Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Early in last night’s third period, before either team had scored, Tim Thomas left his crease, scurried behind his net, and played the puck. As he turned to skate back into position, Columbus forward Jiri Novotny barreled into the Bruins goalie’s chest with so much force that his mask flew off.
Thomas’s nontraditional headgear (he calls it a “mage,” being that it’s half-mask, half-cage) clattered to the ice, the chin cup and the strap that holds it in place snapping off. Thomas went to the bench for repairs, but when the strap couldn’t be snapped back into place, he had to settle for Manny Fernandez’s mask - an in-game switch that any netminder would find uncomfortable.
“You can ask any goalie,” Thomas said. “It’s not fun to use anybody else’s stuff. You’re used to your own. But whatever. That’s hockey. Fortunately, Manny must have a fairly large head, too. With most goalies, I couldn’t fit their mask on.”
In a game in which the Bruins felt they couldn’t catch any breaks, Columbus scored the winning goal with Thomas wearing Fernandez’s mask.
continue for more on the game…
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Any way you crunch the numbers, the postseason seems an impossible dream for the Avs, short of anything approaching a 16-0-0 run.
Colorado not only would have to make up considerable ground, it would have to pass at least seven teams in the conference standings, a task rendered even more difficult because of many games remaining between the contenders for the final spots.
Somebody has to win those games, and it’s a safe assumption that some of them will be tied at the end of regulation and end up “three-point” games — two for the winners, one for the losers.
So what can the Avalanche hope to accomplish? That question is posed not as a marketing issue for the Kroenke Sports Enterprises operation, hoping to sell season tickets for next season, but as a hockey-only issue for the 2008-09 Avs themselves.
It comes back to pride, professionalism, at least holding out hope for the equivalent of a meteor strike, and perhaps in some cases saving jobs.
The Rocky Mountain News is saying goodbye and featuring some of the stories from the past…
from Rick Sadowski of the Rocky Mountain News,
Mike Keane hopes he hasn’t seen the last of the Detroit Red Wings.
``I’ve got no problem playing a heartless team in the playoffs,’’ Keane said Wednesday night following the Colorado Avalanche’s 6-5 overtime loss to its bitter rival.
``That team has no heart. They showed their true colors tonight. Everyone’s gutless. Sure, I’d like to see them again.’‘
The busiest people at aptly named Joe Louis Arena were the maintenance people given the task of blotting blood puddles off the ice.
It was the most vicious game yet between the teams, not a surprising development as it marked Claude Lemieux’s first visit to Detroit since his well-publicized hit on Kris Draper in last year’s playoffs.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Alarmed by already lagging ticket sales and the moribund economy, the Avalanche is one of what could become many NHL teams that are slashing some season-ticket prices for next season and offering other incentives to retain customers.
The Avalanche, a team that once sold out a league-record 487 consecutive games, will not increase prices for any seat next season and is offering some lower-bowl seats at the Pepsi Center for as little as $24.63 per game in 2009-10.
In addition, for the first time, the Avs will allow season-ticket holders to pay in 10 monthly installments. Season-ticket holders who renew by Monday’s deadline will receive other perks such as getting their names inscribed on bricks in front of the arena, first dibs to ickets to certain concerts and a private “Meet the Team” party.
per TSN,,, Peter Forsberg is in Denver to announce his retirement tonight.
added 1:58pm, TSN just said not true and Tapeleg in the comments confirms.
E.J. Hradek at a live blog at ESPN,
Another league source with knowledge of the situation in Denver says there’s “no chance” the Avalanche will move Ryan Smyth or Milan Hejduk. We’ll see.
follow the live blog…
Reported on TSN: Colorado Avalanche Jordan Leopold has been traded to Calgary for Lawrence Nycholat, a 2nd round pick and a possible prospect.
More details to come.
Update 11:46am ET: Link now available at TSN.
This will be the 28-year old Leopold’s second tour of duty with the Flames as he played with Calgary between 2002-2006.
Leopold is making $1.5 million this season and is in the final year of his contract, meaning he could become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Update 11:57am ET: Specifics of the trade from a Sportsnet alert—
Calgary Flames get:
- D Jordan Leopold
Colorado Avalanche get:
- D Ryan Wilson
- D Lawrence Nycholat
- 2nd round pick (from Montreal)
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Talking with a couple of front-office and other official type of people from the NHL today, a picture is starting to emerge about the trade deadline: it could be quiet tomorrow.
Here’s the deal: teams are scared to death about what the salary cap could be reduced to in a couple of years….
That’s why I feel pretty confident that Ryan Smyth won’t be going anywhere tomorrow, at least. And, why you may not see guys like Brett Clark or Ruslan Salei going anywhere. Clark’s and Salei’s contracts extend one more year, but at more than $3 million each.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
The longer Ryan Smyth remains a Colorado Avalanche before Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline, the more plausible a case you can make for a trade to Vancouver. (Smyth has a no-trade clause, but hands up if you think “Captain Canada” would reject a back north).
Facing empty seats and a recession, Avalanche GM Francois Giguere needs to slash payroll, and Smyth is a huge ticket over the next three years: $16.5-million (all currency U.S.) with an annual cap hit of $6.25-million (read more on the Denver Post’s excellent Avs blog.
If Giguere requires pure return value for Smyth the Player, than there is no fit with the Canucks. But if Giguere just has to rid himself of Smyth the Contract, than Vancouver becomes a believable destination. (Smyth was traded from Edmonton exactly two years ago Wednesday. Since that deadline deal, the grass has not been greener.)
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
...another trading deadline is approaching — it’s on Wednesday — and Smyth’s name has been tossed out amid indications general manager Francois Giguere at least got the word out that he would at least listen to offers for Smyth. But Smyth has a no-trade clause in his contract, and Sunday he again said neither he not his agent, Don Meehan, had been asked about waiving it.
“It’s just rumors,” Smyth said. “That’s what happens this time of year. I’ve been fortunate enough to have that no-move clause in place, so right now it’s all speculation.”
He said he would be “surprised” if Giguere eventually asks him to waive the no-trade clause.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org