Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vancouver Sun,
A frustrated Alain Vigneault lashed out at his underperforming players Friday night, suggesting it’s time for some of his unproductive forwards to step up and prove they truly belong in the NHL.
“Right now we have [defenceman] Kevin Bieksa who has eight goals and I think we’ve got six of our forwards who don’t have eight goals combined,” Vigneault said after watching the Canucks drop a 3-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“We think these guys are NHL players, that’s why we gave them NHL contracts. You have to perform like NHL players. It’s not normal that you have one D that has more goals than half your [forward] group.”
from the Toronto Sun,
Centre Michael Peca’s right knee was a mess—a suspected torn medial collateral ligament and fractured tibia—after a first period knee-on-knee collision with Jim Vandermeer of the Chicago Blackhawks, who weathered seven of eight Leafs power plays and scored short-handed in a 3-1 win.
“It was a knee-on-knee hit ... our guy is going to be out a long time and their’s will probably be back in the minors before (Peca) gets back,” Maurice said. “He’s in quite a bit of pain, but we won’t know until we get a better look inside. This is not a day-to-day, week-to-week thing. This is a bad knee injury.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
But a deal for Rucinsky might be necessary to save this season. Rucinsky, who is currently playing with a broken jaw, has made it clear that he would waive his no-trade clause in order to rejoin the Rangers. That, however, does not guarantee that JD would be amenable to moving Rucinsky (6-15-21) in a sum-zero deal.
If Davidson - who, according to a well-placed source, has already talked to Glen Sather about the availability of impending free agents Keith Tkachuk, Billy Guerin and Eric Brewer (as well as Petr Cajanek) - asks for a young asset in exchange for Rucinsky, it will be difficult for the Rangers to strike a deal, regardless of his importance to Jagr and in the room.
The Detroit Free Press’ Drew Sharp, never one to pay much attention to hockey in the first place, has decided it’s time to weigh in.
The NBA has swallowed the NHL whole when it comes to television exposure and media coverage. There could be a mass riot at an NHL game and few would notice because only the truly faithful are paying attention to the still-struggling league.
And even their patience is thinning.
In tonight’s Chicago Blackhawks - Toronto Maple Leafs matchup, Peter Bondra got his 500th career goal. Bondra is only the 37th player in NHL history to achieve this. He joins Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Michel Goulet as the only Chicago players to score their 500th goal wearing the Blackhawks sweater.
Anticipating this milestone earlier in the week, from the Chicago Tribune:
Perhaps it will be Wednesday, or maybe Friday. It could end up being Saturday or stretch into next week.
Whenever it ends up, Peter Bondra is going to score another goal and reach the magical number of 500 for his career and, perhaps then, it actually will sink in and he will allow himself to savor what it means.
But not until then.
“I don’t want to make this a distraction for the players,” Bondra said last weekend. “I don’t want them to think they have to pass to me or anything like that.”
added 7:43am 12/23/06, Watch the Bondra goal…
Linda Cohn of ESPN talks to John Ondrasik of the band "Five For Fighting":
"Fresh out of high school, me and my buddies pulled a cross-country road trip to Toronto: the red-eye to JFK, a hopper to Buffalo and then renting a wreck to Toronto," Ondrasik recalled. "We bought $300 tickets from scalpers and got beer drenched on us at Maple Leaf Gardens. We didn't want to be anywhere else but watching the Gretzky-Gilmour series. Playoff hockey, nothing better. Best experience of my life." Now, this season, the experience for Kings fans hasn't been as pleasant. Los Angeles is continuing to fight to avoid the Pacific Division cellar. What's wrong with these Kings?more
Nashville Predators forward Scott Nichol has been suspended for nine games, without pay, for a blind-side punch to the head of Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jaroslav Spacek during NHL Game #512 at Nashville, Dec. 21.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Nichol forfeits $25,267.41. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The incident occurred at 15:21 of the third period. Nichol was assessed a minor penalty for instigating, a major for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct as the aggressor (Rule 47.2). The suspension was issued following a hearing conducted via conference call by NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
“The punch by Mr. Nichol was deliberate, from behind, and it occurred after the referee’s whistle had stopped play,” Campbell said. “While Mr. Spacek was injured and left the ice, it is expected he will be available to play in Buffalo’s next game.”
The slowdown continues at KK.
Please have a wonderful Holiday, spend it with family and friends and stay safe.
Posts will be on a limited basis through Christmas, back to normal for a few days, then the stretch run begins early January, 2007.
Remember, keep your head up, and pass those keys on if you are enjoying the season a bit too much!
NEW YORK (Dec. 22, 2006)—The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced that it has completed a deal to purchase Molson’s extensive hockey footage collection, which spans over the last 80 years in the NHL. Some of the footage includes Wayne Gretzky’s 1000th career point, Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s final goal and Bobby Baun’s overtime winner scored on a broken foot. The NHL Hockey Archive is now the largest individual collection of hockey footage in the world.
“This new acquisition will allow us to recreate for our fans some of the most amazing moments in the NHL’s history,” says Patti Fallick, Group Vice President Media, Operations and Planning. “This will be a digital boom of historical content for fans accessing NHL content across our many platforms.”
Ottawa Senators centre Jason Spezza will be sidelined indefinitely after suffering a left knee injury against Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
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