Kukla's Korner

Rangers Could Have Put That 3rd Round Pick To Better Use

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

In sending a third- round selection in next year’s Entry Draft to Los Angeles for fourth-line center candidate Brian Boyle, Rangers general manager Glen Sather traded his team out of the possibility of getting Boston’s dynamic Phil Kessel on a Group II free agent offer sheet.

Maybe the cost of the contract plus the cost in compensation wouldn’t have been worth it and maybe it would have. Maybe the cap-stressed Bruins would have matched, but maybe they wouldn’t have or couldn’t have.

But if the Rangers had kept their third-round pick, they’d at least have been in position to offer Kessel, the 21-year-old right wing who scored 36 goals in his third NHL season, an offer sheet for approximately the $5.5 million he’s seeking but won’t get from Boston.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Another Rumor Shot Down

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

With his client’s first shot at unrestricted free agency only a couple of sleeps away, Bryon Baltimore won’t let it be known where Jay Bouwmeester stands.

At least not to the media in regards to negotiations with the Calgary Flames.

However, Baltimore was willing to shoot down any rumours of a deal already being in place between the Flames and the defenceman.

One infamous Internet site claimed yesterday a deal with a cap hit of US$6.3 million was in place, which had tongues wagging among Flames fans.

“I can dispel that rumour,” Baltimore said from Edmonton. “We have not agreed to anything because we haven’t even talked yet.”


Remember folks, THAT blogger only wants site hits so be prepared for stuff like this in the next few days.  Also, someone should ask him about his ‘breaking’ story of the Lightning drafting Ashton Carter (yes I know it is Carter Ashton, but he didn’t) on Friday night.  I would point it out to you on his Twitter and website, but he deleted both posts.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, NHL Media, Dwayne, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+bouwmeester

Brian Leetch’s Hall Of Fame Case

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

This is the third Hall of Fame case I am making this year.  Here is Steve Yzerman’s case and here is Brett Hull’s.

I am comparing them to my Hall of Fame standards using the questions Bill James asks about potential baseball Hall of Famers.  I think this is an insightful group of questions that quickly hits at the heart of what makes a player a Hall of Famer

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Avs Talk

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

My money is on Marty Biron or Ty Conklin being the next Avs’ starting goalie, with Boods as the backup.

There was a report in the Ottawa Sun today, too, saying Sakic will play one more year. The paper has a one in two chance of being right, but I have not heard that as a fact from my people, so we’ll keep waiting to see.

read on for some ‘Monster’ talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bigger Names That May Be Available

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail (Monday edition),

The final list of unrestricted free agents won’t be finalized until Wednesday morning after teams take final stabs at keeping their players. Marian Gaborik appears to be one of the players who will test the free-agent waters, but Minnesota Wild rookie GM Chuck Fletcher will make a final attempt.

“Every pending UFA – we’re just a few days away – why wouldn’t you look over the fence and see what’s on the other side,” Fletcher said. “I’m just not sure which way the free-agent market’s going to go. I really don’t know. We certainly haven’t closed any doors and [Gaborik and his agent] tell me they haven’t either. Maybe something gets done before and maybe there are conversations afterwards, but it’s all speculation at this point.”

Besides Bouwmeester, Gaborik, the Sedins and the aforementioned Habs, some of the bigger names that could be available on Wednesday include: Nik Antropov, Todd Bertuzzi, Rob Blake, Mike Cammalleri, Martin Havlat, Marian Hossa, Brian Gionta, Mike Knuble, Derek Morris, Mattias Ohlund, Joe Sakic and Steve Sullivan.


Also note, teams must make qualifying offers to their RFAs by 5:00pm ET Monday.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will Money Be Flowing Freely?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatshek of the Globe and Mail,

In the end, the NHL’s 2009 entry draft was more about smoke than fire, with only two prominent players changing teams and half-a-dozen others still on the board, awaiting word on their respective futures.

This slow-go development, which is becoming more pronounced every year, is tied inextricably to the upcoming free-agency period, and the uncertainty about how the market is about to unfold. If the dollars paid out this year are down from the ridiculous sums commanded by players over the past two years, then the trade dynamic will change as well.

