Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP,
Wayne Gretzky was breaking the hearts of Maple Leafs fans at the same he was inspiring one of the team’s future players.
The Great One was the star of a memorable seven-game series in 1993 as the Los Angeles Kings got past Toronto and advanced to the Stanley Cup.
It was a time when interest in the game was growing in California and Robbie Earl was just getting started in organized hockey near Los Angeles.
Earl was raised by grandparents who had previously lived in Toronto and exposed him to hockey at a young age. But Gretzky’s presence also played a part in developing his interest.
From Scott Morrison at CBC,
And missing the playoffs this year will hurt worse than any other season.
That is because, of course, the Oilers are not in possession of their first-round draft pick this spring. In fact, they surrendered their first three picks in the summer to the Anaheim Ducks as compensation when they signed restricted free-agent Dustin Penner, which was ultimately a reaction to Nylander changing his mind and signing with the Washington Capitals, missing out on other free agents as a result, and then watching the Buffalo Sabres match an offer sheet given to winger Thomas Vanek.
It is called dominoes, Oilers style.
more of a look at what direction the Oilers might take now
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Pardon me if this comes off as anti-Swede or even a mangling of the French Canadian language, but bringing Peter Forsberg back to the NHL at this point of the season is a monumental faux pas.
The idea that any time prior to the NHL trading deadline of February 26 (the day NHL rosters are frozen) any team can sign him and inject him into their lineup is not just a bastardization of all that should be logical and decent in regards to NHL roster rules, but it also makes a mockery of the idea of team building and the value of playing a full NHL season.
from Blueland Blog,
Which brings us to Marian Hossa. Negotiations are ongoing and Don described the situation as “encouraging”. He also said that he’s getting calls about Hossa but that no trade offers have been made. He’s not letting the discussions get to that point yet. Most of the calls are coming from the West but some are from the East. Waddell re-affirmed that he won’t trade Hossa if he can’t find a deal that he thinks makes the team better this season.
more on the Thrashers…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
So, Panthers head coach and general manager Jacques Martin says, he is still a buyer when it comes to the NHL’s trade deadline on Feb. 26, not a seller. That means star centre Ollie Jokinen, subject to almost as much trade speculation as Leafs’ captain Mats Sundin, is staying put for now.
“I think the bottom line for us is we are three points out of first in our division with one game in hand on both Carolina and Atlanta,” Martin said a few hours before the Leafs and Panthers played on Tuesday night. “We’re in a good position. We control our own fate, we just have to go out and do our jobs.”...
“If we keep winning and climbing up the standings, being in playoff position, those kinds of rumours will die,” Jokinen said. “We’ll be buyers, not sellers.
From Terry Frei in the Denver Post, some quotes from Gary Bettman’s press conference in Denver yesterday:
On his impressions of the season so far: “The competitive balance is incredible. The races are exciting. The notion that every game counts and matters and is likely to have an implication in terms of who does and doesn’t make the playoffs and the seeding, I think is great for the fans.”
More on the schedule: “Our best attended games are our divisional games. Our next best-attended games as a general rule are our conference games. And while the numbers aren’t dramatically different, the least of the three are the interconference games.”
more comments from Bettman (bottom half of the post)
A few topics discussed at my NHL.com blog today.
I also ask who is the NHL MVP at this point of the season. You can respond at either location and make sure to include why you think your suggestion is deserving of the MVP award.
Calgary-based Dr. Arun Lakra has created a system to consider the questions: Who is scoring the clutch goals? And who is padding their stats with soft points?
We have created The Clutch Factor, a method by which the value of goals and assists may be objectively calculated and standardized.
By assessing the “Clutch Elements” which are at play on every goal, ranging from goal differential to manpower situation to opposition strength, and by analyzing every goal scored in the NHL 2007-08 season through the recent All-Star break, we have figured out who is, in fact, scoring clutch goals. And who is padding their stats with soft points.
more on who’s “clutch” this year in the NHL.
from the Toronto Star,
Just as he had no choice but to accept his suspension, he would also have no choice but to accept his fate if he were traded. Antropov may be among the most vulnerable of Leaf stalwarts.
Teams looking to load up for a run at the playoffs will consider he earns a reasonable $1.95 million (U.S.) a year, he’s signed for next season, he’s having a career year, and, perhaps most importantly, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause. He says he wants to stay.
“Of course,” says Antropov. “But it’s not up to me. Ask Cliff Fletcher.”
more and other Leafs mentioned too…
from the Detroit News,
In the middle of presidential campaign season, coach Mike Babcock did some lobbying of his own Monday in the Red Wings locker room.
The candidate Babcock was backing was Nicklas Lidstrom.
Well, you can add another can’t-miss player for the mix, but the here’s the kicker - all 30 NHL teams missed out on him a while ago. His name is Fabian Brunnstrom, and he’s one of the most coveted young players not playing in the National Hockey League.
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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