Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette,
The Montreal Canadiens opened the National Hockey League draft by selecting two Americans, who are expected to provide “size, skill and grit in the future.”
That’s the word from director of player personnel Trevor Timmins after the Canadiens drafted defenceman Ryan McDonagh with the 12th overall pick and power forward Max Pacioretty at No. 22.
For the second consecutive year, the Canadiens turned to a Minnesota high school for their top pick.
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators’ blue line could look vastly different next season.
While GM Bryan Murray continues to listen to offers for Wade Redden and shops Joe Corvo, the agent for Tom Preissing indicated his client won’t return to the club.
“It’s not likely (Preissing) will be back in Ottawa,” Ben Hankinson of Octagon Hockey told the Sun in an e-mail before last night’s NHL entry draft at Nationwide Arena.
An unrestricted free agent on July 1 who made $600,000 (all terms US) last season, Preissing will be priced out of the Senators market in any case.
It’s believed the 28-year-old defenceman will draw plenty of interest on the open market and will attract offers in excess of $2.5 million.
From Kevin Paul Dupont at the Boston Globe,
Cherepanov, a dynamic Russian right winger, sat in the stands until the Rangers selected him 17th overall, roughly 6-12 slots lower than anyone imagined. As the picks ticked off, there sat the 18-year-old Cherepanov, an interpreter at his side.
By the 10th selection, two picks after the Bruins selected Hamill, TSN commentator Pierre McGuire acted as if he were ready to launch an international investigation.
“This is unconscionable and insane,” exclaimed the excitable McGuire. “It’s complete insanity that he hasn’t been picked yet.” And after the No. 13 pick, when the Blues chose the Denmark-born Lars Eller over Cherepanov, Maguire chimed in again over what he labeled a “bizarro pick.”
continued… (*more on Cherepanov, plus looking at the Bruins)
From Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,
Imagine the immense pressure being exerted on Craig Leipold, the man who no longer wants to own the Nashville Predators.
On one hand, the NHL, through misguided commissioner Gary Bettman, is leaning on Leipold daily not to sell the Preds to Waterloo billionaire Jim Balsillie.
Bettman is operating on an ABB (Anyone But Balsillie) basis, uncaring that the Predators are being dismembered, sold off piece by piece, while he tries to make sure the team moves anywhere but Southern Ontario.
Let’s be clear. Bettman doesn’t care if the Preds are turned into a hollow shell next season. He cares only about directing them to Kansas City or Las Vegas or some other place that won’t care about them very much.
Update 9:12am EDT:
More on this situation from John Glennon at The Tennessean.
From Larry Brooks at the New York Post,
On the night NHL Entry Draft history was made when Americans went 1-2 for the first time, the Rangers may well have come away with the steal of the first round by reaching across the ocean to Russia to grab consensus top-five pick Alexei Cherepanov 17th overall.
Management personnel at the Blueshirts’ draft table reacted with a mixture of glee, shock and anticipation as one team after another passed on Central Scouting’s highest-rated European skater, apparently all scared off by the lack of a current transfer agreement between the NHL and the IIHF.
From the CP via Globe & Mail:
First-round picks in Friday’s NHL draft:
1. Chicago, Patrick Kane, RW, London (OHL)
2. Philadelphia, James vanRiemsdyk, LW, U.S. U-18
3. Phoenix, Kyle Turris, C, Burnaby (BCHL)
From Rusty Miller of the JG-TC,
Oh, Canada! For the first time, Americans were taken with the top two picks in the NHL draft.
First, the Chicago Blackhawks, trying to rebuild a once-proud franchise after four consecutive losing seasons, selected Buffalo, N.Y., native Patrick Kane with the No. 1 pick Friday night. Then the Philadelphia Flyers picked left wing James vanRiemsdyk, a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program from Middletown, N.J.
“It’s good to have the No. 1 and No. 2 picks,” said Kane, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound right wing who had 62 goals and 83 assists in 58 games last year for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. “It’s unbelievable. It’s good to see the Americans start coming into the league.”
From AP via the Miami Herald,
An equipment manager for the 2004 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning thinks he lost his NHL championship ring in South Carolina while changing a flat tire along Interstate 95.
Vincent Humphries put the ring in his pocket so he wouldn’t scratch it, but realized about a mile down the road that the ring was gone.
“I’m sick,” said Humphries, who lost the diamond-studded ring Tuesday night on his way to Florida from Myrtle Beach. “It’s the only memento I have in my life to pass on.”
Humphries searched the area where he thought he changed the flat for about four hours with a small flashlight, but had no luck.
From TSN, breaking news,
Nashville owner Craig Leipold has advised the NHL to no longer consider Jim Balsillie as a prospective owner of the team.
Sources say Leipold told the league the absence of a finalized sale agreement and Balsillie desire to move the franchise to Hamilton are the reasons for his decision.
more soon… (whoa…)
Updated 9:28pm EDT:
More from TSN,
It’s the second time Balsillie has been spurned in his efforts to buy an NHL team. He backed out of an earlier agreement to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Balsillie had agreed to pay up to $238 million for the Predators. There was a deadline of June 30th put in place to complete the details of the sale.
Leipold, however, pulled the plug early.
Balsillie had already started putting the wheels in motion to move the team to Hamilton.
At a board of governors meeting in New York earlier this week, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called talk of moving the Predators “premature.”
Updated 10:26pm EDT:
More from Scott Burnside at ESPN.
The first round of the draft is getting ready to start. KK won’t be updating with every pick, but you can watch the action live on TSN, Versus or online at NHL.com streaming online. (You can even see it blogged live online. update: also being blogged here)
Any other stories will be updated as normal, depending on how long I stay sober. (Kidding, Paul, honest!)
Good luck to everyone’s favorite teams.
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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