Kukla's Korner Hockey
From George Johnson at ESPN,
Iginla, the unquestioned emotional push behind the Flames, is thriving, while Kiprusoff, arguably the most spectacular goaltender in the game over the past three seasons, is nose-diving.
So the spirit is willing, but the flash has been weak.
As Iginla and Kiprusoff go, so go the Flames. And, right now, Calgary finds itself stuck on a treadmill to mediocrity, a game below .500 and a disquieting 1-5 stretch in what could hardly be described as a November to remember.
They’ve both been making headlines for altogether different reasons.
from the Toronto Star,
They are the games that get fans talking. The ones circled on the calendar as soon as the schedule comes out. The game that proves your team is – once and for all – better than your team’s bitter rival, until at least the two meet again.
Like when the Leafs face the Ottawa Senators in the Battle of Ontario or when Calgary faces their provincial rivals in Edmonton.
If you could pit one rivalry against another, which one would come out on top?
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Tags: calgary+flames, edmonton+oilers, ottawa+senators, rivalries, toronto+maple+leafs
from the Calgary Sun,
According to an eastern-based columnist, rising star defenceman Dion Phaneuf and his agent had rejected a contract proposal from the Flames.
Only one problem, said Phaneuf’s agent Don Meehan.
“We have never discussed a number,” he said yesterday.
from Tarik El-Bashir at Capitals Insider on AO contract talks…
Nothing has changed, he said, since the last time I asked him about this on Oct. 29 in Toronto, adding that serious talks still have not started and that he’s not sure when they might.
I asked him if that lack of an offer is bothering him. At first he said, “No.” Then he paused for a moment before saying, “Of course I think about my contract. It would be stupid to answer that I don’t think about my contract. Of course I think about it. But we don’t start talking. We just wait. We still have time.”
This earlier today from Marty York at Metro News,
Two young NHL stars, defenceman Dion Phaneuf and forward Alexander Ovechkin, have rejected contract-extension proposals from the Calgary Flames and Washington Capitals, respectively.
The Caps offered Ovechkin a five-year pact similar to the deal the Pittsburgh Penguins gave Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million a season), but the sniper is demanding more — between $9- and $10-million a year.
from the Calgary Herald,
Following Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, Keenan had been asked about his boys coughing up another two power-play goals.
The coach figuratively shoved his goalie to front and centre on a first-period tally by Robert Nilsson. His statement included the line: “It’s pretty difficult to criticize the people on the penalty-killing situation when your goaltender is not part of the solution.”
Damning stuff. Which Iron Mike took measures to clarify Monday.
“Well, first of all, the media has misconstrued the comments,” started Keenan.
from All Things Avs by Adrian Dater,
- Calgary is going to implode soon. I’ve talked to a few former Flames and they say there is just plain bad chemistry in their locker room. I don’t see Mike Keenan changing that much.
- Edmonton is terrible. Dustin Penner is a nice player, but Kevin Lowe grossly overpaid for him, in his retaliation move against Brian Burke and the Ducks over Chris Pronger.
more NHL bits plus Adrian wonders where are all the Avs fans?
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
When GM Darryl Sutter deposed Jim Playfair as coach after one season and installed Iron Mike, the thinking was that the Flames had to get back to the hard-nosed play that saw them advance to the 2004 Stanley Cup finals. Sutter, whose relationship with Keenan extends back to their shared days in Chicago, believed the old task master was just the man to do the job.
Now, with the team in a free fall, there are questions about its preparation, focus, drive, energy and desire. Those are all of the things, the intangibles, Keenan was supposed to bring to the table. Those are coaching issues.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
As much as the lazy Sunday away from the horror house known as the Saddledome was a chance for the beleaguered players to clear their minds, rest assured there was plenty of introspection going on.
Certainly, there are plenty of reasons for the Flames, with their under-achieving 6-8-3 record, to consider.
They’ve frittered away a home-heavy schedule that had 11 of those 17 games at the ‘Dome, in which they’ve won only four times. They’ve frittered away half of an eight-game intra-division run.
They’re floundering like Brittany Spears’ career.
from the Calgary Sun,
Hot on the heels of a six-year extension for goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, there’s talk in Calgary the Flames might be a small step closer to signing Dion Phaneuf to a long-term contract.
The 22-year-old defenceman’s agent, Don Meehan, was in town last week, and it’s believed he spent time meeting with Flames general manager Darryl Sutter about a possible extension.
Sources say talks were informal and could help lead to a deal but no dollars were discussed.
Phaneuf’s entry-level contract expires at the end of this season, and as a restricted free agent, he’d be a prime candidate for an offer sheet from another team.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Calgary Flames coach Mike Keenan didn’t exactly leap to the defence of his injured centre Daymond Langkow on Friday….
“I looked at the tape again today,” said Keenan. “I know Matt Cooke, I coached him, he’s a little bit of a hunter, and you know he’s out there, you know he’s coming at you, and you know he’s going to body you.
“But he didn’t leave his feet. He hit him hard into the boards; at the same time, you have a responsibility to know that players like that are out there. It’s a fine line between playing the game hard; he cracked him good, and Daymond maybe should have positioned himself in a more protective manner so he wouldn’t have had the whiplash effect against the glass.”
more NHL talk including Bouillon explaining his hit on Aaron Ward…
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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