Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
League sources told Sun Media yesterday that Paul Kelly, the newly appointed NHLPA executive director, has been telling players the number of regular-season games in Europe is going to rise dramatically.
Kelly has suggested the NHL increase its regular-season schedule to 84 games and don’t be surprised if those extra two games are held at European venues. The belief among players is there could be as many as 8-10 games per season in Europe in the next two or three years.
“It’s the only way that revenues can be grown,” said the league source. “They’ve pretty well tapped everything they can in North America. Europe has tremendous growth potential and the NHL wants to do something about it. The players are partners now and need to do their part.”
more and your weekly dose of NHL rumors and talk…
from Sun Media,
For a couple of weeks, Sun Media has been polling NHLers, coaches, scouts and other media personalities from east to west and everywhere in between, looking to come up with a Best Of list.
We asked them to give their top pick in a number of categories ... and some of the answers are surprising.
When asked for the NHL’s funniest player, several answered: “Marc Bergevin,” a player who’s not even in the NHL any more. “Marc Bergevin is still the funniest player I’ve ever been around,” said one. “Nobody could touch him.”
THE PLAYER YOU CAN BUILD AROUND
1. Sidney Crosby
2. Roberto Luongo
3. Vincent Lecavalier
read on for the complete list…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Some 15 months ago, it was the Islanders committing budgetary lunacy, inking then-25-year-old netminder Rick DiPietro to a 15-year deal worth $67.5 million. The Goalie for Life at the time stood a sub.-500 58-62-13. With a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh last night, the ex-BU Terrier has gone 46-31-11 since signing the historic pact.
Now we have the Flyers sizing up the 22-year-old Richards, the 24th overall pick in the 2003 draft, as their franchise piece going forward - up to and including the 2019-20 season (good seats still available for that ‘19-20 opener).
What’s it all about? Well, specifically, it’s about: 1. Thomas Vanek and 2. Dustin Penner. And, to a certain extent, Brad Richards, too.
read on plus numerous NHL topics…
from the Columbus Dispatch,
If the Blue Jackets make the Stanley Cup playoffs in the spring, Ken Hitchcock should win the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach.
And the voting shouldn’t be close.
Yes, it’s way too early to be handing out hardware. The Blue Jackets played their 32nd game (out of 82) last night.
But for the first time since the Blue Jackets joined the NHL in 2000-01, it’s safe for their fans to check the standings around the holidays without getting too depressed.
Way to early to be mentioning the Jack Adams Award…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
At this point, Lundqvist, Washington winger Alex Ovechkin and Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf are the three select Group IIs yet unsigned to extensions. The Rangers cannot formally begin talks with Lundqvist until the calendar turns to 2008, and when it does, they will. And when they do, they will have no choice but to accede to their 25-year-old franchise goaltender’s demands. They won’t even be able to protect Lundqvist from receiving an offer sheet by filing against him for arbitration, because they did that last summer, even though they didn’t go through with the process.
What is Lundqvist, who can become an unrestricted free agent after next season, worth to the Rangers? He’s worth pretty much any dollar amount he and agent Don Meehan request.
via the AP,
With the Islanders pressing for the tying goal, forward Chris Simon took a match penalty for trying to stomp on Jarkko Ruutu’s foot with just under six minutes left. New York had a few short-handed chances, including Mike Sillinger’s breakaway with 3:18 left, but the veteran forward missed put the puck over the net.
“It was a bad time for a penalty,” Nolan said. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t have the time to look at it and see the severity of it. We’ll look at it and probably make a comment on it (Sunday).”
from the CP via TSN,
But worse news for Toronto was that workhorse defenceman Bryan McCabe will likely be lost for at least six weeks after breaking three bones in his left hand midway through the third period after falling awkwardly into the boards after a check from Andrei Kostitsyn.
Toronto coach Paul Maurice was livid, saying Kostitsyn horse-collared McCabe and threw him into the boards.
“He’s too good a player to miss that much time after a (expletive) play like that,” he said.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The McDonald addition was enormous. It was just the latest in a series of strong moves, which included the acquisitions of forward Brad Boyes and goaltender Hannu Toivonen from the Bruins and the signing of collegiate free agent defenseman Steve Wagner.
These moves accomplished Davidson’s goals of getting younger while pushing into playoff contention. Meeting these goals simultaneously is tough, but this regime is making it happen.
Davidson and Pleau are positioned to make another move, too, since the Blues have top defensive prospects Wagner and Roman Polak at Peoria and seven healthy veterans on the St. Louis roster.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Besides trapping in the neutral zone, the latest craze is packing five players around the net. “Everybody wants to play 0-0, 1-1 hockey,” the Wild’s Pavol Demitra said.
Wild veteran Brian Rolston was shocked against San Jose when he skated to the top of the Sharks’ zone and San Jose wingers didn’t even consider coming at him.
“I’ve noticed the same thing,” Ducks checker Rob Niedermayer said. “You’re in their end cycling the puck and everything’s condensed. Then you get to the point and you’ve got to shoot through that mess.”
This is the byproduct of the obstruction crackdown, Wilson said.
more defensive talk…
from the New York Times (Sunday edition),
...“In a way, I want to make our sport cooler,” Mr. Avery said of his high-profile exploits.
The fans at Madison Square Garden don’t need to be sold. Earlier that Monday, the muscular Mr. Avery, dressed in a black V-neck while recovering from wrist surgery, had made a surprise appearance in the raucous upper ring of the arena known as the “blue seats” during a game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“Do I really need two security guards?” he asked the Rangers publicist leading the expedition.
“Hey, you’re a rock star,” the publicist said. Minutes later, a sea of fans in blue jerseys had swallowed Mr. Avery, chanting his name.
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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