Kukla's Korner

Tavares Makes His Pitch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

1st Overall Pick John Tavares throws out the first pitch at the Yankees/Mets game on Sunday at Citi Field.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: john+tavares

Why The Interest In Gaborik?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,

The Canucks don’t care where Gaborik lives because he won’t be playing for them. Not unless the winger decides he needs to re-establish himself in the NHL and signs a Teemu-Selanne-just-back-from-knee-surgery contract of $3-million for one year.

Other than that, the Canucks have no interest in him. None.

And that is hard to fathom, especially with the strong possibility the Canucks could lose first-liners Daniel and Henrik Sedin this week.

I mean, what’s not to like about Gaborik?

He has played 103 games fewer than the Sedins in the last three seasons.

He has played close to a full campaign only once in the last five seasons, while the slacker Sedins have missed seven games between them during that time.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Top 50 UFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from John Kreiser of NHL.com,

For a lot of hockey fans, Christmas really comes in July—July 1, to be exact. That’s when the NHL free agency market opens for business.

But while fans are like kids—dreaming of winning Stanley Cups if only their team can sign the “right” players—general managers are the parents who deal with the facts of life … they have to make sure any newcomers fit into the salary structure and mesh with the players they already have.

The doors to hockey’s shopping season swing open on July 1. Here’s a look at 50 of the top potential free agents—15 defensemen, 25 forwards and 10 goaltenders.

At the top of each position, John lists Bouwmeester, Hossa and Khabibulin.  Read on for the complete list…

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How Do You Feel About An Osgood/Howard Tandem?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

The Red Wings weren’t sure if Jimmy Howard was ready to play 25 regular season games in the NHL last season. They hope he’s ready now.

The Wings have decided not to offer a contract to Ty Conklin, who ended up playing 40 games last season and winning 25.

The Wings are out of options with Howard, who has played four seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League. Howard, signed through 2010-11, is due to make $717,700 this season.


For some reason, I see Holland dangling Howard in some trade talk in the next few weeks.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jimmy+howard

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

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