Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the NHLPA,
Colton Orr has announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following nine NHL seasons and a 13-year professional hockey playing career.
“I feel privileged to have played for a decade in the NHL and to have had the support of four great organizations in Boston, New York, Toronto and Calgary. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play with great teammates and against great players, many of whom have become great friends. It has been an amazing journey that would not have been anywhere near as fulfilling as it was without the love and support of fans, friends, agents, GMs, coaches and family,” said Colton Orr.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
A month ago, it would have been impossible to envision Niklas Backstrom playing a pivotal role in determining whether the Wild makes the playoffs.
As the team’s third goaltender, Backstrom shared a net with backup Darcy Kuemper at practice and didn’t play a single second of any game.
But suddenly, Backstrom is not only a member of the Calgary Flames, he will lead that team from the visitors’ tunnel wearing a “Flaming C” on his chest to start Thursday’s game at Xcel Energy Center. In fact, the 38-year-old could wind up starting against his former team in two of its final eight games, because Calgary returns to Minnesota for each team’s regular-season finale April 9.
The Wild is one point up on Colorado for the last Western Conference playoff spot, so Backstrom’s play either will put a dent in the Wild’s playoff chances or provide one giant boost.
“It’s definitely weird,” said Backstrom, who arrived in the Twin Cities late Monday and has been at his Edina home with his wife and two children.
via the YouTube channel of Sportsnet,
The officials didn't like how Nazem Kadri went down after he drew the ire of the Flames after landing a massive hit on Johnny Gaudreau that put the Flames star on his rear and issued him an embellishment penalty for his troubles.
via Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun,
Flames D Dennis Wideman suffered an upper-body injury during the opening stanza — he collided with Colborne as Frolik was scoring Calgary’s second goal — and did not return. In his post-game presser, Hartley told reporters “the preliminary reports that we got from the medical staff are not very good.” Wideman will have further medical testing Thursday.
The NHL and NHLPA released a multi-page PDF explaining the ruling from the arbitrator, so here is the basic information you need to know.
NEW YORK (March 11, 2016) – The National Hockey League released the following statement today regarding the decision in the appeal of Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension:
“We are in receipt of Arbitrator James Oldham’s Opinion in the appeal of Dennis Wideman’s supplementary discipline suspension and reducing the suspension from 20 to 10 games. We strenuously disagree with the Arbitrator’s ruling and are reviewing the Opinion in detail to determine what next steps may be appropriate. We will have no further comment until we have completed our review. In light of and in response to Arbitrator Oldham’s Opinion, Mr. Wideman will be reinstated and will be eligible to participate in his team’s games, effective immediately.”
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Being suspended for six weeks, denigrated by countless fans and scribes, fined half a million dollars and having an embarrassing personal text exposed to the world will do that to a man.
“It’s been tough,” admitted Wideman, exactly 42 days after he crosschecked linesman Don Henderson to draw a 20-game suspension.
“It’s been a long time. It’s been a long process. You try to deal with it and stay as positive as I can be, especially when I’m around the guys. But no, it’s been difficult.
“There’s some times I’m pretty frustrated and there’s other times I understand that this takes a while and there’s a lot that goes into it.”
And still, six weeks after the fact, no final ruling on his second appeal....
The only thing everyone will agree on once this highly controversial journey ends is that it took far too long.
That has to change.
Wednesday’s visit to Calgary by the Predators marked the 19th game Wideman has missed due to his transgression.
The public relations nightmare that would follow a reduction in the defenceman’s sentence would turn this regrettable dance into yet another punchline.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
With 215 NHL games under his belt in a pressure-cooker like Toronto, Reimer definitely fits the bill.
He’s a humble kid from small-town Manitoba whose path to the NHL included three years as a Red Deer Rebel as well as stints in the East Coast league and the AHL before platooning with the Leafs for six years.
He insists he was surprised the Leafs traded him Feb. 27 as he was in the midst of preliminary trade talks when it happened.
Clearly now isn’t the time the 27-year-old wants to be talking about his options as an unrestricted free agent this summer as he’s trying to establish himself behind Jones in a new town for the balance of the season.
However, he does admit this summer will be an exciting one for him.
“Totally — I’ve never been through this in my career and it will an interesting experience,” said Reimer, insisting he’ll go into the process with an open mind.
“As far as teams being off the table, not really. You just want an opportunity to play and lead a team. That’s the dream, right?”
from Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald,
The 28-year-old defender has been the subject of trade speculation for weeks and, with the National Hockey League trade deadline on Monday, the rumours have been picking up steam.
According to TSN analyst Darren Dreger, the team apparently informed Russell that he is likely to be traded with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins as the front-runners.
The hard-working, shot-blocking blueliner has been dealing with a lower body (read: groin) injury and has missed the last six games. He skated in the morning on Thursday and was deemed good to go for Calgary’s game against the New York Islanders. But instead he was a last-minutes scratch for the 2-1 overtime loss.
Head coach Bob Hartley said it was the result of the nagging injury.
But the whole ordeal had local media wondering (and checking their phones).
“When we sat with him, right away we knew,” Hartley said. “Usually he doesn’t wants to talk about injuries … but just in the way he was answering our questions. I cut it short and said ‘You’re not playing.’ Just because I knew he wasn’t 100 per cent. There is no sense on putting him out there. It’s just a nagging injury that’s getting better.”
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,
As much as No. 5 credits the Flames for his good future, consider him self-made.
Not only a prime-time presence on the ice, he is an inspirational figure in the dressing room.
Lots to like.
Especially this weekend if you’re a rival general manager, because before Giordano cracks open a six-year deal ($6.75 million per) in 2016-17, he is unsheltered by no-trade or -movement clauses.
Surely, there have been overtures.
Treliving, if he’s doing his job, listens. (Imagine the pitches, the riches, that Giordano’s services would fetch.)
Then he politely says no, thank you.
Because – even with the spectre of Iginla’s detrimentally too-long term haunting the house – the Flames need Giordano here.
For now, anyway.
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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