Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Even before Dion Phaneuf slipped on a Calgary Flames sweater, the predictions were made.
Without even skating in an NHL game, belief was the talented defenceman had a future that included one or more Norris Trophy accolades.
Now, in the midst of his third season, is that a fair belief? Does Phaneuf’s destiny include being the NHL’s best defenceman?
“Oh yeah,” said Flames centre Craig Conroy without flinching. “You look at the guys who are the top defencemen in the league—(Nicklas) Lidstrom, (Chris) Pronger, (Scott) Niedermayer, (Brian) Rafalski, even, is up there. How many are young guys? How many young, young guys can you say that about?
from the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
The rumour merchants? Well, let’s just say they’re batting under 1,000.
While one national media outlet claims the 28-year-old native of Ste-Justine, Que., has already agreed to waive his no-trade clause, Tanguay insists that is not so.
“It’s not coming from me, that’s for sure,” he said Sunday afternoon. “We haven’t talked about it.”
That jives with what Calgary general manager Darryl Sutter said Saturday night in Montreal, the latest stop in his week-long tour of Eastern Conference cities.
On the other hand, neither side is completely ruling out the possibility of movement before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Apparently it’s that time of year for those who cover and follow the NHL to let their imaginations run wild.
Time for the laundry list of asinine Alex Tanguay trade rumours out of Montreal and the ol’ Olli Jokinen speculation out of Florida.
This year, the pulp fiction is being spiced up locally by fabricated contract offers for Dion Phaneuf, manic mentions Mats Sundin could land here and even talk there is a snowball’s chance in hell Kristian Huselius will re-sign in Cowtown.
Yet somehow, through it all, no one is talking about Daymond Langkow.
Darryl Sutter was asked by Elliotte Friedman on HNIC if Alex Tanguay has agreed to waive his NTC. Suter said Tanguay has not asked him about NTC/trade but if they did trade him, it would have to be for a significant return, since he feels he is one of the top left wingers in the game.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Eleven minutes to go in a 6-1 game and the crowd was on its feet.
Not because of Daymond Langkow’s hat-trick minutes earlier or because the Flames turned in the type of beat-down fans have expected to see more of all year.
This time, it was for Miikka Kiprusoff.
Yep—the guy relegated to backup status if only in the sports pages as the collective hearts of the city were aflutter over the signing of Curtis Joseph this week.
from George Johnson at ESPN,
The joker in the deck, however, is how incumbent Miikka Kiprusoff, the silent Finn, will react to the support (threat?) posed by a goalie who, although 40 and well past his peak, has still won 446 regular-season NHL games and himself been feted as a Vezina Trophy finalist.
The Flames can argue until they’re blue in the face that Joseph’s arrival means a fresher, more motivated Kipper, that he will embrace the competition and chance to swap stories and secrets with a fellow lodge brother.
Nobody’s trying to turn this into a goaltending controversy, but Kiprusoff could easily interpret the signing as a lack of faith, a kind of betrayal.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Darryl Sutter’s annual bid to bolster his team’s playoff chances started yesterday with the acquisition of 40-year-old insurance policy Curtis Joseph.
Not only does it signal Sutter’s obvious belief the team has the main ingredients necessary to challenge for hockey’s most coveted silver chalice, it also means the hype surrounding the club’s young goaltenders is just that.
At around 1pm ET, the Fan590 show Hockey Central reported that Curtis Joseph has been signed as a Calgary Flame.
This has been repeated by EJ Hradek on NHL Live.
Update 1:35pm ET: From Hradek (1:26pm ET) on ESPN,
Sources told ESPN The Magazine’s E.J. Hradek that the veteran goaltender has signed a deal with the Calgary Flames. Details surrounding the deal were not disclosed.
Update 1:44pm ET: As of 1:41pm ET, Darren Dreger at TSN says decision not yet final,
Calgary appears to be the likely destination, but discussions with the Rangers are still taking place.
Update 2:01pm ET: Sportsnet.ca confirms Cujo’s signing with Calgary by their own sources.
Update3:24pm ET: From John Dellapina a Blueshirts Blog (NY Daily News),
Curtis Joseph is not signing with the Rangers. While Glen Sather checked on Cujo while talking about a new contract for Henrik Lundqvist over the weekend with agent Don Meehan, the Rangers weren’t as ready to commit as Calgary. By all accounts, the Rangers did not make an offer, leaving Joseph to back up Miikka Kiprusoff rather than Lundqvist the rest of this season.
Update 3:39pm ET: With the headline “Joseph Chooses Flames over Rangers”, TSN comments,
Looking to take the work load off Miikka Kirpusoff for the stretch run, the Calgary Flames have veteran goaltender Curtis Joseph for the remainder of the season.
Update 4:07pm ET: From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Curtis Joseph sits there, on the unemployment line for the better part of half an NHL season, with no real interest in his services. Then he goes overseas to play for Canada in the Spengler Cup, and suddenly, there is a bidding war for his services. In the end, Joseph opted to sign with the Calgary Flames, a team desperately in need of an experienced back-up goaltender, choosing their overture over ones made by among others, the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks.
Update 5:12pm ET: Salary update from TSN,
...the Calgary Flames have signed goaltender Curtis Joseph to a one-year, $1.5 million contract. With half of the season gone, he’ll earn about $650,000 for the rest of the year.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Phaneuf also plays the point on the power play, where he has more shots (139) than any other NHL defencemen. He plays on the penalty kill, and, of course, five-on-five. He’s only 22 and Sunday’s game was only his 207th career outing, but you’d never know it….
He’s good; maybe even Norris-trophy good some day, whenever Lidstrom retires.
“He’s pretty much wired for sound every day,” says Keenan of his young blue-liner. “You never worry about Dion liking hockey or living life. It’s his personality ... he’s a treat to be around,” adds Keenan, who’s coached some big-minute, high-end D-men—Chris Pronger in St. Louis, Mark Howe in Philadelphia and Brian Leetch in New York. Guys who want to be out on the ice all the time and don’t run out of gas.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Interest from at least five teams is believed to have been narrowed to two with Curtis Joseph contemplating the resumption of his NHL career in either San Jose or Calgary.
Sources tell TSN both the Flames and Sharks are keenly interested in bringing the 40 year old goaltender on board, with Joseph expected to make his decision this weekend, if not sooner, perhaps as early as 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.
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