Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
We are now halfway through the 2007-08 NHL regular season, and as of this morning, it’s fairly easy to identify, oh, about two dozen clubs that could use significant roster help.
These are clubs that require more than an extra defenseman or a faceoff specialist. Check the standings. Bottom-feeders like Washington and Tampa in the East, and Edmonton and Los Angeles in the West, are in need of major talent infusions, and have had three months to address their needs. But they’ve done next to nothing….
It has now become painfully evident that one of the major consequences - or casualties - of the New NHL is that it is nearly impossible to fix rosters on the fly. The team that comes out of training camp is pretty much the team that will take the ice for the next six-plus months, save for a few dramatic moves around the trade deadline (Feb. 26 this season) that now is mostly an exercise in also-rans harvesting draft picks for players destined to become unrestricted free agents.
much more and other NHL bits too…
Great between-the-legs move by Lecavalier last night.
Watch the goal…
from the Columbus Dispatch,
With the trade deadline a little more than seven weeks away—3 p.m. Feb. 26—let’s take a look at what each team faces. Teams are ordered according to the standings before yesterday’s play:
Detroit: What do you buy for the person who has everything? Still, if the Blue Jackets fall out of contention, Sergei Fedorov could head north.
San Jose: Jonathan Cheechoo’s drop-off will have them looking for a big-time winger to play on Joe Thornton’s line.
from Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
But before general manager Don Waddell drops to his knees, opens the checkbook and implores Hossa to stay, he needs to realize something: The Thrashers are a .500 team partly because of Marian Hossa….
And how is it one of the NHL’s best two-way forwards is a minus-10 — worst among the team’s forwards?
What the Thrashers have right now is not Hossa-like. What the Thrashers have is Hossa Lite.
Hossa acknowledges his production is down. But he says he feels fine physically. He denies feeling any pressure from the contract status.
“I have a contract to play now, so there’s no reason to feel pressure,” he said Saturday.
He might want to start.
via Fire & Ice,
NHL Executive VP Colin Campbell confirmed that Derian Hatcher will not be suspended or fined for alleagedly biting Travis Zajac’s left middle finger. Campbell said via e-mail that there was insufficient video evidence of the incident.
thanks to a KK member for the heads-up…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
He’s not hale and hearty because his club has only won seven of the last 21, but the pieces are there. Frankly, he looked older than his years a few seasons back with an old, overpaid, under-achieving bunch. Now, it’s not a chore going to work, and he has no interest in stepping aside. He’s on a year-to-year contract now, after his five-year package ran out. He’s in no hurry to quit.
“Where else can you have this much fun? I’m still young. Fifty-three is young,” said Sather, playfully knocking 11 years off his real birth certificate, just a few minutes before a youngster at the rink asks for an autograph in Total Hockey.
“The whole book, or just this page,” kidded Sather, as he scrawls his signature on his playing stats, which aren’t quite as glittering as his coaching numbers.
from the NY Daily News,
Sather and Pat Morris, Avery’s agent, have yet to discuss an extension for The Grate One. And while Avery remains unabashed in his affection for New York, he is hardly pulling a Messier or a Leetch by instructing Morris to make his best deal with the Rangers and forget about the possibility of hitting the open market as an unrestricted free agent come July 1.
“I don’t think anyone would dispute how much I love the Rangers and what I would do for the team,” Avery told the Daily News after the Rangers’ practice here Friday. “But that doesn’t always come into play when you’re in negotiations. So whatever, I’m not losing any sleep over it at this point.
“I know everyone thinks that I would never leave New York or that I couldn’t play anywhere else. It’s certainly not something I would like to do right now because I love putting on a Ranger jersey.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
Seven points with 40 games to go is nothing. But if this team is going to make another dramatic stretch drive, it needs a dramatic makeover.
Here are a few resolutions they should make for 2008:
1. PLAY THE KIDS
It’s time to end the love affair with reliable defensive players. They’re a dime a dozen and judging by the 14th-place Edmonton’s 129 goals against, second most in the conference, they’re not all that reliable anyway.
The players who should be getting the ice time are the dynamic young kids who are going to be leading this team in the very near future. Sam Gagner, Robert Nilsson and Andrew Cogliano.
from the Buffalo News,
Twenty minutes after the loss, Brian Campbell was storming from side to side in front of his locker, grabbing equipment and shoving it angrily into a bag. I’d never seen Campbell quite this emotional. He spoke in a quavering voice, as if he might break out in tears at any moment.
“It’s desperate times right now,” Campbell said after the Sabres lost to Ottawa, 5-3, giving up two late goals after coming from three goals down to tie the game. “The whole rest of the season is going to be desperate for us, trying to get points. You don’t gain points in this league in the second half very much, unless you’re on a complete tear.”
26 teams in actions beginning at 12:30pm ET today.
I have posted the early games and to see the rest of the schedule, check out NHL.com
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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