Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province:
Every year, it seems the trade deadline produces some big stories. Fans get excited. The media gets excited. But this is one of those stories that gets lost in all that wheeling and dealing. This is one of those stories that reminds you people are getting traded, not—what’s that word again? ah yes—assets.
“It’s great to be in the playoffs but that human side is overlooked,” said Smolinski, who was visibly moved as he talked about his situation on Saturday. “I guess it comes with the territory. I’m not the only one who’s had a trying time. But there’s still that side to it.
“It’s a chaos of emotions. You’re not too far away but your family needs that support system and it was very hard, very hard on my wife.”
“A lot of questions hit you,” Smolinski says of his reaction to the trade. “The first five or six hours, you throw your arms up in the air. It’s pretty emotional for the family. I had to take the kids to dinner and explain what’s going on.
“It’s tough, but there’s not much else you can do. The kids still have their routine. You just want to make sure when you talk to them, it counts.”
from the Chicago Tribune,
Although he’s downplaying it now, Havlat likely will feel differently Sunday when he takes the ice and sees former teammates across from him. Havlat spent his first five years in the NHL in Ottawa.
Martin Lapointe vividly remembers the first time he faced the Detroit Red Wings after signing as a free agent with the Boston Bruins in 2001-02.
“It was a weird feeling,” Lapointe said. “I felt like I was on the wrong side. You spend so many years there and have such great memories, you never think you are going to leave.”
from the AP via the Centre Daily Times,
“He’s a big dude,” winger Nils Ekman said of the 6-foot-3, 243-pound Laraque. “When you see him without hockey equipment on, you can see he’s just huge.”
Forward Erik Christensen said, “I really started to appreciate how big he was when I shook his hand and my hand disappeared into his.”...
“If I didn’t enjoy it,” Laraque said, “I wouldn’t do it. So yes, I enjoy it.”
“It looks like this will be dynasty for years to come, and for a veteran to be a part of it and do my role of looking after them, it’s just an honor.”
from the New York Times:
Alexei Morozov of Ak Bars Kazan, the leading scorer in the Russian Superliga, had an assist in the first period of his club’s 6-2 victory over Metallurg Magnitogorsk last Tuesday, giving him 80 points for the season. That broke the single-season record for points at the top level of Russian or Soviet domestic hockey, set in 1980-81 by Sergei Makarov of CSKA Moscow.
Later in that game, Morozov scored his 33rd goal of the season, which also led the league. But with two games left, he is well short of the single-season domestic record: Venyamin Aleksandrov had 53 for CSKA in 1962-63.
...plus a look at the Preds attendance…
Morozov’s an unrestricted free agent, so an NHL team could theoretically sign him, but they’d have to waive him per article 13.23 of the CBA.
from the Miami Herald,
Jacques Martin will coach his 1,000th regular-season game in the NHL tonight, a milestone tinged with elation and reverence as he remembers his mentor, close friend, former colleague and idol, the late Roger Neilson.
Martin will become the 12th coach in league history to accomplish the feat and tie Neilson, who was the Panthers’ first head coach.
‘‘I feel honored to still work in this league,’’ Martin said of the milestone. `I’m wondering where the time has gone.’‘
from KK Member SteveNJ
Enjoy the two games this weekend, note that we are up against College Hoops on CBS and Arena Football on ABC, two sports we can beat and two sports that wanna beat us (particularly the kicked-off-of-NBC AFL) so check out the two tilts!
The NHL On NBC Countdown to Faceoff
Host: Bill Clement
Analysts: Brett Hull and Ray Ferraro
The NHL On NBC
Game of the Week
Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings
Play By Play: Mike Emrick
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire
AVAILABLE IN HD
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Play By Play: Dave Strader
Color: Peter McNab
Inside the Glass: Joe Micheletti
AVAILABLE IN HD
via the CP,
Cam Janssen of the New Jersey Devils has been suspended for three games for his hit on Toronto defenceman Tomas Kaberle during the second period of the Maple Leafs’ 4-3 shootout win in East Rutherford, N.J., on Friday night.
Kaberle, who was conscious and communicative after being taken off the ice on a stretcher, spent the night under observation in hospital.
added 5:09pm, from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,
Of course, I can’t be completely happy with this decision because of the explanation.
Campbell’s statement did not mention that Janssen hit Kaberle in the head. If Janssen had hit Kaberle late but not in the head, it’s very unlikely there would have been an injury. There certainly wouldn’t have been the scary scene that followed the brutal hit. As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t even have been noticed. Late hits happen all the time. Guys shake them off and catch up to the play. Just another part of the game.
Like blows to the head, unfortunately.
from the CP via the Hockey News,
In a season of failure and disappointment for the Edmonton Oilers, Raffi Torres and Joffrey Lupul find themselves unwilling but worthy poster boys for expectations unfulfilled.
After coming within a win of a Stanley Cup celebration against the Carolina Hurricanes last spring, the Oilers face the prospect of missing the playoffs in the Western Conference altogether.
from Wayne Scanlan at Canada.com,
What will it take to turn things around? Probably, the club will have to leave the hands of Wirtz, a man so despised by hardcore ‘Hawks fans, they relished a trashy book by one of their own entitled: Career Misconduct: The Story of Bill Wirtz’s Greed, Corruption and the Betrayal of Blackhawks’ Fans.
In that book, lawyer and author Mark Weinberg sets out the pattern of Wirtz’s ownership, designed to make money and engage his offspring in family business. Winning a championship for loyal fans doesn’t enter into the picture….
“You don’t have to be winning the Cup all the time,” Hull says. “But you have to be in contention.”
To a ‘Hawks fan, contention seems a distant dream as long as people named Wirtz and Pulford are running—some say ruining—the show.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org