Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Marty Henwood at Hockey.com,
All it took were a few dreaded words from a concussion specialist Tuesday for the Philadelphia Flyers to subtly slip into full-blown desperation mode.
Moments after completing a trade that sent Jim Vandermeer west to Calgary, the Flyers learned they will be without forward Simon Gagne for the remainder of the season.
Not exactly welcome news for a team that hasn’t won in eight games.
Update 4:02pm ET: (alanah) Marty contacted us acknowledging the error in his original article, and made the correction which we’ve also reflected above.
(*Hey, we all have “blonde moments” where we accidentally invert some vital information—I’m just happy it wasn’t me for once!)
from Edward Fraser of the Hockey News,
Coming out of the lockout, fans and media types alike were promised a new era of accessibility to NHL players.
Promises, I suppose, are meant to be broken.
Despite the fact opening up to the media is beneficial to the league, teams and players (more access equals more fans; more fans equals more revenues), the give-‘em-the-bare-minimum credo continues to rule across most league lines.
The team-first, boast-free attitude - the womb from which this issue is born - is ingrained in the vast majority of hockey people. So it’s easy to understand where the league’s seeming disdain for cameras/microphones comes from; and how it will never change organically.
PJ Stock on Team 990 radio in Montreal mentioned Marian Hossa to Boston is a hot rumor right now, but it was all a joke.
Looks like some of the rumor fools picked it up and even confirmed it had legs to it!!!
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
The NHL trade deadline is less than a week away and as the deadline draws near, there will be more and more talk. While the talk won’t necessarily result in a lot of blockbuster deals, there will surely be movement as some teams gear up for the playoffs while others set their sights for the future.
Here is a breakdown of upcoming free agents, prospects and other players that may be among those discussed in trade talks.
continued... note this is a breakdown of the Eastern Conference teams…
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Amid published reports out of Montreal, that the Canadiens have ordered equipment for Hossa in the event they secure his rights, and out of Ottawa, where the Senators are apparently in a holding pattern on Hossa, the focus in Atlanta today is strictly on the Thrashers’ game tonight against Carolina.
Sources say Atlanta GM-head coach Don Waddell is in full coach mode today and won’t be working the phones or advancing any trade talk for the talented winger who is likely to be dealt before Tuesday’s NHL trade deadline.
But sources also told TSN that before Waddell resumes trade talk on Hossa, he wants to take one final stab at seeing if he can sign the winger to a contract extension.
from the Vancouver Sun,
The sounds you heard out of the managers’ meetings in Florida this week were of frustration, of anger, and of determination to cut through all the horsedoodle the Goaltenders’ Benevolent Protective Association has been dispensing for years about how reducing the size of their padding is a safety issue.
The GMs have always known it’s not true. The only difference is that now, having turned the rulebook upside down in an effort to create more offence, they have been forced to confront the obvious: It’s the goalies, stupid.
“We’re tired of the conversation,” said Detroit’s Ken Holland, himself a former netminder.
“We’ve got to shrink the goalies. If we can’t get this right, then we have to sit down and look at the alternatives. And obviously bigger nets is one of the alternatives.”
No one wants bigger nets. No one wants the game’s history bastardized by tinkering with the dimensions of hockey’s most fundamental focal point. But there is no mistaking the threat.
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald via Faceoff.com,
GM 1: “Do me a favour, will ya’? Don’t make any trades.”
GM 2: “Why not?”
GM 1: “Because if you make one, then my owner’s going to expect me to make one. And that never works.”
GM 2: “Good point.”
This hypothetical conversation pretty much sums up the bluffer’s poker that’s going on in the NHL’s dormant trade market….
Which is not to say the trade stalemate is a bad thing. Stupid deals are stupid deals no matter when they’re made, and if the GMs are having sober second thoughts about mortgaging the future for six weeks on a guy with a bad knee and a worse attitude, then good for them.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Edmonton Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe may be in pursuit of free-agent sniper Marian Hossa of the Atlanta Thrashers, according to sources….
It seems inconceivable that Hossa would want to play in Edmonton because the Oilers aren’t an elite team. He’s 29, in his prime and wants to win a Stanley Cup.
But maybe Lowe still wants to give it a shot, even if he may be baying at the moon. He presumably has got the money for Hossa with the immiment takeover of the team by billionaire drugstore magnate Daryl Katz—the big winger is expected to command $7.5 million a year come July 1.
Hossa’s agent, Ritch Winter, is a Katz fan, too. Whether Winter sees a future for his client in Edmonton is debatable because it also gets to be 30-below zero in the winters and Hossa might want a more established cast of players.
from Scott Morrison at Sun Media,
“The system today is designed to make it difficult to remain on top for very long and you shouldn’t remain on the bottom very long, either,” Fletcher said. “The difference between us and a team solidly entrenched in a playoff spot is five wins ... we want to improve to the point that we can compete with the top teams in the league night in, night out. That’s our goal.”
more on the Leafs…
from Bernie Miklasz at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Even if the Blues fall short in the standings, they are achieving a broader and more important goal this season: They’ve re-established a strong and meaningful presence in the St. Louis sports culture.
Fifteen is a huge number of sellouts considering that the Blues had only three home sellouts, combined, in the previous two seasons. In 2005-06, the Blues were 27th in the NHL in average home attendance (14,213). The team’s on-ice performance improved last season, but the crowds were slow to return. The 2006-07 Blues were last in the NHL in average home attendance (12,250) and sold only 59.6 percent of available tickets.
This season, the Blues are selling 83 percent of their seats, and their average home attendance of 17,456 ranks 13th in the NHL.
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