Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
added 5:02pm, Vancouver and Calgary releases are below...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
There is nothing more hysterical than the wailing of Calgary president Brian Burke over the handling and outcome of Dennis Wideman’s appeal to Gary Bettman following a process that, as designed and negotiated by the league owners through the legal muscle of lockouts (plural), is heavily weighted toward the league.
“Rubber-stamped,” the fuming executive categorized the decision in a radio interview after the commissioner upheld the NHL’s original 20-game sentence to the defenseman for plowing over and cross-checking linesman Don Henderson.
No doubt Burke also was shocked to discover the gambling at Rick’s Café.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN looks at the Pacific Division at the trade deadline...
Sell, sell, sell. That's where Flames GM Brad Treliving has to focus on now that the playoffs look very remote. That means getting the most you can for Russell and pending UFA winger Jiri Hudler.
Russell could fetch the most among rental blue-liners, not only because he's a good player, but also because his $2.6 million cap hit is an easier fit for other teams to fit than many rental players.
Pending UFA winger David Jones could also be moved.
At some point, whether it's before the deadline or in the offseason, the Flames also have to figure out their goaltending situation. Both Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller are unrestricted free agents on July 1, and I think the Flames need to look elsewhere for a long-term solution.
more on all the Pacific teams plus Brian Burke on the deadline...
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
More than three weeks after being rocked by a Dennis Wideman crosscheck, the Calgary Sun has learned linesman Don Henderson is still battling concussion symptoms that threaten to end his season.
As if there weren’t enough issues for the arbitrator to consider as part of Wideman’s suspension appeal, Henderson’s injuries sustained in the Jan. 27 collision with the Flames defenceman still have the 47-year-old official unable to start exercising at all.
“He still can’t do anything because he hasn’t gone two days symptom-free,” said a source familiar with Henderson’s back pain and concussion struggles since the collision that earned Wideman a 20-game suspension.
“I don’t think he’s coming back anytime soon, if at all.”
Elliotte Friedman joined Hockey Central @ Noon to talk about the Dennis Wideman suspension, and the wrinkle that text messages threw into the equation.
Some of the comments tend to suggest an internal battle is going on too.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
The fact that Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension will soon become the first in NHL history appealed to a neutral arbitrator is far from the only new ground we’re breaking here.
How about commissioner Gary Bettman citing a text the Calgary Flames defenceman sent to a teammate as evidence that Wideman hadn’t accepted responsibility for hitting linesman Don Henderson? Or the fact that Flames president Brian Burke, a former league disciplinarian and longtime Bettman ally, blasted the appeals process for taking an “incomprehensible” amount of time to complete?
Or even that this whole incident revolves around a veteran player with no prior disciplinary history who claims to have had his judgment clouded after absorbing a big hit immediately before it occurred?
When you remove the emotion, what we are dealing with here is a case that carries a high potential for establishing precedent.
Precedent in the way the wheels of justice spin in the NHL. Precedent, potentially, in how the league treats indiscretions involving concussed players.
TORONTO (February 17, 2016): The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) issued the following statement this evening regarding the National Hockey League’s (NHL) decision to uphold Dennis Wideman’s suspension for 20 games:
“We are extremely disappointed but not surprised that Gary Bettman upheld the decision of his staff to suspend Dennis Wideman for 20 games. This decision completely ignores the effects of the concussion that Dennis sustained when he was driven into the boards eight seconds before colliding with the linesman. We will appeal to the Neutral Discipline Arbitrator in order to have this decision overturned.”
NEW YORK (February 17, 2016) -- Commissioner Gary Bettman today upheld the 20-game suspension that was assessed to Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman for conduct violative of Rule 40 (Physical Abuse of Officials) during NHL Game No. 742 in Calgary on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Wideman met with Commissioner Bettman at a hearing in New York on Feb. 10 pursuant to his appeal of the suspension assessed by NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell on Feb. 3.
The length of the suspension includes seven games already served. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Wideman will forfeit $564,516.20. The money goes tothe Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
You can read Gary Bettman's complete ruling here in PDF format.
added 5:58pm, A response from Brian Burke below...
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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