Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Sun,
“There was a lot of scrutiny in terms of budgets and financial perameters that may or may not be there (now). I think the budget went up 10-million bucks the year I was fired as a manager,” said Keenan, who planned on building around centre Olli Jokinen and star goaltender Roberto Luongo but dealt the latter when financial negotiations failed.
“Hopefully they’re confident enough that the marketplace will turn around and support the budget they’re working ... At the time, coming out of the lockout, it was tough for an ownership group because they didn’t get the fanbase they had anticipated. I respect what they were doing but it’s difficult in those circumstances to put a team on the ice that maybe you’d like.”
I think The Sailor took a wrong turn with his boat.
from the Sun-Sentinel,
While his teammates left for Washington on Tuesday, Panthers defenseman Mike Van Ryn went to receive a cortisone injection in his right wrist.
It’s likely the last resort for Van Ryn before he’s forced to have surgery on that wrist for the third time in a year and a half — surgery that would end the 28-year-old’s season and possibly his seven-year NHL career.
from the Sun-Sentinel,
At any time inside both the Panthers’ and Rangers’ dressing rooms this season, you can hear Czech spoken.
Both rosters have six players from the former Czechoslovakia, now split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia….
“It’s not something I can’t be without, but it definitely helps, no question,” Vokoun said. “You’re always close to people who grew up the same way and have gone through the same things. It’s very good for family life.”
from On Frozen Pond,
JM got testy today when asked about the reported division in the room, telling us to name our sources. That, of course, is not going to happen. And it can’t happen. But none of this is new. JM hasn’t been a good communicator and I don’t think he thinks he needs to be.
JM is an old-school guy in the thought he feels these guys should be able to motivate themselves from within, that they make enough money they should play with pride and be up for every game. Yet this is the real world. That always isn’t the case.
Has Jacques lost the room? I don’t think he has.
from the Palm Beach Post,
Majority owner Alan Cohen denies it, but a well-placed NHL source said Tuesday that general manager and coach Jacques Martin and captain Olli Jokinen must get the Panthers to the playoffs this season or one or both are likely to be gone.
“Jokinen has got to pick up his productivity and leadership and get this team to the playoffs,” said the source, who deals with the Panthers on a regular basis. “And with an excellent draft next year, Jacques needs a playoff berth after giving Nashville his first- and second-round picks in the (Tomas) Vokoun trade.” Cohen was quick to issue denials when Jokinen trade rumors surfaced last weekend, insisting he would never trade the ninth-year center, and Tuesday he was just as quick to underscore his faith in Martin.
From Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
Is it possible that Brett Hull might save Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson, Jr.‘s job?
Seems illogical, but then logic rarely is a dominant theme at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, a behemoth in terms of producing revenue, but a consistent failure in terms of on-ice success in the NHL.
The buzz for weeks has been that MLSE’s board of directors has been contemplating Ferguson’s dismissal, but the recent appointment of Hull as interim co-director of the Dallas Stars may have made an impact in Toronto.
The argument in favor of keeping the beleaguered Ferguson has long centered on a simple question: “Who can we get to replace him?” That question gave the board some pause this past offseason when several high profile (and under contract) GMs quietly let it be known they weren’t interested in the board’s plan to bring in an experienced hockey man to “mentor” Ferguson.
continued… including a look at shakeups in Dallas, St. Louis and Florida
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
...That said, there is word few people on this team is real happy with how things are going and there has been word of a possible revolt. I’m not kidding about this.
My take: If JM is shopping Olli, not good. He’s the captain and face of this franchise—for better or worse. If this is true, JM needs to come out and say so. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about it really, but I will in the near future. Probably tonight. Word of Olli being shopped has leaked to the players and it is not, NOT, sitting well in the room.
I don’t think it’s happening….
added 10:28pm, more from George Richards,
Spoke to JM, Olli and Alan Cohen. They say absolutely no truth to the rumors that Olli has been shopped.
from the Palm Beach-Post,
It’s not like these guys are a bunch of losers. Jokinen and linemate Ville Peltonen won silver medals with Finland at the 2006 Olympics. Mike Van Ryn won a national championship at the University of Michigan. Ruslan Salei, Radek Dvorak and Steve Montador have all come within one win of a Stanley Cup. Nathan Horton won gold with Canada in the World Under-18 championships.
But collectively, there’s some mental bridge that has been impossible to cross. Not that there’s any shortage of thoughts on the subject.
“We just have to have the mental preparation and focus, even if it needs to be 30 seconds at a time,” Peltonen said. “Create that as a habit, do it as well as you can every time out there, and the result will come.”
from the Sun-Sentinel,
Standing in the visitors’ dressing room inside RBC Center, goalie Tomas Vokoun pointed out all of this after Florida’s 4-2 loss at Carolina, and then said he couldn’t understand why the Panthers didn’t work hard.
“We’re not consistently doing that enough to be successful on an every-night basis,” Vokoun said. “We are whatever we feel like that day, and that’s just not winning hockey. If you want to be in the playoffs, you have to be a whole lot better than that.
“No team is going to give you an easy game and say, ‘We’ll just let you win tonight.’ Especially with our team, we need everybody pulling their weight. That’s the bottom line for us to win. If that’s not happening, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves. We’re on the ice.”
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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