Kukla's Korner Hockey
Spector takes a closer look at talk about a deal between Edmonton and Atlanta. Plus more speculation about Forsberg…
From Jim Matheson at The Edmonton Journal,
The writing may be on the wall for Dick Tarnstrom, who has been beaten out of a regular defence spot, for now, by the inspired pairing of two young Edmonton Oilers puck-movers.
Tom Gilbert and Denis Grebeshkov were on the ice with two minutes left Sunday in Anaheim as coach Craig MacTavish tried to get a short-handed score that Andrew Cogliano provided.
Tarnstrom, who was signed to a one-year, $2-million contract, has sat out two of the last three games at a time when the Oilers are missing two of their top four defencemen—Sheldon Souray and Joni Pitkanen—to injury.
From the Edmonton Sun,
Ducks owner Henry Samueli, his wife Susan, and general manager Brian Burke presented the ring to Penner after the game.
“I shook Burke’s hand, he said ‘Good luck’ and that was it,” Penner said. “I really didn’t know what to expect because it was a unique situation. But I’m done with this one and now I’m moving on to the next one.”
Continued...with more on a silent night between Burke and Lowe.
From Derek Van Diest at the Edmonton Sun,
“I don’t remember much, I just remember falling back,” Cogliano said. “My visor was up obviously and I think he was just jumping over me and his skate came up and caught me. It was pretty scary I didn’t want to open my eye, I just wanted to hold my hand over it.”
Cogliano was sporting a pair of small cuts on his cheekbone.
[Rob] Blake was stepping over Cogliano when his back skate came up and caught him just under the eye. Cogliano was back in the lineup yesterday against the Anaheim Ducks.
“There wasn’t a lot of blood, but for the most part it was a pretty scary incident,” Cogliano said. “My head was tilted backwards and that’s why his skate was able to get under my visor.”
From Eric Stephens at the LA Times,
The juicy subplot to Sunday’s game between the Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers seemed certain to come to a head.
But there was no shouting match or chance public encounter between the Ducks’ Brian Burke and the Oilers’ Kevin Lowe, the teams’ bickering general managers who avoided each other even as the NHL dispatched extra security because of the tension between the two.
And the subject of the controversial offer sheet at the heart of that tension, Dustin Penner, did little in his first appearance at Honda Center since he skated around the ice with the Stanley Cup in June.
(*the NHL sent extra security for those guys?! Wow)
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Those especially embarrassing white away uniforms with the shirt tails it looks like they forgot to tuck in, that crappy costume they were wearing on Hockey Night In Canada out of Los Angeles last night.
The Oilers have been wearing these daffy duds long enough most of the fans I’ve talked to have only one question:
“How do we get our stripe back?”
O.K. Two questions.
“How do we lose that practice uniform piping on the front, too?”
The fans clearly haven’t fallen in love with the Oilers new uniforms, home or away.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Penner doesn’t have any illusion about the reception he’ll get from the Ducks’ crowd. It may be warm but it won’t be a hero’s welcome like former Oilers winger Ryan Smyth of the Colorado Avalanche received at Rexall Place on Tuesday.
“I won’t be getting a video tribute. I won’t be tearing up,” kidded Penner. “I do have some fond memories though. I’m excited to be going back. I made some friends there that I’ll have for life.”
more and Penner hopes to get his Stanley Cup ring too…
Sources tell TSN that Edmonton Oilers’ Joni Pitkanen will undergo knee surgery which is expected to keep him out for four weeks.
From the CP,
Ryan Smyth, the former Edmonton Oiler, made good on his prediction Tuesday just before he faced off for the first time against his old team since his shocking trade eight months ago.
The mullet-haired left winger, now with the Colorado Avalanche, became teary-eyed as he lined up in pre-game ceremonies, watched a one-minute video tribute of his 11 seasons with the copper and blue, and received a 30-second standing ovation from the 16,839 fans at Rexall Place.
It wasn’t a weeper to rival the saddest of sports sob stories, “Brian’s Song,” but it had its moments.
Updated 3:30am ET:
Smyth’s comments in the Denver Post:
“It was a nice tribute to me and my family by (the Oilers). It’s quite an honor to come back to the city where you started your NHL career and be recognized like I was tonight,” said Smyth, who went scoreless in the game. “The fans were great to me, and I really appreciate that.”
added 5:53am by Paul, The first 55 seconds or so of the video (below) shows the ovation Smyth received from the Oilers fans.
Update 1:41pm ET: More commentary from John MacKinnon at The Edmonton Journal.
From Eric Duhatschek in Monday’s Globe & Mail,
As for Smyth’s return on Tuesday, which figures to be an emotional night for both him and his former team, Staios said he hoped that Edmonton fans will take into consideration his years of service when deciding how to greet him.
“He did a lot of great things for this organization,” Staios said. “The business side of things is never really appreciated by the fans.”
“Hopefully, they’ll remember what he did on the ice and in the community and can show him that respect – like they did for Jason when he came back.”
more… (*looking at the new Oilers era)
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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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