Kukla's Korner Hockey
fromm Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
The problem wasn’t last night, but the two weeks that preceded it. For the past 10 days, the Blue Jackets haven’t been so much a hockey team as a Nationwide commercial.
Ten days ago, they were a budding NHL powerhouse, having beaten Detroit, Buffalo and Minnesota at home and Vancouver on the road.
They woke up yesterday morning as the Bad News Bear Jackets, with half their players vying for the role of Engelberg and the other half resembling Coach Buttermaker.
Life comes at you fast.
from Philly Burbs,
Still, LeClair remains upbeat. He sits at home, not waiting for the phone to ring, but certainly answering it when it does.
So far, he says, several teams have called (the Flyers not among them). But as a free agent he’s in a position to pick and choose where he goes and so far he hasn’t found anything he likes.
It’s not so much about whether the prospective team is a contender or where it’s located. It’s just about whether that team is a good fit.
from the Philadelphia Daily News,
“I still don’t know why it happened here,” he said. “But then that kind of pushes you, too. You want to stuff it to people who don’t believe in you. I played hurt through all those playoffs and I did a lot for the organization, so you know, it was a little disappointing. But that’s what keeps you going. If you don’t have that little bit of bite in you, there’s no use playing.”
Mark Recchi is more than playing. At age 39, he is the right wing on Sidney Crosby’s first line, with a gaudy 52 points while playing in all 54 games. His 19th goal, made on a second-effort poke as he fell on his back, broke a 2-2, third-period tie last night and helped the red-hot Penguins to their 10th victory in 12 games via a 5-4 shootout victory over the Flyers.
from the Toronto Sun,
The Darcy Tucker contract talks are reaching a critical stage at the same time the Maple Leafs move toward the buyers’ table for the Feb. 27 NHL trade deadline.
General manager John Ferguson twice yesterday used the term “positive” to describe his recent dealings with Tucker’s Seattle-based agent, Carlos Sosa. And it’s known Sosa was in Toronto this week where the Tucker has been laid up in a cast, before Sosa took a flight home last night.
from Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail:
A changing of the guard within the Vancouver Canucks is nearly complete as bearded, red-headed brothers with supreme passing skills drive the offensive game of the National Hockey League team.
The evolution of identical twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin has taken six NHL seasons as the 26-year-old Swedes now top the team in scoring.
Danny and Hank, as they call each other, are the talk of the town, even if you can’t tell them apart.
Left-winger Daniel, wearing sweater No. 22, leads the team with 23 goals and 55 points. Centreman Henrik, No. 33, has 46 assists and 53 points.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:
If the Edmonton Oilers believe they still have a shot at making the playoffs on, say, Feb. 25, general manager Kevin Lowe likely won’t entertain any thoughts of trading free-agent winger Ryan Smyth before the NHL deadline two days later.
But what if the Oilers are 10 points behind the Minnesota Wild for the last post-season spot in the Western Conference in two-and-a-half weeks?
What if Lowe can’t get close to re-signing the 30-year-old left-winger to a four- or five-year contract as the trade deadline clock ticks down?
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
The belief that next year’s salary cap will increase to upwards of $48 million was one of the topics discussed in a meeting between the National Hockey League Players’ Association and a group of NHL player agents.
According to sources inside the meeting, the union also contends current gate receipts and hockey-related revenues show the cap could climb to as high as $52 million by 2010.
added 11:11pm, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League Players’ Association held its annual agents seminar Thursday, an occasion usually marked by the mundane business of administering the collective agreement.
But the real topic overhanging the gathering at a Toronto hotel, attended by 93 player agents, was the one dogging the union for months — the future of executive director Ted Saskin.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
But he won’t be hunting alone in this forest. The Detroit Red Wings are very much in the discussions about Forsberg, who has a no-trade clause. The Red Wings will be appealing to Forsberg because of their strong collection of Swedish players and their opportunity to win the Stanley Cup. It seems as if Anaheim and Detroit are the top two contenders for Forsberg.
If Detroit doesn’t land Forsberg, GM Ken Holland will be after Bertuzzi. They are going to land a forward or two to improve their offense, although the Red Wings’ goal scoring numbers, weak at the start of the season, now suddenly have climbed back to third in the Western Conference. Bertuzzi would also give the team some beef, lacking since Brendan Shanahan’s departure.
from the Pierre Lebrun of the CP,
Good thing Disney no longer owns these Ducks.
The family-oriented entertainment corporation might be a little red-faced seeing Anaheim lead the NHL with a whopping 53 fighting majors, 22 ahead of the next-closest club, Nashville.
Then again, Disney never owned a Ducks team that was this good, either.
“I make no apologies for it,” Anaheim GM Brian Burke said Thursday. “That’s the way our team is built. If you’re going to come into our barn you better be ready for a square dance.
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via the Sporting News,
“We speak as men now,” Tortorella said before boarding a team flight to New York. “Vinny and I have gone through the process. I never looked at it as fighting. I looked at it as trying to find the common ground where I was trying to define accountability and he was trying to define accountability. We had a disagreement there. We worked through that.
“I think he has turned into a man now and understands the road he needs to go down.”
No argument from Lecavalier.
“The older you get the more you learn about the game,” he said. “I don’t think anybody is the same player at 18 as they are at 25, 26, 27.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org