Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,
The Rangers, whose salary-cap position is ameliorated by the Washington Capitals’ generosity in picking up a large part of Jagr’s salary, are not finished yet. Sources say they are considering repatriating Brian Leetch, who is 38 but still a highly skilled defenceman and a crowd favourite at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers will need a repeat performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist next season, and it wouldn’t hurt if Sandis Ozolinsh could conquer his personal devils. But there is every indication that the Rangers have turned the corner. The other long-downtrodden club showing signs of emerging from the ranks of the stiffs is the Minnesota Wild.more
from the Edmonton Oilers,
Radek Dvorak never said he wanted to leave the Edmonton Oilers. In a wide-ranging interview with the official Czech hockey federation site, hokej.cz, Dvorak said: “I’m doing everything to make sure I have a good year, similar to my previous successful seasons. I talked to Edmonton’s management and they told me they were interested in me. I am thinking of other offers, too. I hear from (a journalist) that my agent Rich Winter told the Edmonton Journal that I do not want to play for Edmonton. I don’t know why he said it and he’ll have to explain it to me. “Obviously, it must be a part of his negotiating strategy. I’ve never said anything like this, I love Edmonton, and I would never say anything bad about a team where I’d worked...."continued
The San Jose Sharks have acquired Mark Bell from the Chicago Blackhawks in a three-way deal that is expected to see Martin Havlat go to the Blackhawks. The Sharks acquired Bell in exchange for Tom Priessing and Josh Hennessy, who are expected to be part of a package Chicago will use to acquire Havlat.update 9:46pm, via TSN,
The Ottawa Senators have traded Martin Havlat and Bryan Smolinski to the Chicago Blackhawks in a three-way deal also involving the San Jose Sharks. Chicago sent Mark Bell to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Tom Priessing and Josh Hennessy, who the Blackhawks added to a package to land Havlat and Smolinski. Along with Preissing and Hennessy, the Blackhawks sent prospect Michal Barinka and a 2008 second-round draft pick to Ottawa in exchange for Havlat and Smolinski.
from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press (Monday edition) via the Mercury News,
There's a time when you cast a shadow and a time when the shadow casts you. This, more than anything, is why Brendan Shanahan left the Red Wings on Sunday and signed with the New York Rangers. "It was just a growing instinct," he said via phone from his summer home in Massachusetts. "As great as the future is in Detroit, I think I belonged a little more to its great past." This is not your typical departing-athlete statement, which more often goes: "I had to do what was best for my family."continued added 7:30am Monday, link to Detroif Free Press now available... FYI, Mitch not only has covered Brendan while in Detroit, but they also consider themselves friends... added 9:12pm, from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press (Monday edition) via the Mercury News,
Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock boiled the question down to this: How does a team replace a 40-goal scorer? The answer, from general manager Ken Holland, is that maybe it doesn't. The Red Wings learned during the weekend that prolific scorer Brendan Shanahan has decided to play next season for the New York Rangers, creating a hole in the Wings' lineup. "We've got a competitive team," Holland said Sunday. "We'll try to find another player if we can. If not, we'll start the season with what we've got. Maybe we'll use the Edmonton model and save for the trade deadline."more added 7:30am Monday, link to Detroit Free Press now available...
WDIV in Detroit is reporting the Wings will announce the signing of goalie Ed Belfour on Monday. added 7:37am Monday, from Mlive,
Ed Belfour could officially become the Detroit Red Wings new starting goaltender today. Wings general manger Ken Holland said Sunday that he would reveal today whether the club will sign the 41-year-old Belfour to a one-year contract. WDIV-TV in Detroit reported Sunday night that Belfour will sign with the Wings today.
I completely forgot about this... In a previous life, I worked for a major radio station in Detroit. Right after 9/11, our building was basically on lock-down, no visitors allowed, etc... Brendan was scheduled to be in-studio for a live interview and first had to clear security in the lobby of our building then had to clear security on our floor. Well, the interns who were waiting for Shanahan had no idea who he was so I passed through our lobby and saw Brendan waiting in line to get into our offices. I had met Shanahan on numerous occasions before and I whisked him into our offices without his yellow ID badge announcing him as a welcomed guest. We had a little chit-chat, I walked him to the green room, notified everyone involved that Shanny was in the building and went on my way. Next thing you know, I am getting called into the office, people questioning me "who was that guy", "why did you let him in", blah, blah, blah... I explained to the big-wig and his shadowy assistant it was Brendan Shanahan and there was no reason for him to go through a security process, he was not a threat to our well-being. Long story short, it went into my file, as what, a possible spy? I laughed it off and and still laugh about it today.
The building was electric, filled with anticipation. The Wings finally had their power forward. It was rumored for weeks in Detroit, the Wings were attempting to acquire Shanahan from the Whalers. The wishes of many Wings fans came true on October 9, 1996. The final piece was in place. Shanahan made it to the Joe with minutes to spare for the first game that season. The Wings actually held up going onto the ice so Brendan could join them. With Shanahan scoring 46 goals that year, the Wings went on to win the Cup and repeated the feat the next year. Now he is gone, and with it the "piece" leaves a big hole in the Wings lineup. Now where do they go? Gomez in New Jersey may be an option, the Devils are cap strapped and need to move some salary. Can Anson Carter replace one of the greatest goal scores in the last 15 years? Ken Holland has some work ahead and now is the time for Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Kronwall to put their stamp on the Wings. Meanwhile, Shanahan will be a huge hit on Broadway. Just don't believe him when he tells you he was a goalie on the Irish National Soccer team. added 12:38pm, Official announcement from the New York Rangers... added 4:25pm, from the CP via Yahoo,
"It really came down to an instinct I had," Shanahan said Sunday. "Detroit has a great past and a great future ahead of them as well, but I guess I just felt that maybe I was identified with the past a little bit more than the future." "To take on a new challenge was a little scary and exciting at the same time," said Shanahan, who scored 41 goals last season.
from the Hockey News,
Lindy Ruff’s Sabres may have come up short in Game 7 of the Eastern final, but his team’s performance in 2005-06 did not go unnoticed. The Hockey News asked 30 players, “What NHL coach did the best job this season?" Of the players polled, eight listed Ruff, the Jack Adams Trophy winner, as this year’s best coach, while six voted for Carolina’s Peter Laviolette. The Rangers’ Tom Renney and Detroit’s Mike Babcock also got several nods.continued
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The report (NY Post) could not immediately be independently confirmed, but Shanahan has been interested in playing for the Rangers before. His departure leaves the Wings without one of their top forwards. A trade is another possibility, but in order to get back a power forward, the Wings will have to give up something valuable, and youngsters Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall are all off limits. Robert Lang makes $3.8 million but the Wings aren’t going to trade him, because now he’s their only big forward, and furthermore, while his regular seasons have fluctuated, he’s been a steady playoff performer in Detroit.more
A recent interview with Georges Laraque at HockeyFights.com.
Q: In your opinion, how do you feel the game in the NHL has changed since the 2003-04 season? Also, in terms of entertainment value, do you prefer today's NHL to the one of years past? A: I think it's too much of a special teams game now, and both team can never really get in a rhythm of a good game since there's so much whistle blows. Q: What did you like least about the “new” NHL this season compared to years past? A: The rules are fine, it’s just a little too exaggeration on the penalties where they call soft hooking and stuff. Q: If the instigator rule were to be taken out, how do you feel the NHL would change? Would it be for the positive? A: It would be a cleaner game, not as much cheap stuff, and most importantly, more fights. More fights would definitely boost the audience!read on
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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