Kukla's Korner Hockey
Two days after Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock criticized goaltender Dominik Hasek for diving on a play that led to the winning goal for Calgary, the two cleared the air in a private meeting Thursday morning.
“We explained to each other what we feel about it,” Hasek said. “I don’t agree with him that I embellished or whatever he said, but we were talking about it and I don’t have any problems with the coach. He called the meeting and he explained to me everything. No problems, no bad feelings from him to me or me to him.”
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
The Canadiens may find themselves with an interesting dilemma before the season is out. Goaltender Cristobal Huet has resumed practising with his teammates and is looking stronger with each practice.
But as long as Jaroslav Halak continues to play well, the Canadiens will be reluctant to make a change….
English only? Boston Bruins public relations man Matt Chmura didn’t win any friends among the Montreal media this week. On Tuesday night, he tried to limit post-game questions directed at goaltender Tim Thomas and Bergeron.
He tried the same tactic yesterday after the morning skate and cut off a French-language interview with Aaron Ward. That prompted reporters to file a protest with the NHL head office.
from Greg Logan of Newsday:
If Ryan Hollweg is agreeable, Chris Simon would like to offer a face-to-face apology for his stick-swinging attack that resulted in a minimum 25-game suspension for the remainder of this season and the playoffs. It could happen as soon as Sunday afternoon when the Rangers and Islanders meet at Nassau Coliseum.
In his first public comments since the March 8 incident, Simon said that on the advice of attorneys, he had not spoken to Hollweg about the altercation. But Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice decided against pursuing a criminal investigation, so Simon is ready to reach out.
“I’m going to call him, but I would rather meet him and apologize to him than do it over the phone,” Simon said yesterday at the Islanders’ morning skate. “But I’m going to call and see if that’s possible. If not, then I’m going to do my best over the phone.”
from the Denver Post:
When an NCAA hockey player takes a knee in front of a puck-handler preparing to take a slap shot, the defender isn’t praying. He’s hoping.
Hoping the puck hits him solid.
Hoping the pain goes away and injury doesn’t send him out of the game.
Talent usually gets teams to the NCAA Tournament, but the combination of skill and sacrifice is typically what gets teams to the Frozen Four.
“For us it’s simple,” Air Force coach Frank Serratore said of his team’s shot-blocking philosophy. “If you refuse to do it, you won’t play.”
from the Buffalo News,
Ryan was summoned to Buffalo on an emergency recall and must be returned to the minor leagues once the Sabres have 12 other healthy forwards.
The Sabres could bring him back right away, but teams are allowed only four standard recalls while their American Hockey League affiliates are still alive in the playoffs. The Sabres have already used two on wingers Drew Stafford and Clarke MacArthur and might want to remain flexible.
Buffalo General Manager Darcy Regier isn’t a huge fan of the NHL’s arcane rules, which were designed to safeguard AHL teams in the playoffs, but often hurt the parent club….
“The fly in the ointment with this system is the four-recall rule,” Regier said. “NHL teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs benefit from their minor-league team not being in the [AHL] playoffs because they can access their players freely.”
more... One question, who approved the rule? Every NHL team has to live by this, so try to fix it instead of complain about it.
from the Toronto Sun,
In what was billed as likely the last full gathering of the 1967 champions, the outspoken Shack used his five minutes at the podium last night to praise patient Leafs fans and rail against those who have run the team through the second-longest Cup skid in NHL history.
“It’s been 40 years ... are you going to call them the Toronto Next Years?” Shack bellowed to a crowd of 900 at the Metro Convention Centre, which included Leafs general manager John Ferguson. “Isn’t that a bunch of bullsh—?”
via Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Post has learned the GM is in the midst of serious negotiations with agent Paul Theofanous regarding a contract extension for Nylander, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. It is believed the two sides are talking about a two-year agreement that would carry Nylander through the final season of Jaromir Jagr’s contract, presuming the Rangers exercise their team option on Jagr for 2008-09.
from the Nashville Predators,
On Wednesday, the Nashville Predators responded to a column published in Wednesday’s Vancouver Province entitled “Preds offend the league, not just Modano.” The article, written by columnist Tony Gallagher, contends that Dallas Stars president Jim Lites didn’t go far enough when criticizing the Predators organization in the media earlier this week….
Gerry Helper, the Predators’ senior vice president of communications and development responded to Gallagher’s column in a letter to the editor sent to The Province on Monday. Here is the text of that letter:
Tony Gallagher’s column “Preds offend the league, not just Modano” in Wednesday’s Vancouver Province is so littered with inaccuracies, half-truths and outright lies that it appears as if lazy reporting and the author’s personal agenda have gotten the better of providing an accurate analysis.
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
A conspiracy theorist, presented with the NHL’s struggles to find an audience, with the pro-fighting sentiments that came out of the last general managers meetings, with a February in which fighting was way up and a March in which it will be the same, would put it all together and deduce there must be some master plan at work — that the league’s brain trust has actively or tacitly amped up the violence in a desperate attempt to get face time.
Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt: probably not.
But still, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and company have a decision to make right now. They’ve reached a watershed point.
Holmstrom & Bertuzzi trying to perfect the double screen tonight.
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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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