Kukla's Korner

What Lou Did Can Happen Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

What Lamoriello did was find a way to trade away a large contract to create room under the salary cap, which at the time was in its infancy. His trading partner, the San Jose Sharks, received the premium of a first-round draft pick for agreeing to use their room under the cap to take a multimillion-dollar contract off Lamoriello’s hands, which allowed him to sign a couple of important players.

At the time, some GMs thought this was circumventing the rules of the salary cap. But NHL commissioner Gary Bettman approved the deal and the complaints faded away.

Now, with the trade deadline approaching on Wednesday, some GMs think there may be a number of those deals made, which amount to one team leasing its spare cap room to another for a price. A rebuilding team with room to spare under the salary cap and no plans to spend a lot of money on free agents this summer will offer to take an expensive contract off another team’s hands, which will allow that other team to pursue a player who can help in the playoff drive.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

No Day Like Deadline Day

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen via TSN,

You have just two days left to come up with your excuse to call in sick Wednesday. Here’s a tip: develop the early symptoms of a sore throat Monday, just to plant a seed with the boss. If still you look fresh and healthy when you leave the office Tuesday, it will be too obvious. C’mon, this is textbook trade deadline strategy!

Those of you who implement your plan successfully will spend the day on the couch in your boxers, with half a Cheeto hanging from your chin, getting exciting about seventh defencemen being traded for fifth-round draft picks, and occasionally drifting off into a fantasy that your Sens will get Zdeno Chara back. For Martin Gerber, straight up.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will Anyone Overpay For Wild Stars?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

“How can I begin to think I’m going to compete for a playoff spot by trading Backstrom?” Risebrough said. “Now, that’s showing you my motivation. I don’t know what somebody else’s motivation is. To say ‘never’ is illogical, and I don’t want to be hung with that because I don’t know what somebody might offer me.

“If somebody says, ‘I really want to overpay,’ well, then what do I do? Now they put me in a dilemma. But I’ve told you my motivation.”

Asked if that includes Marian Gaborik, whom Risebrough also says he’d prefer to hold onto, he answered, “Both.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Smyth On The Trade Rumors

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

...another trading deadline is approaching — it’s on Wednesday — and Smyth’s name has been tossed out amid indications general manager Francois Giguere at least got the word out that he would at least listen to offers for Smyth. But Smyth has a no-trade clause in his contract, and Sunday he again said neither he not his agent, Don Meehan, had been asked about waiving it.

“It’s just rumors,” Smyth said. “That’s what happens this time of year. I’ve been fortunate enough to have that no-move clause in place, so right now it’s all speculation.”

He said he would be “surprised” if Giguere eventually asks him to waive the no-trade clause.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+smyth

Another Total Fabrication

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from TSN,

The New England Sports Network and the Boston Herald both reported that the Eastern Conference leading Bruins have offered their first- and third-round picks in the upcoming NHL entry draft, as well top prospect Joe Colborne.

Burke told TSN that there has been no such offer.

“It’s not true, a total fabrication,” Burke told TSN.  “I sat with (Boston GM) Peter Chiarelli for the first period of Saturday’s game in Boston and we never discussed Tomas Kaberle. We hadn’t spoken about Kaberle before that and we most certainly haven’t since then. There is no truth to it at all. None.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Playing Like A Playoff Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from David Climer of the Tennessean,

It’s always dangerous to read too much into one game, but the 8-0 conquest of Detroit carries some extra weight. The Preds pushed and the Red Wings didn’t push back. Sure, Detroit was playing its second game in as many nights but it is unusual for the Red Wings to go quietly.

Where will all this lead? It’s hard to say. Nobody expects the Preds to continue to put up such gaudy offensive numbers. This is a blue-collar team that wins with a strong work ethic and attention to detail.

But with six weeks left in the regular season, the Predators look like a team that is developing a playoff pedigree.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Best Team In Hockey

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,

They are the best team in the NHL right now. It appears the Devils raised the level of their play when Brodeur returned. They were already a very good team. Brodeur’s return was going to trigger one of two reactions: The Devils would rely on him too much and see a drop in their over all, or pull together to make sure the goalie’s return was successful. We know how it went.

more on the Devils…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Need A Goalie?  You May Have To Wait

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

- The Blue Jackets are ready to deal G Pascal Leclaire, but his season-ending ankle surgery in January and the two years remaining at an average of $3.8 million (all terms US) are going to scare teams off. Leclaire, 25, had a 4-6-1 record with a 3.83 GAA before being injured and has lost the No. 1 job to Steve Mason. The Senators would likely pass if the Jackets were to offer Leclaire for W Antoine Vermette.

- The Thrashers have held talks with several teams about G Kari Lehtonen, but the sense is he won’t be dealt and Atlanta will wait until the off-season. The talk is the Wings and Capitals have shown interest in the 24-year-old, which means the Senators would likely be at the bottom of the list.

more goalie talk and of course other rumors too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Imagine Pronger & Chara Together

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Whatever fate awaits Pronger, any trade that would send the former Hart Trophy winner to Boston is among the top deals we’d like to see completed.

If you really love the sport, wouldn’t you want to witness the spectacle of Pronger and Zdeno Chara playing together on defence?

Pronger is 6-foot-6. Chara is 6-foot-8. Put them together, and you have 158 inches of the most intimidating defensive pairing the NHL may ever have seen.

Not since Larry Robinson and Gilles Lupien manned the blue line for the Montreal Canadiens would there have been such a towering duo on defence.

Eastern Conference rivals Montreal and Washington play a more finesse game and would find it difficult to deal with the combined muscle provided by Chara and Pronger, especially in a playoff series.

more and other hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Wait A Day, Things Could Change

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

On Sunday, the sense was that the Pronger chatter had lessened from last week’s fever pitch; it doesn’t mean it can’t pick up again between now and Wednesday, as the Ducks try to lower their payroll.

Of the other big names on the block, there is a belief now that Jay Bouwmeester may survive the deadline after all, with the Florida Panthers unable to find a good-enough hockey deal to coax them into trading the potential unrestricted free agent. Bouwmeester had been linked most prominently to the Philadelphia Flyers in a trade scenario, but the Flyers’ Eastern Conference rivals, the New Jersey Devils, are currently the only contender with the cap room to make it work.

In the Western Conference, the Phoenix Coyotes’ descent since the all-star break, a 3-12 slide, means they will almost certainly move defenceman Derek Morris and centre Olli Jokinen, Morris in the next 72 hours for sure, Jokinen either now or at the NHL entry draft.

Even if the Montreal Canadiens appear to have turned the corner in the past week or so behind goaltender Jaroslav Halak’s play, Jokinen would appeal to them because he could replace Robert Lang’s scoring.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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