Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
All the Maple Leafs had to do last night was beat a minor league goaltender named Wade Dubielewicz.
That’s all. That’s not too much to ask.
Only now, a Leafs win tomorrow night in what should have been—and still may be—the most anticipated Toronto-Montreal Canadiens game in 40 years could end up eliminating both Toronto and Montreal from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
And who would have envisioned that possible scenario as the race for eighth place goes down to the final weekend?
According to a report in the Calgary Herald, disgraced hockey agent and promoter Alan Eagleson was pardoned in 2005 by the Canadian government on his 1998 conviction and imprisonment on three counts of fraud and embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars of Canada Cup earnings.
The paper reports that Eagleson avoided a five-year prison sentence in the U.S. in a 1998 plea bargain that allowed him to serve just four months of an 18-month prison sentence in Canada.
from Ansar Khan at MLive,
Are the Detroit Red Wings closing in on a contract extension with star forward Pavel Datsyuk?
Datsyuk’s agent, Gary Greenstin, believes they are.
“I believe it’s very close,” Greenstin said on Thursday.
Asked about the likelihood of a deal getting done before the playoffs, when Wings general manager Ken Holland stops all contract discussions, Greenstin said, “We’ll see.”
Greenstin declined to provide any other details, saying, “I cannot make comments during negotiations.”
Holland was not prepared to declare a deal is close but said he’s had productive talks and planned to have one more discussion with Greenstin in the next couple of days.
from the Mining Journal,
His Atlanta Thrashers had made the NHL playoffs for the first time in the team’s brief history, but Don Waddell didn’t celebrate much Sunday night.
“I was in New York and was excited,” the Thrashers’ executive vice president and general manager said in a telephone conversation Thursday morning, “but it had been such a long time coming, I didn’t go out and celebrate. I just thought, ‘we finally made it.’...
“We try to get character guys,” said Waddell, a member of the NHL’s Competition Committee. “You need that to be a successful team and we have an outstanding locker room.
“You have to have patience, though. There were many times I wanted to blow up (our roster) or trade younger guys. But then there’s the danger that you’ll miss the playoffs — or have a short run — and not have any future assets,” he added.
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
I’ve spent plenty of time and newsprint lambasting the league for all the above and more.
But the critical points are these:
• The NHL product is worlds better than it was before the lockout of 2004-05, even if scoring is slightly down this season.
• The playoffs again will be wildly, ridiculously entertaining, as they were last season.
Get the scoop on both teams as they prepare to play Saturday night at 7:00pm EDT.
from David Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,
Saturday’s Toronto forecast calls for cloudy skies, a high of 1 C, a 70-per-cent chance of flurries – and a 100-per-cent chance of monster TV ratings for CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada and RDS’s La Soirée du Hockey.
The Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will meet Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre to see who goes to the Eastern Conference playoffs and who goes golfing.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail (Friday edition),
The Leafs were hopelessly inept offensively last night in losing 5-2 to the New York Islanders. All that saved them was the New York Rangers’ 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, which kept the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference, held by the Canadiens, one point away.
But the Leafs cannot let the Canadiens gain a point in an overtime loss when they meet at the Air Canada Centre tomorrow night. The Canadiens hold all the advantages in the tiebreakers if the teams finish the season tied in points.
from the AP via Newsday,
The Islanders trail ninth-place Toronto by one point and eighth-place Montreal by two points. New York has two games remaining, while Montreal and Toronto face each other Saturday night in their finales.
A couple of KK readers discovered tonight that Versus has added “On The Fly” to their schedule.
It is scheduled for 1:00am EDT for every night of the playoffs.
Oh my! Go to the 16:40 mark of this podcast from Prime Time Sports on The Fan590 in Toronto, then refresh your memory with the Larry Murphy talk from APRIL 1st!
That’s Jim Kelley talking about the rumor to Bob McCown of The Fan590.
Thanks to a KK member for the heads-up!
from the State News, Five years ago,
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller was playing hockey in Rochester, N.Y., and came across Jason Snyder’s clothing store, Men-tality.
The two became friends after talking, and decided to team up to spread their love of fashion to East Lansing….
But it was always Miller’s dream to come back to East Lansing — the place he grew up.
“This store was something the town could appreciate,” he said. “They needed something local and trendy providing students in Okemos and East Lansing an opportunity to get a taste of what is usually reserved for Chicago.”
“With a couple great colleges in the area, there’s going to be a lot of people wanting to express themselves,” he said.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
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