Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
It was a nice run. The Blue Jackets for weeks and weeks have been injury-riddled and flu-ridden, and they’ve managed to stay in the playoff race. But it’s over now. Cue the bugler.
The Jackets are not good enough, as the past two games have made plain. The Los Angeles Kings came to Nationwide Arena on Sunday night, pushed around the home team and won in a shootout. The Chicago Blackhawks came in last night, played pond hockey and won 7-2. This was flag dropping, to the lowest degree.
Heck, I never knew Earl Sleek was such a sensitive guy…
A Hockey Love Poem
When we first met, my dear, you gave me that look,
And from that first moment, my poor heart was hooked,
I thought it would pass, but that wasn’t the case,
You cut into my heart with a high-stick to its face.
from Bolts Report,
But the deal is anything but done at this point. The financing is not secured, but it doesn’t really have to be at this point, it would just give everybody a greater comfort level….
And don’t think that the timing of this isn’t important, either. The trade deadline is less than two weeks away and there are plenty of things on the Lightning’s table and you would have to think Koules wants to be involved as a decision maker in that process….
What does the team do with the Big Three? Word is that those guys, along with Boyle, are a big reason why he wants to buy this team. So unless Jay Feaster or John Tortorella can convince - assuming they want to - of the long-term benefits of breaking up the Big Three, nobody is going anywhere.
via George Gross of the Toronto Sun,
One player he (Fletcher) won’t be able to move—if I can believe a rival club’s executive—is Darcy Tucker.
“I wouldn’t give my last draft choice in order to get him,” was the way the fellow put it to me.
“It’s not because he isn’t an honest, hard-working player, but because he has lost it. The many wars against much bigger and tougher fellows are telling on him. He is trying hard, but he can’t get there anymore.”
from the CP via TSN,
(Aaron) Ward was not bleeding when he left the ice and did not leave on a stretcher, but coach Claude Julien said following Boston’s 2-1 win that Ward coughed up some blood before leaving the ice.
The 35-year-old Ward was skating toward Penguins defenceman Sergei Gonchar near the end boards when Gonchar got either his forearm or his stick up and accidentally struck Ward in the neck.
‘‘I got there and he was making a choking sound, holding his throat and gasping for air,’’ teammate Zdeno Chara said.
Watch a video of the incident…
John Ferguson Jr. was on TSN tonight during the 2nd intermission of the Leafs/Sabres game. James Duthie asked him what Leafs players had drawn the most interest from other teams before he was relieved of his duties.
1. Mats Sundin
2. Tomas Kaberle
3. Darcy Tucker
McCabe and a group of a few “others” were mentioned by JFJ too. He also said if Sundin wants to be moved, he would draw the same type of trade that Forsberg did when the Flyers sent him to Nashville.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Atlanta GM Don Waddell has to deal with the Marian Hossa situation.
Buffalo GM Darcy Regier has to deal with the Bryan Campbell situation.
And the situations are close to identical.
Both GMs are holding out hope, albeit faint, of signing those players before the trade deadline on Feb. 26 or even the July 1 date when they both are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.
But, while neither can or will say this publicly, the sense in Atlanta and Buffalo is both players are not going to sign before the trade deadline.
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN and LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, February 13, 2008 –
Palace Sports & Entertainment and OK Hockey LLC, an entity controlled by Oren Koules, announced today that they have entered into a definitive purchase agreement whereby OK Hockey LLC would acquire the Tampa Bay Lightning, the leasehold rights to the St. Pete Times Forum and approximately 5.5 acres of land in Tampa’s Channelside District from Palace Sports & Entertainment. Completion of the transaction, which is expected to close within the next 105 days, is contingent on customary closing conditions and final approval from the National Hockey League.
added 6:28pm, Lightning Strikes asks the key question…
The next question will be who makes the final calls as the trade deadline approaches.
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
The man who runs the Leafs, in other words, is surrounded by second guessers, many with inside ties to the organization and an ability to get information that often embarrasses management.
“Nobody needs that kind of pressure,” said one NHL general manager.
So is it a dream post or someone’s worst nightmare? Is it hockey heaven or shinny hell on earth?
Whoever takes over the job—Burke, Holland, NHL vice president Colin Campbell and Carolina GM Jim Rutherford are seen as the front runners—will need a thick skin to deal with the daily scrutiny and a total free hand to rebuild without interference, something the Leafs organization says it will allow but has been historically reluctant to grant.
from the AP via the Ledger-Enquirer,
Atlanta began the day third in the division, one point behind second-place Washington and two points behind Carolina.
Waddell said his options include re-signing Hossa, keeping the veteran on the team even if he remains unsigned, or trading Hossa for players who could help Atlanta this season and in the future. He said he hasn’t decided when he would end attempts to re-sign Hossa.
“We haven’t tied ourselves to a date,” Waddell said. “Our No. 1 goal is to try to sign this player. In the meantime, we’re in a big race here. He’s one of our most important players. We’re utilizing our players as much as we can to try to make sure we stay in contention. If you end up trading the player for a lesser player right now, it makes more sense to keep your player for as long as you can to try to establish yourself within your division.”
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.
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