Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Chicago Blackhawks badly want a puck-moving D-man when the free-agent shopping starts July 1, but there’s no way they’re getting Brian Campbell, who’ll re-up in San Jose because he wants to keep playing with childhood friend Joe Thornton.
Wade Redden or John-Michael Liles are in their fall-back position, but Redden’s stock has dropped surprisingly the last two years in Ottawa and Liles is coming off a very so-so year. Liles is on Carolina’s radar, too.
many more NHL bits…
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
In San Jose, we enjoy hockey. In Canada, they metabolize hockey.
How best to explain it? Take the average amount of pro football interest in an American city. Multiply by three. Then stick an “I ♥ FACIAL STITCHES” bumper sticker on it.
That’s hockey in Canada.
Tonight is the first Sharks playoff game in this city since the 2004 Western Conference finals. My major off-ice memory of that series is how, while walking around downtown, every third or fourth person I saw was wearing a Flames jersey. It was preferred work attire. I was checked into my hotel room by Jarome Iginla. I exchanged my American money with bank teller Miikka Kiprusoff. And I was served a fast-food burger by Robyn Regehr.
Also, I could swear every cab driver I had was a Sutter brother.
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
At 29, Todd Fedoruk finally is becoming the hockey player he always has wanted to be. It’s happening just in time for the Wild.
Desperately seeking goals in a tight, physical playoff series with the Colorado Avalanche, the Wild have scored two that can be traced to Fedoruk within a degree of separation: his power-play goal in Game 1 and Pavol Demitra’s long slapper in Game 2, which sneaked by a Fedoruk screen.
The two goals perfectly encapsulate what Fedoruk is giving the Wild as they prepare for Game 3 on Monday night at Pepsi Center in this best-of-seven, first-round series — size, grit and toughness, with an occasional touch of offense.
from Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Star-Telegram,
His wicked wrister basically wrapped up a 5-2 victory for the Stars on Saturday and, as a result, they are coming back to Dallas with a chance to get out of the first round for the first time since 2003 without having to leave the state again.
“I think it’s huge,” Richards said. “You want to feel wanted and feel like you are contributing.”
He is. And he has.
Don’t look now, but this Stars team suddenly looks different with Richards. Dare I say dangerous?
This is what happens when all three of your big-name, big-money, big-expectation centers come to play in April. Any coach will tell you that kind of depth is almost impossible to stop.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
All game analysis aside, though, the night was even more remarkable, at least to these aged eyes, for its sensational presentation and the fervor of the Montreal fans. The passion was astounding, pulsating, especially in the minutes leading up to the opening faceoff. As the sellout crowd of 21,273 roared in anticipation of the Canadiens skating out for introductions, I turned to a longtime pal in the press box and remarked that I’d forgotten how great the hockey environment can be, and this was before a single pass had been made or check thrown.
“The crowd, the noise, the music, everyone in the stands with their towels waving,” mused Bruins goalie Tim Thomas the next day. “When I came out, it was like being a Roman gladiator.”
read on plus other NHL topics…
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Star,
• You know it’s a mess inside the Florida Panthers organization when class act Joe Nieuwendyk walks away, wanting no part of it.
• Everybody is too polite to make a big deal about it, but two terrible goals allowed by Martin Brodeur ended up costing New Jersey its first two games against the New York Rangers and may end up costing the Devils the series.
• Here is why nice guy David Poile cannot be considered for the Maple Leafs’ vacant GM job, even though some have pushed him as a candidate: This is his ninth season in Nashville. The Preds have never won a playoff round.
more NHL talk scattered about…
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
Not only did the Hurricanes suffer the embarrassment of missing the playoffs two years in a row after winning the Stanley Cup, they cost themselves at least $2 million and potentially $20 million or more in playoff revenue and season-ticket sales.
As it stands now, even with revenue-sharing payments from the NHL that could amount to as much as $8 million, the Hurricanes expect to lose more than the $4 million they lost last season. The team turned a $10 million profit in 2005-06 while winning the Stanley Cup.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
What’s embarrassing is that the Ducks have not sustained any energy or fire for more than a few minutes here and there, that they’ve been submissive and sloppy when the situation called for assertiveness and precision.
Other than a brief display of the grinding game that has been the foundation of their success and allowed them to tie the score, 2-2, late in the second period, they haven’t put up a fight, figuratively or literally, in these first two games.
They haven’t peppered Dallas goaltender Marty Turco with shots, fought for rebounds, or used their muscle to do more than slam the door to the penalty box.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
• You might want to keep on an eye throughout the playoffs on impending Minnesota free-agent left wing and power-play point man Brian Rolston, and on impending Montreal free-agent right wing Michael Ryder, because the Rangers sure are.
• There’s a word for the Ottawa fan boy-writer who called on the Senators to break Sidney Crosby’s ankle with an imitation of Bobby Clarke’s 1972 Summit Series slash that did the same to the USSR’s resplendent Valeri Kharlamov. It’s the same word that applies to the editor who allowed the plea to actually appear in the newspaper.
It’s spelled, M-O-R-O-N.
more NHL talk from Larry…
from Sid Hartman of the Star-Tribune,
Here last week to announce the eight-year concessionaire contract with the Twins, (Jeremy) Jacobs sang the praises of new Wild owner Craig Leipold and talked about how happy he was to have Leipold back in the NHL after Leipold sold the Nashville Predators last year. The sale of the team from Bob Naegele to Leipold was completed Thursday.
“I am on a number of committees with Craig, and you won’t find a more dedicated owner than him,” Jacobs said.
Commissioner Gary Bettman, here for the Wild-Avalanche playoff game Friday, echoed Jacobs’ words.
“I think Craig Leipold is the right owner for this franchise. Bob Naegele and his partners couldn’t be handing this franchise to better owners than Craig Leipold and Phil Falcone,” Bettman said. “Craig is passionate about the game, he’s a terrific owner. He’s great when it comes to league issues, and he is absolutely committed to this franchise.”
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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