Kukla's Korner Hockey
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Rostislav Klesla to a four-year contract extension that will keep the club’s first-ever Entry Draft pick with the organization through the 2013-14 season, General Manager Scott Howson announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Klesla, 27, has registered 36 goals and 79 assists for 115 points with 456 penalty minutes in 444 career games with the Blue Jackets. The club’s first pick, fourth overall, in the 2000 Entry Draft currently stands second in franchise history in games played (David Vyborny, 543) and penalty minutes (Jody Shelley, 1,025) and is the club’s all-time leader among defensemen in games played, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. In 2001-02, he was selected to the National Hockey League’s All-Rookie Team.
“Rusty is an original Blue Jacket who over the years has grown and become a leader for our hockey club,” said Howson. “It was important for our organization and for Rusty that he continue to be a vital part of what we are building here.”
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
Yesterday, less than a week before the season opens, Howson got his man. The Blue Jackets acquired Stralman, 23, from the Flames for a thirdround draft pick in 2010.
“Anton fits a critical need on our roster,” Howson said. “He’s got puckmoving ability and power-play potential. He’s a right-(hand) shot, too, which is a nice bonus.
“He’s still a young player in the league, so he has a lot of upside, too.”...
“I was kind of shocked by the trade. I was really surprised,” Stralman said. “But it feels all good. I feel it’s a great opportunity for me.
“I’m not really aware of the situation in Columbus, other than to say it’s a really young, talented team and Rick Nash is a superb player.”
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,
The Blue Jackets have acquired defenseman Anton Stralman from the Calgary Flames for a third-round pick in the 2010 entry draft, The Dispatch has learned.
Lyle Richardson for Fox Sports says Chicago, Detroit and Columbus will battle for first in the division with Chicago taking the title.
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets top four defensemen are all sidelined with nagging strains to the groin or hip flexors and management wants to determine if that’s more than coincidence.
Add Rusty Klesla (hip flexor), Mike Commodore (groin) and Marc Methot (hip flexor) to a growin list that already includes Fedor Tyutin (hip flexor) and forward R.J. Umberger (hip flexor)....
General manager Scott Howson is seeking answers. With the help of the coaching staff, medical staff and players, he’s trying to figure out what’s at the root of the problem. Howson even has taken to calling around the league to see if other teams are sustaining similar injuries. He said Phoenix and Minnesota are dealing with the same issues.
Among the possibilities:
—Ice quality in various rinks, including the Dispatch Ice Haus.
—The high pace to the start of camp, which included intra-squad games on the first two days and an exhibition game in Pittsburgh on the third.
While on the Blue Jackets topic, Doug MacLean on Fan590 today mentioned Columbus is trying to find a dman to run the point on the power play. Both Raffi Torres and Jason Chimera are being offered, but no takers so far.
from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,
Ever been in a situation where what you’ve believed for so long is suddenly compromised? Well, that’s the experience I had this weekend.
Saturday night, I chaperoned a team of 11-year olds in Nashville as the Predators took on the Columbus Blue Jackets….
Sistito challenged a proven pugilist in Tootoo, which is a very common occurrence in preseason games as it is a way for a young player to show his coach that he’s ready to fulfill a role on the team. Tootoo obliged, which is also common practice for players of his ilk. It’s an unspoken bond of mutual respect. How else is a kid gong to show his mettle if vets decline the willing challenge?
Not surprisingly, the fans rose and cheered as the two exchanged punches. Sistito had an early advantage, raining blows on the smaller Tootoo. But, as so often happens, the veteran weathered the onslaught and started to pummel the wearied youngster, whose helmet came off.
Then it happened.
read on including video of the fight which I also embedded below…
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
Jason Chimera does not care that Eric Belanger’s rap sheet had been clean before Friday night’s hit from behind that sent the Blue Jackets winger off the ice on a stretcher.
He believes Belanger’s check was dirty and that it merits a suspension.
Chimera returned to Columbus on Saturday after he was held overnight in a St. Paul. Minn., hospital for observation. Belanger, a Wild center, rammed Chimera from behind—driving his face into the glass—as Chimera was trying to help teammates clear the puck from the defensive zone. Chimera’s face was driven into the ga
Chimera, who’s seen a replay, attached a graphic analogy to the hit and Belanger’s reputation as a clean player.
“It was a cheap hit, it was a dirty play,” Chimera said.
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,
Chimera’s situation is the most troubling, obviously. As of this writing—it’s about 12:15 a.m.—the only update was that Chimera was not flying back to Columbus with the Blue Jackets tonight. It’s unclear if he’s going to spend the rest of the night in the hospital, but that’s probably a safe assumption….
Modin was the first to arrive at Chimera’s side, hovering over him and speaking to him. Within moments of the hit, center Sammy Pahlsson began waving into the tunnel for paramedics to come onto the ice.
Here’s what Modin had to say. It’s pretty emotional.
“I didn’t see the hit,” Modin said. “I just saw Chimmer lying on his back, with blood coming out of his head. I wanted to talk to him, to let him know somebody was there with him … to let him know we were all there for him.
“It was very scary to see, because his eyes were rolling and his head was twitching, and it was pretty clear that something wasn’t right.”
via the Twitter of Aaron Portzline,
Fredrik Modin suffers right knee injury. “Looks like weeks, not days,” coach Ken Hitchcock said.
Ken Hitchcock on how visiting teams are ushered around Xcel Energy Center: “It’s quicker getting through Canadian customs.”
via Michael Russo’s Twitter....
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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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