Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
I want the people running the Rangers to decide what’s best for the Rangers; not the person who runs Hartford. (Is it better for the Rangers organization or is it better for the 2006-07 Wolf Pack to have Hugh Jessiman playing in the ECHL right now?).
I want Renney this week to make personnel evaluations based on the best interests of the Rangers. And in conjunction with Renney’s visits to Wolf Pack practices, I want Sather to use waivers to cut the safety net of veterans the head coach has used as a security blanket right out from under him.
I want to see two or three fresh faces - Brandon Dubinsky, and maybe Ryan Callahan, maybe Lauri Korpikoski, maybe Dane Byers, maybe Nigel Dawes - when the Rangers reconvene Thursday.
via the Tennessean,
Predators Coach Barry Trotz said Tomas Vokoun remains the team’s top goalie heading into the NHL All-Star break.
“Tomas is the No. 1 goalie, plain and simple,’’ Trotz said. “We’ve just got to get the rust off him like we would with anyone coming back. I’m actually the luckiest coach in the league to have two guys who can step up like that.”
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from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
In the NHL, it is possible to go from dead-in-the-water to a playoff team in a few months. Things change that quickly in a league that has seen a hard salary cap narrow the gap between the top and the bottom.
The Blues have suffered through an 11-game losing streak that led to a coaching change. They trail Minnesota by eight points for the final playoff spot in the West.
Given those circumstances, the NHL should give the Blues permission to print playoff tickets any day now.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Former NHL all-star goalie Patrick Roy says he is questioning his future with the major junior hockey team he co-owns and coaches following claims he was involved in a shoving match….
Roy denied Sunday that he did anything wrong following the game Friday.
“From my part and the part of the Remparts, we have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about in this incident,” he told a brief news conference following a Remparts game at the Pepsi Colisee.
DALLAS - Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars has been named Special Ambassador to the 2007 NHL All-Star Celebration, the National Hockey League announced today. Modano, the Stars’ all-time leader in several statistical categories and a member of the franchise for the entirety of his 16-year career, will appear at selected All-Star events and will drop the puck in a ceremonial face-off prior the 55th NHL All-Star Game Wednesday night.
“Mike is the face of the franchise and a true All-Star,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said of Modano, the only remaining player on the Stars’ roster to have made the move with the club from Minnesota to Dallas in 1993.
The 36-year-old Modano - the Stars’ all-time leader in goals (495), assists (708), points (1,203) and games-played (1,206) - suffered a hip muscle injury on Dec.4 and has missed the last 21 games due to the injury.
from the Dallas Stars,
After countless personal appearances and autograph sessions, Gordie Howe still savors every moment of his seemingly endless meet and greets. “If they’re interested enough to come down, then I should feel interested, too,” said Howe, who appeared in 29 All-Star games during a career that began in 1946. “You have to get the people to know you.”...
Thirty minutes before he was expected, and with no entourage like some of today’s showy athletes, Howe humbly walked into the Upper Deck booth, shook a couple of hands, sat down and immediately began mingling with the crowd. Sporting his Hockey Hall of Fame blazer—he was inducted in 1972—Howe’s presence drew a line of fans that seemed endless.
from Victor Chi of the Mercury News:
After Weight won the Stanley Cup with Carolina last season, Guerin wanted to give his buddy a special gift to commemorate the championship.
Guerin decided a bottle of wine would be appropriate, so naturally he reached out to Bert George, the San Jose native who has become a celebrity among NHL players for his wine selection and artistic bottle creations.
George delivered a 12-liter bottle of a 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon with a picture of Weight lifting the Stanley Cup above his head on the front.
``Bert is the best,’’ Guerin said.
from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette:
Canadiens fans seem to have a love/hate relationship with Alex Kovalev.
No player on the Canadiens is blessed with more individual skills to bring fans out of their seats at the Bell Centre, but no player is more frustrating to watch on too many nights.
The hate part of the relationship was evident when coach Guy Carbonneau decided to make Craig Rivet and Sergei Samsonov healthy scratches for last Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks, which the struggling Canadiens lost 4-0. After listening to radio phone-in shows as well as comments from other media members, it’s obvious a lot of people felt it was Kovalev who should have been sitting in the press box.
from Kevin Allen of USA Today:
Opinions about NHL realignment are all over the map, making it unlikely that the board of governors will embrace any restructuring of its divisions or conferences at its Tuesday meetings in Dallas.
But there is still a possibility that owners might agree to change the schedule to allow more games between conferences.
“I sense there is appetite for change in the West, less so in the East,” said Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke. “My prediction is that there will be either status quo or one division game switched to a non-conference game.”
“By playing so many games in the division, I believe that works for many divisions because great rivalries already existed,” said Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Jay Feaster. “It helps fill their buildings. One division that it does not increase attendance in is the Southeast. That is true in our own building. (On Jan. 11), we’re playing home against Washington, and if we beat them we leapfrog into the eighth playoffs spot. It was a yawner from the fans’ perspective. It’s the same when we play Atlanta and Carolina. We don’t have the history and tradition that these other teams in other divisions do. That’s the first problem. It doesn’t do much for us at the gate.”
Oh, boo hoo. The fact that owners and GM’s would rather save a few travel bucks at the expense of Original Six rivalries—we won’t see the Leafs, Habs, or Bruins in Detroit again until the 09-10 season—illustrates how fundamentally disconnected those who run the game are from the people who pay their salaries.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com