Kukla's Korner

The Carolina Hurricanes Had To Buyout Alexander Semin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

Perhaps flush from his election into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos did something so out of character Tuesday it was earthshaking. He authorized the $14 million buyout of Alexander Semin’s contract.

And just like that, Jim Rutherford’s $35 million mistake became a $28 million mistake, and Semin will have to slouch around somewhere else not scoring goals next season. And the season after that. And the season after that.

Paying a player that much money to go away is not in the Hurricanes’ DNA. In fact, it pretty much represents the opposite of everything Karmanos and the Hurricanes have done over the years, which is to try to operate on a tight budget while other teams throw money at problems.

That’s one measure of how badly the Hurricanes wanted Semin out, wanted him away from their impressionable young players. After trying to find a less expensive solution at the draft – swapping bad contracts, or sending Semin and an asset to a deep-pocketed team that would then pay to buy him out – they were left with no choice.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+semin

Signings And Taxes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

One year ago, a record $528 million was doled out to 89 unrestricted free agents over 183 years worth of contracts.

That was in a span of 12 hours on opening day of the 2014 NHL free-agent season.
 
Another few hundred million is sure to be spent on Wednesday.
 
But signing a $2 million contract to play for the Anaheim Ducks is not worth the same as signing a $2 million contract to play for the Florida Panthers. Choosing to play in Tampa Bay rather than San Jose could be the difference between earning another $300,000 a year, after taxes. 

The average NHL player pays approximately $1,247,960 in income tax every year, or close to 45 per cent of the league average salary of $2.8 million. Federal, provincial, state and local taxes vary based on the location of the franchise. None of that takes into account the relative cost of living in each locale, such as the housing market.
 
There are many other factors for a player to consider before he signs on the dotted line. 

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

TMR Evening Line: No longer ‘still stuck with Weiss and Cleary’

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

Fox Sports Detroit's Keith Gave and the rest of Fox Sports' editorial content staff have been cut from the Fox Sports team, which is a real damn shame given how passionately Gave, Dana Wakiji and Art Regner covered the Red Wings--and it's a damn shame that so many good journalists are getting cut loose this evening.

As such, I'm giving Gave's column about the Stephen Weiss buy-out, Brendan Smith's contract and the shape of the roster under Jeff Blashill an "Evening Line" status:

Holland still faces one more unwanted holdover headache from Babcock's tenure: What to do with Dan Cleary, to whom Babcock made promises about a position with the team this season? Yet again, Holland had some serious misgivings, considering how Cleary's play had tailed off. But at Babcock's urging, Holland signed Cleary to $1.5 million contract last July after he scored just four goals and eight points, with a minus-11 rating, in 52 games and missed the final 2 1/2 months with a knee injury.

As one Wings' official bluntly put it after Babcock bolted for a fat contract to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs: "Mike Babcock is gone, and we're still stuck with Weiss and Cleary."

Now one's gone and the other is unlikely to be a factor in the Detroit lineup under new coach Jeff Blashill. Buying out Weiss is a clear signal that Holland is more committed to the future than the past as he prepares to sign several younger players who will form the nucleus of the team for years to come.

Gave continues...I hope he, Wakiji, Regner and all the Fox Sports Detroit writers land on their feet.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

More of the same Coyote-relocation-talk wackiness via ‘ridiculous and irresponsible’ story

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

So I'm working the late shift on Free Agent Eve for Paul, and I come across this baffling story from the New York Post's
Josh Kosman
...

Sin City is getting hockey, two sources close to the situation told The Post.

The NHL is arranging the sale of the Arizona Coyotes to billionaire William Foley who will move the team to Las Vegas giving it its first major professional franchise, one source said.

Uh, Foley wants his own franchise...

“Las Vegas has reached 10,000 season ticket deposits,” enough to justify a franchise, the other source said.

That's not what the NHL suggested.

Foley said in January that he needed 10,000 ticket deposits to get an NHL team.

Yes, that's true, but the principals in the story are issuing simple denials...

A Coyotes spokesman said, “The Coyotes are committed to playing in Arizona.” When asked for how long, the spokesman reiterated it was committed to playing in Arizona. “Period.” Arizona last year ranked 28th in attendance.

...

The NHL denied the story.

And as you might expect, the NHL is not happy with this fluffernutter...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phoenix+coyotes

Is it ‘go with the kids the kids’ or ‘go after a free agent,’ and can it be both?

Blog: The Malik Report By George Malik

If you ask me, and you didn't, I think the Red Wings' front office might be waffling a little bit.

