Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
The fractured Sabres might someday look back and view the two difficult games against the Senators as the time they truly came together. Buffalo has been a tight-knit team for the past two seasons, but there was a sense the organization grew stronger during the Battle Royale with Ottawa.
“If you asked a lot of us, me included, I didn’t think our team could get much closer,” Drury said. “We definitely got a lot closer, and our organization got closer. Half the lineup has been in Rochester all year. On the plus-side, the very positive thing, was that we did get closer.”
from the Orange County Register:
“I realize that we’re a day and half from the trading deadline, so you’ll hear all these bold proclamations from GMs who didn’t add much saying, ‘I believe in my team.’ But I’ve been saying that for three weeks,” Burke said.
“We’ve never viewed this as an opportunity to make major changes on our team. We viewed this as an opportunity to add, and we still hope to.”
But Burke insists he will not make a major deal just to say he did.
“There’s always between eight and 10 teams trying to load up before the trading deadline, and there’s always another five to six teams trying to load up to get in,” he said. “You’ve got to be cautious. More teams overpay at the deadline than make sensible deals.
“I can say we’ve been in on every deal, we’ve been aware of every deal. We know what the price tag is. Then if we pass, and we get outbid, fine.”
from the Associated Press via Broadcast Newsroom:
The National Hockey League is close to skating its live games to broadband.
The league is currently testing distribution of its cable and satellite NHL Center Ice out-of-market game package on the Web, and it could make it available to any hockey fan with a high-speed-Internet connection before the end of the season, according to Keith Ritter, president of NHL Interactive Cyber Enterprises.
Ritter said the league is currently beta testing a broadband version of the $169 package, which offers around 40 out-of-market games per week. He added that the NHL wants to make sure its broadband package is secure in order to protect its broadcast partners: NBC, Versus and the regional sports networks.
“We’ve been testing it, but our primary concern is the security of the gating and the ability to make sure our broadcast partners are protected,” Ritter said. “So far, the test is going very well, and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to offer it in the not-too-distant future.”
from the St. Petersburg Times:
General manager Jay Feaster, who acquired tough guy defenseman Shane O’Brien Saturday, said he would like to upgrade the roster again before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.
O’Brien’s 140 penalty minutes and 12 fighting majors add toughness to a team that has few enforcers Andre Roy, but Feaster said he would still like to acquire another player who could give the Lightning some grit on the bottom two lines.
“I still have three or four lines in the water,” he said. “You never know because they all have different life. Certainly my Saturday afternoon wasn’t planned around making a trade with (Anaheim GM Brian) Burke.
“It definitely isn’t a one and done.”
from the Edmonton Sun,
The Oilers have now lost nine of their last 10 divisional games.
Do they play each other so often, their opposition has them figured out?
“Right now I’d sure like them to think that. We have a lot of divisional games left and we’re going to have to start making the most of them,’’ said coach Craig MacTavish.
Edmonton is now 9-13-1 versus the division. Minnesota is 11-6-3. In the five games in which the Oilers could have put themselves back into contention they’ve been outscored 20-6.
You don’t need to draw a picture.
from the Vancouver Sun,
“I’m not close on anybody.” Nonis said. “I’m having lots of conversations, but there isn’t much coming out of them. That can change quickly, but right now, as we stand here, no, we’re not close.”
The trade deadline has been pushed up by about three weeks this season and Nonis thinks that has had a rather dramatic effect.
“There’s far more teams in the playoff hunt, which means there are fewer players on the market, which means the prices have gone crazy,” Nonis said.
from the Courier-Post,
...club chairman Ed Snider was asked if he considered his team in a rebuilding mode.
“No,” Snider said sternly. “We don’t understand what rebuilding is.”
“(Zhitnik) knows we’re going through a tough time and he was willing to stick it out and be part of the what’s going to happen next year,” Holmgren said.
Holmgren obviously wanted to use the word “rebuilding” at the end of that sentence, but since the word has been erased from the Flyers’ lexicon, he was unable to verbalize it.
As of last night, the source said, Snow was in the process of considering offers from Nashville, Vancouver, Detroit, San Jose and Dallas. The Islanders would not trade Blake to an Eastern Conference rival.
Details of the offers aren’t known, and Snow was not available for comment per club policy. But it’s quite possible that Blake could bring something comparable to the price St. Louis received from Atlanta yesterday in exchange for Keith Tkachuk:
According to the Toronto Star, the Toronto Maple Leafs have tentatively agreed to terms on a multi-year contract with Darcy Tucker.
Tucker will earn an average of US$3-million per season for at least three years, reports the newspaper. A possible fourth year, structured around a no trade clause, would allow the Leafs to get out from under cap implications if neccessary.
continued… (Toronto Star direct link will be added later)
Update: 4:55am ET: Damien Cox in the Toronto Star
From the AP via IHT,
Colorado’s Karlis Skrastins, who injured a knee in Saturday’s shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings, had his NHL-record, consecutive-game streak among defenseman snapped at 495 games. He broke Tim Horton’s mark nine games earlier. Skrastins had not missed a game since Feb. 18, 2000.
more… includes a round up of Sunday’s NHL games
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