Kukla's Korner

Raycroft Signed By Canucks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Michael DiLorenzo’s Twitter,

Canucks ink Raycroft

added 3:48pm, from Ben Kuzma of The White Towel at the Vancouver Province,

Free-agent goaltender Andrew Raycroft has signed a contract with the Vancouver Canucks. But just where the keeper fits into this crease conundrum will probably play out at training camp, unless general manager Mike Gillis plans on trading prize prospect Cory Schneider.

With backup Jason LaBarbera accepting a two-year, $2 million US free-agent offer last week from the Phoenix Coyotes, the obviously plan was to add franchise depth because Schneider seems ready make a permanent leap to the NHL. The Manitoba Moose goalie was named the AHL’s top stopper last season and told The Province last week he has nothing left to prove at that level.

The Canucks know Schneider’s trade value will only increase next season as the backup to Roberto Luongo — who’s expected to soon sign a long-term contract extension — especially if he gets enough starts behind the Canucks workhorse.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+raycroft

Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

If you’re an L.A. Kings fan, there are a lot of good reasons to be pleased with the trade that brings former Avalanche and Oilers left winger Ryan Smyth to California. He’s someone who every player on that roster would be smart to emulate – in all areas except for hairstyling.

That brings me to an important question: How long is Smyth’s world-renowned mullet going to last in Southern California? Don’t they have laws there punishing crimes against hair? Isn’t he going to get tired of having scripts for Joe Dirt sequels offered to him day in and day out?

-Adam Proteau of The Hockey News.  More hockey talk from Adam…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+smyth

Higgins Agrees To Deal With Rangers

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via NewYorkRangers.com,

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Christopher Higgins.

No terms mentioned yet.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+higgins

Wings Sitting Back

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

“We’ll look at the unrestricted free-agent market later in the summer and see if there’s a player or two there, cheaper guys that can maybe give us a little bit of depth,” said Holland.

Either way, as much as it might be a little boring to sit back and watch other teams get busy in the opening days of July, Holland isn’t dealing with any bouts of anxiety.

“Our core is locked in,” said Holland. “No matter what happens with the cap next year, we’ve got over $10 million in expiring contracts. We’re positioned going forward that no matter what happens with the economy and no matter what happens with the cap ... I believe we’re OK.”

But Holland is also realistic. He’s not going to pretend that losing a star like Hossa and a valuable two-way guy like Samuelsson isn’t going to hurt.

“On paper, I don’t know that we’re as good as last year,” said Holland. “I don’t believe we’re going to score as much next season, but I’d like to think we’ll be better defensively….


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will Remaining UFAs Be Forced To Take A Discount?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Spector at Fox Sports,

Among the notable are Saku Koivu, Sergei Zubov, Alex Tanguay, Francois Beauchemin, Martin Biron, Derek Morris, Alex Kovalev, Paul Mara and Mike Comrie….

Of the remaining teams with $10 million or more in available cap space, the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes are expected to keep their respective payrolls for next season between the mandated salary cap floor of $40.8 million and $50 million.

That could force most of the top available free agents into accepting less than their perceived market value.

For example, it’s been reported Beauchemin and Biron were seeking salaries worth $4.5 million and $5 million respectively but given how the market slowed in recent days, it’s possible they could be forced to accept considerably less.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Selanne Has Not Made A Decision About His Career After This Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,

Teemu Selanne wants Ducks fans to know that he has yet to make any decision about possibly ending his NHL career after next season.

Through a Ducks spokesman, Selanne sent word from Finland that a newspaper report in his homeland picked up last week by Canadian media outlets is incorrect.

The report had quoted Selanne as saying that the 2009-10 season would definitely be his last.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: teemu+selanne

Avalanche Sign Six Players

Blog: Hockey News Wire By Paul

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that it has signed forwards David Jones, Chris Durno, Darren Haydar, Matt Hendricks and Brian Willsie, along with goaltender Tyler Weiman.

“We feel that bringing David back helps to solidify our lineup,” said Avalanche General Manager Greg Sherman. “In addition, we’ve added to our organizational depth with this group of signings.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | Hockey News Wire | Permalink

Options For Kovalev

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dmitry Chesnokov at the Washington Examiner,

...Furthermore, my sources in Russia are telling me that they spoke with Kovalev last Thursday and were told that there was nothing certain about Kovalev’s future in the NHL.

No one knows where Kovalev will end up. Russia’s Sovetsky Sport is reporting that Alexei is in Kazan right now where he holds his annual master-class events for young hockey players. The only thing Kovalev did confirm was that he had not signed with any team yet.

There are also rumblings in Russia that Kovalev might end up coming to play in the KHL. It is very much possible after earlier moves made by Viktor Kozlov and Sergei Fedorov.

Moreover, the Capitals have already signed a veteran right wing—Mike Knuble from the Philadelphia Flyers. Signing Kovalev might not be something they want to do, considering that the real problem for the Capitals is in defense.

more on if Kovalev is a fit in Washington…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+kovalev

Report- Chicago Signs Three Of Their RFAs

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,

According to a source, the Blackhawks will announce later Monday the signings of restricted free agents Ben Eager, Troy Brouwer and Colin Fraser to contracts.

The forwards are believed to be among the number of players who didn’t receive their qualifying offers by the June 29 deadline.

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

Noticeable Moves Since July 1st

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

Still, there have been some significant moves thus far and there are probably more to come. Who knows where Alexei Kovalev will land?

Here are my five most significant moves:

1. Marian Gaborik signs with New York Rangers: Gaborik is one of the most gifted and exciting individuals in the National Hockey League and he proved that this past season when he tallied 13 goals and 23 points in 17 games with the Minnesota Wild.

2. Nikolai Khabibulin signs with the Edmonton Oilers: ...For his part, Khabibulin enjoyed a solid season, too, helping the Chicago Blackhawks make it to the Western Conference final. The Oilers are much further away from being a team that could make it to the conference final, but the playoffs should be attainable.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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