Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
A week that might be the most important in the franchise’s young history begins today. Trade discussions leading up to and during next weekend’s NHL draft will open an array of possibilities, and it’s time for the Blue Jackets to be bold and aggressive.
The conservative, maybe-our-young-guys-will-all-mature approach can be filed in the same trash can as the finish-last-and-stockpile-some-future-stars method. It’s time to act. Howson should be prepared to move anybody and everybody to get the franchise on track.
And yes, I said “anybody.” Pascal Leclaire … Rostislav Klesla … Jason Chimera … Fredrik Modin … even, gulp, Rick Nash.
“He’s 38 and still going strong,” Zetterberg said. “When he stops playing, he’ll probably still be the best guy on the team. Then, hopefully, he can work on his golf game a little bit. He has a flaw. He is a bad slicer.”
more on Lidstrom at the Detroit Free Press…
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
New Sharks coach Todd McLellan hasn’t had much chance to get to know his players yet, but he and the father of one of them - captain Patrick Marleau - are well acquainted.
Both McLellan and the Marleaus come from Saskatchewan, but it’s a five-hour drive from the coach’s hometown of Melville to Aneroid, where the captain grew up. Aneroid, though, is only 90 minutes from Swift Current - a short hop by provincial standards - and that’s where McLellan connected with the Marleau family a decade ago.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Here are five reasons you should have enjoyed the NHL in 2007-08:
• The right team won it all. Detroit became the first team since the 2001-02 Red Wings to win the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup. If it happened every year, it would become tiresome. But every now and again, it’s nice to see the best team in the league confirm as much in the playoffs. The Red Wings for years have had the best organization. Their players earned the Cup in the end.
• Sid the Kid. The NHL couldn’t have asked for much more than Sidney Crosby and the Penguins reaching the finals. Crosby is the face of the new NHL, and he was brilliant in the postseason while showcasing the league.
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
A month ago, Evgeni Malkin was the toast of the town.
Now, you wonder if he’s just plain toast.
Should star winger Marian Hossa accept the long-term, lucrative contract offer the Penguins have put before him, Malkin’s days in Pittsburgh could be numbered.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Hart Trophy winner is a Russian who plays for Washington, the Norris winner is a Swede who plays for Detroit, the Calder winner is an American who plays for Chicago, the Byng and Selke double-winner is a Russian who plays for Detroit, the Vezina winner is a Canadian who plays for New Jersey.
And yet Thursday’s awards show in Toronto was conducted as if the NHL were a Canadian six-team league. Couldn’t the league have recognized youth hockey players from around the globe rather than just those from Canada?
Wouldn’t you think the NHL might once host the awards show at Radio City ... just once?
more and other NHL topics too…
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
One year ago at this time, the Islanders made the stunning .announcement of their decision to buy out the final four years of controversial captain Alexei Yashin’s 10-year contract. Now, Yashin’s return on a one-year contract next season is under .discussion, but general manager Garth Snow and owner Charles Wang so far have balked at their former star’s asking price.
Agent Marc Gandler, who represents Yashin, said he last spoke with Snow on Thursday when there was no progress .toward an agreement.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”
Once upon a time, John Spano owned the New York Islanders.
Until the cheque bounced….
Eleven years after Spano was exposed as a fraud, the folks in the NHL front office are maintaining a low profile as they deal with another business deal that has gone terribly wrong.
William (Boots) Del Biaggio III was one of the investors who helped keep the Nashville Predators in Music City and out of the predatory hands of Jim Balsillie. When the local investors came up short in their bid to buy the team from Craig Leipold, Del Biaggio came to their rescue and paid $60 million for a 27-per-cent stake in the team.
It seemed like a strange marriage.
from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen,
Most people in hockey will tell you Hartsburg and DeBoer are both excellent choices to be NHL coaches. But the paths they’ve followed this spring read like some warped coaching version of The Tortoise and The Hare.
Bryan Murray interviewed Hartsburg very early in the process, and then Hartsburg went home and waited, with little apparent interest from other clubs.
DeBoer, meanwhile, has been the coaching version of Steven Stamkos the past few weeks: a junior star with a glowing résumé that had a bunch of teams pursuing him. He has been a candidate for almost every NHL job opening so far.
from Bob Stouffer of the Edmonton Sun,
Daryl Katz will officially become the new owner of the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
If Katz is looking for an owner and an organization after which to model the Oilers, he should look no further than Mike Ilitch and the Detroit Red Wings.
With their fourth Stanley Cup victory in the last 11 seasons to complement seven straight seasons with 48+ wins, it goes without saying that the Red Wings are far and away the best organization in the NHL.
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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