Despite having purportedly bought out Stephen Weiss to ensure that the Wings can re-sign next summer's restricted and unrestricted free agents-to-be, and despite having committed to the youth movement, Ken Holland told MLive's Ansar Khan, who penned an article about free agency targets (as did the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan), that the Wings are still at least going to monitor the market, if not make a few bids here and there:

"A lot of what we're doing is going to be with the kids, but if there's something out there that makes us a better club, that's what we're looking at," Holland said. "You have to factor in the cap and all the players we have to sign (on their own team over the next couple of years). There's a small group of players that complement what we're trying to do, but there's 30 teams exploring the free-agent market."

The Red Wings could use a right-shooting defenseman with offensive skills, since they don't generate much offense from the back end. They will make a pitch for Green, who is at the head of the free-agent class. But they hesitate to get into a bidding war for him, especially if he's seeking five or six years in the $6 million-a-year range. There are concerns about his attention to detail defensively.

"I'd love to get a top-four defenseman," Holland said. "There's not many top-four defensemen around and probably a number of teams in the bidding."

...

"We would we like a right-shot defenseman, but if I can't have a right-shot defenseman we have (them) in Marchenko and Jensen," Holland said. "We've got good depth. Are we looking to upgrade? Whether it's on defense or forward, yeah, if the upgrade fits in."

...

"We probably have interest on the market in guys that are shorter term rather than longer term, depending who they are," Holland said. "Our young players are going to be our future and are going to work their way into the lineup and allow us to be competitive. If we don't do anything I'm satisfied heading into the season."

Khan and Holland continue, and I understand that the balance between "letting the kids play" and trying to build a contending team is an incredibly delicate one, but at a time like this, on the night before things get crazy and hundreds of millions are committed to players who generally don't work out--and especially given that this is the day the team bought out Stephen Weiss--I wish we were hearing a more consistent message.

Update: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff also spoke with Holland, and Duff believes Holland's going to bid for Mike Green:

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Open Post- The Night Before The UFA Period

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

UFA signings can happen anytime after 12:00pm ET on Wednesday and the day should be filled with signing activity.

Feel free to discuss anything hockey related as we wait for the clock to strike noon tomorrow.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Arizona Coyotes Trade Lauri Korpikoski To Edmonton For Boyd Gordon

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Arizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have acquired center Boyd Gordon from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Lauri Korpikoski.

"We are very pleased to re-acquire Boyd Gordon," said Maloney. "Boyd is an excellent defensive center who is one of the league's best in the face-off circle. He has a great work ethic and will add experience and leadership to our dressing room. We are excited to have him back."

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Ken Holland On The Stephen Weiss Buyout

Blog: The Malik Report By Paul

Updated with more Weiss talk and some Smith talk at 7:38 PM:

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

General manager Ken Holland said concerns about cap space next summer, more than anything prompted the move.

"We didn't have cap issues for '15-16," Holland said. "We debated retaining him, given the (Pavel) Datsyuk injury. Over the last couple of days we talked about it. At the end of the day, because of 2016 and the people we got coming up (Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan, Peter Mrazek will need new contracts), people we want to keep, a year from now this (buyout) was going to be inevitable."

He added, "We're going to give younger players an opportunity to play. We got 14 forwards on board."

The move clears up cap space. The Red Wings are expected to make a pitch for offensive-minded defenseman Mike Green, the right-handed shooter they have been seeking. But they won't get into a bidding war for him. He could be seeking a five-year deal worth around $6 million a season.

"On defense, I'm kicking some tires," Holland said. "We got some cap space, certainly. We're positioned to do something if we so choose."

more

Update: Here's more from the Free Press's Helene St. James...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

2015 All UFA Team

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Free agency begins tomorrow.  We should see a frenzy of questionable contracts signed within a few hours of its start.  I like to post an All UFA Team on the eve of free agency in order to gage how good that team would be.  Could you build a solid team from nothing just by signing free agents?  Here is last year's team.  In the next day or two, I want to attempt to quantify how good they would have been.

Here is this year's All UFA Team.  Should there be any last minute signings before tomorrow, I will update the team.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Vancouver Trades Kevin Bieksa To The Anaheim Ducks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have acquired a 2016 second round draft pick from Anaheim in exchange for defenceman Kevin Bieksa.

“We would like to thank Kevin and his wife Katie for their incredible commitment to this team and community,” said General Manager Jim Benning. “It’s always a difficult decision to trade a player who’s been such a big part of an organization for so long and we wanted to make sure we did what was best for both Kevin and the Canucks. Kevin was a leader for us and will always be connected with our fans and the Vancouver Canucks because of all he did for this province and team. We wish him and his family the very best.”

added 6:06pm,

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kevin+bieksa

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