Kukla's Korner Hockey
Trade rumors update: We’ve been told that no trade between the Blue Jackets and Rangers is in the works. The two teams have talked, but nothing has been agreed upon and nothing will be announced when the roster freeze is lifted.
About the roster freeze: turns out the freeze is in effect until midnight Thursday night, not tonight (Wednesday).
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
...it is believed the Blueshirts’ recent concentrated scouting of the Blue Jackets has been focused on putting together a deal to pry either veteran Adam Foote or top-four defenseman Rostislav Klesla out of Columbus.
The 36-year-old Foote, a physical presence the Rangers so obviously lack on the blue line, is on the final year of a three-year contract at $4.6M per that contains a no-trade clause he would have to waive in order to come to New York.
read on, more names mentioned…
from the Columbus Dispatch,
A handful of Blue Jackets sat in a hush-quiet dressing room, trying to find the right words last night after a 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.
One player, out of sight from the media, broke the relative quiet by screaming: “We (expletive) choked!”...
“This is a brutal loss,” left winger Jody Shelley said. “(Nashville) played last night, and they were coming into our building.
“No excuse right now. We’re not happy, and we shouldn’t be.”
Minutes after the Blue Jackets escaped with a 2-1 win over the last-place L.A. Kings, a Russian journalist approached coach Ken Hitchcock with a bizarre question.
Were the Blue Jackets about to trade Sergei Fedorov to the Montreal Canadiens? The reporter said this is what his sources in Moscow are telling him.
Hitchcock denied the rumor. Fedorov, a free agent at season’s end, might be traded but it seems a bit early for such a deal….
OK, here’s the other little nugget of the night. New York Rangers scout Rick Kehoe has been spotted here on three occasions in recent weeks. On Thursday, Jackets’ general manager Scott Howson watched the Rangers play in Minnesota. Hey, we can speculate, no?
from the Calgary Herald,
The man entrusted with keeping Nash on the path to greatness is notorious taskmaster Ken Hitchcock. The veteran skipper draws a parallel between his prodigy and Flames star Jarome Iginla.
“The thing that Jarome figured out pretty early in his career,” said Hitchcock, “is that his personality, his play and his determination had an impact on everybody. His fight (with Ole-Kristian Tollefsen) turned around the (Dec. 1 Blue Jackets-Flames) game in Calgary. When he gets after people and gets nasty and determined, I think it influences everyone on the bench.
“Rick has shown that. Where Rick is still on the learning curve is when someone goes after him like a (Chris) Pronger or a (Zdeno) Chara, he’s got to learn to play through, which is very difficult to do…”
from the Columbus Dispatch,
If the Blue Jackets make the Stanley Cup playoffs in the spring, Ken Hitchcock should win the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach.
And the voting shouldn’t be close.
Yes, it’s way too early to be handing out hardware. The Blue Jackets played their 32nd game (out of 82) last night.
But for the first time since the Blue Jackets joined the NHL in 2000-01, it’s safe for their fans to check the standings around the holidays without getting too depressed.
Way to early to be mentioning the Jack Adams Award…
from the Columbus Dispatch,
She has never been in a physical confrontation, she says, unless you count the time irony smacked her between the eyes. That was the day, five years ago, when she met her future husband, Blue Jackets enforcer Jody Shelley.
“My friends from back home couldn’t believe we were dating,” Mandy said. “They reminded me I was the student who always ran to the nearest teacher when I saw a fight.”
from the Boston Globe,
One longtime scout, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said last night at the Garden he believed the Bruins were in talks with Columbus, which will be in town tomorrow night.
The Blue Jackets, who look capable of landing the franchise’s first playoff berth, were rumored in the offseason to be trying to move talented Russian winger Nikolai Zherdev, who has a history of being somewhat of a lone ranger on the ice.
from James Mirtle,
It’s from this secret location, somewhere in northern California, where this strange creature spends his days pumping out all sorts of wacky hockey-related numbers for our perusal.
And it’s a good thing, too. Because, more and more, I’m stopping by his site to look at what certain players are up to.
Desjardins’s latest concoction is a look at shots on goal at even strength, something that tells us Alex Ovechkin leads the way with 103.
Talking about shots on goal… via the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche combined for 32 shots last night, with each team taking 16. That’s the lowest combined total in Blue Jackets franchise history. The previous record was 35 set twice.
This would be the perfect time for GM Scott Howson to make his first big deal.
Howson probably agrees, but it wouldn’t behoove him to acknowledge it publicly, so he won’t. Right now, it’s a difficult time in the NHL to make deals. It’s even harder for Howson and the Blue Jackets.
The entire NHL has found it difficult to swing trades in the “salary cap” era. The fact that the standings are so murky—everybody’s in the hunt—makes it hard, too. Both of these are affecting the Blue Jackets, but so is something else, something much more sobering, maybe downright depressing for Blue Jackets fans.
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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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