Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bill Khan of the Flint Journal,
A journeyman of the minors and European pro leagues wasn’t supposed to get his big NHL break at the age of 31, much less keep a starting job for four seasons.
Now, throw in two trips to the All-Star Game, plus the fact he’s among the league’s statistical leaders and the backbone of the team with the best record in the NHL.
Who’s going to believe this stuff anyway? Hollywood would dismiss the script as too unrealistic.
So, to suggest that Thomas’ days as an elite NHL goalie might but short-and-sweet because he’ll be 35 years old come playoff time ... well, don’t suggest it.
“How much longer I’ll keep playing and how long can I keep playing at such a high level, that answer remains to be seen,” Thomas said Monday during a conference call with NHL media members.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Joe Thornton will be back on Causeway Street Tuesday night, only his second visit to the Hub of Hockey since the Nov. 30, 2005, trade that Mike O’Connell orchestrated, sending Jumbo Joe, the Boston franchise’s centerpiece, to the San Jose Sharks.
Some three-plus years later, O’Connell figures the trade was justified, and it is one that he would make again, given the same circumstances. As for what he got in return, said O’Connell, there will always be those who say he should have received more.
“That’s always the case, even if it’s your best trade,” said the former Bruins general manager, these days overseeing pro development for the Los Angeles Kings. “But it was like any trade: You take in, rely on what everyone in the organization says - scouts, everyone - and let’s not forget there was a money issue here, too, moving Joe with his high [$6.6 million] salary. This wasn’t the pre-salary-cap NHL. Like all these deals, the money had to work, too.”
continued plus more hockey topics…
From Fluto Shinzawa of Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe:
Michael Ryder will not play today because of a facial fracture and is out indefinitely. Ryder was clipped by an Antoine Vermette high stick on Thursday. Ryder will be re-evaluated on Monday. Claude Julien said there is a possibility Ryder might require surgery, although Julien said the right wing’s eyesight is OK.
Update 1:38pm ET: From Bruins Insider at the Boston Herald—
“It’s a small fracture, so he’s out indefinitely. He’s going to be looked at again on Monday to see if he can play with a shield,” said coach Claude Julien.
The possibility of surgery cannot be ruled out, said Julien.
“It’s a shame,” said Julien. “When I say indefinitely, you hope it’s shorter rather than longer, but we’ll find out more here early in the week.”
from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen,
...you talk to Aaron Ward because, unlike most of the players in this league, Ward actually talks. And he does so without spewing a single cliché or ducking a question, which is a rather religious experience in this column business.
And when a player has three Stanley Cup rings, has been to five finals, was almost destroyed by Scotty Bowman, and once nearly scrapped with teammate Jaromir Jagr on the bench, there is plenty to talk about….
“One night in Chicago, I blocked a shot with my mouth and from the lip to the nose, I was gushing blood everywhere. As I headed to the room, Scotty yelled ‘If you’re not back in five, you don’t play another shift.’ Our doctor was about 80, so I knew there wasn’t a chance that the stitches were going in that fast!” Another night in Colorado, Forsberg and Sakic stepped on the ice, and Detroit assistant Dave Lewis sent Ward and his partner out.
“Scotty came running down the bench, yelling ‘Jesus Dave are you trying to make us lose the game!?!’ I was halfway across the ice, but I could hear it so clearly, I decided to save my career so I did a 180 and went back to the bench.” Ward would leave Detroit with two rings—and zero fear.
From the CP via TSN:
Thornton said at the time that he was “blindsided” by the deal that sent him to the Sharks for Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau. Facing Boston now is just another game.
“Really that’s all it is to me,” he said. “There’s not too many ex-teammates over there, and it’s just really an important game in the schedule.
“They’re the best in the East and we’re the best in the West. So it’s an important game that way rather than I’m playing against friends.”
read on for more from Thornton’s media conference call today
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from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Oilers, still in the hunt for one of the final playoff seeds in the Western Conference, are in need of a winger to play on the Shawn Horcoff-Ales Hemsky line. They also could use help at the faceoff circle, where Horcoff takes most of the draws.
The Bruins would have great interest in ex-Hurricanes winger Erik Cole, the big, smooth-skating winger. He has 12 goals and 22 points in 50 games this season. Cole, 30, who is making $4 million this season, becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. The Bruins could fit him into the salary cap because they have Marco Sturm’s $3.5 million at their disposal, following the German winger’s season-ending knee surgery.
The Oilers likely would target the likes of winger Vladimir Sobotka (now in Providence) and/or defenseman Matt Hunwick (sidelined with flu-like symptoms) in a swap for Cole.
more on the Bruins…
Nobody is forcing (Jeremy) Jacobs to have a payroll bumping up against the cap ceiling. He could have instructed Bruins management to spend much less but instead allowed forking out big bucks for Joe Thornton, Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Wideman. He’ll likely pay out even more to retain Tim Thomas, David Krejci and Phil Kessel this summer.
-Spector (Lyle Richardson) at his Fox Sports Blog. Read more from Lyle…
from the CP via TSN,
Montreal also lost its goal-scoring leader, centre Robert Lang, likely for a long time as he had a tendon in his left heel sliced by a skate after a harmless looking hit into the boards on Stephane Yelle 8:33 into the third period.
And then winger Guillaume Latendresse left at 17:28 with what appeared to be a shoulder injury after he slid hard into the boards while checking Chuck Kobasew.
more on the Bruins 3-1 over Montreal today.
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.
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