June 8, 2010

Dobber Sports

2010-06-08

 

The Ilya Kovalchuk rumors are heating up. One is that he has been offered $14 million per season for three years by a KHL club. Another is that the he has NOT been offered that kind of contract. And another is that the Leafs will go after him hard. The latter probably started via the Internet.

 

Guy Boucher – the next big thing in terms of coaches – turned down an offer to coach the Blue Jackets and agreed to coach the Tampa Bay Lightning. Those of you who felt that Steve Yzerman as GM was a terrible move and wondered why a team would hire an inexperienced ex-jock – there is Reason #1. TB doesn’t win that battle for Boucher with another GM at the helm. And this has been my point – and why I think hiring Yzerman was so brilliant. Stability, reputation and respect.

 

The Jackets were able to hire their No.2 choice Scott Arniel, who coached the Moose of the AHL last season. Jeff Angus has this to say/observe: “Arniel ran the league's 3rd best PP in Buffalo during 2005-06. After he left (2006-07), it dropped to 17. He plays a high tempo offensive system. Will be very good for the kids.”

 

No word on Scott Hartnell for Game 6 yet. He was hobbled in Game 5, tried to play a shift, and limped his way off. He is a key part of the Briere-Leino line so this could have repercussions. It would also mean that Daniel Carcillo will be back.

 

The Fourth Period is reporting that the Sharks could be interested in Sheldon Souray, with Rob Blake possibly retiring. I’m not sure anything could bring Souray’s value up in my eyes – he’s just too big a Band-Aid Boy.

 

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The Penguins have re-signed Nick Johnson to a one-year deal. The right winger played six games for the Pens and had two points. He’s 24. As a winger, he’s always a possible linemate of one of the superstars. Hell, if they can stick Tyler Kennedy or Pascal Dupuis there, they can stick a 50-point AHLer there. But I repeat myself. Anyway, he’s a longshot just to make the team, but if he does he’ll get a look there.

 

Brian Burke has not spoken to Nikolai Kulemin’s agent for two weeks. Kulemin is being stubborn and is starting to look like a KHL risk. If he’s smart, he would sign for one year, get 60 points, then cash in with more money than the KHL would pay.

 

Why would anyone sign in the KHL? Contracts there are always questionable – so many stories come out of players missing paychecks. You could sign for a kazillion dollars, but if you don’t get all your checks or your team folds next summer, than what’s the point? And what’s the KHL doing throwing money around like this? Are they this eager to fill their 9000-seat stadiums? The KHL needs to become a second AHL. A feeder system for the NHL, but a European branch. More profitable IMO.