Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,
It’s enough to cause a lot of headaches in several front offices in the weeks and months ahead. Here’s a look at 10 situations most likely to do so:
1. Alexander Ovechkin: It’s hard to imagine the Washington Capitals will let their franchise face go under any circumstance, but Ovechkin has already reportedly rejected a deal worth $7.5 million annually and will almost certainly get an offer sheet approaching the maximum $10 million per season if he hits the open market.
from the CP via the Hockey News,
There’s not much Rutherford can do about injuries but he did make one notable decision Thursday, putting veteran goalie John Grahame on waivers and recalling netminder Michael Leighton from Albany of the AHL.
Grahame is earning US$1.4 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.
“John Grahame didn’t do anything wrong, he didn’t get any support,” Rutherford said. “We’re just giving another guy a chance here.”
From the CP via TSN,
If the National Hockey League had an award for comeback player of the year, a prime candidate could be Alex Kovalev of the Montreal Canadiens.
Last season, the skilled but unpredictable right winger scored only 18 goals and looked to be on his way out of Montreal and perhaps even the NHL.
But Kovalev has rebounded to become the Canadiens scoring leader, as well as acting as mentor to young Belarus forwards Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn.
“You can’t be perfect all your career - there’s going to be ups and downs,” the 34-year-old Kovalev said Thursday after the pre-game skate. “Last year was one of those years where you can’t find your game and nothing’s going your way.
via the Colorado Avalanche,
The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that further medical evaluation on the injured right ankle of forward Ryan Smyth revealed a fracture and that he would be out approximately eight weeks.
“The fracture was discovered following additional medical tests which included an MRI exam,” said Avalanche Head Trainer Matthew Sokolowski. “We expect him to make a full recovery.”
In case you missed it, NHL Network U.S. will air two encore presentations of the AMP Energy / NHL Winter Classic game in HD this weekend. NBC’s broadcast of the historic game will re-air Saturday, Jan. 5 at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT, immediately following NHL Network’s live broadcast of the World Junior Championship Gold Medal game. The second airing will be Sunday, Jan. 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. PT.
About that World Junior Championship, here’s a complete schedule listing (below) for remaining games to be broadcast on the the NHL Network U.S. (note: for Canadians, TSN broadcast schedule is here).
from the AP via the Globe and Mail,
Teppo Numminen’s surgically repaired heart is pumping fine after the Buffalo Sabres defenceman’s latest medical checkup.
It’s his stamina that still isn’t there yet, leaving Numminen unable to predict Thursday when he might be ready to play.
“I don’t know. Still on the same schedule, day by day, week by week,” said Numminen, catching his breath after a 90-minute practice. “But things are getting closer. We’re moving in the right direction. ... They checked things out and things are like they should be.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont at MSNBC,
Before we go too far — and, remember, Feb. 26 is this year’s trade deadline — let’s take a look at how the first half has unfolded and size up some of the potential award winners….
Most significant franchise-changing moment
At the risk of sounding insensitive, the Sept. 26 death of long-time Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz, 77, triggered a number of changes that have aided the franchise in returning to relevance.
from the Detroit Free Press,
So what is the reason for fans not attending?
The Pistons are currently 10 games ahead of second place Cleveland in the Central Division and in position to have one of the top two spots in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They are also in the midst of a 10-game winning streak and are the only team to beat the 27-3 Boston Celtics at the Garden.
Many people might say it is because of Michigan’s poor economy. If you are having a tough time paying your bills, you are certainly not spending $30-$40 to watch professional basketball.
But for everyone that wants to blame the economy, they will need to look no further than the attendance numbers this upcoming summer at Comerica Park. Middle of the week games against the Kansas City Royals will be near capacity. The Tigers also play twice the home games at a venue that is twice the size of the Palace….
Fans are cautiously optimistic because they have seen this movie before. They expect long playoff runs and know that is when the real Pistons’ season begins.
From The New York Times Slapshot blog,
Many hockey figures, young and old, passed away in 2007. Some were internationally renowned, some were locally famous and some appeared only briefly in hockey’s lower ranks, but all were and always will be part of the game. The roll call below of those departed was compiled by the Society for International Hockey Research…
The Winter Classic was a hit in Canada as well.
A day after NBC reported the largest hockey viewing audience in more than a decade watched the outdoor game south of the border, CBC announced Thursday it drew its second-largest audience ever for an afternoon NHL game.
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 email@example.com