Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Hotstove last night talked about the Kovalchuk circumvention, taking back money in trades, the Vancouver Caucks and Wild GM Cliff Fletcher getting a contract extension.
Erik Haula of the Minnesota Wild received 5 for charging and a game misconduct for this collision/hit on Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
Both coaches post-game reaction below...
Wild press release is below...
from Andy Clayton of the New York Daily News,
When Martin Brodeur starts in goal for the Devils Tuesday night at the Prudential Center, it will be the 1,250th time he’s stood between the pipes for New Jersey in the regular season. Sources say, it’s likely it will also be the last time.
With Wednesday’s NHL trading deadline looming, a source told the Daily News the Devils and Minnesota have agreed upon a deal that would send the lifelong Devil and future Hall of Famer to the Wild. The deal is pending the approval of Brodeur, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, and, according to the source, wanted one last home game with Devils.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
It's amazing what stringing together a few wins can do to your playoff position.
With another win -- that's now five straight -- on Monday night, the Minnesota Wild are starting to pad their lead over teams outside the playoff bubble. Their win over the Calgary Flames, a team that continues to play hard for coach Bob Hartley, gave the Wild a nine-point edge on Winnipeg and Vancouver in the Western wild card race.
If GM Chuck Fletcher was on the fence about adding a significant piece at the deadline, his team is certainly helping make the case that they deserve a shot.
read on for Burnside on the Stars and Strang and LeBrun on the Kings...
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
The Wild has talked to New Jersey about future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur, who might be willing to waive his no-trade clause to come to Minnesota. Brodeur, who has two children at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, said after backstopping the Devils to a victory over the Islanders on Saturday that any team trading for him wouldn’t have to guarantee the No. 1 job. He just wants to play more than he does now.
The Wild has talked to Carolina about former Stanley Cup-winning goalie Cam Ward, sources say. But his exorbitant contact is an issue. Fletcher and Oilers GM Craig MacTavish were huddled during the second intermission of their game Thursday, and there’s little doubt eccentric goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, whom the Wild inquired about before he signed with Edmonton, has been offered.
The former No. 1 with Phoenix and Philadelphia could cost squat (probably a midround draft pick in what, by all accounts, is a terrible draft), too.
Florida’s Tim Thomas and Carolina’s Anton Khudobin, an ex-Wild, might also be on the block.
What else? The Islanders are working hard to trade Vanek. Since the Wild might pursue him this summer as a free agent, it’s likely the only way Fletcher takes a nibble is if GM Garth Snow’s asking price drops. Wild guess? He hasn’t called Columbus about Marian Gaborik.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
So if you’re Chuck Fletcher, what do you do? If it were me, I’d ride out Kuemper but go out and get some insurance because of Josh Harding’s absence and Niklas Backstrom’s abdominal issue.
Lots of rumors out there tonight that Buffalo will try to flip Jaroslav Halak, whom it acquired from St. Louis today in a package for Ryan Miller, to Minnesota. There’s no doubt Fletcher’s good buddy Tim Murray will try. The impression I got internally though today from the organization is it has little interest in Halak.
The Wild has inquired about Cam Ward and Martin Brodeur and has had Ilya Bryzgalov offered to them. There’s also Tim Thomas.
It’ll be interesting to see how Fletcher proceeds because while the Wild needs another goalie as insurance, how do you not continue to go with Kuemper as the No. 1?
read on for the Wild win in Vancouver...
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
“Like every team, we have needs, but this year is interesting because with the cap situation so tight on every team, you’re probably only going to be able to address one need,” Fletcher said. “It’s going to be hard to go out and do everything, so you almost need to pick the most pressing.
“We could probably use upgrades, but we’ve become a pretty tight-knit team through this last stretch, so I’d be very comfortable finishing the season with the team we have.”
If Fletcher had to pick one need?
“We’re a team still in the bottom six offensively, yet over the last month and a half, we’re averaging three goals a game. So you want to be a little careful there and decide if you need to really go out and get scoring,” he said.
“I like the way we defend and we have decent depth, but you could always use another defenseman. We have to figure out our goaltending situation, but we like our depth there, too. So throughout our lineup, we’ve had better depth, which is why we’ve been able to overcome all our injuries.
“But that’s not to say you can’t get better depth and find a way to upgrade a particular position.”
from John Manasso of Fox Sports Tennessee,
With defenseman Shea Weber getting hotter and hotter since the middle of December, Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz has increasingly begun making the case for Weber to win the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman.
In recent weeks Weber has almost single-handedly powered the Predators back into the playoff race — his three-point game at Philadelphia on Jan. 16 and two-goal game last Friday against New Jersey stand out as prime examples of his singular contributions in victories — all of which has lent more credence to Trotz's claims while also providing some food for thought.
Unless the Predators make the playoffs, Weber will have a hard time winning the Norris. However, if Nashville does make the playoffs, is it possible that Weber is worthy of an even larger prize? Perhaps he is an even better candidate for the Hart Trophy.
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.
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