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Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I went through the closet the other day and made sure all the sandals stayed left behind.  “I’m going to have to go out searching for some new snow boots.

“I don’t see that as any problem. That’s the way hockey should be. Hockey’s played during the wintertime, in the freezing cold. It’s going to feel like hockey again.”

-Randy Jones, who signed to play with the Winnipeg Jets over the weekend after recently playing with the LA Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning.  More on the Jets from Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: randy+jones

Report- Lightning/Stamkos Contract Getting Closer

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Nick Kypreos tweet,

No #NHL offer sheet for Stamkos. Its believed #Lightning have closed in and formal announcement could be looming. Last offer was @ 37M x 5

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Red Wings overnight report: finding a #2 goaltender is priority #1

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated with an odd rumor at 8:20 AM: The Detroit Red Wings’ biggest concern at present involves determining the fate of Chris Osgood as the team’s back-up goaltender. The Wings are scouring a picked-over market for another goaltender to spell Jimmy Howard as they remain quite concerned about Osgood’s ability to recover from what turned out to be major surgery to repair and reattach groin muscles as well as repair a sports hernia, as GM Ken Holland told the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan...

“The question with Chris Osgood is, can he be healthy?” general manager Ken Holland said.

Osgood maintained in the playoffs he was ready to play if needed. He wasn’t; Howard played every game. Late in the regular season, Osgood practiced but was unable to get into the lineup because of lingering discomfort in the groin. It’s Osgood’s lack of action the last two years — Howard won the starting job in 2009-10 after Osgood struggled early in the season — that has the Wings examining the goaltending market this summer.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Burke Reacts To Steve Simmons Column

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

Insults, taunts, slurs — he takes them all with a grain of salt. But when a Toronto columnist criticized the GM’s decision to visit the Canadian troops in Afghanistan on the same day that NHL free agency began last week, Burke said Monday he was “deeply offended.”

“They ask you to go,” said Burke, who was joined on the trip by Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn. “It’s not like you call them and say, ‘Hey, it would be good PR if I went to Afghanistan.’ I didn’t tell anyone I went and I didn’t talk to anyone when I got back. I did it because it was the right thing to do.”

In a Toronto Sun column, Steve Simmons wrote that Burke affected the team’s ability to sign prized free agent Brad Richards by not being in Toronto.

Along with several other teams, the Leafs sent a management team consisting of vice-president of hockey operations Dave Nonis, assistant general manager Claude Loiselle and special advisor Cliff Fletcher to personally meet with Richards and his agent in Mississauga on July 1. While Burke was not physically there, he said he was in direct communication with his staff.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Habs win on Cole, lose on Pouliot

Blog: The Upper Canadien By The Upper Canadien

So the frenzy has come and gone for Les Canadiens, and the outcome, surprisingly, isn’t all that bad. I’m actually pretty impressed with Pierre Gauthier. He went out and got, arguably to be sure, the best free agent available. Not only that, he identifies the immediate need of the team: a power forward. When’s the last time you can say the Habs did that?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Upper Canadien | Permalink
 

Many Thought These Contracts Would Be Impossible To Move

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

On the day the NHL season ended, if you’d listed all the contracts that absolutely positively couldn’t be dumped on anyone by the time training camps opened in September, you’d probably have settled on two: Brian Campbell’s eight-year, $56.8-million (all currency U.S.) deal with the Chicago Blackhawks and Dany Heatley’s six-year, $45-million deal with the San Jose Sharks.

Campbell’s contract came in at a $7.1-million annual average and, even though he’s coming off a decent season, it wasn’t $7.1-million worth of decent. As for Heatley, whose contract runs out in 2014 and has a cap hit of $7.5-million a season, his struggles to score in the playoffs on behalf of a Sharks team that was entertaining Stanley Cup dreams were well-documented. Heatley had had two erratic seasons under his belt in San Jose. The plans to play him with Joe Thornton stalled at the end of the first season and in 2010-11, playing with Logan Couture and Ryan Clowe, the two-time 50-goal scorer sniped just 26 times in the regular season – and his playoff numbers were worse.

