Kukla's Korner Hockey
The NHL's holiday roster freeze may be in effect, but the Ottawa Sun's intrepid Bruce Garrioch reports that the trade market steadily simmers along:
Nobody has been described as more desperate to make a deal than the New York Rangers. The club is on a nine-game homestand and has only one victory in seven games and that could mean a trade not long after the roster freeze is lifted at 12:01 a.m., Dec. 28.
League executives say Rangers GM Glen Sather has been working the phones trying to move several players — including blueliners Michael Del Zotto and Dan Girardi — in an attempt to try get his struggling club on track.
While Del Zotto has been the one the club has shopped heavily, the Rangers also need to sign Girardi, a UFA on July 1, so they may be starting to see what they can get in case they can’t sign him.
Garrioch continues at extended length...
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman likes to suggest that one percent of the fifty thousand or so hits that take place during the course of a full 82-game season are in any way willfully dangerous and/or "questionable," but the New York Post's Larry Brooks believes that the high incidences of player-injuring hits, suspensions that appear to have little to no behavior-modifying effects and no real consensus as to where the players, coaches, GM's, teams and the league go from here require a second "Shanahan Summit" to review the effects of the second lockout's worth of "crackdown" rule changes:
[In] the wake of a cavalcade of frightening incidents and increasing awareness of the ramifications of the kill-shots that have become an NHL staple, the critical questions are, a) whether and to what degree the rules changes have contributed to the increased danger these remarkable athletes face whenever they’re on the ice; and b), if so, what can the league do to reduce the peril?
Bobby Orr submits the red line should be reinstituted. By all means, reserve a seat at the table for No. 4, who, despite his post-career life as a player agent, operates without an agenda beyond advocating what’s best for the game (and the young people who play it).
That’s the critical component of what would be required of the participants in the summit — no agenda. The joint player-management competition committee that was borne out of the ’04-05 lockout and was meant to be a regulatory body has failed in its duty, as it too often has broken down into just another us-against-them forum.
Players are going to continue to get bigger and faster. Collisions are going to continue to occur at greater force and create greater destruction. No, this is not figure skating, to coin a phrase, but neither is this a fight to the death.
Referee Dan O'Rourke left the game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers at Nationwide Arena on Saturday night after being injured in the first period and will not return.
O'Rourke was crunched into the boards by several players early in the game and appeared to have been kicked in the chest by a skate. The Blue Jackets said O'Rourke will not return.
The Predators announced he would not return to the game.
added 9:51pm, CBC video below, probably a little easier to see...
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean touched on numerous topics including Cherry stating P.K. Subban has to be on Team Canada.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- Every other day, when there’s some kind of debate over a suspendible hit in the NHL, somebody yearns for the good old days of respect in hockey. When was that, exactly? In the ’60s, when Gordie Howe was drilling elbows in people’s heads. In the ’70s, when the Philadelphia Flyers were creating havoc on a nightly basis and stick swinging was in vogue. In the ’80s, when Mark Messier was steamrolling players into the boards from behind? I must have missed this era of respect.
- First and second impressions of the Florida rookie, Aleksander Barkov: He’s the next Jonathan Toews, sort of, only younger, larger and physically stronger.
- Will anyone have a better defence in Sochi than Sweden with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Erik Karlsson, Niklas Kronwall, Victor Hedman and the possibilities of Alex Edler, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jonas Brodin? And who would have thought this — a question in goal with the suddenly shaky Henrik Lundqvist?
Gaborik returned tonight from injury, but...
added 8:39pm, Watch below to see the Gaborik injury.
Hotstove Tonight: High number of injuries will lead to higher escrow
The panel examines the high number of injuries and suspensions this season.
Plus the GM search in Buffalo and Calgary plus some 24/7 talk.
Carol of the Bells is the music the montage is set to tonight.
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
Prior to tonight's game at Columbus against the Blue Jackets, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that forward Steve Downie will not be in the line-up.
Downie will also be out 7-10 days with an upper-body injury.
With Downie out of the line-up tonight, Vinny Lecavalier will return to action.
Originally expected to be out 3-4 weeks from Dec. 9 with a non-displaced back fracture, Lecavalier will appear in his first game since Nov. 30 at Nashville. He has missed the last nine games, and a total of 13 games on the year.
Lecavalier leads the team in power-play goals with five and is tied for second on the team in goals (9). In his first season with the Flyers he has 14 points (9g-5a) in 22 games.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org