumvent the salary cap while still drawing the better players.
Understand, the big-market advantage wasn’t the reason the Sabres lost Drury and Briere. They could have kept both for less money over fewer years than the co-captains eventually received as unrestricted free agents. It wasn’t until Drury and Briere hit the open market that New York and Philly could impose their leverage.
added 8:41am, from the New York Times,
But the small-market teams appear to be struggling again. Buffalo lost Drury and Brière without seeming to make a serious move to keep either one. Edmonton struggled to lure players — including Rangers center Michael Nylander, who agreed to a contract with the Oilers, then backed out to go to Washington — until it finally landed Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray last week for five years and $27 million.
The small-market teams have the same amount of money to spend as teams like the Rangers, although some would rather stay closer to the cap’s minimum figure ($34 million next season) than to the top.
John Ferguson Sr. has passed away at the age of 68.
The five-time Stanley cup winner succumbed to his second bout with cancer on Saturday at his home in Windsor, Ontario.
‘‘On behalf of my entire family, I’d like to thank the many friends, professional colleagues, medical personnel, and hockey fans who have supported us through this difficult time. Your expressions of sympathy have helped bring comfort to us. Your kind words have helped strengthen us.’’ John Ferguson Jr. said in a statement.
Ferguson’s son, John Ferguson Jr., is the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
*Note: a profile of John Ferguson, Sr. can be found on Legends of Hockey
from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues coach Andy Murray had a meeting with Johnson on Friday at the Blues’ developmental camp. Murray wants to make sure Johnson realizes the in-house expectations for the University of Minnesota’s early defector are the same as they are for all the newcomers in camp, nothing more and nothing less.
“What I wanted to make him aware of ... I saw it in a newspaper where he was asked if he felt he would be on the power play in St. Louis, and this and that,” Murray explained. “And he said, ‘I have to make sure first of all that I’m good in practice. I know coach Murray is a guy that wants commitment and work ethic. I’ve got to go in there first and show them I belong on the team.’
“I brought him in and talked about that and thanked him for the position he’s taken, because, and I told him, ‘You’ve been around here the last week and I guess you’ve come to understand that’s exactly the way I’m going to treat you.’”
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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