Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Perhaps, MLSE steals a page from the Dallas Stars playbook and swaps experience for celebrity?
With no obvious candidate available or interested at the moment, primarily because of the current structure of the hockey department, why wouldn’t the Leafs look within?
With guidance from an experienced man like Maple Leafs assistant general manager and director of player personnel, Mike Penny, former Leafs captain Doug Gilmour might be able to bridge the gap.
Gilmour would instantly grab headlines and similar to Brett Hull’s appointment in Dallas, Gilmour might be able to provide a short term public relations spin.
My personal, gut feeling, Scotty Bowman will end up in Toronto, even though all published reports do not indicate that.
added 11:43am, from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
What is even more embarrassing for this Original Six franchise is, even in the face of this free fall, ownership is so paralyzed by its constant infighting and lack of direction that it appears powerless to react.
When players pull the chute and lose 11 of 13, as the Leafs have done at a crucial juncture of the season, a normal team’s owner will come down from his/her perch and fire either the GM or coach or both, or mandate a dramatic change in player personnel.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues have been among the most innovative teams in the NHL with their broadcasts, being among the first to allow a camera to be placed in the locker room to tape strategy sessions and even permitting microphones to be worn by players.
And they’ve tinkered for several years with having radio analyst Kelly Chase work from the Blues’ bench area, where he is able to give a firsthand account of what’s going on….
Chase thus can obtain interviews quickly and provide insight he gains from being near the action, and it’s not just a gimmick — he has mined some quality nuggets.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Phaneuf also plays the point on the power play, where he has more shots (139) than any other NHL defencemen. He plays on the penalty kill, and, of course, five-on-five. He’s only 22 and Sunday’s game was only his 207th career outing, but you’d never know it….
He’s good; maybe even Norris-trophy good some day, whenever Lidstrom retires.
“He’s pretty much wired for sound every day,” says Keenan of his young blue-liner. “You never worry about Dion liking hockey or living life. It’s his personality ... he’s a treat to be around,” adds Keenan, who’s coached some big-minute, high-end D-men—Chris Pronger in St. Louis, Mark Howe in Philadelphia and Brian Leetch in New York. Guys who want to be out on the ice all the time and don’t run out of gas.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So this week the MLSE board must do one of two things: Give Ferguson a contract extension and thus a meaningful vote of confidence and the freedom to do what he believes needs to be done, or fire Ferguson, and give a new person – Bowman, Smith, Healy, Campbell, whoever – enough time to evaluate the roster and organization and then canvass the entire league for transactions that might improve the club’s standing next season.
The silly chatter about the Leafs still being in the fight for a playoff berth has finally been exploded, although smart hockey people understood that reality two weeks to a month ago.
So we’re talking about next season now. Period. No more there’s-a-lot-of-hockey-still-to-be-played nonsense, okay?
And therefore we’re talking about something being done. This week.
“It’s tough to lose Witt,” Nolan said after the win in Calgary. Comparing the rugged defender to goaltender Rick DiPietro, Nolan added, “He’s similar to Ricky in how valuable he is to us. But the stars were lined up and we had seven defensemen dressed, which was luck on our part. Freddy Meyer did a great job.
“But it was a tough loss for Witt, and we’ll cross our fingers and hope the MRI comes back not as serious as it seems to be. It’s an ankle sprain right now, and we’ll check and see what the severity of it is.”
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Despite the ups and downs, from one period to the next, the Thrashers are in the thick of the playoff hunt.
Those inconsistencies that plague the Thrashers? Associate coach Brad McCrimmon calls it a league-wide epidemic.
Unless you live in New Jersey, Ottawa or Detroit, chances are your favorite NHL team is driving you crazy this season.
It’s parity. It’s the salary cap. It’s a league filled with young, inexperienced players handed key roles on their teams.
“I don’t see powerhouses anymore,” said a scout for a Western Conference contender. “You can’t keep a team together, everyone wants to get paid.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Nine wins, no Tys. Man, if there was a comeback player of the year or month award, Ty Conklin would be right up there.
It’s like he’s had an out-of-body experience, going from can’t play to, until last night, can’t lose.
It’s not a leap of faith to suggest that the former Edmonton Oilers goalie may have saved the season for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were spinning their wheels with goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, before he needed ankle surgery, which put him on the shelf for two months.
continued, plus NHL talk from both conferences…
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
I think Martin can afford to gamble and make a few moves to shake things up right now if only because the Southeast Division isn’t getting any better.
The five teams within the division stink. The winner gets the third seed in the playoffs, and a fate very much like the Thrashers last year. Only the Panthers need the playoff money, so two home losses—and the gates they’ll bring—is better than none….
This ship is sinking and there aren’t enough guys bailing water. The ones that are doing the heavy lifting are getting ticked watching others not do anything. It’s time to make some changes before Washington and Tampa overtakes this bunch. I know the fans understand, but do the players here understand the opportunity these Panthers are squandering?
from the NY Daily News,
The NHL is working with the Yankees’ high command and representatives of the city to try to play a game at Yankee Stadium next winter. While there are plenty of logistical hurdles to clear, the principals are interested.
“We’d love to do it,” said Rangers GM Glen Sather, who is always up for a new hockey adventure.
Obviously, the NHL feels the same way. The Yankees might figure to be a bit hesitant about having the final pro sporting event at the old Stadium be a hockey game. But sources familiar with the discussions insist that the Bombers’ brass is into it, with COO Lonn Trost serving as the Yankees’ point man in discussions with the NHL.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
...And that brings us to Campbell, who is one of several players who personified the Sabres’ direction in the post-lockout NHL. His price tag increased again Friday when he was named an All-Star for the second straight season. A few days ago, Campbell said that he’s finished talking about money.
Presumably, that meant with the Sabres, too.
It’s why General Manager Darcy Regier needs to find out what he can get, while he can get it, and minimize the damage. Chicago and Phoenix are two teams loaded with prospects and looking to make the playoffs. Dallas is anxious to make a bold move. Vancouver needs a player or two who can push them toward the top.
Once the Sabres’ brain trust gets past the idea that Campbell is gone, once they embrace another couple years of retooling, moving Afinogenov becomes easier. He’s a pretty player during the regular season, pretty darned ugly in the playoffs with 10 goals and 23 points in 49 career games.
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.
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