Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
With as few as six points separating 13th and seventh, depending on what time of which day you’re logging on to NHL.com, trying to predict who’ll get the last couple of spots is like trying to decipher Japanese shorthand….
Knowing their season will be hanging in the balance virtually every night from here on in won’t be easy. Twenty-two straight playoff-style games is no one’s idea of a fun time, especially when it’s not even the playoffs yet, but nobody has a choice in the matter. If they don’t throw everything they have at this seven-week stretch drive, there won’t be any playoffs.
from the Staten Island Advance,
Too often, injuries to referees and linesmen aren’t even reported. A player limps off the ice and it is deemed significant. Yet when an official is hurt, cheers are heard from the crowd and it might get a line in a story.
NHL officials are, in fact, pretty tough. And there are several of them who do their jobs better than most players perform their own. Kerry Fraser, Don Koharski and Bill McCreary are three who come to mind.
fromm George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
Retirement, says Teemu Selanne, is something he’ll delight in falling into, like a king-sized, eiderdown-soft hotel bed early in the a.m. on the 15th day of a 16-day road trip.
A lot of men who play games for a living—an embarrassing number, actually—cling to the life like a shied tomcat run up the living-room curtains. They only leave by force, kicking and screaming, feeling bitter and abandoned.
It’s all they know. It’s what defines them.
fromm Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Now a group of influential NHL players that includes New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur, Dallas’s Marty Turco, Detroit’s Dominik Hasek and Edmonton’s Dwayne Roloson want the league’s – and inevitably the Leafs’ – uniforms altered again. In what would be a radical overhaul that might incite hockey traditionalists but surely gratify some of the league’s cash-strapped owners, several NHL goalies have asked the league and its players union to consider starting a so-called Goaltender’s Club….
The players are working alongside prominent hockey marketer Brad Robins and Edmonton player agent Ritch Winter. Robins and Winter estimate on-uniform ads might generate upwards of $30 million a season for the NHL.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Wild is going to have a dicey situation on their hands this summer if they go to Marian Gaborik and, say, offer him $7.5 million a year for five years in a new deal and he says ,“Hmmm, let me think about it.” No way does Minnesota want Gaborik in the last year of his contract and an unrestricted free agent in July 2009, like the Marian Hossa situation in Atlanta right now. If he drags his feet, maybe they investigate trading him, sooner rather than later.
read on and more NHL talk too…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Speaking of the Habs, there’s talk if they get Hossa, they might make a push for Chicago RW Martin Havlat as well. The Blackhawks might be willing to move Havlat. The Devils are also interested in Havlat, who was a teammate of Hossa’s in Ottawa
want more rumors, then read on...
added 9:06am, from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Bolts still need a goalie if they want to nose into this year’s playoffs, and rumors have then sniffing around Colorado’s Jose Theodore and Edmonton’s Dwayne Roloson…
from Slap Shot at the NY Times,
All season long, the competitive point of the third period is blunted by the guaranteed point both teams get for a tie. Before you ask yourself why you’re paying to watch teams not try all that hard in the third period, consider this: it gets worse late in the season. So when games are supposed to get more competitive, they actually get less competitive.
But wait, there’s *still more*. When did all these regulation ties start happening? The answer: 1999-2000 — the very year the NHL instituted the bonus point for a regulation tie and 4-on-4 overtime.
from the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
The “new” NHL in the Old World?
Officially, there’s nothing cooking, with league brass claiming the focus is on solidifying the franchises already operating on this side of the Atlantic.
Unofficially, the idea has a lot of financial and romantic appeal, and remains on the league’s proverbial radar.
Realistically, there’s plenty of heavy lifting to do before the Stanley Cup playoff MVP proclaims: “I’m going to Euro Disney.”
Start with the fact there may be limited appetite overseas for NHL hockey.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
...It never ends, does it? The players operate under a triple-cap, escrow system and yet they always are expected to give back what they have gained through negotiations, either individually or collectively. Teams always find ways to leak information to place a player in a negative light when it suits their purposes even though the players are the product. Smart marketing.
Somehow, now we’re told that no-trade/no-movement clauses have to be stricken from the next CBA because they’re bad for hockey, because, once again, the players must save the league’s general managers from themselves.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Howson could be a buyer. He could trade part of the club’s future—a No. 1 draft pick, perhaps—to land a skilled center who could help the Blue Jackets reach the playoffs for the first time. This would delight coach Ken Hitchcock and a significant portion of the fan base, who care only about winning today.
If Howson is a buyer, here are two names to keep in mind: Mike Comrie of the New York Islanders and Vaclav Prospal of Tampa Bay, both unrestricted free agents this summer.
more and the assumed value of some of the Columbus players…
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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