Who, in his right mind, would take on those financial albatrosses? It just wasn’t going to happen – that is, until it did.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+campbell, dany+heatley

Salary Arbitration Date Fast Approaching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at Sportsnet,

An important deadline is looming for the Winnipeg Jets and captain Andrew Ladd.

The 25-year-old forward remains without a contract for next season and is expected to file for salary arbitration unless a deal can be completed quickly. Players have until 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday evening to file for arbitration.

Ladd earned US$2.35 million with the Atlanta Thrashers last season and had a career-best 29 goals and 59 points.

“We’ve been talking almost every day since the draft about trying to come to a long-term agreement, but we haven’t been able to do that yet,” Ladd’s agent J.P. Barry said Monday. “We expect to keep trying, but if not, we’ll likely file tomorrow and keep negotiating.”

Ladd is a restricted free agent and holds arbitration rights because of his NHL experience. A number of players find themselves in a similar position, including Toronto’s Clarke MacArthur, Tampa Bay’s Teddy Purcell, and Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky of the New York Rangers.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Goaltending market thins as McElhinney signs with Phoenix

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

Marty Turco, Ty Conklin and Ray Emery have much more bargaining power in determining where they’ll play this season as the Phoenix Coyotes have made an intriguing move, choosing to platoon their goaltending between Mike Smith and free agent signing Curtis McElhinney after losing Ilya Bryzgalov to the Flyers:

Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed unrestricted free agent goaltender Curtis McElhinney to a one-year (two-way) contract. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In four NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames, the 6-foot-2, 197 pound McElhinney appeared in 67 games posting a 18-26-4 record with a 3.13 goals against average (GAA) and a .898 save percentage.

In 2010-11, the 28-year-old native of London, Ontario played in a career-high 28 games with the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks posting a record of 9-13-1 with two shutouts, a 2.99 GAA and a .903 SV%.

The Coyotes seem to be banking on the, “We can handle things with two pretty good goaltenders” theory. We’ll see whether it pans out.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Anton Babchuk nearly off the market

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

We’re running a little “light” today due to the Fourth of July holiday, so here’s an intriguing tidbit from Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien: the most intriguing defenseman remaining on the market who doesn’t have big question marks attached to him will remain with the Calgary Flames, according to his agent, Jay Grossman:

Anton Babchuk near completion on 2 year deal with #Flames…..

Update: Make that officially off the market, per The Fourth Period, and the Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis also says that the deal’s nearly done:

I can confirm the Flames have now signed Babchuk to a 2-year deal. Done deal.

Update #2: The Calgary Flames are confirming the deal: 2-years at $2.5 million per season. The Flames are obviously banking on Babchuk’s potential and as such, they re-signed him at a very nice price.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ken Holland focuses efforts on finding a new back-up goaltender

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Updated big time at 9:21 PM: It appears that the Red Wings may in fact bring back Chris Osgood as Wings GM Ken Holland tells the Associated Press’s Larry Lage that the team’s top priority this week involves either signing or trading for a back-up to Jimmy Howard—or standing pat:

“The market for goalies is pretty picked over,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “We’re comfortable with Chris Osgood if we have to do it.”

Osgood has won three Stanley Cups, two as a No. 1 goalie, and 401 games, mostly with Detroit. But he played in only 11 games last season, recovering from sports hernia surgery in January. Holland might re-sign Osgood, bring back Ty Conklin, who won a career-high 25 games for the Red Wings during the 2008-09 season, or trade for someone to spell Jimmy Howard.

“I have gotten calls from teams, looking to trade a goaltender,” Holland said. “I need to do something and I probably will this week.”

The Wings definitely have limited options on the free agent market in terms of finding a back-up—Conklin, Marty Turco, Ray Emery

and Curtis McElhinney

(whoops, McElhinney signed with Phoenix today) are the best available options out there—so a trade might make sense (and if the Wings choose to move Jiri Hudler, that opens up a spot on the roster for the team to get a little bigger and/or faster)...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

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