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Blake Changes His Tune

from Newsday,

Frustrated by a goal-scoring slump and worried about contract negotiations and his impending free-agent status, All-Star Jason Blake needed time to think. After taking a day to reflect on his recent comments about possibly leaving as a free agent if the Islanders don’t sign him by the Feb. 27 NHL trade deadline, Blake yesterday said he didn’t intend to distract from his team’s playoff push or to leave the impression he wants off Long Island.
“I know in my heart that I’m an Islander,” said Blake, who was last to leave Air Canada Centre after practice. “When we’re in a playoff push, I can’t think about the contract. I’ve just got to let Neil handle it.”

continued

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Sundin Plans To Stay In Toronto

from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,

Calling Toronto his “home,” captain Mats Sundin said he has no desire to leave the Maple Leafs even if it meant a more realistic shot at winning the Stanley Cup elsewhere.
“I think my feelings have been that I really want to stay and be a Maple Leaf,” he said yesterday, on the eve of his 36th birthday but, more significantly, two weeks before the NHL trade deadline.

continued

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Playing The Percentages

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

The Flyers don’t have a chance of getting two first-rounders and a top prospect for Forsberg, but they might get a top prospect and a pick. The amount the Flyers get in return for Foppa will depend on his willingness to remain with the team he goes to. If the team views him as a two-month rental, the price will be low. If he agrees to stay long-term, which he probably won’t—the price will go higher.
If I were a betting man, I’d say the chances of Forsberg getting traded are 70 percent.
The liklihood of signing him to a contract extension before the Feb. 27 trade deadline is less than 10 percent.

read on

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Break Time

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

“In one respect, it’s a bit of a break for him mentally to step back, come to practice and know that he can’t play in the game,” said Murray. “It gives him a chance to be a little bit less intense. It’s hard when you’re playing, you want to keep playing. You want to keep the good habits and (Emery’s) been playing great for us. It’s a factor in performance.
Added Murray: “I think (the suspension’s) heavy. He’s a first-time offender, Usually something like this would be a warning, a fine and a game. I was going to play Gerber (tomorrow), and I was hoping it would be the one game.”

more

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What If…

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

What, for example, if the Rangers could get Joe Sakic from the Avalanche as a rental if they also accept Jose Theodore’s $5.3M contract that runs through next season?
What if the Rangers trade for Theodore as a precursor to waiving him?
What if Jim Dolan is willing to pay Theodore $5.3M to play in Hartford next year - the Avalanche sure won’t pay out that cash to a player in the minors, and will thus be hamstrung by the goaltender’s contract - if it means acquiring Offer Sheet Joe?
Wouldn’t that be more valuable to the Avalanche’s rebuilding process than getting a No. 1 in a deal? Wouldn’t it?

Larry also takes a look at the status of Sandis Ozolinsh…

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Grapes Tosses Barbs With Pens’ PR Director

from William Houston of the Globe and Mail:

Don Cherry was confronted by an angry Pittsburgh Penguins official on Saturday night after he blasted the club for threatening to withhold Sidney Crosby from an interview.
“He knocked on the door of the studio to get at me,” Cherry said yesterday. “That doesn’t bother me. I’m not worried about a
Cherry, during his Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada, charged that the Penguins had refused to make Crosby available for a pregame interview because of criticism directed at him by CBC commentators in the past.
Cherry described Frank Buonomo, the Penguins’ director of team services, as “some dummy back in Pittsburgh” whose reluctance to co-operate with the CBC reflected poorly on Crosby and hurt the club’s image.

continued

 

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Suitcase Sillinger Jump-Started His Sojurn

from the windsor Star’s Bob Duff:

“I asked to be traded from Detroit,” Sillinger said. “I remember it to this day.
I was a young guy playing behind (Steve) Yzerman, (Sergei) Fedorov, (Dino) Ciccarelli, (Ray) Sheppard, (Paul) Ysebaert, (Jimmy) Carson—the list goes on.
“I feel very fortunate to have played with so many classy players, so many all-stars. They broke in the young kid the right way and it’s something I’ve tried to pass on.”
From Detroit, his odyssey took him to Anaheim, then Vancouver, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Florida, Ottawa, Columbus, Phoenix, St. Louis and Nashville before coming to the Isles as a free agent last summer.

continued

 

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Preds Look To Add Third-Line Centre In Forsberg

from the Tennessean:

The Predators made one important trade acquisition over the weekend when they picked up physical defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski to bolster their blueline.
But it’s what may lie ahead that has plenty of local hockey fans excited.

“We’re in the thick of it in terms of talking to everybody who’s available,’’ Poile said. “I’ve been on the phone with a lot of general managers in the past week or so. That’s how we traded Josef Vasicek, how we found out Atlanta was interested in a center iceman and how we wound up with Vishnevski. That’s how it works.’‘

continued

 

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Trading Stories With The Chief

from Kevin Dupont of the Boston Globe:

The last half-century skipped by at a pretty good clip, John Bucyk will tell you, and from a hockey perspective, he has his plaque in the Hall of Fame and his name etched on the Stanley Cup twice (1970, ‘72) as the engraved, undeniable proof of the good times, the best times.
The Bruins owned the city in his heyday, and the stocky, granite-hipped Bucyk was always the quiet, hard-working, kind-hearted mayor who maintained a balance in the dressing room. A link then to the club’s hard-luck days of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, he delivered his points—and his devastating hip checks—with a coal miner’s demeanor and discipline. When the good times finally arrived, he helped to manage the egos within, and likewise helped deliver a common touch to a city enthralled with, if not delirious over, what was perhaps Boston’s most endearing team of the 20th century.
“We had a lot of bleak years from 1960 to 1967,” the Chief recalled Saturday, reminiscing inside the Bruins Alumni suite on the ninth floor of the Garden, prior to the club’s faceoff against the Islanders. “We never even made the playoffs. Then after Bobby [Orr] came, you could see the wheel turn a little bit, and Milt [Schmidt] made the trade, picking up Espo [Phil Esposito], [Ken] Hodge, and [Fred] Stanfield. You could see it turning a little more, and eventually, it did—and then the fun came back.”

continued

 

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Questions For Chicago

from the Chicago Tribune,

It has been nothing short of a black hole for the Blackhawks in recent years. Every time they believe they’ve solved their issues at center, they face them once again by the end of the season.
This summer will be no different. A lengthy list of questions must be answered. Such as:
Will the Hawks re-sign injured Michal Handzus?
Can they get a bona fide No. 1 center in the off-season in free agency or a trade?

continued

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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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