Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Buccigross at ESPN,
If you canvassed the NHL standings at the start of this week, you could make a case (albeit some are a bit flimsy) that every team except the Los Angeles Kings has at least a dream of going on a big run and finishing in the playoff money.
There are three reasons for this:...
3. Evolution of the “almost-foolproof draft era” and depth of front-office talent…
There are only nine more teams than there were during the 1979-80 season, but there are probably 90 people better qualified and trained to run an organization. The NHL is deep in talent on and off the ice and the bunched-up standings should be a yearly occurrence. That’s the point.
from Naples News,
So will something happen this year to change the size of the equipment?
“I’m not telling you that it will,” said Colin Campbell, NHL vice president and director hockey operations. “It needs a buy-in by our GMs and our players, particularly the goaltenders.”
“We’re tired of hearing about it ... we understand it all comes down to wanting to win, but we have to do something when you’re illegal.”
Outside of trades and goaltender equipment, other issues discussed at Tuesday’s meetings involved relations with other hockey leagues and potential rule changes.
from Blueland Blog,
It’s the most exciting time of the year and at the same time the most maddening.
We all know that trades are going to be made around the league and odds are the Thrashers will be involved to some degree. With a week to go until the trade deadline something could happen at any time. Don Waddell could wait until next Tuesday to pull the trigger on a deal or he could pull something off by the time you finish reading this post. You never know.
And that’s just it. Rumor hounds are having a field day trying to predict who will end up where and who’s available versus who isn’t, but when it comes to the Thrashers nothing is clear.
From Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
As the trade deadline approaches across the NHL the topic of no-trade and no-move clauses has hit the front line of reporting and, not surprisingly by NHL standards, the players are being made to be the bad guys and general managers, the people in near complete control as to whether or not no-trades or no-movement clauses are made available, are doing the crying.
Now to be fair, Burke has a history of not giving them out and Fletcher inherited his, mostly from recently fired general manager John Ferguson, but that just makes it easier for them to carry the banner that reads as it so often does in the NHL GM ranks: Save Us from Ourselves.
The Los Angeles Kings have traded defenceman Jaroslav Modry to the Philadelphia Flyers for a third round pick.
From John Glennon at the Tennessean,
Over the years, hardcore Predators fans have stuck up for their team through lean seasons and trying times.
These days, the Predators are — quite literally — sticking up for their fans.
What began as a one-game salute to supporters last month seemingly has transformed into a Sommet Center ritual. After every home victory the Predators gather at center ice and raise their sticks in unison to the crowd.
“We just want to show our appreciation to the fans because they help us win games and because we need them to be successful,’’ forward Vern Fiddler said.
From Blueshirts Blog,
It’s 1:15 p.m. and I believe Jaromir Jagr just finished answering the last question from Montreal reporters who were delighted with the opportunity to enter the Rangers’ captain’s mind — after many marvelled at how he spent an extra 30 minutes on the ice after the morning skate working on his shooting with assistant coach Perry Pearn.
When told that that is not unusual for Jagr — that he, in fact, often returns to the Rangers’ practice facility in the afternoon for a second session on non-game days — some were stunned. Amazing how this guy can have been in the league for so long and yet be such a mystery to so many. Could it be that it’s easier to ridicule him if you don’t know anything about him?
Update 5:07pm ET— Quotes from Jagr to the CP via TSN,
‘I still believe in myself,’’ Jagr said. ‘‘When you’re not scoring, you want to do a little extra and maybe later it will help me.
‘‘Maybe there’s bad before something good. I don’t know. I don’t question it. I just work harder than I did before on my shooting and just believe that it’s going to come sooner or later.’‘
from Eduardo Encina of the St. Petersburg Times,
Hockey players have a tough time giving up on helmets, shin guards and other equipment, but there’s something about the feel and comfort of worn shoulder pads that makes them special.
“I’ve had mine since I was 16,” said center Brad Richards, 27. “They’re going to stay with me. They’re not going anywhere. I don’t know if it’s weird, but I can change skates 100 times a year, gloves, all that stuff, but my shoulder pads, if I didn’t have those, I’d be lost forever.”
Much like someone having a worn-in baseball glove or a favorite pair of sneakers, some hockey players don’t want to let go of their favorite equipment, no matter how ratty it becomes.
Some players are the same way with other equipment.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
“I wouldn’t call her uncompromising because she did, in fact, compromise,” McPhee says of Tatiana. “But Alex’s mother is very strong, very protective. And she knows what she wants.” What she and Alexander wanted was a no-trade clause, something McPhee had granted only once in his 10 years as G.M. In the end the two sides agreed that beginning in the seventh year of the contract, Alexander annually will submit a list of 10 teams to which he will not accept a trade.
from the International Herald Tribune,
Peter Forsberg is not ruling out an NHL comeback even though his agent says it’s unlikely.
Forsberg told Swedish TV on Tuesday he still hopes his foot will recover in time for the Feb. 26 deadline to sign up with an NHL team.
“The foot doesn’t feel 100 (percent), but there is still one week left until the deadline,” Forsberg told national broadcaster SVT.
continued... but just a recap of what Don Baizley said yesterday.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org