Kukla's Korner Hockey
I have decided to stay home during the ASG Weekend, which will allow me to re-charge my battery as the race to a playoff spot is about to get real interesting.
As the NHL types begin to gather in Atlanta for the ASG, we will be providing KK readers with all the information they need to know about the mid-season classic.
from the LA Daily News,
If the Kings’ Rob Blake wasn’t so good, this wouldn’t be so awkward.
Blake, the club’s aging captain, has to go. He is still one of the top four players in franchise history and his Hall of Fame credentials are unquestioned. He is a stand-up guy.
But the team is going to miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year. His best contribution right now would come from leaving, with the club getting a couple of draft picks before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
via the Ottawa Sun,
“It was a fun night,” said Alfredsson. “Our line played well, we moved the puck, created chances and had them running around a bit.
“The way I look at it, you add them up at the end of your career ... maybe it will be ‘you remember that night in Tampa?’ When they come, you take them. It doesn’t happen that often.”
via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The only thing on which the Penguins and Flyers could agree was that Laraque was assessed a major penalty for hitting from behind and a game misconduct. Get past that, and everything became a matter of partisan perspective.
When Flyers coach John Stevens looked at the sequence, for example, he saw “a vicious incident” and “a very, very dangerous play.”
When Laraque reflected on it, he saw an incident in which he pushed Downie, not cross-checked him, and did so with absolutely no malice, let alone intent to injure.
“If I want to hit somebody from behind,” Laraque said, “he’s not going to get up.”
from Game On,
In typical New York Rangers fashion, Brian Leetch’s jersey retirement ceremony was a fantastic event at The Garden on Thursday.
Check out the highlights right here, including Mark Messier and Brian Leetch’s speeches and No .2 taking its rightful place in the rafters.
continue on to the videos…
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
TSN’s Mike Milbury says Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke — first on the fan wish list of Maple Leafs managing prospects — wants the job and will take it if (and it’s a big one) he is assured he will not see or hear from Richard Peddie outside board meetings. Peddie is the president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Leafs.
Milbury, by the way, may know more than he’s revealing about Burke’s interest. He spent time with Burke last week in Toronto when they were shooting TSN’s Off The Record.
from the Hockey News,
Is Teemu Selanne coming back to the Anaheim Ducks?
GM Brian Burke will not confirm it, but a source in Anaheim told thehockeynews.com Selanne could be back skating with the team as early as next week.
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Thrashers general manager and head coach Don Waddell originally targeted the All-Star break as a point by which he wanted to get a contract extension done with Hossa. But Hossa’s agent, Ritch Winter, who said he won’t be in town for the game, is guiding the Thrashers through a process in which there hasn’t been negotiations of money or terms.
The Thrashers’ only offer, a four-year deal worth $28 million, came before Hossa hired Winter.
Waddell said another offer will come, just not yet. And he’s bumped back that goal of getting Hossa signed by the All-Star game, pointing instead to a stretch of home games after the break.
The Thrashers play six of their next seven games at home, and Waddell hopes a successful run might convince Hossa to stay.
from the CP,
All was warm and friendly as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman interviewed NHL Players Association executive director Paul Kelly on his weekly radio show on Thursday.
“Paul has been really good to deal with,” Bettman said after the 15-minute interview ended on the NHL Hour show on XM Radio from New York.
The two men represent opposing sides in a league that had the entire 2004-05 season wiped out by a lockout, but Kelly is the new man, taking over three months ago after the house-cleaning that swept former boss Ted Saskin out of the NHLPA.
added 6:45pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly surprised some earlier this season when he suggested the players would be in favor of adding a couple of games to the NHL regular season, to make it 84 instead of 82.
Sources say the NHL board of governors will get its chance to vote on that concept this weekend in Atlanta at the NHL All-Star Game.
The governors have previously been lukewarm or even opposed to bumping up the schedule to 84 games, but that proposal was often in the context of going to the Detroit Red Wing-sponsored schedule matrix, where there would be a home-and-home (30 games) series with all teams in the opposite conference.
from Jay Feaster at the Hockey News,
This season, we’re not sure whether we’ll be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. We’re not looking to raise the white flag right now, both from the standpoint of our team and our fans and also our market. That’s one of the benefits of having the deadline earlier, because if you are still in it, you’re probably going to be disinclined to be a seller. You’re not going to say: “Well, we don’t think we’re going to make it,” when you’re only sitting two, four or six points out with a lot of hockey still to be played.
Danny Boyle’s return to our lineup will also affect our thinking at the trade deadline (he’s been out with a wrist injury for most of the season). We haven’t put a timeframe on it, because Boyle still has to go through the rehab process and reach different milestones the doctor has asked him to achieve. But having him back will be huge.
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