Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Star,
There was a new kid in the Leaf net yesterday and the young man has quite a future.
The goalie was 14-year-old Brandon Gibson of Scarborough. And he’s got a future because of a successful double-lung transplant to treat his cystic fibrosis.
“He’s three months post-transplant and he’s allowed to do anything,” said his elated mother, Muriel Gibson.
from The Guardian,
Think being an NHL scout is a glamorous job?
Charlottetown’s Kevin Devine, head scout for the Buffalo Sabres, might beg to differ.
“After Christmas it’s crazy. . . . I’ve got an apartment in Buffalo I spend some of the winter in, mostly to show up and pay my rent (and I) slept in my bed in Buffalo maybe six nights,” Devine told The Guardian recently. “And now it’s getting more and more hectic with March and April because games are running out. You get a little bit panicky now. You’ve got to get to see this guy, you’ve got to get to see that guy.”
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
On Sunday, during NBC’s telecast of the Boston Bruins-Detroit Red Wings game, colour commentator Ed Olczyk brought up the subject of Edmonton’s “one-two-two,” and also its “one-four.”
The guess here is that about one half of 1 per cent of sports viewers in the United States would know that Olczyk was talking about defensive strategies and not dance steps.
Olczyk discussed the “D,” about penetrating the D and cutting off the D, but he can’t assume every viewer knows that D stands for defence.
And when he said the Bruins were “playing up high,” we’re not sure what he meant.
from the Toronto Sun,
Imagine a Maple Leafs team that featured a one-two punch of Mats Sundin and Vincent Lecavalier up the middle.
It almost happened.
Unfortunately, Leafs fans must deal with the bitterness of what might have been, especially with Lecavalier now enjoying an MVP-type season at just 26….
Bill Watters, the Leafs assistant general manager at the time of the proposed Lecavalier swap, recalled how close the trade came to fruition.
“Our scouting staff, Pat Quinn, everybody was so excited at the time because the deal was pretty much done and the media didn’t have a sniff of it,” Watters said.
from the Kansas City Star,
If the reports are accurate, Kansas City will have to shift its attention to either another troubled NHL franchise, likely the Nashville Predators, or an NBA team, as an anchor tenant.
Some have speculated that because of the way AEG followed the lead of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman during the negotiations with the Penguins, Kansas City has put itself first in line for an NHL expansion team.
The Predators have the best record in the NHL but have struggled for corporate support, and owner Craig Leipold is putting 40 percent of the club on the market. The team has an escape clause in its lease, based on attendance, that would enable it to leave Nashville after the 2007-08 season.
That point will be proven again tonight as thousands of Detroit fans descend upon Gaylord Entertainment Center for the sold-out showdown between the NHL’s top two teams — the Predators and Red Wings.
The phenomenon began when the NHL awarded Nashville an expansion team in 1997.
Many Michigan natives had moved to the Nashville area in the 1990s after Detroit-based General Motors opened up a manufacturing plant in Spring Hill. They were thrilled when Nashville landed a team and many bought Predators season tickets.
But they weren’t about to turn their back on the Wings, who quickly became Nashville’s most hated rival.
Also from the Tennessean,
“We’re going to do the right thing for Peter,” Trotz said. “When he’s ready to play, he’s going to play. And if he’s not ready, we’re not going to force him into anything. We’ll probably see where is (today) and make a decision.”
more on Forsberg…
from the Oakland Press,
If the Detroit Red Wings and their leading scorer are going to come to terms on a contract before the offseason, it will need to be done before April 1. Pavel Datsyuk will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but talks between his agent, Gary Greenstin, Datsyuk and Detroit general manager Ken Holland are ongoing….
“I don’t want to talk to (Greenstin) much because I only want to think about hockey,” said Datsyuk. “When I ask about (the contract), he sounds like a movie (advertisement) ... ÔComing soon. Coming soon.’”
fropm the AP via Sports Illustrated,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have reached a deal with city, county and state officials on financing for a new arena, a television station reported Monday night.
KDKA-TV, citing unidentified sources, said the deal is “done’’ and will be announced before Tuesday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres at Mellon Arena.
More from KDKA…
added 12:38am, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The puck stays here.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have reached an agreement with state and local officials for construction of a new arena that keeps the team here under a 30-year lease.
from Matt Higgins at the New York Times,
Last season, teams scored 3.0 goals a game, up from 2.58 in 2003-4, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Fast, skilled teams like the Sabres thrived, providing flashbacks to the pretrap era of the 1980s.
But this season, scoring has steadily edged downward. Through Sunday, teams averaged 2.90 goals.
How much of that can be traced to the trap?
“Everybody, whether they trap, has a checking scheme in the neutral zone,” said Colorado Coach Joel Quenneville, whose team sometimes created a human wall against Buffalo by putting four players across its blue line.
via Russo’s Rants,
Niklas Backstrom is your No. 1 goaltender.
That was the news of the day coming after this afternoon’s practice from gorgeous Vancouver.
...Jacques said the team is playing too well to fiddle with it. He says he wants to see how far this team can go with Backstrom at the helm. Obviously things can change if the team goes south.
But Lemaire said Manny Fernandez will play when the Wild can’t gain any more and/or the teams around the Wild take off either direction.
He also alluded to his dissatisfaction with Fernandez’s effort in practices recently. Manny wasn’t in the talking mood today.
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