Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
This contract ordeal has been watched closely by the entire NHL, and over the past month the Star Tribune has talked to nearly a dozen current and former league executives. Many refused to be quoted or asked for anonymity, but they all had an opinion—from “Gaborik should re-sign” for a fair deal to “the Wild waited too long.”
“Unfortunately, it’s as difficult and challenging a situation that you can be in,” said Doug MacLean, the former Columbus Blue Jackets general manager.
That’s in part because it’s hard to see an end game that has Gaborik re-signing, yet the team’s ability to trade him has been halted by this injury. It’s a worst-case scenario for the Wild.
“You’ve got the [March 4 trade] deadline,” MacLean said. “That’s the sad part of this whole scenario. They had an amazing asset that’s diminished.”
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
Don’t view any investment as a safe investment. Don’t draw an inside straight. Don’t argue politics with someone who didn’t want change. And don’t ever, ever discount the Minnesota Wild’s chances of making the playoffs as long as Jacques Lemaire is coach.
I’m not even waiting for New Year’s Day to make my resolution. That’s now my philosophy after watching November unfold.
In October, my prediction was that the Minnesota Wild wouldn’t make the playoffs. Today, they have the third-best winning percentage in the Western Conference and they are leading the NHL in goals-against average.
Looking at Minnesota’s roster and reviewing how the Wild have performed this season, my conclusion is that as respected as Lemaire is around the NHL, we might still be underestimating his importance.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog,
“Turco pushed the net,” Lemaire said. “It’s the third time that Turco does that, just against us. He goes like he’s going to stumble, and he just lays on the post, that’s what he does. It’s a trick, but now they’ll know. Next time, they’ll watch.”...
When told that Lemaire said that historically speaking, Turco had a history of doing that, Turco replied:
“When he played, they had steel pegs in there, and the net wasn’t coming off, And I don’t know how many times he was in front of the net, anyway…historically speaking.”
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
There is a rumor out there that the Minnesota Wild are on the verge of trading Gaborik. As in any hour or day now, it’s that close.
Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be a reach.
Gaborik, after all, is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
Gaborik, thus far, has rejected all contract offers from the Wild and it doesn’t look like he’s about to put pen to paper in the Twin Cities any time soon.
added 1:36pm, via Russo’s Rants,
Risebrough, by the way according to multiple sources, was at last night’s Ottawa-Rangers game — two teams I said weeks ago made sense for a potential Marian Gaborik trade. Bryan Murray, Ottawa’s GM, loves making blockbusters, and Rangers GM Glen Sather is buddy buddy with Risebrough
Clarification: Doug Risebrough was on the Ottawa-Rangers press box seating chart, but he never made it to the game. He planned to scout the game, but flight problems forced him to detour to Pittsburgh. He was in Pittsburgh by 4:45 yesterday..
added 2:24pm, Mark Hermann of Newsday wonders if the Rangers could fit Gaborik into the lineup…
Minnesota and Pittsburgh face each other tonight and that can mean only one thing- another Derek Boogaard and Eric Godard fight?
Empty Netters has highlights of their previous bouts.
from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,
Gaborik never even got close to the real practice.
Later, during our ghostly meeting, Gaborik noted: “I skated for a little while today.”
Anyway, he doesn’t sound like a man who is going to be playing hockey any time soon. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. Gaborik can’t be traded until he shows he is healthy. And he really can’t be signed to a mega-contract until he shows he is healthy. Would you give him more than $82 million right now? I asked him if this was the worst time of his life.
“I’ve had worse,” he muttered.
I didn’t have the heart to ask him what those were. But at least he’s alive.
from Russo’s Rants,
Lemaire thinks of the Vancouver media with about as high a regard as Alex Burrows thinks of Bouchard (if it makes you feel better, I like you fellas).
“You notice there in the third, they’ve got five guys at their blue line and [their media’s] talking about our trap?” Lemaire said. “That’s a new trap.”
The Canucks media often interrogate Lemaire on the Wild’s style, which Lemaire abhors.
more on the Canucks/Wild game and Luongo’s 3rd consecutive shutout (he hasn’t been scored upon since Brodeur went down, coincidence?)...
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
Talked with Pavol Demitra this morning. He’s close to returning from a rib injury but won’t play tonight. He was disappointed. He was very friendly and said Jacques Lemaire treated him incredibly. He said his biggest frustration in Minnesota was not playing center, but being switched from line to line. He was also good talking about Marian Gaborik’s situation and said the Wild should just sign him.
more Wild related notes…
According to Adrian Dater at All Things Avs:
Darcy Tucker escaped suspension. From my league sources, Tucker will not be suspended for his clipping incident against Minnesota’s Nick Schultz Thursday night.
from Russo’s Rants,
Late in the second period, Tucker and defenseman Nick Schultz clashed deep in the Wild’s zone. After the pushing match, the two lined up next to each other and Tucker began screaming at him as the Wild was on a penalty kill. Schultz was called off the ice on a line change and as he skated by, Tucker continued barking at him.
Then, 6:33 into the third, in a despicable act but one he’s done often in his career, Tucker came in way late on Schultz, bent down and went right for the knees. He was called for clipping.
I got Schultz alone in the locker room, and he was still fuming. Here’s his comments:
“My concern is at the end of the second, he tells me he’s going to come and take out my knees, and then he actually does it. It says everything you need to know about that guy.
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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