Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
NORRIS TROPHY (Best Defenseman)
Nominees: Nicklas Lidstrom (Red Wings), Scott Niedermayer (Ducks), Chris Pronger (Ducks)
MY PICK: Lidstrom. Niedermayer and Pronger would’ve been great even if they didn’t play on the same team, but each certainly helped the other this season. Lidstrom, has no comparable teammate, yet still scored 62 points and led all blueliners with a plus-40 rating. That’s good enough for me.
check out Adam’s other picks for the hardware, and yes, before you ask, the Awards Show is Thursday, not tonight…
From John Niyo at the Detroit News,
A decade later, it’s still so difficult to separate the two, to recall the triumph without running into the tragedy. It was 10 years ago today that a celebration for the ages ground to a sickening halt in Hockeytown, only six days after it began when the Red Wings ended a 42-year championship drought by hoisting the Stanley Cup.
On June 13, 1997—a Friday the 13th, as fate would have it—a limousine crash that nearly killed defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov, and seriously injured teammate Slava Fetisov, turned a stretch of Woodward Avenue into a crime scene and sent an entire city into mourning.
*thanks to Joe for the pointer
added 2:15pm, Joe Pelletier just sent me a link to a Wings 1998 Tribute Video to Vladimir and Sergei.- Paul
From the CP via TSN,
The New Jersey Devils signed defenceman Andy Greene, prospect Matthew Corrente and European veteran Jari Viuhkola on Wednesday.
Greene recently completed his first professional season. The 24-year-old split his time between AHL Lowell and New Jersey, making his NHL debut on Jan. 12. He had one goal and five assists for six points in 23 games for the Devils.
From George Richards at the Miami Herald,
The Panthers announced Wednesday morning that they signed defenseman Bryan Allen to a five-year contract.
Allen, acquired last June as part of the Roberto Luongo trade with Vancouver, had a very solid season in 2006-07. Allen, who played in all 82 games, tied a career high in points (25) and had a career high 21 assists.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed; Allen made $1.55 million last season. Had he not resigned, Allen would have been a restricted free agent on July 1 and could have become an unrestricted free agent after next season.
I am heading out the door and should be back at the Kompound by 3pm.
Alanah will be updating today as need be and remember, KK members can always use the KK Forum to keep other readers aware of any hockey news.
from the New York Islanders,
Introducing the NYI BLOG BOX, the first of its kind among pro teams in the New York area.
The Islanders are challenging their fans with a passion for writing to start their own Islanders blog. Fans with existing Islanders blogs are welcome, too.
But here’s the kicker: all chosen bloggers will be given the opportunity to cover select home games and practices with special media accommodations.
We’re setting up a BLOG BOX in the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – sort of like a press box, but away from the scribes and broadcasters because we know you want to cheer, shout, have a pretzel and enjoy the game experience on your own terms.
read on and a great first step from the Islanders…
What do Southern belle Kellie Pickler and Canadian hockey player Jordin Tootoo have in common? Says Pickler: “We’re each other’s biggest fans.”
The former American Idol contestant, 20, and the Nashville Predators right wing, 24, met after they bought condos in the same Nashville complex, where Tootoo spotted Pickler and asked for her phone number.
Pickler tells PEOPLE they were friends at first, but the relationship had turned romantic by spring.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets have not yet made a contract offer to Scott Howson, who seems to be the favorite to become the club’s new general manager.
Howson, the Edmonton Oilers’ assistant general manager, last spoke to the Blue Jackets on Friday, when he flew to Columbus and had a day’s worth of interviews with club president Mike Priest and majority owner John H. McConnell.
The Blue Jackets spent the past two days taking a hard look into Howson’s past and checking his references.
from the LA Times,
Thank heavens the Ducks are wearing their jerseys and carrying the Stanley Cup when they arrive at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. The Cup, after all, really is a celebrity.
Pictures are taken, autographs given, pucks passed out and the first player to run into Austin is Chris Pronger. Doctors and nurses are on alert in case Pronger checks the kid into the chalkboard.
The kid and the hockey player bond. They both have bushy blond hair, and Pronger, with two kids of his own, makes like he now has a third. Austin tells Pronger he knows the score of the final game. Pronger has been celebrating for five straight days, and it’s unclear whether he’s joking when he asks later what day it is.
“I look at these parents,” Pronger says, “and I see the pain on their faces. You know they’d rather have it happening to them than their kids, but maybe a five-minute break or distraction can help.”
more (reg. req.)
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Unrestricted free-agent winger Ryan Smyth would be a perfect complement to flank Sundin, but keep this in mind: If he was looking for a five-year deal worth $5.5 million, then his demands aren’t about to drop. Daniel Briere? Chris Drury? They might very well be too pricey.
How about what’s referred to as “The Wilbur Plan” in reference to former Leafs executive Bill Watters, who yesterday floated the idea of pursuing free-agent forwards Scott Hartnell and Paul Kariya.
Or, perhaps, do they take a flyer on Alexei Yashin at a bargain-basement price?
Then there is the issue of whether free agents even want to come to Toronto and be under the spotlight 24/7.
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