Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Thrashers Blog,
But here we are, the Thrashers head to New York for a pair of games that they desperately need. Seems familiar doesn’t it? I asked Kari Lehtonen, who may or may not start on Tuesday, if he is looking to bury that awful performance in Game 3 in his first return to Madison Square Garden. He said it wasn’t something he thought about, but joked that he would if I kept asking about it. So I’ll leave Kari alone for now. But he did say the team was getting amped up for these two games and I sensed it. Ilya Kovalchuk also said it’s huge that this team finish strong for the break for a lot of the reasons mentioned above.
Plus, let’s not forget the revenge factor. The last time they were at the Garden, they got steamrolled out of the playoffs and were sick about the way they sent Scott Mellanby into retirement. Those memories don’t just disappear.
more on the Thrashers…
From Scott Morrison at CBC,
A big part of it will be what they are calling a creative shootout, where players will be asked to perform wild and crazy shootout techniques and will be judged by a panel of celebrities, including Wilkins and Glavine, as well as some retired NHL stars. The idea is similar to a slam-dunk contest in basketball and, if it is done well, should be fun.
Yes, it is hokey and it isn’t purebred hockey, but what the hell? The whole idea of the skills night is about entertainment and in recent years, well, it hasn’t been very entertaining. So give the league, which has been working closely with the players’ association, credit for trying.
more… covering the various changes to the game this year
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
It seems we say it every season, but making deals in the new NHL is nigh on impossible, with most deals getting done within a few days of the trade deadline. But a quick glance at deals since the end of the lockout reveals the prudent GMs—the ones whose teams get to play latest in the spring—are often the ones that get in and get out before the real frenzy of offers and counteroffers begins.
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
Brian Campbell is a good defenseman and, by all accounts, a very good citizen, too.
So why are the Buffalo Sabres playing games where his contract extension is concerned?
Because they’re smart, that’s why.
It would be very easy for the slumping Sabres to cave into Campbell’s salary demands; you know, give the locals something to smile about as the team’s losses continue to mount.
From John Glennon at the Tennessean,
Said Dumont: “The contract stuff is not really in my hands. We would definitely like to stay here, but we’ll see. If it happens, it happens. Hopefully it will.’‘
The only question regarding a re-signing of Dumont would be money. The Predators already have some relatively large salaries on the books for next season — Jason Arnott ($4.5 million), Legwand ($4.5 million), Steve Sullivan ($3.2 million), Marek Zidlicky ($3.2 million) and Chris Mason ($3 million).
Assuming Poile still plans to re-sign the key restricted free agents, will Dumont’s next salary fit the budget? Dumont is paid $2.5 million, but after posting a career-best 66 points last season and assuming he stays on course for 60 points this season, he’ll be due more money in the future.
*Nashville’s current salary cap situation.
NEW YORK (January 21, 2008)—Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf, Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Johan Holmqvist and Philadelphia Flyers left wing Scott Hartnell have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending January 20.
The NHL plans to show it is not a one-hit wonder by parlaying the marketing and ratings boost it scored at its recent outdoor Winter Classic game into a similar success for its upcoming all-star game.
Marketing partners, including Bud Light, Reebok, Dodge and Verizon Wireless along with Versus and NHL Network, will spread the word about all-star weekend, Jan. 25-27 in Atlanta. The game at Philips Arena is sold out, but whether or not fans will tune in to Versus is uncertain.
from the St. Petersburg Times,
“At some point, you have to be realistic,” he said. “If toward the end of February, if we haven’t made a dent in it and we’re still on the outside looking in and it’s an uphill climb, we have to make sure we don’t lose assets and get nothing in return.”
That was a reference to the team’s potential unrestricted free agents, the most high profile being left wing Vinny Prospal and defenseman Dan Boyle.
Feaster stressed, “That is not in the plans as we talk today.”
Some folks may be home today while celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Here is your chance to enjoy some early NHL games and check out NHL.com for the TV broadcast schedule.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
But for the Blues, it goes beyond a losing streak that has blossomed to four games. After a 16-9-1 start, they are 6-8-5 in their last 19 games before heading into today’s rematch against Nashville.
“This is not just one game,” Blues forward Keith Tkachuk said after Saturday’s loss to the Predators. “This has been happening.”
The Blues’ problem areas have been well-documented. The power play has been weak all season, and in a recent stretch, the team received little offense from its skilled forwards. The even-strength scoring has improved lately, but then at times, the defense fails to match its high level from earlier this season.
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.
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