Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Nashville Predators picked up the veteran defenceman they were seeking Saturday when they sent centre Eric Belanger to the Atlanta Thrashers for defenceman Vitaly Vishnevski.
The trade was the second in two days for Belanger, who was acquired by Nashville from the Carolina Hurricanes for centre Josef Vasicek.
via the Ottawa Senators,
The Atlanta Thrashers claimed today Ottawa Senators left-winger Denis Hamel on waivers. The Senators had placed Hamel on waivers at noon on Friday.
In 43 games this season with Ottawa, Hamel had four goals and three assists; a +4 plus-minus rating and 10 penalty minutes.
from Rich Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,
A downtrodden hockey team finishes last in its division for several seasons, misses the playoffs and begins to build a powerhouse with young talent fetched with high draft picks.
Just when it appears the team is ready to make a run at a championship, the franchise is sold and moved to another city.
It happened with the Quebec Nordiques, who moved to Colorado in 1995 and won two Stanley Cups as the Avalanche, and the Pittsburgh Penguins could be on the same path.
from the Miami Herald,
“In Marty’s case, maybe we will get some calls, I’m not sure, but right now I’m still focusing on getting our team in the playoffs.”
Gelinas has never had to deal with trade talks during an NHL stretch run because he usually has been with a contending team. Yet, a change of scenery would not be the worst thing to happen to him.
“[Being a possible part of trade talks] is a first for me,’’ said Gelinas, who holds the NHL record with three series-winning overtime goals. “I’m 36 years old and I still dream to win a Cup….”
more on the Panthers inlcuding Bertuzze not ready yet…
added 10:27am, A little note from Bob McKenzie at TSN,
But after joining the team on the road and practicing hard with teammates, sources say Bertuzzi has discovered he is perhaps not quite as ready as he thought he would be. The target of about a week from now seems extremely doubtful.
It is not considered a major setback, but could be enough to affect teams that were considering Bertuzzi as a potential stretch-drive pickup.
from the Toronto Sun,
Sidney Crosby is even more motivated than usual, if that’s possible.
“It’s a big game,” Crosby said of the Leafs-Pittsburgh Penguins tilt at the Air Canada Centre tonight. “It’s centre stage. Toronto is a big hockey town. It is Hockey Night in Canada so this is a big stage for us and I think everyone gets excited, not just us.
“(The Leafs) are going to be pumped up, too. They played pretty well against Nashville and came up short, but we are going to expect a desperate hockey team.”
from the OC Register,
Niedermayer returned to the ice this week after missing three games because of a stress fracture in his right foot, but he does not look fully recovered.
He didn’t seem to have his usual explosive speed chasing the puck or getting back on defense Wednesday night against the Sharks, and he was a minus-2 while logging 26:03 of ice time.
more on the Ducks plus… you guessed it, Forsberg talk…
from the Tennessean,
If the Nashville Predators don’t boost paid attendance by one-fourth for the rest of the NHL season, owner Craig Leipold will be able to ask for about $2 million in help from the city and lay groundwork for a possible departure.
Under the team’s 30-year lease, average paid attendance has to reach 14,000 a game for this year or Leipold can declare next year his pivotal “cure” season — a designation that among other things would let the club ask Metro government to buy thousands of tickets to prop up sales with taxpayer money.
It also would set the stage for the Predators to consider moving to another city at the end of next season, although they would have to pay an $18 million exit fee.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
“I’ve seen everything over in Europe,” Norrena said yesterday. “I’ve been able to win in two different countries. Basically, this was a whole new challenge. I knew in August when I showed up what was more or less going to happen.”
He knew he was going to be faced with a different game.
“The way defense is played here is a little different — the way teams collapse on the goalie,” he said. “There are a lot of shots from the points, a lot of traffic. There are a lot of small details to work out. Things happen quickly when you turn over the puck. A lot can happen in five seconds.”
from the Toronto Star,
Canadian fans truly are the backbone of the NHL.
The six Canadian teams, representing 20 per cent of the 30-team league, account for 33.3 per cent of all NHL revenues.
That means Canadian team fans cough up an estimated $733 million (all figures U.S.) of the league’s $2.2 billion revenue.
added 8:34am, from the National Post via Canada.com,
The National Hockey League has always played fast and loose with the fans and media over the word “attendance.” And while under the league’s revenue- based salary-cap system, it does not behoove the NHL to spin gate receipts, the latest numbers do not paint a positive picture.
from the Edmonton Sun,
He understands it. It’s his job to make other players want to hurt him. And he doesn’t blame them for trying. In fact, if nobody tried hurting Jarkko Ruutu, or Matt Cooke, or any of the other shift disturbers who get paid to create havoc in the NHL, they’d be sitting in the press box.
“You have more bumps and bruises when you play this role,” admits Ruutu, a Finnish troublemaker with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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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