Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Columbus Dispatch,
A message was sent barely 10 minutes into practice yesterday when Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock kicked right winger Nikolai Zherdev off the ice.
After practice, Hitchcock wouldn’t address the issue other than to confirm it. Zherdev was nowhere to be seen.
from Steve Schrader of the Detroit Free Press,
OK, we’re like a lot of hockey fans who responded to the Sunday Free Press poll: It’s tough getting over the NHL being on Versus instead of ESPN. It’s like, if a sport isn’t on ESPN, is it really big league?
But cable aside, getting on NBC was a great thing for the NHL. NBC is doing hockey right and constantly trying to improve the product.
Some things we pondered while watching Sunday’s Dallas-Colorado game on NBC and taking down our Hockey Day decorations:
• Are they listening to us? As suggested a couple of weeks ago, NBC subbed in Pierre McGuire for Ferraro as Hull’s debate partner. And it was better.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Wings are scheduled to fly from Detroit to Dallas this afternoon, accompanied mostly by dads but also the occasional brother or mentor. The trip concludes with a three-day stay in Phoenix. After last year’s trip, which took the team around Florida, Zetterberg said his dad came away impressed with the hectic schedule of a trip—play a game and then immediately travel to the next city. Brett Lebda’s dad was blown away by something entirely different.
“He said he was surprised at how much we ate,” Lebda said. “He said we’re always eating—whenever we get on the plane, we eat; whenever we get home from pregame skate, we’re eating, or we’re eating breakfast. We’re always eating or sleeping or on the road, and I said, ‘That’s the way it goes.’ “
Frustrated by a goal-scoring slump and worried about contract negotiations and his impending free-agent status, All-Star Jason Blake needed time to think. After taking a day to reflect on his recent comments about possibly leaving as a free agent if the Islanders don’t sign him by the Feb. 27 NHL trade deadline, Blake yesterday said he didn’t intend to distract from his team’s playoff push or to leave the impression he wants off Long Island.
“I know in my heart that I’m an Islander,” said Blake, who was last to leave Air Canada Centre after practice. “When we’re in a playoff push, I can’t think about the contract. I’ve just got to let Neil handle it.”
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
Calling Toronto his “home,” captain Mats Sundin said he has no desire to leave the Maple Leafs even if it meant a more realistic shot at winning the Stanley Cup elsewhere.
“I think my feelings have been that I really want to stay and be a Maple Leaf,” he said yesterday, on the eve of his 36th birthday but, more significantly, two weeks before the NHL trade deadline.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,
The Flyers don’t have a chance of getting two first-rounders and a top prospect for Forsberg, but they might get a top prospect and a pick. The amount the Flyers get in return for Foppa will depend on his willingness to remain with the team he goes to. If the team views him as a two-month rental, the price will be low. If he agrees to stay long-term, which he probably won’t—the price will go higher.
If I were a betting man, I’d say the chances of Forsberg getting traded are 70 percent.
The liklihood of signing him to a contract extension before the Feb. 27 trade deadline is less than 10 percent.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“In one respect, it’s a bit of a break for him mentally to step back, come to practice and know that he can’t play in the game,” said Murray. “It gives him a chance to be a little bit less intense. It’s hard when you’re playing, you want to keep playing. You want to keep the good habits and (Emery’s) been playing great for us. It’s a factor in performance.
Added Murray: “I think (the suspension’s) heavy. He’s a first-time offender, Usually something like this would be a warning, a fine and a game. I was going to play Gerber (tomorrow), and I was hoping it would be the one game.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
What, for example, if the Rangers could get Joe Sakic from the Avalanche as a rental if they also accept Jose Theodore’s $5.3M contract that runs through next season?
What if the Rangers trade for Theodore as a precursor to waiving him?
What if Jim Dolan is willing to pay Theodore $5.3M to play in Hartford next year - the Avalanche sure won’t pay out that cash to a player in the minors, and will thus be hamstrung by the goaltender’s contract - if it means acquiring Offer Sheet Joe?
Wouldn’t that be more valuable to the Avalanche’s rebuilding process than getting a No. 1 in a deal? Wouldn’t it?
Larry also takes a look at the status of Sandis Ozolinsh…
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail:
Don Cherry was confronted by an angry Pittsburgh Penguins official on Saturday night after he blasted the club for threatening to withhold Sidney Crosby from an interview.
“He knocked on the door of the studio to get at me,” Cherry said yesterday. “That doesn’t bother me. I’m not worried about a
Cherry, during his Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada, charged that the Penguins had refused to make Crosby available for a pregame interview because of criticism directed at him by CBC commentators in the past.
Cherry described Frank Buonomo, the Penguins’ director of team services, as “some dummy back in Pittsburgh” whose reluctance to co-operate with the CBC reflected poorly on Crosby and hurt the club’s image.
from the windsor Star’s Bob Duff:
“I asked to be traded from Detroit,” Sillinger said. “I remember it to this day.
I was a young guy playing behind (Steve) Yzerman, (Sergei) Fedorov, (Dino) Ciccarelli, (Ray) Sheppard, (Paul) Ysebaert, (Jimmy) Carson—the list goes on.
“I feel very fortunate to have played with so many classy players, so many all-stars. They broke in the young kid the right way and it’s something I’ve tried to pass on.”
From Detroit, his odyssey took him to Anaheim, then Vancouver, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Florida, Ottawa, Columbus, Phoenix, St. Louis and Nashville before coming to the Isles as a free agent last summer.
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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