Kukla's Korner Hockey
added 1:19pm, McKenzie says Columbus will pay large chunk of salary..
LAK press release below...
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
It's only been two games since the Olympic break, and Gaborik should be afforded some "up-to-speed" time coming back from two substantial injuries. But not once has Gaborik and his skill set appeared to be a fit with the Blue Jackets' collection for forwards.
The Blue Jackets are 8-10-2 with him in the lineup this season. They're 22-15-3 when he doesn't play.
To be clear: Gaborik seems to genuinely like Columbus and he has used the word "love" to describe how he feels about his teammates. He's not the most charismatic guy in the room, but seems genuinely liked by teammates.
But here's where I think this is going ...
The Blue Jackets have no doubt taken or initiated calls on Gaborik in the weeks leading up to the deadline. The possible return is probably rather underwhelming for a player who has been hurt most of the season and is an unrestricted free agent. So, instead of a paltry return, why not keep Gaborik and see if something, finally, might click with him in the lineup.
more plus Columbus needs and trade options...
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
With one week to go before the NHL trade deadline, signs point to the Blue Jackets treating right wing Marian Gaborik like their own late-season acquisition, not like trade bait.
Gaborik said he expects to be medically cleared today before the Blue Jackets travel to New Jersey. The Jackets end a 19-day Olympic break when they play the Devils on Thursday at the Prudential Center.
There have been no contract talks between general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and Gaborik’s agent, Ron Salcer, which typically is a sign that a pending unrestricted free agent, like Gaborik, is soon headed out of town. Although Kekalainen might still trade Gaborik, 32, he suggested strongly that he views Gaborik as the kind of highly skilled threat that his working-class team needs.
“I still don’t think we’ve seen the Marian Gaborik who can score big goals, and what he can mean to our power play, how he can create so much space for other guys on the ice,” Kekalainen said. “If he can play at the top of his game and bring that every night, he could be exactly what this team needs the rest of the way.
“He hasn’t lost the ability to score goals. He has been hurt; it has been unfortunate. But he’s still the same guy who scored all those goals. He’s not old. He’s worked his (butt) off to get back into our lineup.”
from Michael Arace of Puck-Rakers,
“My sense is that teams are retrenching for the deadline,” John Davidson, Blue Jackets president of hockey operations, said in a telephone interview.
Will the Blue Jackets be buying or selling? That question is not at the forefront of front-office thinking. This is (and you know what’s coming):
“If we’re going to do something, it’s going to be something to help us long term,” Davidson said. “I know, it’s getting repetitive. But that’s where we are....
“We’re not doing rentals because the price is too high. It’s not worth doing,” Davidson said. “We like our team, and we have to figure out what we’re doing with Gabby.”
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
Defenseman Ryan Murray was flattened by Kings winger Dustin Brown early in the second period. Murray and the Blue Jackets were coming out of the zone, and Murray had released the puck when Brown -- in a straight light -- launched himself into Murray, his right arm/shoulder making impact with Murray's head.
“I mean I obviously didn’t like that hit on Ryan," Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno said. "I thought that he was in a pretty vulnerable situation. I didn’t like that he (Brown) only got two minutes (charging) for that, but it was an emotional part of the game and we rallied around it, continued to push and keep them at bay. We were right there with them but just couldn’t find that overtime goal.”
read on and watch the hit below...
added 8:42am, from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
Dustin Brown, on the hit:
It’s a fine hit for me. Whatever. At this point, I don’t know if we’re allowed to hit anymore. It’s just one of those plays where he kind of bails and I’m coming in for the hit. Whatever.
Brown, on whether “anything violent” is automatically called a penalty:
I think ultimately they’re going to go the way of the IIHF, where if it looks bad, it’s a penalty, and whether it’s a good hit or a clean hit or a hard hit, if it’s too hard, it’s going to be a penalty. I think that’s kind of where they’re going to be going. Like I said, I’m just not a fan. There’s some responsibility to protect yourself on the ice and responsibility on the other side of it. There’s certain hits I think we can all look at and say, ‘That’s not a good hit.’…It wasn’t like I targeted his head, or anything like that. It was a body check, and he happened to be a little lower than I am, so I don’t know what I’m supposed to do in that situation.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik, who in January was named to Slovakia’s 25-man roster for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, has not been medically cleared to participate and will miss the games due to a broken collarbone suffered vs. the Philadelphia Flyers on December 21.
“Marian has worked extremely hard and done everything possible to rehabilitate his injury and return to the ice with the hope of representing his country in Sochi,” said Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen. “We share his deep disappointment that he will not be able to do so, but are optimistic that he will be fully recovered very soon.”
“I’m extremely disappointed that I won’t be able to play for Slovakia at the Olympic Games but understand the decision is the right one for my recovery and for the national team,” said Gaborik. “I have been lucky and proud to represent my country at two Olympic Games and other international tournaments and look forward to doing so again in the future.”
First Sergei Bobrovsky with the great save last night against the Ducks...
Pluse Eddie Lack stops Darren Helm twice on the play, the second save is a reverse glove save, watch below...
from Don Brennan of Off The Posts at the Ottawa Sun,
I dropped by another spot to watch the Blue Jackets play the Carolina Hurricanes. Except even with the 40-odd TVs in “Brothers”, the Jackets game was not on. The Pittsburgh-Buffalo game was, but no Jackets.
How odd is that? They had won 8 of their last 9. Where was Jackets fever?
“Oh yeah,” the bartender said when I told him the home team was playing in Carolina. “It should be on. It’s probably over by now.
“Hey, do you mind if we put on a movie? We usually do on Mondays. It’s Animal House tonight.”
Just keep one TV on hockey if you don’t mind, I said.
I got to watch the end of the Penguins-Sabres game – Pitts was lucky to escape with a victory, no matter what the 3-0 final suggests – and also learned that the Jackets choked up a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 in Carolina.
Suddenly, the Jackets have lost two in a row. They’re not so hot anymore. And we wonder, does anyone in frigid Columbus really care?
“I hate to sound so corny, but winning solves everything. With the group of guys like we have, it’s unbelievable. We’re all like brothers. It’s like a big fraternity in here. We all care for one another, and we play for one another. I think that’s one of the reasons we’re having so much success.”
-James Wisniewski of the Columbus Blue Jackets. More on the Blue Jackets from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch.
from Shawn Mitchell of Puck-Rakers,
For all the little subplots, this was a big-picture game. It was critical, pre-break game against a divisional opponent. It put a thump in the standings.
The Jackets defeated the Flyers 5-2 in front of 15,571 at Nationwide Arena. With that, the Jackets (26-20-4) moved ahead of the Flyers (25-21-6) and into third place in the Metropolitan Division.
“We’re skating, we’re competing, we we’re blocking shots, we’re creating the offense off the forecheck,” said Blue Jackets center Artem Anisimov, who had an assist and was one of 10 Jackets with at least one point tonight.
“The power play is huge. We have a talented group here. But we execute our gameplan first. We play defense first, and the offense come after. The top teams in the NHL, everybody plays their system. You do that, you can win 2-1 or you can win 5-2. We do the little things better. The sticks are in the right positions. We shoot the puck at the right time. We make the little plays.”
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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