Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Daily Herald,
While Wilson and the Sharks thought Ruutu should be suspended for the boarding major and game misconduct he received at the 19:03 mark, Hawks coach Denis Savard defended his player on Friday and said a suspension would be the wrong call by the NHL.
“I don’t think he should get a suspension, just (by) the fact McLaren kind of turned a bit,” Savard said. “Ruuty just plays hard. That’s the way it is. He’s just a physical player. He went in there to finish his check.”
via the Arizona Republic,
The Coyotes and the Pittsburgh Penguins are working to complete a trade that would send Phoenix enforcer Georges Laraque and possibly a second- or third-round draft pick to Pittsburgh for a first-round pick and an unidentified American Hockey League player.
A deal could be completed by Friday afternoon.
Laraque said Friday morning that he has yet to be approached about waiving his no-trade clause, but he did reveal the Coyotes told him he would not be playing another game for them.
added 7:40pm, from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via the Globe and Mail,
The Penguins are believed to be among four teams interested in the six-foot-three, 243-pound Laraque, who is under contract for $1.1 million (all figures U.S.) this season and $1.3 million next year. Laraque would have to waive his no-trade clause.
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
This season, there has been a bit of a backslide in the officiating — including the uncalled hits away from the puck - which on Thursday resulted in a full-blown, 1970s throwback night.
For the league, this will be an opportunity to let everyone know whether or not we’re really headed in that direction. Fielding complaints that star players are being picked on with impunity, hearing the general mangers call for a softening of the instigator rule, and now witnessing an ugly, coach-sanctioned donnybrook, Colin Campbell and company can either lower the boom, or give tacit approval to the return of The Code.
from the blog of Helene St. James, Wings beat writer for the Detroit Free Press,
“It was awesome,” Osgood said. “I love it when goalies fight. I think Emery is a pretty good fighter. He had a lot of penalty minutes in the AHL. I wouldn’t fight him. Biron did a good job of fighting him, and then (Emery) challenges their tough guy right after that. I was amazed he fought twice in a row. That’s more impressive than anything. And not to be tired - he was still laughing. That was good.”
from the AP via the Miami Herald,
Sabres co-captain Chris Drury is out indefinitely with a suspected concussion from a blindside hit that sparked a brawl in Buffalo’s game against Ottawa.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Friday the team has not yet determined the severity of the injury, but noted that Drury was experiencing concussionlike symptoms.
The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired the veteran winger from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a fifth round draft pick in 2008.
The folks on Hockey Central on the Fan 590 in Toronto said Roberts has told people he would not demand a year to be added to his contract if he was traded to Ottawa.
So, will the Sens meet the Panthers needs and get a deal done?
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
After all, cheap doesn’t much matter if good isn’t part of the equation. The problem always is how far can a team afford to dip into its system — to surrender blue-chip prospects that could turn out to be the next Getzlafs, Penners or Perrys — in order to add what may be the final piece of a Stanley Cup puzzle? Or at least makes the difference between winning a playoff round or two?
Even as every team wants desperately to win, the urgency varies from market to market. For example, the Thrashers have never made the playoffs. Waddell made a guarantee that they would do so last year coming out of the lockout and actually, they finished pretty well, but couldn’t overhaul either Montreal or Tampa, who nailed down the last two spots.
read on...plust trade talk…
from The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Just as St. Louis’ Dallas Drake is the master of the jump-hit, Ottawa’s Chris Neil has made a career out of the slightly late, high bodycheck. His number on Buffalo’s Chris Drury Thursday night was the NHL’s conundrum, late and high, a clear headshot but one made with the cup of the shoulder pad and not the elbow.
Still, it’s always amazing that the guys people want to give authority to “police” the game are quite often the ones who start the crazy stuff.
- I like Lindy Ruff a lot as a coach and a person. Too bad he’s got to be suspended for putting his goons out to start a line brawl against the Sens. C’mon, that’s junior hockey stuff. Every once in a while you have to think of the game and its image ahead of your own gut reaction.
more NHL bits from Damien…
added 10:12am, from Ian Mendes at Sportsnet,
A tip of the hat to Adam Mair of the Sabres for going over to the Sens dressing room and apologizing to Dany Heatley after the game. Further to my first point above, I think sometimes in the heat of battle, players do things they regret. Mair was probably uncomfortable with his role in that situation and went over to the Sens room afterwards to convey that message.
more on the Sabres/Sens…
from the Province,
“Getting another D to give us some depth is a pretty safe bet there,” Vigneault said when asked what he hopes the Canucks can get at the deadline. “If that’s going to happen, we’ll have to see.”
Vigneault understands first hand the impact of losing one of his big four. The Canucks have played 22 games this year without either Willie Mitchell or Sami Salo. They are barely above .500 in those games with a 10-9-3 record. With both of them in the lineup, the Canucks are an impressive 25-12-1.
“When we’re missing one of our [top four] and one of the other guys has to get a lot more minutes—a lot more tough minutes—it makes it challenging for us,” Vigneault said. “We need our guys to be healthy. We’re no different than a lot of teams in the NHL.”
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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.
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