Kukla's Korner Hockey
HAMMOND AGAIN UNBEATABLE AS SENATORS SNAP KINGS’ STREAK
Andrew Hammond denied all 35 shots he faced to record his second shutout in as many days, backstop the Senators to their fourth consecutive victory and halt the Kings’ winning streak at eight games.
* At 26-23-10 (62 points), the Senators moved within five points of the idle Bruins (29-22-9, 67 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference:
* Hammond also stopped all 25 shots he faced in a 3-0 victory over the Ducks on Wednesday. He is the first goaltender in Senators history to win each of first four NHL starts, compiling a 1.02 goals-against average and .965 save percentage through six career appearances.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
So much for the untradeable player with the unmovable contract. That species of player, thought to be alive and well in the salary cap era, does not exist. In fact, he never has because GMs such as David Nonis and Jarmo Kekalainen can cook up deals like the one they did Thursday afternoon.
In swapping the ill-suited and much maligned David Clarkson for the seriously and likely permanently injured Nathan Horton, Nonis and Kekalainen conspired to help each other out of contractual straitjackets that were paralyzing their rosters. This deal was so much more than just swapping one bad contract for another one.
And it’s the kind of deal the salary cap and all the machinations the owners have tried to put in place since the lockout in 2004-05 have been trying to prevent. The salary cap, which causes more problems than it solves in your correspondent’s humble opinion, was supposed to prevent teams from buying their way out of their mistakes. It was supposed to take away that competitive advantage that the big-revenue teams used to enjoy.
But lo and behold, what we have here is legal circumvention of the salary. Brilliant, innovative and clever legal circumvention of the salary cap, but circumvention nonetheless.
via Bob McKenzie tweets,
CGY recalls Tyler Wotherspoon from ADK amid unconfirmed speculation Mark Giordano's injury may be serious (season ending?). For the record..
CGY GM Brad Treliving, on CGY radio this morning, said Giordano is still being evaluated by medical staff, still too soon to say.
from David Isaac of the Courier-Post,
Some players in the NHL just can't bring themselves to buy into the hype of the league's trade deadline…not even when in the hockey Mecca that is Toronto.
Nick Grossmann won't watch the hours of live TV coverage on deadline day.
"No, I don't know why," the defenseman said. "I've never been much of a fan of that. I think it's too much speculation. It's too many rumors."
Wayne Simmonds, on the other hand, can't get enough.
The right wing remembers being a young player in the league and constantly checking his phone and computer to follow the hot rumor for a couple years: that Simmonds, then an L.A. Kings winger, was destined to be shipped to Atlanta for Ilya Kovalchuk.
"Not a chance I was looking at houses in Atlanta," Simmonds said. "I was a 21-year-old kid. I didn't really care. I was just happy to be playing in the NHL."
The Flyers couldn't help but pay attention during their time in town, in which the Maple Leafs made three trades.
"When you're in Canada I think it's a little bit easier," Simmonds said. "Pretty much every single channel is dedicated to the NHL. No matter where you go you see something pop up.
from Josh Cooper of Puck Daddy,
The sights and smells of the game are gone from the players’ collective consciousness from that Vancouver day. But there is one general consensus amongst the men who stepped on the ice at Canada Hockey Place (a.k.a. Rogers Arena) on Feb. 28, 2010 for Canada vs. the United States, a 3-2 Canada OT win:
“It was … maybe one of the greatest games I’ve ever been a part of.” – San Jose Sharks/Team Canada forward Joe Thornton.
“One of the best games I’ll ever play in.” – Anaheim Ducks/Team USA forward Ryan Kesler.
“It was one heck of a hockey game. It was probably the best game I’ve ever played in.” – Anaheim Ducks/Team Canada forward Corey Perry.
Thornton has played in countless international and NHL major competitions. Kesler has played in a Stanley Cup Final. Perry has won a Cup.
With the five-year anniversary of the gold medal game Saturday, we wanted to hear from some of the players involved in this instant classic.
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
For months, Bowman has said he didn’t want to move any roster players, that he didn’t want to make a money-for-money trade, that he was going to be relatively quiet at the trade deadline.
Then Patrick Kane was injured. Now all bets are off, and all phone lines are open. It’s no longer a matter of if the Hawks will make a trade. It’s when. And how many.
“We’re getting pretty close,” a confident and unusually direct Bowman said. “But until it’s done, it’s not done.”
With Kane out, Bowman said he’s exploring all options. That means current roster players could be moved, not just picks and prospects. That means the Hawks will consider acquiring players that aren’t on expiring contracts. That means getting a forward or a defenseman, or both.
A source said the Hawks are particularly interested in Arizona forward Antoine Vermette and Columbus forward Cam Atkinson, both of whom are on expiring contracts. Edmonton defenseman Jeff Petry is another possibility. But Kane’s injury has opened roughly $6 million of salary cap relief, and also has opened the door to a more dramatic overhaul in anticipation of this summer’s looming cap crunch.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
If the Vancouver Canucks have demonstrated one trait over their 45 years — it is this.
They will never, ever let their following get comfortable with their success. If we'd forgotten about that during their modest run of the last couple of weeks, it came rushing back in one hideous evening against the NHL's worst team.
It wasn't just that the Canucks lost to the Buffalo Sabres. It's that they surrendered six goals (including an empty-netter) to a team that had scored 20 fewer goals than any other NHL team. It's that they gave up two goals, including the game-winner, to Torrey Mitchell, who hadn't scored in 28 games. It's that they were unprofessional and unprepared from the first minute, when Yannick Weber took the game's only penalty — to the last minute, when Eddie Lack served up the insurance goal on a silver platter.
How do you explain this one? You can't, but isn't that always the beauty of the Canucks.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The first thing you need to know about the Toronto Maple Leafs escape from salary cap jail is that it was the Columbus Blue Jackets who first proposed Thursday’s stunning David Clarkson for Nathan Horton swap.
In fact, the Leafs probably wouldn’t have even believed such a transaction was possible with Horton’s career in jeopardy because of a serious back injury.
However, they learned in recent days that Horton’s contract wasn’t insured and Columbus didn’t want to pay the veteran winger $26.1-million over the next five years to not play. Given that Toronto no longer wanted to pay Clarkson $27.5-million for the next five years to play, there was a perfect fit.
Everything basically came together in a little more than a day.
"The money lined up, which was a big part of it," said Toronto GM Dave Nonis.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Five minutes of highlights this morning...
The Maple Leafs got rid of Clarkson's contract and the only thing it costs them is money, which they seem to print no matter what is happening with the team on the ice. That's an easy win and the Leafs haven't had a lot of wins, easy or otherwise, on the ice, so they might as well celebrate this one. All shots aside, though, it's a smart move for the Leafs to use their financial wherewithal to their advantage. It can't happen as often under a salary cap system, but it worked in this situation and it's a pretty good sign that the Maple Leafs were creative enough to find a way to escape their biggest contract mistake.
Scott Cullen of TSN where you can read more on the trade.
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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