Kukla's Korner

Phil Esposito May Get More Of A Role With The Bolts

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

There were no specifics given by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, just an acknowledgment Lightning founder Phil Esposito might be in line for an expanded role with the organization. And while Vinik said the final decision will be up to new CEO Tod Leiweke, Vinik sounded as if Esposito could be an asset on the community and marketing side of the organization.

“We want him involved with this team,” Vinik said this week. “We want him out in the community. We want him involved with us. He’s a great ideas person.”

Expanding Esposito’s role from his long-time gig as an analyst on radio broadcasts of Lightning home games, a job for which he has said he never has signed a contract, makes sense for an organization ready to embrace its past and make a better effort to market the team both in the St. Pete Times Forum and Tampa Bay area.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+esposito

One Way To Solve Boston’s Cap Issues

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ryan Dixon of The Hockey News,

The Bruins are very much in cap hell right now and Blake Wheeler’s $2.2 million arbitration decision doesn’t help matters (though it didn’t damage them any further, either). Because the gifted Seguin is under an entry level contract laden with bonus opportunities, his cap hit would most likely mirror No. 1 pick Taylor Hall’s $3.75 million in Edmonton. That’s a problem.

Naturally, Seguin is not guaranteed a roster spot on the Bruins, anyway; he’ll have to earn it this fall, just like everyone else. But for the sake of argument, if Seguin is good enough, money may dictate his ultimate fate for the year.

I would say a highly palatable scenario is for Seguin and Boston to follow the Alex Pietrangelo route in St. Louis – have the rookie play nine NHL games, with perhaps some healthy scratches mixed in to both elongate his stay in the bigs, plus allow Seguin to soak up some knowledge from the press box. Then, send him back to the Ontario League to tear it up for a couple months before heading to the World Junior Championship, where he can represent Canada and challenge for a gold medal.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tyler+seguin

A Look At The Wingers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

As we continue to scout the players to watch at training camp, our attention switches to those who patrol the wings. This collection of players have lots to prove, and many of them find themselves in new places with new expectations.

Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Last season was difficult for the NHL’s most dynamic player. He was suspended twice, his Russian Olympic team folded in Vancouver and then his Caps blew a 3-1 series lead against eighth-seeded Montreal in the first round of the playoffs—this after Ovechkin made fun of Montreal netminder Jaroslav Halak’s shaky hand. There will be even more pressure on the Caps’ franchise player to produce not just points but also results in the playoffs this season.

read on for more players…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“If you’re going to fight, you’ve got to know how to fight. I’m not going to go around looking for it, but if it’s going to happen, you’ve got to prepare yourself for it.”

-Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings.  Ansar Khan of Mlive has more on Abdelkader who is taking boxing lessons this summer.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: justin+abdelkader

Ian White Reaches Contract Agreement With Flames

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NHLPA tweet,

Ian White settles with #Flames on 1-year $2,999,995M contract prior to arbitration hearing.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ian+white

Peter Regin’s Value Contract

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

Last year Peter Regin a rookie with the Ottawa Senators scored 29 points in the regular season in limited playing time and with limited power play time while playing against relatively weak opposition.  In the playoffs when he started to get a larger role, he tied for the team lead in playoff goals with three.  He showed some very good signs that he might develop into a top player, especially his high Corsi rating which when adjusted for team and zone start effects finished 16th in the league.  That is quite an accomplishment given that all the players above him had significantly more ice time.

A player like that should expect to see a significant raise in a contract year.  Peter Regin filed for salary arbitration likely expecting a significant raise from his entry level deal that had paid him $620,000 plus bonuses last season.  However, before his arbitration case could be heard he blinked and signed a two year contract with a $1 million a year salary cap hit.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Arbitration Hearings Can Get Nasty

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,

Barring a last-minute deal on the steps, Jay Feaster will mark his 48th birthday this morning in a downtown Toronto boardroom.

There, the Calgary Flames assistant general manager will argue why defenceman Ian White does not deserve the salary he thinks he deserves.

The conversation will no doubt get critical, with White listening to a laundry list of his negative points — perceived or otherwise.

“If you survey the 30 clubs today, there’s always concern about players having their feelings hurt,” says Feaster, a lawyer by trade. “But if you don’t want your feelings hurt, then let’s negotiate an agreement before this point.

“You really as a club start to understand the player has elected this. The players understand what this is about.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ian+white

Blackhawks Continue To See Red Ink

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mellissa Harris of the Chicago Tribune,

Season ticket prices will increase by an average of 20 percent this fall, which is projected to rocket them from the second-cheapest in the National Hockey League three seasons ago to among the 10 most expensive, according to the team. And fans should expect “more modest” increases in the future, team owner Rocky Wirtz said.

Wirtz first revealed that the team was not profitable in private. “It’s going to take four (or) five years before we can actually get back in the black,” Wirtz said at an April 19 forum at the Economic Club of Chicago, according to a transcript. “And right now we’re still supporting the Blackhawks with our other Wirtz organizations.”

In a follow-up interview this week, Wirtz said that the Blackhawks ran out of cash several times last season. Each time, he received a memo, known as an internal capital call, in which the team requested money from Wirtz Corp., the Blackhawks’ parent company, to cover operating expenses. And at the end of the season, Wirtz said he double-checked that the playoffs did not cover those losses; the franchise remained in the red, the team’s accountant told him.


thanks to a KK reader for the pointer

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What Offer Is Right For Kaberle?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Traikos ot the National Post at the Montreal Gazette,

“We’re not asking for anything,” Burke said. “We’re fielding offers. We’re either going to get an offer that makes sense for Tomas Kaberle or we’re going to keep him.”

The difficulty is figuring out what offers might make sense.

It is no secret that the Leafs, who appear to be starting the season with sophomore Tyler Bozak and rookie Nazem Kadri as their top two centres, are incredibly thin up front. The team needs players who can put the puck in the net. So any deal would have to include a top-six forward.

But with 180 top-six forward positions in the league, the quality varies.

“Is it Sidney Crosby or is it someone who got 21 goals last year?” asked one league GM, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It would depend on what your qualifications on a top-six forward are. I would assume that Burkie is talking about a guy that could bring some offence.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+kaberle

Wheeler Gets $2.2M In Arbitration

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Fluto Shinzawa of Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,

Blake Wheeler has been awarded a one-year, $2.2 million arbitration award. The decision was made today following Wheeler’s arbitration hearing on Tuesday in Toronto.

Wheeler has yet to sign a contract for the award, but that is considered a formality.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blake+wheeler

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