Kukla's Korner

SENShobo

Category: NHL-News

Gearing up for camp, gearing down Kovalev expectations

Jersey musical chairs, a quick update on Dr. Chow, and how Kovalev is more consistent than you would think, but first. . .

From the Ottawa Citizen, on the rookie battles,

For Cowen and Wiercioch, getting a head start is a good idea. The competition to win a spot on the Senators’ blue-line this season will be tough.
[...]
“I’m definitely excited about it,” [Wiercioch] said. “Whether I make the team or not, I’m pushing to earn one of those spots. It’ll be my first NHL camp, so it’ll be a new chapter in my life, so the first year I’m just really trying to take it all in, take it in stride, take the lows as well as the highs.”
[...]
“There are quite a few guys trying out for spots this year, so it will be competitive, which is good for the team,” [Cowen] said. “For me, it’s going to be a lot harder, but that’s fine, because I don’t expect it to be easy to make the team.

“But I am expecting to make the team. I’m not saying I am on the team, but I really have a good chance.”

The pressure to make it could well be the key to successful development.

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Filed in: NHL News, NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | SENShobo | Permalink
 

Optimism in spite of the pain

An update on Dr. Chow, ex-Sens still job hunting, and the base hope for the season, but first…

From the Ottawa Senators, on television coverage,

For the first time ever, all 82 games are being made available to Sens Army faithful living within the Senators’ broadcast territory [...]

“It’s great for us,” said Senators president Cyril Leeder. “For our fans, we’ll have every game televised this year, so there will be more games available to more fans. It just speaks to the fact that Senators games are in demand by the networks, the fans and the advertisers as well.”

For a moment, the eyes lit up, and still clouded over just as quickly.

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Hearts go out to man of compassion

From the Ottawa Sun, on the status of team doctor Don Chow,

There is only one injury that currently concerns the Senators, and that’s to popular team doctor Don Chow.
[...]
“He’s obviously an important member of our staff,” said Murray. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him on a daily basis.

“He’s been (with the team) a long time, but the most important thing is he’s a friend. He’s a very caring person. He’s helped every one of us, in one way or another. He takes time on a regular basis to do whatever is necessary for the team, the team members. From a personal point of view, my wife had surgery, and he didn’t do the surgery, but he was the one calling on a regular basis and offering support, help and advice. When a person cares that much, you miss him as part of your team, but again, we know what his family must be going through while we wait for him to recover. We’re going to miss him a great deal on the first day of training camp.”

Not the news I was expecting to start a fresh September with, but no question about where all sympathies are right now.

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Kovalchuk contract arbitration not clear cut

This week, starting today and in an undisclosed location, men will sit down in a small square room with the windows shuttered, and the NHL and the NHLPA will goe toe to toe over the validity of the flag-bearer contract of Ilya Kovalchuk. While the NHL asserts that the contract is “a circumvention of the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” many have been quick to point out that it follows every letter of the law of the CBA.

Rule 50.6 (a) limits compensation in any year of the contract from exceeding 20 per cent of the cap as it was in the year the contract began. With a cap of $59.4 million, Kovalchuk’s high water salary mark of $11.5 million respects this by $380,000. Rules 50.7 (i) and (ii) look at the first two years of the contract—valued at $6 million each—and requires that any year-over-year increase in salary be not greater than the lower of the two years—the largest jump, from $6 million to $11.5 million, flies $500,000 under the radar—while any decrease cannot exceed half of the lower of the two years—the largest drop on the way down from the $11.5 million peak being equal to this $3 million limit. Even the required minimum salary is met throughout the tail of this dragon contract.

But outside the rules, you have to accept that there are valid reasons for wanting a contract with more ups and downs than Rick DiPietro’s. You must see that even in respecting these rules, the contract can indeed be called a circumvention of the CBA, at least in spirit, and one damaging to the whole League.

And you must also be aware that, despite following the rules of the CBA to the letter, the NHL might reveal to the arbitrator that they have some unmentioned trump cards yet to play.

