Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

No More Play Me Or Trade Me

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

By now, just about everybody this side of Samsonov has mostly figured out that play-me-or-trade-me, as a demand, went out of style around the time of mood rings and pet rocks.
It just isn’t that easy to move money anymore, at the best of times, not in a salary-capped world and certainly not when a player is underperforming at Samsonov’s current level.
Still, it shouldn’t be impossible. There was a theory that in the new CBA, the only way to move an underachieving, overpriced player was to find a second team in a similar situation and simply trade problems.

read on... plus much more from around the NHL…

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Pierre Bits

from Pierre McGuire at NBC Sports,

• Peter Forsberg looks pain-free now with three assists against the Penguins.
• Two goalies who stepped up huge for their teams this week, Curtis Sanford of St. Louis and Joey MacDonald of Detroit. Sanford beat MacDonald 1-0, but it was robbery at both ends of the ice that kept the game so close.
• Henrik Zetterberg is the best two-way player in the league. He is getting it done in all situations, and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock knows it.

more

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Get Samsonov Going

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

If Samsonov is going to come close to earning the $3.525 million U.S. the Canadiens are paying him, he has to be in the lineup. While Carbonneau is right to stress the importance of the team over an individual, it’s difficult to believe there isn’t a spot for an eight-year NHL veteran who has averaged 23 goals a season.
Getting Samsonov back on track should be a team project. Samsonov has to do his part by working hard and bringing a positive attitude to the rink, but it’s also incumbent on Carbonneau and the coaching staff to find some way to use Samsonov to the team’s best advantage.

read on

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Patience Pays Off

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Winners of 16 of their last 22 games, the Lightning are within shouting distance of the Southeast Division lead (they trailed Atlanta by five points and had a game in hand as of Thursday) and more closely resemble the team that won the 2004 Stanley Cup than the one that was mired in the Eastern Conference cellar before Christmas.
If anything, the Lightning are a testament to patience, holding firm to a belief that whatever the questions, the answers are in the room and nowhere else.
“It’s not always about making changes,” Tortorella told ESPN.com this week.

more

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Wild/Rangers Trade

from the Minnesota Wild,

Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired RW Adam Hall from the New York Rangers in exchange for LW Pascal Dupuis.

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A Long Way From Voskresensk

from the Sunday Paper,

At the height of the Cold War, Vyacheslav (or “Slava”) Kozlov was born. At that time, it was almost inconceivable that life’s road would lead him all the way from Voskresensk, Russia to Atlanta.
“When I was a kid, I had no idea what the Stanley Cup was,” he says of growing up in communist Russia. “We could not think about the NHL. There was only the Russian National Team. There were no Russians in the NHL.”
Then, when Kozlov was a teenager, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power. And while we’re all familiar with his contributions to world peace and politics, he also had a huge impact on Russia’s best athletes—especially hockey players.

continued

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Minor Trade

via the Nashville Predators,

Nashville Predators Executive Vice President/General Manager David Poile announced Friday that the club has acquired center Eric Belanger from the Carolina Hurricanes for center Josef Vasicek.

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Waiting On Bert

I firmly believe the GMs of the hockey world are waiting on any trades until Bertuzzi takes to the ice.  Reports are he could play this weekend or sometime next week, but he has been participating in full practices.
Look for the “This Scout Was In Attendance” stories as soon as Todd starts playing.
Most of the other players involved in the trade talks will fall into place once Bertuzzi’s health status is determined.
The Panthers are about to draw a lot of media attention!

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Be Prepared Gary

from Loose Change at the Hockey News,

Secret note to commissioner Gary Bettman: Watch your back.
I can’t say where exactly I heard this from, or who exactly told me, but there may be a move afoot to relieve you of your position. Normally I’d have some irrefutable evidence at hand to prove my case, but truthfully, I’m going more by vague hearsay and Nona who works down at Supercuts. Heed this warning, however: Nona is connected.
Sure, for now your job seems safe.

continued

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The Race For The Hart

from Damien Cox at his blog, The Spin,

The race for the Hart Trophy as league MVP is down to two, and it’s going to be one heck of a charge to the finish line.
It’s crystal clear that Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur have separated themselves from the crowd, a very deep and talented crowd that includes Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo, Tampa Bay centre Vincent Lecavalier and Anaheim blueliner Scott Niedermayer.
But Crosby and Brodeur are clearly the two to watch.

read on

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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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