Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Sassone of Between the Circles,
How’s this for a potential scenario: Would the Hawks consider putting Cristobal Huet on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the minors in order to free up cap space for Nylander? It’s certainly an option.
“I was sitting in the [penalty] box and I was asking the guy if they actually gave me five minutes, I didn’t even know if they called that a fight. I couldn’t get my left glove off so I was more worried about just making sure he wasn’t throwing at me. Next time I’m in that situation I’ll be a little bit more confident on how to protect myself and do the right things.
“Sometimes things like that happen and you can’t back down from it. You just have to step up and protect yourself and do what you have to do. “
-Jonathan Toews after his first NHL fight last night. More on the Blackhawks from Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The Chicago Blackhawks, according to multiple NHL sources, have a standing deal ready to go at a moment’s notice to acquire veteran center Michael Nylander from the Washington Capitals.
The only hitch is that in order to make the transaction, the Blackhawks need to free up considerable cap space and conventional wisdom is the only way they can do that is trade netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.
Just one problem, though. Khabibulin is playing much better than Cristobal Huet…
from Steve Rosenbloom of the Rosen Blog at the Chicago Tribune,
Whatever numbers the Hawks threw at you, the last three games blew up the era of good feeling. The Hawks lost a shootout, lost in overtime and lost in regulation. All three games were at home, mind you.
They lost a shootout against Boston, the best team in the East.
They lost in overtime to St. Louis, a rival rivaling Detroit.
And on Sunday night, the Hawks not only lost in regulation to San Jose, the best team in hockey, but they choked in the third period at home with some dumb penalties.
The Hawks have promise. I still believe that.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Sources familiar with the negotiations say the Blackhawks turned down a deal last week that would have had ex-Bruin Michael Nylander, now with the Capitals, wearing the Indian Head by this weekend. Someone in that Hawks’ lineup would have to be going back to D.C. to even out some of the $8.5 million Nylander is due over the two seasons after this one. The likeliest candidates: Dustin Byfuglien (two more years at $3 million per) or Brent Sopel (two more years at $2.5 million per).
If the Bruins keep the juices flowing, and the Panthers continue to struggle, UFA-to-be Jay Bouwmeester, 25, would be a dream addition to the Boston back line.
more hockey topics…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In the post-lockout NHL, the trading game usually grinds to a halt between the second week of the season and the middle of February, but the one player that may legitimately get moved is the Blackhawks’ Nikolai Khabibulin, who inches closer to free agency every day; sees the dollars click off that $6.25-million (all currency U.S.) annual salary – and continues to play great. Khabibulin was sensational in last week’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins. Apart from the money, performance and attitude were the two red flag for teams pondering a move on Khabibulin had to consider. It doesn’t seem as if either is an issue at the moment.
many more hockey notes plus Burke made for Toronto…
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
But general manager Dale Tallon didn’t rule anything out Thursday, even trading Nikolai Khabibulin or Cristobal Huet if it meant improving the team going forward.
“I’m not going to mess with a successful situation right now, but they’re assets, and we have great assets (in goalies Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford) in Rockford as well,” Tallon said. “We’ll listen to anything that comes our way that makes sense for the future of our franchise.
“There are always needs. We obviously are looking at everything possible to make us a better team without disrupting our core and what we have going right now.”
Tallon didn’t deny he has stepped up his efforts to find an experienced center to play on the second line, an acquisition that would allow Patrick Sharp to go back to wing.
more on the Blackhawks…
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that Hall of Famer Denis Savard will serve as a team ambassador, joining legends Tony Esposito, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita in representing the organization at events at the United Center and throughout the Chicagoland area.
A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and one of seven players in franchise history to have their jersey number retired, Savard recorded 1,096 points (377 goals, 719 assists) in 881 career regular-season games and 145 points (61 goals, 84 assists) in 131 Stanley Cup Playoff games in parts of 13 seasons with the Blackhawks (1980-90; 1995-97). Savard also served as the Blackhawks Head Coach for parts of three seasons (2006-08), notching a 65-66-16 record.
from Chris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
The Blackhawks will retire jersey No. 3 and raise it to the United Center rafters prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Bruins to honor Keith Magnuson and Pierre Pilote.
The legendary defensemen both wore No. 3 during their playing careers and the number is the fifth retired by the organization and the first since Denis Savard’s No. 18 on March 19, 1998.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
His left eye swollen nearly shut and sporting stitches above and below, Dion Phaneuf was counting his blessings yesterday.
“It puts in perspective how important your eyes are,” he said.
“It’s not a lot of fun walking around with one eye, that’s for sure.”
Phaneuf looked worse for wear after Martin Havlat’s high stick came dangerously close to doing irreparable damage in Sunday’s clash between the Flames and Chicago Blackhawks in the Windy City.
As Phaneuf closed ground to make a body check in the opening minutes, Havlat brought his stick up and hit the Flames defenceman in the face, cutting him on the cheek and eyebrow.
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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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