Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Detroit Free Press,
“When Mac came back into town, probably about a month ago, he gave me a call and expressed interest that he wanted some help and wanted to get back to the NHL,” Draper said Sunday by phone. “The last three weeks before Christmas, he spent at CORE training every day.”
Draper was convinced after their hourlong lunch last month that McCarty was serious about returning to the NHL.
“I hadn’t talked to him, really talked to him, in like three years,” Draper said. “Last couple years have been frustrating and disappointing for him. I don’t know if it was coming back to the city ... maybe he got that passion again.”
from Mark Madden at the Beaver County Times,
The Penguins are about $12 million under the cap. With new-arena revenue starting to accrue in 2010, there’s no reason the team can’t spend more to get the right player.
Who is that player? Tough call. Atlanta winger Marian Hossa, 28, has averaged 39 goals over his past five seasons. He’s an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, but will likely be traded before that. The Penguins shouldn’t get a rent-a-player. If you swap for Hossa, hammer out a new contract with him before making the deal.
San Jose is reportedly shopping winger Jonathan Cheechoo, 27. Cheechoo averaged 40 goals over the last three campaigns, including a league-best 56 in 2005-06. He has just four goals this season, but that might lessen what the Penguins would have to surrender. Cheechoo is signed through 2010-11, and makes a reasonable $3 million per.
Here’s something that would be fun to do: Washington mega-scorer Alexander Ovechkin, 22, is a restricted free agent at the end of the season. Offer Ovechkin what Crosby makes, then wait for the Capitals to match the offer. They would, but it would make for a marvelous week of dreaming.
from CamWest via the National Post,
Gazing into their crystal balls, CanWest writers and columnists expect Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford to be the next coach on the chopping block, claimed Vancouver stopper Roberto Luongo is the league’s best goaltender, and gave Sean Avery of the New York Rangers the title of the league’s biggest mouth.
Voters were divided on several questions, however, including naming the league’s MVP to this point of the season, who will win the scoring race, and the biggest off-season free-agent bust.
Patrick Marleau of the Sharks and Mats Sundin of the Leafs were the deemed the most likely big-name players to be the first dealt when the calendar flips to 2008.
read on for many topics and categories…
from the CP,
“There’s no relaxing for the next 48 hours - none, zero,” Craig said emphatically Sunday afternoon.
The NHL’s magic man when it comes to ice is up to his old tricks. People in and around hockey had serious concerns about a hockey rink going up at Ralph Wilson Stadium in less than half the allotted time the league had to build the ice surface at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton four years ago for the Heritage Classic - the NHL’s first outdoor foray for a regular-season game.
So far so good. Craig had his staff split up and work 12-hour shifts so that it was nearly non-stop 24/7 since last Sunday night at 7 p.m. The result? As of Sunday afternoon, they were pretty much right on par with where things stood in Edmonton 48 hours out from game time.
“The rink itself looks fairly well ready to go,” Craig allowed himself to say. “We’re ready to go, let’s drop the puck and play hockey.”
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Any idiot can tell you what’s happened in the first half of the NHL season. But only this idiot can tell you what’s about to happen in the league’s second half….
Feb. 26: After two weeks of near-hysterical trade rumours, the deadline comes and goes with just one major deal. Anaheim’s Brian Burke orchestrates a three-team trade in which he moves Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy. Buffalo then sends Getzlaf and Perry to Tampa Bay for Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis before Burke deals Vanek and Roy to Tampa for Getzlaf and Perry and the Lightning ship Vanek and Roy back to Buffalo for Richards and St. Louis.
True, all six players end up on their original teams but TSN fills four hours of programming on the deal.
“I was bored,” Burke explains.
“This is proof the new NHL is working,” says Bettman.
from the NY Daily News,
The recent mutual observation society involving scouts from the Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets raised anticipation that a deal might be imminent. But the Rangers’ best course of action is to hold off as long as possible in case a big bang is required at the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
more plus another look at Sean Avery…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Wings have a stacked club, but GM Ken Holland doesn’t want to let unrestricted free agent forward Dan Cleary get away. He may be their most versatile player, creative enough to play with the big boys, strong enough defensively to be a shut-down forward. “Some other team may think Danny can be a No. 2 centre and may offer him a lot of money,” said one NHL scout.
much more Western Conference talk…
from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
Phil Kessel’s stock recently has plummeted in Boston, so maybe he’s a candidate, but that might be a move the Bruins would regret someday. Sturm, Savard, Murray and Zdeno Chara reportedly have clauses in their contracts that either bar trades or restrict them only to certain teams.
And if you deal Savard or Sturm, where does that leave your already-lame offense? Murray’s trade value, frankly, is limited by his age, salary ($4.15 million), and recent spotty production. Kessel, though the limitations in his game have become glaring recently, still could develop into a superstar in this league, and there are enough ex-Bruins already flirting with the NHL All-Star team right now, thank you.
That brings us back to Axelsson, whose name pops up as trade bait whenever the Bruins have a need.
via Adrian Dater at the Denver Post,
He is 38 years old, has a no-trade clause and makes a lot of money. But Rob Blake would still be attractive to many NHL teams at the league trade deadline or sooner, and the former Avalanche defenseman said he would consider waiving his clause to go to the right team.
“(The Kings) would have to come to me first, but, yeah, it’s a possibility,” Blake said, after Saturday’s 3-1 Kings victory over the Avs.
Blake, who played with Colorado from 2001-04, is in the final year of a contract earning him $6 million. With the Kings having the worst record in the NHL, even after Saturday’s win, the team could become sellers by the Feb. 26 deadline. “Hopefully, we can turn things around here first, before any (trade) talk happens,” Blake said.
Ovechkin with 4 goals, Mike Fisher with 3, all in the 3rd period.
Watch all 14 goals in about 7 minutes…
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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