Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Russo’s Rants,
Talking to my writer pal in Philly, the Flyers are still confident they’re going to sign Forsberg. But again, the Flyers are in the tank, Simon Gagne’s out and all this could make a big difference to Forsberg.
I’ve been told he is intrigued about potentially playing in between Gaborik and Demitra, and I can tell you 100 percent, they’re intrigued about the possibility of playing with him. Wild players keep asking me daily what’s the latest, so there’s great anticipation here….
As I said on FSN last night, if they don’t get Forsberg, they need to come up with a Plan B in my opinion. This team needs a center. They have no depth at the position, which to me was apparent last night on that 5-on-3.
more on the Wild…
I actually had a dream last night, a bad one, that Peter was going to sign with Minnesota.
from the Saginaw News,
Delvecchio, 76, who grew up in Fort William, Ontario (now Thunder Bay) doesn’t begrudge the big-money contracts of today’s players.
‘‘You know what, when we played, we played for $50,000 or $60,000 and that was big money,’’ Delvecchio said. ‘‘A lot more than I would have made had I stayed in Thunder Bay. I don’t begrudge these guys making the big money. It’s great for them. Some are overpaid, but that will happen at any time. Good for them.
‘‘In those days, you did your own negotiating with Jack Adams or Sid Abel, and they never did at contract time how good a year you had. It was forget last year; what are you going to do for me next year? When you came out of the room, you were generally happy with what you got.’‘
Delvecchio isn’t happy with the way games are officiated today, insisting the referees almost seem to make up penalties.
from the News-Democrat,
“Our mission is not to do anything out of a sense of panic or short term that would prevent us from taking our young kids and having them grow and making them better,” Checketts said. “Some of our biggest contributions this year have come from our younger guys.”
Davidson pointed to the Pittsburgh Penguins as an example of how a team turns around.
The Penguins were in danger of leaving Pittsburgh until the arrival of No. 1 draft pick Sidney Crosby and other high draft picks. Their core group of youngsters also includes Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Ryan Whitney and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
They made the playoffs last season and are on the verge of becoming one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Lowe may be on the sidelines this year. Maybe sampling a few nibbles around the edges and not backing the truck up and off-loading players, although the chances of getting an offensive player to help the club, if they’re still in the playoff hunt, is certainly a possibility. (Say Michael Ryder, an unrestricted free agent, for Marc Pouliot).
“If we can do a hockey trade we’ll make one, but we don’t have a lot to move because we’ve got a lot of injured guys right now (Shawn Horcoff, Sheldon Souray, Raffi Torres, all gone for the year) and a lot of young guys that we like,” said Lowe.
from the Calgary Sun,
Imagine the heat if the Flames and Ducks met more often.
This has the makings of a nasty rivalry. Last night’s 4-2 Anaheim victory had plenty of bad blood simmering with the possibility of it coming to a full boil.
“We knew they like to play every game on the edge physically and their discipline can go either way,” said Flames blueliner Robyn Regehr. “That goes back to them being the most penalized team. We were trying to take advantage of that.”
It involved plenty of nastiness. The tone was set when Calgary’s Eric Godard took his first shift, duking it out with Anaheim policeman George Parros in a spirited heavyweight battle.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi could don a paper hat and apron, and set up a stand in the Ritz Carlton lobby this week, with his team in 30th place in the 30-team NHL and the trading deadline set for Feb. 26. But he wasn’t predicting a lot of action.
“The reality is, it’s sometimes hard to do a deal in Naples,” Lombardi said. “Everybody is in same room for most of the day, and when they leave the room you’re in groups of two, three, four guys. Sometimes you might want to talk, but it’s a hard atmosphere to talk to them in.
“So it works the other way: the reality is, if you want to talk seriously, it’s still easier to pick up the phone. That’s the irony.”
more on the GM meetings…
from the Vancouver Province,
We won’t trade a couple of big pieces from our team to acquire scoring,” said Nonis, who has $2.7 million US of available salary cap space. “At that point, what we’re doing is we’re creating two holes or three holes and we’re filling one.
“Are we going to move some of our younger players—the Alex Edlers, the Ryan Keslers—for players who are unrestricted that may be able to put the puck in the net the odd time? That’s not going to happen.”
That means unrestricted free agent winger Markus Naslund isn’t going anywhere and pitches for top-tier free agents such as Marian Hossa and Mats Sundin are unlikely. The cheaper Vaclav Prospal is a more tempting target.
from Philly Burbs,
There was plenty of injury news for the Flyers on Sunday, and it was all bad.
Steve Downie suffered a concussion in Saturday night’s game at Montreal and is sidelined indefinitely.
Derian Hatcher will miss a minimum of three weeks due to soreness and weakness in his surgically repaired right knee.
Joffrey Lupul, who suffered a high sprain to his right ankle Saturday night, also figures to be out of action a minimum of two to three weeks.
Sun Media’s Bruce Garrioch takes a team-by-team look at what may happen as NHL teams approach the trade deadline.
Needs: If anything, the Ducks will deal for offensive help, but GM Brian Burke doesn’t want to give up a lot off his roster. Sure, the Ducks will make calls about the likes of Atlanta RW Marian Hossa and Toronto C Mats Sundin, but Burke isn’t big on deadline deals.
Who’s available: D Sean O’Donnell and C Todd Marchant.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
At least a couple of them (GM’s) will be pushing the league to change the way it does business. Darcy Regier, the general manager of the Buffalo Sabres, says he wants the league to add a new department of research and development.
Regier thinks it is high time the league hired people whose sole responsibility would be to study and test new ideas for the game, from rule changes to equipment changes. The overriding purpose of an R & D department, Regier says, is to stay ahead of the coaches, whose lifework is to take any pizzazz out of the game with stifling defence.
“I just think there are always things you have to do to stay ahead of the players and coaches,” Regier said. “That means you always have to open the offence because the defence catches up.
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