Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the LA Times,
Brad Stuart is looking forward to keeping things simple for a while. Jaroslav Modry said the time will allow the Kings to further bond as a team. Rob Blake, well, he’s just indifferent these days.
Such are the opinions of the most veteran Kings players, as they prepare for an eight-game, 16-day trip, one of the longest of their careers.
“It’s right up there, for sure,” said Stuart, in his eighth NHL season and first with the Kings. “It’s going to be a long haul, but I think the good thing is we’re spending a lot of time in an area where we don’t have to travel a whole lot.”
continued (reg. req.)
from the LA Daily News,
If the Kings’ Rob Blake wasn’t so good, this wouldn’t be so awkward.
Blake, the club’s aging captain, has to go. He is still one of the top four players in franchise history and his Hall of Fame credentials are unquestioned. He is a stand-up guy.
But the team is going to miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year. His best contribution right now would come from leaving, with the club getting a couple of draft picks before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
Chelios also talks trade possibilities, saying that he thinks a defenseman would help the team most. His defenseman of choice? Rob Blake of the Los Angeles Kings. “He’s in a situation there where there’s just no end at the light of the tunnel and he’s lost his drive right now,” Chelios says of Blake. “I’ve been there. I talked to him last time we played him, and he would love to come here.”
This week, Luc Robitaille of the LA Kings will be hosting a Celebrity Shoot-Out—a charity event in Utah to raise money for a spinal care center there.
This is just one of the many ways Robitaille involves himself in charitable causes; not only just throwing money onto a collection plate, but getting involved in a very personal, hands-on way. From Mike G. Morreale at NHL.com,
”Following Hurricane Katrina (in 2005), my wife and I started our own foundation (Shelter for Serenity) and actually went to New Orleans, picked up a bunch of families and brought them back to live in our house in Utah,’’ Robitaille told NHL.com. “We wanted to provide them a chance to restart their lives. But during this process, we realized that the people most affected and in need of help were the children. The kids were the ones at risk since they came mostly from poor families.’’
continued with much more about Robitaille’s various personal and team commitments to good causes.
via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Finally, a note to fans of the Lightning, Leafs, and Kings: It. Is. Over.
Miracles are never completely out of the question, but thanks to the NHL’s unbalanced schedule, there is virtually no possibility whatsoever Tampa Bay, Toronto or Los Angeles can leapfrog the five or six teams in front of them to secure a playoff berth. Let the firings and/or fire sales begin.
From Chris Zelcovich at The Star,
“I was telling him about how even though he has cerebral palsy and is one of the smallest guys on the team, he’s one of our best players,” says Peddle. Then he said that Johnson was his hero.
Peddle’s father, who winters in Tampa, mentioned he lived next door to Johnson’s godfather, Jeff Horne. A few phone calls later, the rendezvous was set up after Horne learned that Hill was taking Desmond to L.A. to visit his aunt and attend Thursday’s game against the Maple Leafs.
Johnson says he jumped at the opportunity to meet Desmond when Horne called him.
“I had trouble believing anyone in Canada liked me,” Johnson says with a laugh, referring to some of the devastating hits he registered against Team Canada while playing for the U.S. at the world junior tournament in 2006. “When I heard he had cerebral palsy but was playing with older boys I thought I had to meet him.”
from Jeff Gordon at Fox Sports,
With their playoff hopes dashed, Lombardi may have to get a head start on retooling the team. Aside from pondering a coaching change, he must explore whether to trade veterans to contenders willing to spend draft picks and prospects.
Rob Blake and Nagy are due to become unrestricted free agents this summer and Blake is apparently willing to finish this season with a contender.
Lombardi will have some cap room to play with after the season, but he must decide what to do about his coaching staff and the poor results this season.
from Inside the Kings,
“This is first game in months we played poorly and we played awful tonight,’’ Crawford said. “It was a stinker, there’s no two ways about it. You can’t mask this one in any way. It was awful and we all have to take responsibility for it.
“I think it starts with me. You have to look at the coach and say hey, these guys got scored on quite a bit early in the game. We’ve addressed that but we’re still having it happen. We can’t point fingers at (the players). I think we’ve all got to look at having some ownership and some accountability of it, myself included, and look at some ways we can address our games right now. From our coaching staff, I can assure you we’re burning the midnight oil analyzing and maybe overanalyzing our games.’‘
via Adrian Dater at the Denver Post,
He is 38 years old, has a no-trade clause and makes a lot of money. But Rob Blake would still be attractive to many NHL teams at the league trade deadline or sooner, and the former Avalanche defenseman said he would consider waiving his clause to go to the right team.
“(The Kings) would have to come to me first, but, yeah, it’s a possibility,” Blake said, after Saturday’s 3-1 Kings victory over the Avs.
Blake, who played with Colorado from 2001-04, is in the final year of a contract earning him $6 million. With the Kings having the worst record in the NHL, even after Saturday’s win, the team could become sellers by the Feb. 26 deadline. “Hopefully, we can turn things around here first, before any (trade) talk happens,” Blake said.
Hockey invading Hollywood pop culture… a good thing, right? Errr… well, from Extra TV,
Now Canadian cutie Michael Cammalleri is ready to set up a power play for that special someone in his life.
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