Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi could don a paper hat and apron, and set up a stand in the Ritz Carlton lobby this week, with his team in 30th place in the 30-team NHL and the trading deadline set for Feb. 26. But he wasn’t predicting a lot of action.
“The reality is, it’s sometimes hard to do a deal in Naples,” Lombardi said. “Everybody is in same room for most of the day, and when they leave the room you’re in groups of two, three, four guys. Sometimes you might want to talk, but it’s a hard atmosphere to talk to them in.
“So it works the other way: the reality is, if you want to talk seriously, it’s still easier to pick up the phone. That’s the irony.”
more on the GM meetings…
from the Vancouver Province,
We won’t trade a couple of big pieces from our team to acquire scoring,” said Nonis, who has $2.7 million US of available salary cap space. “At that point, what we’re doing is we’re creating two holes or three holes and we’re filling one.
“Are we going to move some of our younger players—the Alex Edlers, the Ryan Keslers—for players who are unrestricted that may be able to put the puck in the net the odd time? That’s not going to happen.”
That means unrestricted free agent winger Markus Naslund isn’t going anywhere and pitches for top-tier free agents such as Marian Hossa and Mats Sundin are unlikely. The cheaper Vaclav Prospal is a more tempting target.
from Philly Burbs,
There was plenty of injury news for the Flyers on Sunday, and it was all bad.
Steve Downie suffered a concussion in Saturday night’s game at Montreal and is sidelined indefinitely.
Derian Hatcher will miss a minimum of three weeks due to soreness and weakness in his surgically repaired right knee.
Joffrey Lupul, who suffered a high sprain to his right ankle Saturday night, also figures to be out of action a minimum of two to three weeks.
Sun Media’s Bruce Garrioch takes a team-by-team look at what may happen as NHL teams approach the trade deadline.
Needs: If anything, the Ducks will deal for offensive help, but GM Brian Burke doesn’t want to give up a lot off his roster. Sure, the Ducks will make calls about the likes of Atlanta RW Marian Hossa and Toronto C Mats Sundin, but Burke isn’t big on deadline deals.
Who’s available: D Sean O’Donnell and C Todd Marchant.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
At least a couple of them (GM’s) will be pushing the league to change the way it does business. Darcy Regier, the general manager of the Buffalo Sabres, says he wants the league to add a new department of research and development.
Regier thinks it is high time the league hired people whose sole responsibility would be to study and test new ideas for the game, from rule changes to equipment changes. The overriding purpose of an R & D department, Regier says, is to stay ahead of the coaches, whose lifework is to take any pizzazz out of the game with stifling defence.
“I just think there are always things you have to do to stay ahead of the players and coaches,” Regier said. “That means you always have to open the offence because the defence catches up.
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
The NHL lockout seemed like a disaster at the time, a foolish and petulant move by a professional sport with already tenuous prospects. Nearly three seasons later, it’s hard to argue with the results. Just about everything has gone according to plan.
The league is on pace for its third consecutive season of record revenues and attendance. It has a new costcontaining salary cap that allows for massive player contracts. Perhaps most important, the product itself is thriving, with dozens of exciting young players and competitive parity that has 26 of 30 teams within at least five points of a playoff berth with less than 30 games remaining.
So why does everyone have a pet project that will “fix” the NHL?
The Chicago Blackhawks have secured a big piece of their blueline as they have signed defenceman Brent Seabrook to a three-year, $10.5 million contact.
via Inside The Kings,
Rob Blake doesn’t expect to be back on the ice before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, which could obviously affect his tradeability. He attempted to skate today and it didn’t go well. He is going to have an MRI to check on the ankle’s progress tomorrow and said he won’t try to skate again until next week.
added 6:54pm, from the LA Times,
Kings defenseman and captain Rob Blake said today that he has not been asked to waive his no-trade clause by the organization and does not want to do so.
“I want to stay here and remain a King,” said the injured Blake, who was at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo. “I stressed that with them and talked about the plans of the Kings and the future. . . . That was it.”
continued (reg. req.)
added 8:02pm, from another blog post at Inside the Kings,
On meeting with Lombardi: ``Nothing’s changed on my part. I expressed my feelings to stay here again and kind of do what I wanted to do when I came back here two years ago. That’s not going to change. Hopefully it works out that way.
``He was just saying there are teams inquiring. But there’s been no talk of waiving the no-trade on either side. I think a lot of things you hear are people blowing things out of proportion. I’m not going to respond every time I read something….”
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer on the last post on Blake…
The Coyotes teamed up with the Maricopa County Sheriff Department for a day of training.
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Sportsnet,
NAPLES, Fla.—With anticipation growing as the trade deadline approaches, the NHL’s 30 GMs are gathering in this picturesque part of Florida for their annual three-day meeting.
Officially, there’s an agenda from the league to look at possible rule changes and the general state of the game in meetings Monday through Wednesday. Unofficially, it’s a great opportunity for GMs to get some face time with their potential trade partners ahead of the 3 p.m. ET deadline on Feb. 26.
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