Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
As fans stood for the national anthem before a game last weekend, clapping and cheering while the singer belted out the last words, they filled the United Center with noise, something that had been sorely missing during years of dismal Blackhawks games. It was excited, hopeful, vibrant, this-game-is-going-to-be-fun noise.
It rained down on a Blackhawks team perhaps too young to appreciate how remarkable this is, but most Chicago hockey fans over age 20 understand. The Blackhawks had been mired in misery for most of the last decade. Crowds had dwindled to 6,000 on some nights.
From Mark Spector at the National Post,
“I think someone can effectively represent the players of the NHL, and at the same time do it in a manner that is constructive, co-operative with the NHL, with the owners, and good for the game as a whole,” Kelly said in a one-on-one interview this week. “We should be able to solve complex problems without firing at each other; without not being able to be in the same room with each other; without the bitterness and emotion that existed the last time.
“Maybe I’m being naive,” he added. “But I will tell you, having spent a lot of years dealing with difficult legal issues - civil and criminal - and negotiating difficult legal problems with some of the finest lawyers in the world, I know it is possible to do this.”
from Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon said Friday he’s still working on a trade but the timetable has been pushed back a few days. He still believes it will get done, just not until after the weekend.
Tallon said Thursday he’s looking for a veteran defenseman to help solidify the defense, help out younger players and still fit into the team’s plans for the future.
more on the Blackhawks…
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
“We know him through really bad times. We’ve been through fire together,” Leonsis said. “I couldn’t think of a better face for our franchise.
“Our fans love Alexander Ovechkin. Our fans didn’t love Jaromir Jagr.”
Whether the fact that Ovechkin is a home-grown talent, or the fact he signed on for a 13-year tour of duty with the Caps of his own volition, makes any difference to a hockey market that has distinguished itself with its own indifference, is unknown.
The only thing that is for certain is that Leonsis won’t have to worry about second-guessing himself, even if it cost him $124 million for that satisfaction.
“You can talk to me after we win a Cup,” he said.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
It appears John Ferguson will not serve out the final months of his contract as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In light of the Maple Leafs’ most recent losing streak, which culminated in a 5-2 loss Thursday night to the last-place team in the NHL, the Los Angeles Kings, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Richard Peddie said Friday morning that the board will be discussing Ferguson’s future very soon. His contract expires in June.
from Blue Notes at Newsday,
With all facets of the Rangers game falling apart, if GM Glen Sather or his right hand man Jim Schoenfeld has a trade on the table to be made, he should pull the trigger in the next few days.
Too bad Dominic Moore was grabbed by Toronto off waivers. His d-presence and fondness for New York would’ve been valuable.
With seven games (five at home) before the All-Star break, the Rangers desperately need to regroup and pull out of the slide.
read on for a suggestion that Lundqvist go back to Sweden during the ASG break.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
..No, right now the best thing the Leafs can do is stay the course and continue to lose games with staggering regularity. If they keep it up, they’ll be in the draft lottery for the first time ever; and perhaps even in a position to select No. 1 for the first time since the Wendel Clark draft in 1985. That didn’t turn out so bad, did it Leaf Nation?
Forever and ever, no matter who is running the show, the temptation in the Maple Leaf front office is to go for the quick fix, which results in the mess you’ve seen lately. They end up with a team good enough to tease and flirt with success, without ever really having the talent to legitimately challenge for a championship.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
As it happens, Minnesota can make a fairly respectable claim to being the state of hockey, even though there would be some dispute from Michigan and Massachusetts.
Still, there’s no disputing that Minnesota is definitely a hockey hotbed and that people in that area are passionate fans.
But they lost their original NHL team when Norm Green found a way to make a mess of that great market.
They got Bob Naegele, who talked a good game but never got around to backing up his words with on-ice achievements.
And now they’ve got Craig Leipold.
They deserve better.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Interest from at least five teams is believed to have been narrowed to two with Curtis Joseph contemplating the resumption of his NHL career in either San Jose or Calgary.
Sources tell TSN both the Flames and Sharks are keenly interested in bringing the 40 year old goaltender on board, with Joseph expected to make his decision this weekend, if not sooner, perhaps as early as today.
From the Minnesota Wild,
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has activated center Mikko Koivu from injured reserve and that center Dominic Moore has been claimed off waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
added 1:27pm, from TSN, the Leafs have recalled goaltender Justin Pogge.
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