Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Pioneer Press,
The Minnesota Wild will throw another depleted lineup on the ice tonight when they play host to the Edmonton Oilers. Marian Gaborik is out, Pavol Demitra is out and Wes Walz hasn’t come back.
Gaborik and Demitra have groin injuries; Walz hasn’t returned from an excused, and unexplained, absence and will miss his third game.
Gaborik played the past two games and played well, scoring five points, including a two-goal game in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Calgary. He sat out practice Sunday, but reporters were told he was simply given the day off.
Asked if something changed between Sunday and this morning, when Gaborik was pulled from practice, coach Jacques Lemaire said, “Something changed a bit.”
from ESPN Fantasy Talk,
A little birdie (aka a report in the vaunted Chicago Tribune) told me that Havlat may be back in the active lineup at some point during the current Chicago homestand this week. Say what you will of Havlat’s fragility—and much has been said, after all—but he’s shown he’s capable of point-per-game pace when in the lineup, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t achieve that upon his return.
read on for more fantasy talk…
Mike Brophy of the Hockey News ranked the NHL teams today…
Spezza signed, sealed and delivered
Ozzie has been really good
Look who’s bouncing back to life
Leclaire unbelievable with five shutouts
read on and Columbus should be going hockey crazy…
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
Many people are going to jump to the conclusion that Ilya Kovalchuk’s amazing run of goal-scoring—nine in seven games—is a direct result of the Atlanta Thrashers removing head coach Bob Hartley after the team’s 0-6 start. Well, that assessment might be right for the wrong reasons.
You see, the coach and the prodigy co-existed for four-and-a-half seasons. Hartley brought needed structure and consistency to both a young franchise and a young player with star potential. But once it was clear that Kovalchuk had absorbed the lessons of accountability, his offensive verve wasn’t quite the same. His kinetic dashes down the left wing—once filled with the promise of brilliance—became tempered, or even worse, predictable.
Update 3:41pm ET
Transcript of Kovalchuk’s NHL press conference call today:
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It looks as if the much-anticipated Peter Forsberg comeback has hit a bump in the road.
According to two independent Swedish ice hockey sources, Forsberg left the first day of practice for Sweden’s national team that will compete later this week in the Karjala Cup after about an hour, saying his problematic ankle wasn’t holding up.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
One day Feaster will have to fire Tortorella – eventually, every GM does it – but that day doesn’t look as though it will happen any time soon.
What’s more likely to happen is the Lightning looking for goaltending help. Johan Holmqvist’s play was problematic on Saturday night and the Lightning were out-goaled by Rick DiPietro on Long Island last week. Prior to that, in games against New Jersey and the New York Rangers, the Lightning looked lethargic and uninspired, which helped fuel some of that Tortorella talk.
added 3:11pm, from Lightning Strikes on a trade for a goalie,
Never say never, but as it stands now, such a trade is very, very remote for several reasons. The Lightning already is about $2-million over its self-imposed $44-million salary cap, so any trade, unless ownership had a 180-degree change of heart regarding how much it is willing to pay, would have to include payroll going out. Who do you get rid of?
From Vincent M. Mallozzi at the NY Times,
“Putting the whole thing together was kind of Rubik’s Cube-ish,” [Steve] Williamson, 49, said last Monday from his seat at Madison Square Garden, where he watched the Rangers defeat the Lightning in the fourth game of his whirlwind tour. “But this is one of those rare N.H.L. seasons where everything on the schedule lined up perfectly for me.”
Williamson, the promotions manager for the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, spent 48 hours working on his itinerary, calling it “a travel agent’s worst nightmare.” He will enter and leave Canada three times before ending his monthlong vacation Nov. 24 in Tampa, Fla., where Tampa Bay is host to the Devils.
*Paul Kukla also interviewed Steve Williamson last week, in case you didn’t get a chance to hear it.
From Tim Wharnsby at the Globe & Mail,
Include NHL players in the group not happy with the soaring Canadian dollar and weakened U.S. dollar. For years, Canadian players were quite content about the lower Canadian dollar because their salaries were paid out in U.S. currency. The European players also found their bank accounts had more value when they returned home for the summer.
There was the odd player, who was paid in Canadian currency, but not after the most recent collective agreement that was put in place in August 2005.
11.17 of the current collective agreement reads: Currency. All standard player contracts must provide compensation in U.S. currency for NHL salaries and bonuses. Minor league compensation may be in the native currency of the NHL club.
Theo Fleury will be joining the Calgary Flames broadcast crew doing the color commentary on tonight’s Pay-Per-View match against the Colorado Avalanche.
Which reminds me of this from Eric Duhatschek’s post on the Globe & Mail hockey blog just last week:
Asked if he had any plans to come of retirement, Fleury retorted: “Just for the shootout. I think I can still do that. I’m pretty good at it, in the basement, playing with the kids.”
Otherwise, Fleury says he’s through with hockey (“I hate it. I really do,” he said).
Love it or hate it, I guess he just can’t stay away from it.
from On the Rangers Beat,
“If I felt good I would say it,” Jaromir Jagr said after testing his achy groin/hip flexor early in practice before leaving. Asked if he would play tonight, he said, “I’m not sure…It wasn’t the way I wanted.”
If Jagr—-who went on the ice again in a track suit against Stephen Valiquette—- doesn’t play against the Flyers, it would be the first time the big winger has missed a game in two years.
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.
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