Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Kariya wants to remain a Pred

Kariya can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 but said he would like to return to Nashville. "I’ve loved every minute I’ve had there. It’s a great city, a great place to live," said Kariya.

His situation is up in the air because the Predators were sold recently to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie.

"Hopefully, things will work out. But you never know with new ownership," said Kariya who noted that there is a "great team" in place there now.
Kariya, along with his two younger brothers, Steve and Martin, all played in Maine for the Black Bears of the NCAA, and were in Portland recently for a retirement party for Grant Standbrook, the long-time Maine assistant and recruiting coordinator.

Steve Kariya, 29, played with the Canucks briefly in the NHL, then bounced around the AHL for a few seasons before taking off for Finland and Sweden where he's done quite well. Martin Kariya, 25, meanwhile has signed with the St. Louis Blues after a monster season, leading the league in scoring in Finland (61 points in 51 games).

The younger Kariyas are a little bit smaller than their diminutive older brother, which may be one reason they've been held back, but Martin could potentially make an impact with the Blues. His first AHL season in Bridgeport wasn't a productive one, but he's had a few years of seasoning since then and St. Louis will once again have holes upfront. He's also apparently a favourite of Blues coach Andy Murray.

The brothers don't really get a lot of pub as one of hockey's royal families, but it's pretty impressive that all three have had such productive pro careers to this point. (Not to mention the fact their younger sister Noriko is a professional boxer.)


At 5:38 p.m., June 12, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

The joke is that their sister got all the toughness.

Kariya is an interesting UFA, for sure. His name doesn't get mentioned with the top guys, but he definitely still can be an impact player. He doesn't seem to like the limelight, though.

At 7:19 p.m., June 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saskhab is "dead on" with his last statement that Kyria doesn't seem to like the limelight.

Karyia is a very quiet, shy, introspective guy who likes to blend into the background. Thats why he will refuse any offers coming from Vancouver (even though he's from North Vancouver), Toronto, Montreal, or major US hockey cities.

He prefers to play for low profile US teams where there is no daily pressure from the fans and press to perform. Also, where he is not recognized once he leaves the rink.

So it comes as no surprise to me that he wants to stay with Nashville where there isn't much pressure or recognition.

If Nashville moves to S. Ontario, watch for Karyia to try and move to Carolina, Florida or Phoenix.

I had to laugh when I heard Bill Watters on Leafs lunch today talking about Kayria coming to Toronto. This just proves Watters knows very little about Karyia.

So forget about it Toronto and Vancouver fans, he's not going to your cities no matter how much you offer him.

But its not a big loss - while Karyia plays well during the regular season, he can't handle the pressure, toughness and physical play of playoff hockey.

At 7:24 p.m., June 12, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

That's some nice analysis anonymous, although I don't think you spelt his name correctly once throughout.

At 7:37 p.m., June 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, I apologize. New spelling rule "i before y, except after c..........

At 8:33 p.m., June 12, 2007, Blogger Paul Nicholson said...

As a Nashville fan i'll argue with "anon" on one point - Kariya is very much recognized when he leaves the arena, as are many other players. However, Nashville is a city that is used to seeing celebrities out and about (and not just country music stars). We let them have their private lives and don't mob them. I frequently see Predators players, movie stars, and others around "Nashvegas" and my friends and i leave them alone. That's why many non-country music celebs (the latest rumor is Jack Nicholson) are buying homes in Nashville.

So while i agree that Kariya doesn't like the limelight, and that he likes Nashville over Toronto, etc for that reason - i would argue that he isn't recognized. His face was on billboards all over town and TV ads much of last season (though in typical horrible marketing fashion, most of those ads only ran during Predators games).

(And yes, i have a compulsion to defend Nashville. Don't ask me why. I guess i like it and that's why i choose to live here)

At 8:40 p.m., June 12, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Paul — it's great to see the passionate Predators fans come out on blogs, etc., so don't worry about that.

At 11:27 p.m., June 12, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

At the college level, each (male) Kariya was successively less accomplished than the one that came before him. If Marty is being considered by an NHL team and Steve isn't, either that team is making a mistake, or there has been a big change in their relative abilities.

At 12:13 p.m., June 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

[quote]Thats why he will refuse any offers coming from Vancouver (even though he's from North Vancouver), Toronto, Montreal, or major US hockey cities.[/quote]

Thats a load of BS.
Kariya would love to play for his hometown Canucks, and this is well known by many of his close friends.

At 3:52 p.m., June 14, 2007, Blogger Doug said...

As a UMO alum and Kariya fan (all of them) now living in Phoenix, I'd love to see Paul come to the Coyotes. We desperately need the type of offensive skills and speed he possesses. By the way, if anonymity is what he seeks Phoenix would be perfect, you have to look under a rock to find hockey coverage in this town.


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