Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Jim Kelley at Sportsnet.ca,
Best Team - Detroit Red Wings: There is no second place; only a three-way* tie between Ottawa in the East and San Jose in the West.
The Red Wings are just a joy to watch and at the half have 67 points, and just eight losses. Heck, the Senators, a good team, earlier this season nearly lost that many in a row. Give the Sharks some credit here, almost from the moment certain media types wrote them off as frauds, they’ve started tearing it up and are starting to show that they have grit as well as some talent.
more “bests” and a couple “worsts”
*presumably, that’s meant to read “two-way tie”
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
With the signing of Mike Ribeiro by the Dallas Stars, you can scratch another name off the list of impact forwards who will be available July 1. That list is growing smaller and less impressive by the day, which means the ones who will be available will get better deals because of the laws of supply and demand.
Here are the top forwards who will be available July 1, provided they don’t sign with their teams before then.
Kristian Huselius, Calgary: The hottest player in the NHL since early December, Huselius is incredibly talented with the puck. Jarome Iginla deserves some of the credit here, but Huselius has been outstanding on his own.
plus lots more to pick from…
From Ted Leonsis of the Washington Capitals,
No mention of our team can pass, it seems, without noting Alex Ovechkin’s contract status, and I can tell from postings in the blogosphere and message boards that this has a lot of fans worried. I respect Alex and George McPhee’s commitment to keep the negotiations out of the media and frankly have wondered who is making up some of the things I have read. As I have stated on numerous occasions, we couldn’t be more impressed with Alex as a player and a person and we expect him to be in D.C. for a long, long time.
I don’t have much to add, but want to say this: We love Alex Ovechkin.
lots more… on the Caps, from prospects to television revenues to logos
Update 4pm ET: Yesterday, Leonsis discussed this same issue on XM Radio. Interview mp3 can be downloaded here.
From the Toronto Star,
An Edmonton Oilers fan says a police officer drew blood when he hit her during hockey playoff celebrations on a popular city street in 2006.
Kristin Wilson is testifying at a hearing into what happened as hundreds of people celebrated on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton on June 17, 2006, after the Oilers won the sixth game of the Stanley Cup final.
Ah, memories of Whyte Ave. I’m surprised someone hasn’t written a book.
*photo property of this Flickr user, taken May, 2006
From the CP via TSN,
Veteran defenceman Patrice Brisebois is expected to return to the Montreal Canadiens lineup after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury.
Mark Streit will play forward against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night to make room for Brisebois on defence.
“I practised so hard the last two weeks in the gym and on the ice, so it’s fun to be back,” said Brisebois, who has one goal and six assists in 26 games this season. “I’ll just try to make the easy plays, take short shifts and try to be in the right position.”
The Carolina Hurricanes have claimed forward Sergei Samsonov off re-entry waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. Samsonov has appeared in 23 of Chicago’s games without scoring a goal. He has four assists, and a minus-seven plus-minus rating.
Update 12:41pm ET:
From the Carolina Hurricanes,
Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has claimed right wing Sergei Samsonov on re-entry waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. Samsonov is expected to join the Hurricanes in Boston for the team’s game tonight against the Bruins.
“Sergei brings NHL experience to add depth to our forwards,” said Rutherford.
From Kukla’s blog at NHL.com,
Well, the e-mails have started. I heard the Senators are going to get Mats Sundin. Why do the Bruins want to move Glen Murray? Can Rob Blake still play? I was told the Hurricanes are going to move Eric Staal. Did Alex Ovechkin demand a trade? Will Jaromir Jagr play in Edmonton? Is Markus Naslund on his way out in Vancouver?
The time has come to tell every one of you to relax. The vast majority of the rumors you are hearing are just that – rumors, often made up to attract your interest! Maybe people are bored and want to “stir” the pot a bit. Maybe they really believe what they write. Maybe, just maybe, they are trying to draw you in.
from Dan Rosen at NHL.com,
While last season’s All-Star Game was billed as the League’s blinding future meshing with its phenomenal present, it’s obvious by the final tallies of the XM/NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, Presented by 2K Sports, that this season is all about now.
Only one of the 12 starters announced today for the NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta on Jan. 27 is making his first All-Star Game appearance. Last season six of the 12 starters made their inaugural All-Star appearance in Dallas.
Update 12:30pm ET
Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail says fans voted well, but for a couple of confusing choices:
About the only flaws in the voting took place down where it didn’t matter in the end anyway. The Sharks’ Jonathan Cheechoo, he of the 11-point first half, finished ahead of Marian Gaborik, Ryan Getzlaf, Rick Nash and Paul Stastny among others in the balloting. The Kings’ Michael Cammalleri slumped badly after a 10 goals-in-10 games start, but he received almost 100,000 votes more than teammate Anze Kopitar, a much more deserving choice. Cammalleri finished fourth among forwards just behind Iginla, and received about 18,000 votes more than the Sharks’ Joe Thornton, who is in the midst of another fine year.
Update 2:11pm ET
Carroll Rogers at the AJC wonders at the omission of the NHL’s leading goal scorer, Ilya Kovalchuk, from the starting lineup.
The silly season (the weeks leading up to the February trade deadline) are in full swing and that’s leading to a higher-than-normal number of silly rumours. Of course those who originate these speculations will defend themselves by claiming that the clubs involved in those rumours will naturally deny them as they’re not about to admit to the press what they’re up to. That’s true, they’re not about to admit to the press what they’re up to, so why would they then admit it to anonymous sources via the media or internet?
read on as teams respond to these ignorant internet rumors.
from David Amber at ESPN,
When he’s not busy moving hulking forwards from in front of the net, Andrew Ference is busy trying to change the world. The Bruins defenseman wears a helmet on the ice and many hats off it: political activist, environmental crusader and possibly future NHL commissioner.
In this edition of Facing Off, Ference tells us what it’s like to drop the gloves with Sid the Kid, how the Bruins can win back Beantown and how 10 days in Africa changed his life forever.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org