Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Russo’s Rants,
Again the Andrew Brunette, Mikko Koivu, Antti Miettinen line, which needs a better nickname than the one I used tonight, were tremendous. Ten points. 8 goals, 24 points for the season! Very unWildlike. Those eight goals are on 23 shots, by the way.
Koivu had a career-high five points, a team-record-tying four helpers. Miettinen had his second straight two-goal, three-point game. He’s the first Wild player to score goals in his first three games.
more on the Wild…
via Russo’s Rants,
Marian Gaborik is out tonight with a lower body injury.
via Russo’s Rants,
Right wing Pierre-Marc Bouchard will return to Minnesota tomorrow morning to rest a sore back that’s been bothering him since early in training camp. He missed the first three preseason games with the same problem.
Wild assistant GM Tom Lynn wouldn’t say anymore.
One thing for sure: These Internet rumors that Gaborik wants to play in Edmonton are as laughable as Sean Avery jumping up and down in front of Martin Brodeur.
-Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune. More hockey talk from Russo…
from Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press,
Craig Leipold, who on Saturday begins his first full season as owner of the Wild, figures he has a playoff team.
“I think it’s very fair to say we’re a playoff team,” said Leipold, a former owner of the Nashville Predators. “We have the same players basically (as last season’s division champions). My expectations are high, and I think we’re going to go a long way. I like this team — there is high energy — and I think everyone on the team would be disappointed if we didn’t make the playoffs.”
As for the contract extension stalemate with all-star player Marian Gaborik, Leipold said he still hopes to sign the team’s top scorer, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Gaborik’s future in Minnesota is basically up to Gaborik, Leipold said.
a few more hockey related bits…
from the Minnesota Wild,
The Minnesota Wild is excited to welcome the newest member of the Team of 18,000, Nordy. Nordy hails from way up yonder and is a lifelong resident of The State of Hockey. Born in Eveleth, Minnesota, he was raised with a stick and a pair of blades and cut his teeth on the ponds and lakes throughout the Iron Range. He now resides at Xcel Energy Center and calls the Capital City home.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
If the Minnesota Wild don’t want to give winger Marian Gaborik more than Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin ($8.7 million a year) in a seven- or eight-year extension, they could always consider trading a star for a star.
Here’s one wildcat trade possibility: Gaborik to Pittsburgh for Malkin because the Penguins are very weak on the wing.
That would be akin to Dany Heatley for Marian Hossa, pretty rare stuff in this league where quality usually gets dealt for quantity.
continued with more NHL talk
from Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press,
Why was there such tepid interest in Nashville?
It’s a cultural thing.
Is that anything you didn’t know going in or were you too optimistic?
Both. Nashville is a market where people who were raised in Nashville go to college in Nashville, they go back to work in Nashville. It was a little harder to break into that culture, and I should have known that. The fans in Nashville are great. They’re rabid. They’re vocal. They’re passionate. There just aren’t enough of them.
Do you consider your investment there a failure or a learning experience?
I don’t consider it a failure. I look at it as I was the caretaker there the first 10 years and I’ve now passed it off to some local guys, and hopefully they can take it to a level I wasn’t able to take it to. If the team ends up cratering and moves out, then I would say I was not successful.
more from Leipold, mostly on the team he currently owns, the Minnesota Wild…
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
Marian Gaborik’s long-term future with the Wild never has been more uncertain.
General Manager Doug Risebrough told the Star Tribune on Friday that he does not expect to sign Gaborik, who is one season from unrestricted free agency, to a contract extension by the start of the season.
“Not making any headway,” said Risebrough, who last month said it would be prudent to sign Gaborik, the team’s all-time leading scorer, to an extension by next Saturday’s season opener. “I was trying to do something before the season. It’s not happening. ... It’s not going to happen by the start of the season.”
Asked if he’ll react by putting Gaborik on the trading block, Risebrough said, “That, I’ll have to determine.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
So chances are when all is said and done, with all those forces working on him, Gaborik will swallow his personal feelings and sign. But if he doesn’t, that’s when it really gets to be fun.
There’s no way Minny trades him to Vancouver. That almost certainly won’t happen given they’re in the same division. But if the team taking him in a deal can’t re-sign him, he may well consider coming here next year to meet up with old buddy Demitra. Gaborik probably wouldn’t mind playing with Marian Hossa either, but Hossa will also be a free agent next year and going for big money, so any team that wanted to pair them would have to be laying out a minimum of $18 million for the next five or six years.
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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