Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Flyers Need To Make Room For Briere

from Anthony SanFilippo of the Delaware County Times,

Danny Briere is close to returning for the Flyers. For the benefit of the team, that’s a positive. For the makeup of the team, it might be a negative.

That sounds confusing, and in the world of the NHL salary cap there’s plenty of confusion.

Briere is a top-tier talent and undoubtedly will add a dynamic dimension to the Flyers by returning, which could come as soon as Saturday against Toronto. Adding a top-line center who racks up points in bunches will give the Flyers one of the best trios in the league in Briere, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

Then there’s the salary cap. Briere counts for $6.5 million against it. Since he’s on the long-term injured list, his salary doesn’t count until he returns — and the Flyers don’t have enough room under the cap to fit that salary.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+briere

Willie Mitchell Hit On Tom Gilbert Last Night

Emails streamed in overnight, claiming Mitchell should be suspended for his hit on Gilbert last night.

Watch and listen to what Gilbert thinks of the hit.  End of story!

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tom+gilbert, willie+mitchell

Leafs Don’t Have Many Building Blocks

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

When Paul Holmgren took over the down and out Philadelphia Flyers at least he had Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne to build around.

When George McPhee began the process of starting over with the Washington Capitals, he could point to the drafting of Alexander Ovechkin as the starting point toward success.

When the Pittsburgh Penguins began to blossom, the future came primarily from the selections of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby in the drafts of 2004 and 2005.

This is Brian Burke’s problem. There are no Ryan Getzlafs and Corey Perrys awaiting him as there were in Anaheim. There are no Carters, Richards, Malkins or Crosbys on the way.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Reading Between The Lines

from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,

Though I’m not a professional mind reader, I’ve taken Melnyk’s actual statement and added what I believe he is really thinking (in brackets).

A Statement from Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk:

“Contrary to what is being reported today by the (evil) media, I have made no decisions with respect to any personnel changes within the Senators organization (though Pat Quinn and I did buy ‘best friends forever’ bracelets today, and he has moved into my guest house).  Winning remains our #1 priority (though if we lost the next 41, Tavares would be mine!  All mine!  Haha…evil laugh…Hahahaha!) and there is a collective focus by our management (get me some freakin’ players!), our coaching staff (get more out of my freakin’ players!) and our players (I’ll bring back Emery if you guys don’t smarten up!) to deliver this to our fans.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Lundqvist Must Be Better

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

...And, most damaging, the goaltending was sub par. Coming off one of his sharpest efforts of the season, Henrik Lundqvist was pedestrian in nets, if that. He was shaky from the start when he committed a stick-handling gaffe that gave the Canadiens a freebie just 3:05 in.

“I thought I battled back after that bad first goal but giving up five obviously is not good enough,” said Lundqvist, who watched Montreal’s final goal, Robert Lang’s hat-trick score, sail into an empty net. “I thought the team played really well, but we can’t expect to win if I give up five goals.

“I have to play better than that. I was definitely not good enough.”

Lundqvist has allowed four goals or more in six of his last 11 starts after having surrendered that many in two of his first 24. He has yielded five or more goals in five of his last 17 starts after allowing that many in four of his previous 61. It’s a troubling trend, to say the least.

more on the Rangers loss to the Canadiens last night…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: henrik+lundqvist

How About A Probert Night In Chicago?

via Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,

Yes, the Hawks are going to honor Tony Amonte and Bob Probert with a “Heritage Night,” which pretty much consists of them dropping the puck like Larmer did.

I can see saluting Amonte, but Probert? Why? Ya, he was popular and all, but that’s about it. His best years were in Detroit and he’ll always be a Red Wing.

I’m all for a Dave Manson night. Nobody loved Charlie more than me, one of my favorite Hawks ever, and a great guy.

But how about Dirk Graham? He’s one of the greatest captains and leaders in Hawks history, playing on one leg on most nights later in his career.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+probert

Fighting Has Risks

from Sean Gordon and Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

It was the sort of thing an NHL club owner or general manager watches through his fingers: Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby shedding his gloves and throwing wild haymakers at Brett McLean of the Florida Panthers.

Happily for the Penguins’ brain trust, Crosby emerged unscathed from his weekend skirmish.

But the same can’t be said of highly touted Columbus Blue Jackets centre Derick Brassard, who was posting some pretty spiffy scoring statistics until he encountered James Neal of the Dallas Stars on Dec. 18.

Brassard dislocated his shoulder in a first-period fight, derailing a breakout season that had vaulted him to the top of the list for rookie of the year.

Professional hockey is a risky enterprise at the best times, but with fighting on the upswing — even among finesse players such as Alexander Semin of the Washington Capitals and Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning — the mounting toll of injuries from fisticuffs is a source of quiet concern in some NHL front offices and among many players.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Quinn To Ottawa Rumors

from John Kreiser and John McGourty of NHL.com,

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk on Wednesday denied media reports that he’s made any decisions on the future of coach Craig Hartsburg and General Manager Bryan Murray.

“Contrary to what is being reported today by the media, I have made no decisions with respect to any personnel changes within the Senators organization,” Melnyk said in a statement released by the team. “Winning remains our No. 1 priority, and there is a collective focus by our management, our coaching staff and our players to deliver this to our fans.”

continued

TSN also has a story up regarding these rumors.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pat+quinn

Thrashers Have Had A Disappointing First Half

from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

John Anderson didn’t expect his first half season as the Thrashers’ coach to be like this.

“There’s no words to describe the disappointment,” Anderson said….

“We’ve not given up,” Anderson said. “You’d be surprised how quick things can turn around. It’s just getting on track and maybe getting a couple of lucky breaks.”...

Mathieu Schneider, 39, and Niclas Havelid, 35, are in the final year of their contracts. Exelby, 27, also could be traded. Any deal involving Schneider would have to bring enough of a salary in return to keep the Thrashers over the NHL’s payroll floor.

“Obviously, there’s a chance I could be moved at the deadline, but that’s something I really don’t think about,” Schneider said. “You have to live in the moment. If you start thinking about those things, it affects your performance on the ice.”

more on the Thrashers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Who Knew The Circus Was In Edmonton

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

If you didn’t know any better you’d have sworn Bruce Springsteen had brought his show to town Wednesday with the crush of the media around Sundin’s dressing room stall after the morning skate.

His stall is between the Sedins, proving you can split up the twins Henrik and Daniel. Sundin was expecting a somewhat ruder reception from the Oilers, more along the lines of body contact than eye contact with the media scrum, but he was clearly tickled to be back at work.

more

Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail is in Edmonton along with Damien Cox of the Toronto Star.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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