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NHL Entry Draft Goes Prime Time

NEW YORK (Feb. 7, 2007)—The 2007 NHL Entry Draft will be held over two days, on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, the National Hockey League announced today.

The first round will be conducted Friday night and broadcast live on VERSUS in the United States and TSN and RDS in Canada, beginning at 7 p.m., ET. Rounds two through seven will take place Saturday and start at 10 a.m., ET.

In Columbus, NHL club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the Entry Draft floor while over 10,000 fans and more than 500 print, television and radio media also are expected. The Draft is expected to attract approximately 3,000 visitors to the city, accounting for 4,500 room nights and approximately $3 million in visitor spending.

Montreal native Angelo Esposito, a center for the defending Memorial Cup champion Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is the top-ranked North American skater in the NHL Central Scouting Service mid-season ranking of eligible players for the Draft. Trevor Cann of the OHL’s Peterborough Petes is the top-rated North American goaltender, while right wing Alexei Cherepanov (Omsk, Russia) and goaltender Mark Owuya (Djurgarden) of the Swedish junior league are the top ranked skater and goalie, respectively, from European leagues.

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Looking At The Sellers

from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,

As we skate toward the Feb. 27 trade deadline, you’re going to hear a lot of us media types talking about “buyers” and “sellers.”
Buyers are seeking to add players for a playoff push, and sellers are hoping to dump salary or gain assets for a player (usually an unrestricted free agent) who does not fit into future plans.
At this point, I see nine sellers. By deadline day, there might a few more clubs looking to peddle their unwanted wares. For now, here’s my list:
St. Louis Blues
New coach Andy Murray pumped a lot of life into the Blues. Still, it would take quite a run for them to make the playoffs.

read on

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Sanderson Not Happy With Benching

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

In his 16 seasons, Geoff Sanderson has played in more than 1,000 NHL games and has recorded more than 600 points.
So why has Sanderson been a healthy scratch in the Flyers’ past two games?
Is it because of his play in the three games since returning from surgery to repair a sports hernia?
Is it because the Flyers are trying to showcase Mike York and Dmitry Afanasenkov in the games leading up to the Feb. 27 trade deadline?
Flyers coach John Stevens said he wants to see Sanderson, who has eight goals and 10 assists in 30 games, utilize his speed more.


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Housley Joins Sabres Hall Of Fame

from the Buffalo News,

Phil Housley was special from the start, freewheeling from a Minnesota high school straight to the NHL All-Rookie team as an 18-year-old.
Tonight, he skates into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame.
“I’m very excited and honored to receive this award and become part of a special group of people, including the legendary Scotty Bowman,” Housley said. “Scotty and the Sabres took a chance on a kid from a Minnesota high school, and I will never forget that.”


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Chuck Not Happy With The Game

from the Ottawa Sun,

Chuck Benson’s not going to another Ottawa Senators game until John Muckler “gets off his ass and does something about it” and “you’d be surprised at the number of people who think like I do.”...
He can’t stand the helmets. “They take away the personalities of the players, you can’t see what they look like.”
He can’t stand the bulkiness of the goalies’ equipment. “Who couldn’t stop a puck in that stuff?”
He can’t stand the goalies dropping to their knees on every shot. “Stand up, fer crissake.”

read on

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Playoffs May Judge Bryan Murray

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, With only 28 games left in the regular season, there have been no contract talks between GM John Muckler and Murray.
And there may be no talks until the club judges its playoff performance this spring.
“I think I’ll address that at another time,” said Murray when asked if he wanted to return here next season. “I don’t know if it’s normal or not. It’s just better for me not to talk about that issue at this point….”

read on

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Rangers Will Hold On To Young Talent

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Post has learned that two weeks ago LA GM Dean Lombardi offered to send Avery, veteran defenseman Mattias Norstrom and veteran center Craig Conroy to Broadway in exchange for 20-year-old defenseman Marc Staal, who by acclamation is considered the organization’s brightest prospect.
“I’m not going to talk directly to that, but we’ve gotten some very interesting proposals from teams looking to pick off our best young guys,” Sather said. “It would be insanity to do something like that.”


Brooks also chimes in on Messier,

Mark Messier is entitled to aspire to whatever post-playing career he wishes and his rat pack of Oilers cronies is entitled to treat his every wish as if it were a command to be communicated to the outside world with a puff of white smoke.
Doug Messier is entitled to shamelessly campaign for his son to take over the Rangers upon Glen Sather’s retirement with exactly the same fervor as he sought top dollar on every single contract he negotiated in Edmonton, New York, Vancouver and New York again as No. 11’s agent.


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Facts On Forsberg

Many of you may be familar with the name Chuck Gormley, the Philadelphia Flyers beat writer for the South Jersey Courier-Post and also of NHL.com, where he does a weekly Atlantic Division feature.

Tonight, Chuck begins posting at Kukla’s Korner too.- Paul

By Chuck Gormley
KK Contributor
South Jersey Courier-Post

With 20 days remaining until the NHL trade deadline, there are only two ways the Flyers and Peter Forsberg can end speculation that the 33-year-old Swedish center will remain in Philadelphia for the rest of this season.

One, the Flyers can say they are not trading Forsberg. Two, Forsberg can refuse to lift his no-trade clause.

Neither has happened and as a result, the entire hockey world is speculating which uniform Forsberg will be wearing on Feb. 27. Will he be a Red Wing? A Shark? A Duck? An Avalanche? Or, will he remain a Flyer?

“You can wonder all you want,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Tuesday. “That’s one great thing about America.”

Holmgren categorically denied reports that Forsberg gave him permission to begin taking trade offers from other teams.

“That’s bull,” Holmgren said.

Holmgren said Forsberg knows the Flyers want to re-sign him and they will try to do that next week when team chairman Ed Snider returns from a business trip in California. Snider, who is due to return on Sunday, said he is not interested in trading Forsberg, then trying to re-sign him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Snider believes Forsberg is an integral part of the Flyers’ rebuilding plans and will try to convince his captain to remain in Philadelphia when the two meet next week.

“I think that’s what he wants to say, that they’re going to put the best team on the ice next year,” Forsberg said. “I never doubted that. I know how he is and he wants to win badly. It’s great to play for an owner that feels that way. We’ll see what happens. I’d like to sit down and hear it from him.”

Continue Reading »

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Sather Has No Plans To Leave

from the AP via Sports Illustrated,

Sather had given no indication he was ready to leave.
“Who knows in sports business, but I don’t have any plans to do anything immediately,’’ Sather said Tuesday before the Rangers played the Devils at the Continental Airlines Arena. “I understand that Mark can make a comment basically about anything he wants to do in his future, but anything that we’re going to talk about between each other is going to stay with us, at least it’ll stay on my side.’‘
Sather said he has not specifically talked about the general manager’s job with Messier, who ended 54 years of frustration in New York by leading the Rangers to a Cup in 1994. He said any comments between the two would remain private.

read on

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Protecting Sid

from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,

It appears that although Sidney Crosby is running away with the National Hockey League scoring lead, opponents have spotted a flaw in his game.
Even Crosby loses some of his effectiveness once he has been impaled on a hockey stick.
Jason Blake of the New York Islanders was the first to exploit this weakness when he speared Crosby during a game in mid-January.

continued..., and welcome back Al.

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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