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A Class That Embodies The Real Lesson

You could see a great many stories about the Senators today, from their unfortunate status as the most penalized team in the League (SENS), Murray’s desire to add at least a player (HC), the Oilers who Heatley kept in Edmonton rolling into town (OS), and Emery’s first game hosting ‘a team he used to play for’ (OC).

But, after last night’s Hockey Hall of Fame inductions, perhaps a little more reflection on the organization would be diligent.

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Filed in: NHL General, NHL News, NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | SENShobo | Permalink
 

Senators Solidify Coaching in AHL

From the Ottawa Senators’ website,

The Ottawa Senators announced today that the club has named Don Nachbaur as head coach of its American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators.

Nachbaur has been head coach of the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans for the last six seasons, earning a .592 winning percentage with 235 wins, 155 losses, 25 overtime losses and 17 shootout defeats over the span of 432 regular-season games.

Minor news, certainly, but for Sens fans, a little glimmer of stability after the last few years of coaching merry-go-round.

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Hunt Departs

From the Regina Leader-Post,

The Leader-Post has learned through sources close to the situation that the WHL club has found its new/old head coach—Curtis Hunt. A media conference is slated for either today or Tuesday at the Brandt Centre to announce the three-year contract, which hasn’t yet been signed—but the sides have agreed to terms.

Pats GM Brent Parker couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
....
Parker made a formal offer on the weekend and the deal was subsequently consummated—according to another source—after Hunt officially parted company with the Ottawa Senators, informing them that he wouldn’t return next season as the head coach of their AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

Not at all surprising, and he can’t be blamed for his choice, especially after the runaround he’s been through. Binghamton has been clamoring for the playoffs longer than Ottawa, and for signs that the farm club is on Ottawa’s radar. With a fresh start, the direction the Murrays take will be especially telling of what’s in store for the Binghamton Senators, and their rocky relationship as the Senators’ AHL affiliate.

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Waiting To Move Forward, In And From Phoenix

In six days, legal proceedings will finally get started, even though the ‘control over bankruptcy declaration’ issue is hardly the game-changer that will gather the masses. It will only gather the Canadian media.

What has happened already is that Pandora’s box has effectively been opened, and howling out of it have come a million questions that need to be answered. Answered not just by Balsillie, Moyes, and the NHL, answers that affect not only this potential sale, but answered by a host of stakeholders, answers affecting the future of the League as a whole.

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Phoenix’s Future Casts A Wide Shadow

From the Hamilton Spectator,

The Hamilton Bulldogs are making plans to play at Copps Coliseum this coming season.
....
Long term, however, is another matter and Andlauer is drawing up a contingency plan to leave.

The Bulldogs have been HECFI’s major tenant at Copps Coliseum for 13 seasons. They’re about to enter the final year of a five-year lease. That lease, however, gives HECFI the right to turf them out if an NHL team moves permanently to Hamilton.
....
He’s very disappointed, however, that he hasn’t received so much as a courtesy call from Mayor Fred Eisenberger or any official from the City of Hamilton. He says that shows great disrespect for everything the Bulldogs have done for the community.

Just a small sampling of the many groups with a vested interest in the issue, more thoughts to come from me on Wednesday.

Filed in: NHL News, | SENShobo | Permalink
 

Balsillie: There May Be No One To Stop Him This Time

It’s been less than a day now since the Phoenix Coyotes have applied for Chapter 11 reorganization, and Balsillie’s put his offer on the table.

You may think you’ve heard it all, that Jim tried twice with the Penguins and Predators and failed (Pittsburgh Penguins, Predators, Phoenix, talk about alliteration in takeover targets). Truth is, this may be his best shot yet, as the one most resembling the current bleak state of the economy.

He’s been a dog sitting on a porch, chasing every car that comes by until they pass him by. Always chasing, never catching, and never knowing what he’ll do when he finally catches one. I’ll let you know whose words those are when Jim’s PR gets back to me, but regardless it’s about time we find out just what the ol’ dog might do.

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About SENShobo

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net

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