Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
One of the things being discussed is the future of Ottawa Senators netminder Martin Gerber. He’s been waived by the team and is expected to meet today with Sens GM Bryan Murray to figure out what happens next.
The Flames are rumoured to be considering bringing the veteran in as insurance in case workhorse Miikka Kiprusoff succumbs to a late-season injury.
According to a colleague in the nation’s capital, the belief is the Flames might be interested if the Sens are willing to pick up half of the $1.5 million left on Gerber’s salary.
via Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
We said it before the season started and we’ll say it again now: Enjoy Michael Cammalleri the rest of the season, because on July 1, he’ll be a Toronto Maple Leaf, making almost as much money as Jarome Iginla.
from Mike Board of CalgaryFlames.com,
Certainly he could have left the Flames for more money as a free agent. But he hasn’t. It’s like a job that is not quite complete. And a few of his mentors, Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux, have all played for the same team throughout their career.
“There are a lot of great hockey cities. For the fans and the passion, there isn’t a city that beats Calgary, ” said Iginla when he signed his five-year, $35 million deal in July 2007.
With Iginla looking to lead the Flames for years to come, we thought we should get to know him just a little better and bring you 10 things you should know about Jarome Iginla.
ONE: The name
The birth certificate reads Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla. Born July 1, 1977 in Edmonton. We know him as Jarome or Iggy. Opponents know him as tough and relentless. Iginla, by the way, means ‘Big Tree’ in Yoruba, his father’s native language.
via Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
R.J. Umberger had a strong game with two goals and nearly a third midway through the third period. And if that wasn’t enough he was hammered from behind by Dion Phaneuf in the first period, drawing a game misconduct for boarding. Umberger smacked his cheek hard against the glass, but said he was mostly just dazed.
“I’m lucky I was so close to the boards,” he said. “If I were a little further out, I could have been in trouble.”
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald,
The fact that it could infiltrate the cloistered and single-minded quarters of the Calgary Flames, that history could supersede habit, says plenty.
“We can catch highlights later—that’s usually on, but this was obviously a big day in history, a special day,” Flames captain Jarome Iginla said after Tuesday’s practice at the Pengrowth Saddledome. “We had it on all our TVs. A different beginning to the hockey day. It was good. Pretty amazing.
“It’s pretty cool how many people came out, how excited people are about it, in different countries. There was a lot of hype for his speech, and what his speech would be. He’s such a good speaker. Most of the guys, yeah, were watching it.”
Craig Conroy, one of four Americans on the roster (David Moss, Eric Nystrom, Andre Roy are the others), agreed with Iginla. It was indeed a morning like no other.
“Every TV in here—anywhere you walked in the rink—it was all him. Him!” said Conroy. “It was Obama everywhere, you could go from one room to the next. It was fun, because everyone knows it’s history. First African-American. Probably the most powerful man in the world….”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The parallels in their personal histories are startling, remarkable even.
They are both products of an interracial marriage. Their fathers, black, hailed from Africa, one from Kenya, the other from Nigeria. Their mothers, white, hailed from the hinterland, one from Kansas in the American Midwest, the other from Edmonton in Canada’s frozen north.
The respective marriages faltered early, when they were babies, and so both were raised in households where the grandparents played prominent roles. They were accomplished athletes - one played high-school basketball in the U.S. the other major junior hockey in Canada. They were known, even in the early, more anonymous stages of their lives, for their leadership abilities.
Neither ever backed away from a fight, and while Barack Obama didn’t drop the gloves with Willie Mitchell or Cody McCormick or David Hale - as Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla did earlier this NHL season - the campaign to be president of the United States eventually evolved into something of a street fight in its latter days, too.
added 7:19am, A similar type story from Terry Frei of the Denver Post....
via Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
With all due respect to Ken Holland (Detroit Red Wings), Peter Chiarelli (Boston Bruins), Bob Gainey (Montreal Canadiens) and even Darryl Sutter, there can be no argument on the mid-season nod as the NHL’s GM of the year. It’s San Jose Sharks’ Doug Wilson. Acquisitions like Dan Boyle and Rob Blake have a had a massive impact on the league’s most dominant club, and Wilson’s savvy drafting over the years is paying off as late-round pick Joe Pavelski and first-rounder Devin Setoguchi have emerged as game-breakers. The decision to not give up on Patrick Marleau is also paying huge dividends. However, his best move of the year involved not only opting to fire Ron Wilson but to entrust his club to the young Todd McLellan, who is clearly the midseason choice as coach of the year.
Of all the aforementioned GMs who’ve done well to piece together contenders, Sutter is the one who will get the least attention, but he deserves plenty of credit for adding relatively cheap depth players Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross, Todd Bertuzzi and Michael Cammalleri, all of whom have taken turns playing hero for the Flames this season.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
From complaints about his goal output (four in 43 games) to concerns about his defensive play (minus-eight), Phaneuf no longer enjoys untouchable status when it comes to criticism from fans and media types. The all-star snub undoubtedly came as a shock to the Edmonton native. After all, Phaneuf already has two trips to the winter extravaganza on his resume.
He leads the league in ice time with an average of 27:41. He has 24 assists to bring his point total to 28.
“I think on the positive side—minutes played, points and penalty killing—those are all things he’s right at the top of the league at or at least close in, ” Sutter said. “I think most of the talk from people is very selective. Meaning, they only look at goals.
“I didn’t know that’s how you evaluate defenceman—by goals. But apparently some people do.”
from Kelly Hrudey of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
We’re all very aware just how close many of the top teams in the NHL are to each other and just how fine the line is between winning and losing.
Currently three teams have put together excellent first halves to this season, losing fewer than 10 games, which is a remarkable feat. They are Boston, Detroit and San Jose.
Impressive to be sure, but none of these three teams may be the best in the league right now.
What may surprise some people is the Calgary Flames are as good as or even better than anyone right now.
People around the league are really starting to take notice of the Flames because right now they have zero weaknesses.
from Flames Insider,
“They’re a top team in the league and they’re so good at home,” said Kiprusoff, who made 33 stops, “so I think it’s a good confidence-booster for us. We’ve been able to beat them twice now (Calgary was a 5-2 winner on Jan. 6 at the Saddledome) and we know we can battle against those top teams.”
Now that Calgary is 18-4-3 in its last 25 games and has fashioned a nine-point lead over Vancouver—with three games in hand—atop the Northwest Division, have the Flames done enough to move in the same neighbourhood as the Sharks and Red Wings without making it necessary for the blue-bloods to call the cops and shoo away the riffraff?
“Well, I think we’re getting there,” said centre Daymond Langkow, who collected two points in the victory. “We’re taking the right steps. But the last thing you want to do is start thinking you’re better than you are….”
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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