Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
The good thing about the NHL draft lottery is that even the last-place team has a less than 50-50 chance of securing the first overall pick, thereby dissuading the temptation for a team to tank it late in the season.
The bad thing about the NHL draft lottery is that there is such a big odds difference between finishing last and finishing second last that it behooves a non-playoff team to tank it discreetly.
I had the chance to speak with Risto Pakarinen, a fellow NHL.com blogger and freelance writer.
We discussed hockey of course, and the view of the NHL from the European standpoint as well as a few other topics.
Risto has released a fine little book, Off The Post, which can be purchased here.
CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean will be Gary Bettman’s guest on the NHL Hour today.
The NHL Hour broadcasts live Thursdays from 4-5 pm ET on NHL Home Ice, (XM channel 204) and NHL.com. The show will re-run on XM Satellite Radio and NHL.com, with archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from David Amber at ESPN,
The NHL’s most explosive scorer has Capitals fans thinking playoff hockey.
In this week’s Facing Off, Alexander Ovechkin tells us why The Great One’s single-season record of 92 goals may be tough to break, how he compares to Sidney Crosby and what it’s like to be the NHL’s first $100 million man….
Q: Who is the best player in the league right now?
A: There are so many good players, that’s hard to say. [Pause] I think maybe the best player is Roberto Luongo. He is really tough to beat.
Q: Really? Luongo? What about you?
A: I’m a good player, too [laughs].
Q:The single-season NHL record is 92 goals. Is 93 possible?
A: It’s hard because times have changed. The goalies have changed, and if you see how goalies played in the 1970s and 1980s, it was pretty funny actually [laughs].
Fan590 radio in Toronto had a reporter/friend of Forsberg’s on yesterday. He said Forsberg wants to play in a city that he feels he is comfortable in and sign only for this season. He would basically showcase himself to other teams for next year, showing he is in playing shape.
Of course, he could do exactly what he is doing now, wait until next February to play, unless the NHL steps in with some type of ruling.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
With the NHL general managers meetings later this month in Naples, Florida, expected to have considerable impact on the activity at this year’s trade deadline - and the quality of the players that might be available - we’ve compiled a list of the ten most compelling players potentially available on or before February 26….
1. San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau’s future remains in questions, too. The Sharks are on the hunt for an offensive defenceman. Can the Wilsons afford another playoff disappointment? Not likely, so the sense is that Doug Wilson will pull out all the stops.
read on for the rest…
The National Hockey League begins arriving in Winkler, Man., Thursday as the small town gears up to host the 2008 edition of CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada.
CBC Sports personalities Ron MacLean, Don Cherry, Cassie Campbell and Dick Irvin, along with several former hockey heroes, will be in Winkler for the daylong festivities to be broadcast on Saturday from 11 a.m. CT.
The city of nearly 10,000 in the Pembina Valley region about 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg is buzzing with excitement as organizers make final preparations for the festivities.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette, .
..But the biggest free-agent bust is Sheldon Souray, whose season appears to be over because of a recurring shoulder injury.
Souray is a magnificent physical specimen, but he has also proved brittle in a career that has been marked by injuries.
He missed the entire 2002-03 NHL season with a wrist injury and has played more than 70 games only twice in his nine-season NHL career.
That should have set off a warning bell for Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe, but he was blinded by the fact Souray played 81 games last season for the Canadiens and had a career-high 26 goals and 68 points. He set an NHL record for defenceman when he scored 19 of those goals on the best power play in the league.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
While some shudder at the thought of having five players account for $28.5 million in cap space next season, the reality is those five players are all worth far more on the open market.
And outside of Alex Tanguay, they’re all here for at least the next five years.
A Vezina-winning goaltender in Miikka Kiprusoff, the hardest-hitting defenceman in Phaneuf, one of the most fundamentally sound defensive-types in Robyn Regehr and arguably the game’s best captain, Jarome Iginla.
Call them the Flames’ Fab Four….
Now all Sutter has to do is fill smaller holes and roles along the way, which should be even easier given how attractive playing in Calgary is these days.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Now, with the Blues mired in their lengthiest slump since the coaching change, Murray is concerned that the club is reverting to its old ways. After Tuesday night’s 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay — the Blues’ ninth defeat in 11 games — Murray angrily suggested that a “losing culture” was infecting the team’s postseason hopes.
Asked Wednesday to elaborate, Murray said, “They haven’t won much here for about three years, and we’ve been trying to change that. Is that a culture issue? I don’t think our issues are physical, so are they environmental? I’m not sure.
“You kind of thought we were turning the corner ... you don’t want to slip back, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid right now.”
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