It was hard enough for Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray to get good value for Dany Heatley, at a $7.5-million (all currency U.S.) annual salary-cap charge, this past week. If players of Heatley’s stature start to take deep discounts, starting July 1 – and the expectation is that Marian Hossa’s annual salary if he signs an extension with the Detroit Red Wings could average just north of $4-million a season – then it becomes even more difficult to peddle a player signed at the height of the NHL’s wild post-lockout growth spurt.

On the other hand, if teams continue their pattern of overpaying for free agents, then anybody left in the starting blocks once the premier unrestricteds go off the market, may revisit the Heatleys, the Vincent Lecavaliers and so forth – and last week’s exercise in tire-kicking could turn into something far more tangible.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Possible Destinations For The Sedin’s

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Darren Dreger of TSN,

The Sedin’s agent, JP Barry, will spend the next few days in Sweden preparing the 28-year old twins for their next step, unrestricted free agency.

Barry says there has been no progress in contract discussions, including a meeting this week in Montreal with Canucks gm Mike Gillis that failed to encourage a counter offer to keep the Sedin’s in Vancouver.

On the open market, the Sedin’s will command upwards of $7 million and will draw interest from a number of teams, including Toronto, Montreal, Minnesota and Los Angeles.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+sedin, henrik+sedin

The Word Finally Came

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ray Ferraro at TSN,

We met in the morning to walk over to the arena, Landon wearing a different suit and hoping for a quick selection.

Sometimes you look back at an event and realize its significance only in retrospect. With the 29th pick Friday night, Detroit traded down three spots to No. 32. They acquired a 3rd round pick to move down, and 10 minutes after getting into the arena Saturday morning, we heard words I had dreamt about many times watching my son chase his dream.

Ken Holland was at the microphone and said “with the 32nd pick, the Detroit Red Wings select, from the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels - Landon Ferraro.”

When I write those words, I still have tears in my eyes.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: landon+ferraro, ray+ferraro

Follow Along

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,

Saturday was a wonderfully disgusting tour of Gary Bettman’s hockey world for fans of the Vancouver Canucks if they were paying attention, espeically those who might be season-ticket holders.

Follow us while we explain. As everyone knows, the Calgary Flames acquired the negotiating rights to Jay Bouwmeester in a trade with the Florida Panthers whereby they gave up a player they weren’t going to re-sign in Jordan Leopold and a third-round pick. That’s fair enough. But in order to clear the cap space to have even a ghost of a chance to sign Bouwmeester, they first off-loaded the $2.3 million U.S. cap hit of defenceman Jim Vandermeer to, of all teams, the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for a forward named Brandon Prust who was making just $500,000.

That’s right. The Phoenix Coyotes, whose bills are being paid by the NHL, felt free to expand their payroll by taking on an expensive Flames defenceman. That means the Flames now have the best chance to sign a player the Vancouver Canucks might liked to have signed, by off-loading a cap liability in Vandermeer to the Coyotes, a team whose bills are being paid partly by the Aquilini family through revenue sharing and most recently by league dues.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Where Some Of The Teams Stand

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Here’s a look at how some teams managed that navigation at this weekend’s draft and what lies ahead:

Anaheim Ducks: Many GMs we spoke with marveled at the job Anaheim GM Bob Murray has done since taking over last season when Brian Burke took the top job in Toronto.

Murray acquired what amounted to four first-round draft picks in his Chris Pronger deal with Philadelphia on Friday night in the form of former first-rounders Joffrey Lupul and Luca Sbisa and two first-round picks (2009 and conditional pick in 2010). The Ducks sent veteran defenseman Pronger and a minor-league forward to the Flyers.

Murray achieved the almost impossible task of getting younger, cheaper and more explosive offensively. Yes, they’ll miss Pronger, but with Sbisa looking to step into a full-time NHL role and Scott Niedermayer returning to act as a mentor, the Ducks have positioned themselves nicely for next season….

Calgary Flames:  The Flames are already set to pay Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff $7 million, Daymond Langkow $4.25 million, Dion Phaneuf $6.5 million, Robyn Regehr $3.5 million, Cory Sarich $3.7 million and Olli Jokinen $5.5 million. That’s more than $37 million for seven players, and if you figure Bouwmeester will be around Phaneuf numbers, then the Flames’ payroll jumps to about $43 million for about a third of their roster.

For a team that had to play with a shortened lineup because of cap issues down the stretch last season, Sutter has some work to do to shed salary and keep things on the rails.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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