Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
With owner Charles Wang at the controls, anything is possible — perhaps both Smyth and Blake will receive the sort of long-term commitment that the Islanders have become infamous for. But if they miss the playoffs or exit meekly in the opening round and all three players flee in the summer, the Islanders will effectively be back at square one — with Alexei Yashin’s monstrous contract acting as a millstone and most of their skill deploying an exit strategy.
It’s why there is always a danger in taking a short-term snapshot — this year’s unexpectedly effective season — to assess the long-range impact of the Islanders’ moves and subsequent progress. Just as there was a rush to bury them last summer, there is now a stampede to praise them as a result of their unexpected rise.
read on... plus numerous NHL bits…
from the Winnipeg Free Press,
He thought his comeback might start this weekend but Todd Bertuzzi will have to wait until his new team returns from the West Coast….
“I don’t have any (expectations),” he said. “I’m just going out to work my tail off. I’m very fortunate to come into an organization like that and where they are in the standings.”
Bertuzzi agreed it’s a novel concept to be fresh heading into the grinder that is the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“Peter (Forsberg did it) two years ago and just played playoffs and was the leading scorer, so obviously he was fresh and healthy,” said Bertuzzi, noting Forsberg’s 27 points after missing all of the 2001-02 regular season. “I’m hoping the same thing. I’m only four months out of my surgery and usually it’s five or six months, but I’m not going to pass up and opportunity like this.
Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg, who was felled by a stick swung at his head by the Islanders’ Chris Simon, said today that he told Nassau County prosecutors that he wouldn’t press charges against Simon for the incident at the Coliseum a week ago.
Hollweg, who briefly lost his hearing and received a gash on the jaw in the attack, said that he and two team attorneys met for about 30 minutes with two attorneys from the District Attorney’s office on Thursday at the Rangers training center in Westchester.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In this week’s Facing Off, the 18-year-old Penguins rookie gives his take on the Chris Simon suspension, tells us which of the four Staal brothers is the best NHL player and explains what it’s like riding shotgun with Sid the Kid….
Q: Who deserves the Calder, you, Malkin or Paul Stastny out in Colorado?
A: I think Malkin. He has done everything he can, everything possible to win it. I think he is definitely the man.
Q: Why not Jordan Staal?
A: [Laughs] I don’t know. I would love to win that thing, but I don’t have the numbers he has. Of course, we have been put in different roles, but I think the way Malkin has been playing, taking the pressure off Sid, he has been huge.
from the CP via NHL.com,
Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow was activated from the injured reserve list on Tuesday after missing 33 games with severed tendons in his right wrist.
Morrow was stepped on during a game in Chicago on Dec. 26 and had surgery immediately afterwards. He’ll join the Stars on their road trip in Nashville and is expected to play against the Predators on Saturday night.
In 28 games for Dallas this season, Morrow had 20 points (10-10) and 29 penalty minutes.
from Gary Thorne at USA TODAY,
One of the obvious results of the shootout in the game is that at this point of the season, teams in the running are looking for that one point first and then hoping to get the bonus in overtime or in the shootout.
There is a danger in that mentality for the game.
Third periods should be all-out attempts to win close games, not attempts not to lose. The pressure is there for teams that need points to shut down the offense in tied third periods, especially if they have the personnel to win the shootout.
NHL on NBC ratings for March 11th- 0.7 rating, 2 share.
from the Post-Bulletin,
As some of the nation’s best players gather in St. Paul this week for the WCHA Final Five, one thing is clear: This is not Paul Martin’s WCHA.
The use of family advisors is not new, but with players committing to colleges earlier and college-level players deemed ready for the pro game at an earlier age, the process has begun at a much earlier age.
Many players have been relying on the services of an agent since they were 14. Known in college hockey circles as “family advisors,” the agents work without a contract with the hope of one day taking on the player as a client.
from Darren Eliot at NHL.com,
With good reason, we’ve talked an awful lot about the fine young goaltenders around the league this season. But we can’t overlook the veteran backups chipping in admirably. The trio of Jocelyn Thibault, Chris Osgood and Mike Dunham came to the forefront this week. All three were once starters in this League, routinely playing over 60 games a season. Now they start sporadically, either out of emergency or to give the No. 1 guy a momentary break.
Q: Can you relate the pressure situations you face in golf to what you experienced at the highest levels of hockey?
Mario Lemieux: Well, it’s much easier in hockey. Golf is something we’re not used to dealing with. It’s not what we do for a living. So you get a lot more nervous in golf.
Q: Do you get as into the golf as you did hockey? Is the intensity at all similar?
Mario Lemieux: Well, this is a lot harder for us. This isn’t something you do for a living. But you still enjoy it.
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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