Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
For all the grumbling around here about the Sabres losing Chris Drury and Daniel Briere — who, me? — the Devils endured much the same last summer with center Scott Gomez and defenseman Brian Rafalski.
No matter, the Devils entered the weekend a point from the Eastern Conference lead, tied with Montreal and Pittsburgh, with a retooled lineup and rookie coach Brent Sutter. Out with the old, in with the new, back in contention.
“What you do, in a sense, is structure your own market,” Lamoriello said recently by telephone. “I’ve always said we have a five-year plan that changes every day.” Some concept.
more and some trade talk too…
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
That doesn’t mean Howson should hold out hope for a miracle and hang onto every pending free agent he doesn’t plan to sign at the end of the season. It doesn’t mean he should feel compelled to sit there facing a gaping hole in his roster and have nothing to show for it. What it means is that he shouldn’t start dealing players who might help the Blue Jackets reach the playoffs—for draft picks.
At this point in franchise history, “draft picks” are dirty words to most Blue Jackets fans. After seven seasons, a handful a draft picks means about as much to them as a handful of potato chips. No one wants to sacrifice even a remote chance to make the playoffs for more draft-day fliers. Unless we’re talking about a high first-rounder, it’s probably not worth the risk.
from Dave Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,
With his son, Stephen, and daughters Anna and Colleen at his side, along with members of his family, dear friends and many former teammates, Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey watched a banner bearing his name and his No. 23 pulled to the rafters of the Bell Centre at 6:53 p.m. tonight, an emotional and fitting tribute for the giant-hearted Hall of Famer.
continued with links galore…
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
...But before all those critics gleefully start putting together their “Bon Voyage Bryan” placards in the hopes of his eventual departure, he had a strong message for the fans when he emerged from the dressing room after the Maple Leafs’ 3-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers last night.
“I want to stay. I signed here and chose to stay here because this is where I want to be. I think there would be nothing better than to bring a championship to this city,” he said.
“There are no guarantees, but I don’t want to move. My wife is seven months pregnant. We don’t want to go anywhere.”
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail, .
..Still, Fletcher has not yet been told no definitively. And Sundin at least acknowledges he is still wrestling with a final decision.
“I have some things to think about, some things to sort out,” he told Hockey Night interviewer Elliotte Friedman.
Then, in the Leaf dressing room, he faced another large media scrum.
“No matter what happens, I’ll always love Toronto and I’m going to love the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Sundin said. “It’s been home for the last 13 years and that’s never going to change.
“I hope people respect whatever decision is going to come out of this.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Risebrough is facing an interesting dilemma with C Pavol Demitra. A soon-to-be UFA, there’s no chance he’ll return to the Wild. Complicating matters, his team is in the middle of a playoff race. It’s believed the Bruins, Devils, Rangers and Stars have shown interest in Demitra, but this would be a tough deal for Risebrough to make. Expect to see Demitra return to the Kings in the off-season.
read much more trade rumors and just think, this will be over by 3pm ET Tuesday…
added 9:41am, Spector gives his take on some of these rumors and others too.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Wasn’t it interesting that season-ticket holders were told that if they committed to renew for next season by Friday — or four days before the trading deadline — they will pay regular-season prices for their seats in this year’s playoffs ... if the Avs make it?
That means the Kroenke Sports folks already have at least a hint of how much their season-ticket base might further diminish for next season. And maybe about how desperate they want Giguere to be as he seeks a means to strengthen the Avs’ chances of just making the playoffs, which might stem a bit of the bleeding.
On Tuesday morning, the Avs still will be at least mathematically in the running for a postseason berth. They still should make a run at Hossa.
more NHL trade speculation from Frei…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
• I am insinuating nothing. I am implying nothing. But if Anaheim GM Brian Burke sends a package of major prospects to the Maple Leafs in order to rent Mats Sundin and then Burke becomes Toronto GM over the summer - the man doth protest his lack of interest way too much - while Sundin returns to Toronto next season, well, how exactly will that look?
• John Tortorella is operating on borrowed time in Tampa, and everyone knows it, including him. Question: Does he wind up in San Jose, Detroit or Philadelphia?
more NHL type talk…
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
The Flyers also learned after the game that All-Star center Mike Richards will be out three weeks with a left hamstring injury. The team’s MVP this season, playing in his 200th NHL game, collided with Bouwmeester in the third period and limped off of the ice. He did not return.
thanks to the KK readers for the pointer…
The Leafs are in Ottawa on Sunday, where Sundin will meet up with his agent and Cliff Fletcher. Talk from the Hot Stove on HNIC was the Leafs are asking him if he would be interested in going to three cup contenders.
Rob Blake may be asked by the Kings if he wants to go to Anaheim, San Jose or Colorado.
The Dan Boyle contract negotiations seem to be going well, but the old and new owners of the Lightning will be meeting with GM Feaster on Monday to discuss the financial outlook of the team. Richards will probably waive his NTC but wants to go to a team that has a shot at the cup.
Bryan McCabe is thinking about waiving his NTC and the Flyers and Rangers were mentioned as possible destinations by the Hot Stove crew.
Nikolai Khabibulin was not held out of the Chicago game today because something was “cooking”. He suffered back spasms yesterday and is being rested.
Marian Hossa may have played his last game as an Atlanta Thrasher tonight.
If you have heard anything from a reputable source, feel free to leave a comment. It is that time of the year and this will soon be over!!!
added 10:03pm, Sundin was just on HNIC and says he still has to go with his “heart” decision, and his situation has not changed, but he does have a few things he needs to sort out. Mentioned this business is all about winning and right now the team is not winning and there will be changes. He feels for all the players in the room.
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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