Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Thrashers general manager and head coach Don Waddell originally targeted the All-Star break as a point by which he wanted to get a contract extension done with Hossa. But Hossa’s agent, Ritch Winter, who said he won’t be in town for the game, is guiding the Thrashers through a process in which there hasn’t been negotiations of money or terms.
The Thrashers’ only offer, a four-year deal worth $28 million, came before Hossa hired Winter.
Waddell said another offer will come, just not yet. And he’s bumped back that goal of getting Hossa signed by the All-Star game, pointing instead to a stretch of home games after the break.
The Thrashers play six of their next seven games at home, and Waddell hopes a successful run might convince Hossa to stay.
from the CP,
All was warm and friendly as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman interviewed NHL Players Association executive director Paul Kelly on his weekly radio show on Thursday.
“Paul has been really good to deal with,” Bettman said after the 15-minute interview ended on the NHL Hour show on XM Radio from New York.
The two men represent opposing sides in a league that had the entire 2004-05 season wiped out by a lockout, but Kelly is the new man, taking over three months ago after the house-cleaning that swept former boss Ted Saskin out of the NHLPA.
added 6:45pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly surprised some earlier this season when he suggested the players would be in favor of adding a couple of games to the NHL regular season, to make it 84 instead of 82.
Sources say the NHL board of governors will get its chance to vote on that concept this weekend in Atlanta at the NHL All-Star Game.
The governors have previously been lukewarm or even opposed to bumping up the schedule to 84 games, but that proposal was often in the context of going to the Detroit Red Wing-sponsored schedule matrix, where there would be a home-and-home (30 games) series with all teams in the opposite conference.
from Jay Feaster at the Hockey News,
This season, we’re not sure whether we’ll be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. We’re not looking to raise the white flag right now, both from the standpoint of our team and our fans and also our market. That’s one of the benefits of having the deadline earlier, because if you are still in it, you’re probably going to be disinclined to be a seller. You’re not going to say: “Well, we don’t think we’re going to make it,” when you’re only sitting two, four or six points out with a lot of hockey still to be played.
Danny Boyle’s return to our lineup will also affect our thinking at the trade deadline (he’s been out with a wrist injury for most of the season). We haven’t put a timeframe on it, because Boyle still has to go through the rehab process and reach different milestones the doctor has asked him to achieve. But having him back will be huge.
—C Sergei Fedorov has left the club. Gentleman, hold your rumors. I’m told he departed from Chicago this morning to get an early jump on the All-Star Game break. He wasn’t going to play tonight anyway, not with the concussion. Read into this as you will.
—Rumors are flying with the Blue Jackets again. Ottawa, Detroit, New York ... pick your club. Howson has said he would prefer to trade with an Eastern Conference team, but he wouldn’t stop a trade—if it were the right trade—just because the partner played in the West. The exception, of course, would be Central Division teams.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
The NHL? Well, they want fans to remember Crosby, Alex Ovechkin (but only once his English is completely up to snuff), and…um, have we mentioned Crosby already?
In fairness, the lack of widely-known hockey icons hasn’t always been solely the fault of commissioner Gary Bettman and/or team owners. For as long as any observer can remember, the players themselves have been content to sit back in the shadows and play the modesty card while other “sports” like poker and X-Games usurped the NHL in TV ratings and editorial departments.
Future Hockey Hall of Famer Brian Leetch is a perfect example. A quiet man by nature, Leetch – who will have his number retired by the New York Rangers in a ceremony Thursday night – was easily the most elusive, reclusive NHL star I’ve ever tried to interview.
from On Frozen Pond,
—Just got an email from old pal Eklund. He says Olli ticked someone off in the Panthers front office lately and basically demanded a trade. Says Ek: “I would be shocked if he were still a Panther come Feburary 27. And another big name as well.’‘
I guess I need to start saying my goodbyes to Olli while he’s still here.
Obviously, I’m being sarcastic here.
And I don’t know what Olli could have done to anger anyone in this organization. He does everything for the Panthers. They ask, Olli does. On ice, off ice. It doesn’t matter. I mean this guy goes to dinners with sponsors. You think he likes that? Think he needs the free meal? No, he’s trying to help out this franchise in any way he can. And he is appreciated for his efforts.
added 2:50pm, from Stan Fischler a the Hockey Journal,
Ever since October, there have been rumors that Olli Jokinen would be dealt by Florida. It hasn’t happened and isn’t likely to happen because chief executive officer Alan Cohen remains convinced that his captain is a major asset to the Panthers, which is fine except that some savvy Panthers-watchers believe that the Florida sextet would be a lot better off on the day the club says bye-bye to Olli.
more NHL bits from Stan…
The NHLPA’s Paul Kelly will be Gary Bettman’s guest on the NHL Hour today.
The NHL Hour broadcasts live Thursdays from 4-5 pm ET on NHL Home Ice, (XM channel 204) and NHL.com. The show will re-run on XM Satellite Radio and NHL.com, with archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
Darryl Sutter in the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
“Next week,” predicted Sutter, “they’ll go back to, ‘Geez, they haven’t signed Dion [Phaneuf] and there’s going to be an offer sheet.’ That’s where it was [earlier this month] and then it went to Tanguay and then it went [Daymond] Langkow and [Kristian] Huselius. It’s flavour of the week.
“There’s very few educated guesses [in the media]. I’d say it’s leaning more towards ignorance.”
read on about the Flames not being sellers…
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
My target: Ken Holland, the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. There are others and some of the unencumbered mentioned above have their appeal, but if you want the best man in hockey today, it’s Holland. Getting him won’t be easy or cheap, but it’s not exactly mission impossible either.
Start with a subtle overture. Sources have told me that Holland isn’t put off by the challenge of rescuing the most poorly run rich franchise in the National Hockey League. He’s not afraid of the demands of the legion of long-suffering fans or the oft-times hostile and over-abundant media.
A few nights ago, Fan590 radio in Toronto reported that the Leafs did contact Ilitch about 6 weeks ago for approval to talk with Holland and Jim Nill, their request was turned down.
From The Moscow News Weekly,
Russia’s hockey tradition is long and exceptional. I remember the first wave of Russian players who took the NHL by storm in the 1980s, and the steady stream of players that followed. And while it is certainly still just the second-best league in the world, the Superliga offers many things the NHL can’t. For starters, the fact that teams are based in unglamorous places like Khabarovsk and Novokuznetsk appeals strongly to my sense of fairness.
And unlike the NHL, the Superliga has a bright future. Last summer, thanks to some changes in Russian contract law, a flood of Russian players came home. Russian pro hockey is also set for a major reorganization this year, and it appears that big com-panies like Gazprom, VTB and Rosoboronexport are ready to step up their investment. And though billionaire Roman Abramovich’s football loyalties are tied up with Chelsea, his hockey interest rests solely with Avangard Omsk.
more from a former Bruins fan
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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