Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
The thought of Brett Hull on NBC hockey telecasts that begin this weekend should send shivers up the spine of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman if, and only if, what happened on Wednesday’s conference call can be taken on to the telecasts.
Hull was at his outspoken best when he ripped the current NHL schedule, which limits visits by Sidney Crosby and others to Western Conference fans as “asinine”. He also carved up the new form-fitting uniforms as “completely ugly”.
He took shots at the way the New Jersey Devils play and the L.A. Kings for “muzzling my friend Sean Avery.”
from the Courier Post,
“He looked terrific,” Stevens said after watching Forsberg participate in his first practice with the team since Dec. 15. “It’s the most energized I’ve seen him in a long, long time.”
Despite reassurances from more than a dozen doctors that his right foot is perfectly functional after offseason surgery, Forsberg said he still is not 100 percent satisfied with the way his right skate fits his foot, insisting the foot is “a little crooked.”
“I don’t think I’ll be playing my best hockey, but I have to keep on battling,” Forsberg said. “We have a lot of injuries, everybody’s hurt, and I’m trying to come back as fast as possible.
“Is it 100 percent? No, it’s not 100 percent. But I have to play.”
from the Arizona Republic,
Wayne Gretzky expects the Coyotes to make the playoffs this season.
“Absolutely,” Gretzky said, inspired by his team’s seven-game winning streak. “But I also know we’ve got our work cut out. It’s a tough conference with a lot of good teams, but I believe if you look at our team . . . they’re answering all the questions you need to answer to at least have a chance. Now we still have a long way to go. Don’t get me wrong. But at least we’ve put ourselves into position to be in that (race for the postseason) now.”
from the Edmonton Journal,
Edmonton Oilers fans know their club needs some help on defence and like antsy, bouncing-off-the-walls small children on Christmas Eve, they want GM Kevin Lowe to deliver a puck-moving defenceman N-O-W!...
But since Lowe is not given to impulsive moves, it may be a while before any talent-upgrade moves are made. One thing we do know is there is no Chris Pronger available, so if and when the Oilers do make a move, it is likely to be either a rental, a la the
Bruins’ Brad Stuart, who becomes an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, or a solid but unspectacular upgrade a la ex-Oiler Eric Brewer, who might be available if St. Louis head man John Davidson begins to off-load assets with a view to the rebirth of the Blues.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Let’s face it. The Rangers simply don’t have enough players with gumption. They don’t have enough young legs. They don’t have role players who productively fill defined roles. They don’t have a line that’s capable of planting the opponents’ defense’s faces into the glass. They don’t have a unit that can provide an energy boost by sacrificing their bodies for 40 seconds at a time.
They had that line last year. They had the perfect hard-hat, blue-collar force in Dominic Moore, Jed Ortmeyer and Ryan Hollweg, then they went and sent Moore away in exchange for Adam Hall over the summer in what quickly has become the most misguided deal of Sather’s tenure.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Ferguson’s plan for the Maple Leafs this season was rather elementary: Be better in goal, cut down on the goals against, be more effective on the penalty kill. “We don’t have to score more,” the fledgling general manager said, “we have to give up fewer goals.”
Ferguson’s blueprint, while interrupted but not disguised by the steady onslaught of injuries, has never come to be. The team he envisioned, the team he intended to build, is not this team. The plan he had has been exposed as inefficient.
Go back to the off-season and remember: At the June draft, Ferguson traded for Raycroft. When free agency hit a few days later, Ferguson spent almost $10 million US a season for Kubina, Hal Gill and Michael Peca.
NEW YORK (January 10, 2007) –The New York Rangers were the top-selling team in the NHL.com store in the December holiday season. For the third consecutive month, the Buffalo Sabres had the highest percentage increase in team sales in the NHL.com store compared to last year with an increase of approximately 214%. Overall, sales of NHL-licensed merchandise on NHL.com were up more than 23% compared to last December.
Sources tell TSN that White suffered a shoulder separation in Tuesday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes and will be sidelined for 3-4 weeks.
An MRI today determined the extent of the injury.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN the Magazine,
When you arrive with the kind of hype that surrounded Sidney Crosby, there’s going to be a degree of skepticism. With the buildup he received, there will be those looking for ways to tear him down. Perhaps it’s just human nature to believe, “Hey, no one can be that good.”
Well, let me tell you, Sidney Crosby is that good. He’s more than that good. Six months shy of his 20th birthday, Crosby is the very best player in the NHL.
By Pierre Lebrun on Slam Sports,
Eric Desjardins will stand between the only two NHL teams he ever played for when he’s honoured at centre ice in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
On one side he’ll see Montreal, the team that gave him his NHL start and is currently enjoying one of its most successful seasons in recent years. On the other will be the Flyers, the team with which the defenceman finished his 17-year career and is currently last in the NHL.
It hurts him to see the team he captained at rock bottom.
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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