Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Russo’s Rants,
The Wild has called a 10:30 news conference for this morning at Xcel Energy Center where 37-year-old center Wes Walz, the Wild’s all-time leader with 438 games played, will announce his retirement from the NHL, two NHL sources confirmed Friday night.
Walz, one of two last Original Wild players along with Marian Gaborik, has been on indefinite leave from the team since Nov. 1. Walz’s 82 goals and 182 points rank second in franchise history behind Gaborik
Update 12:27pm ET— Press Release from the Minnesota Wild:
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Minnesota Wild veteran center Wes Walz, the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, announced his retirement Saturday morning at an Xcel Energy Center press conference.
From Russo’s Rants at the Star Tribune,
Pavol Demitra is definitely playing. Matt Foy is coming out for him. Second straight time he’s been scratched after a two-point game. Foster skated today and hopes to practice tomorrow. Nummelin and Harding skated but won’t play.
Demitra has officially been activated for tonight’s game. Harding has been placed on injured reserve to make room for him. This is becoming a shuffling game.
Leading my notebook with the bad luck the Wild has had with facial injuries. Three guys wore full cages today. I said to Jacques it looks like college, and he said, “like a kennel.”
From the Minnesota Wild,
Fans of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild are encouraged to tune into ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” this Sunday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m. CST. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” can be found locally on Eyewitness News Channel 5 (KSTP). The special will air for two hours.
The episode will feature the Swenson-Lee Family of suburban Minneapolis. The Wild played an important part in the makeover.
The show airs tonight, November 25th, on ABC.
From the Dallas Stars,
The Dallas Stars announced today that left wing Todd Fedoruk has been claimed off re-entry waivers by the Minnesota Wild. The Stars and Wild will split Fedoruk’s salary (signed one-year deal for $875,000 in off-season) for the remainder of the 2007-08 season.
added 5:10pm, Tom Lynn, Asst. GM for the Wild on the Fedoruk pick-up via Russo’s Rants,
“The general manager is not happy where we are right now, so he’s made this move (Fedoruk). Some guys will have to step up or there will be other moves.”
He added, “In order to compete against some of the teams in our conference that we need to get ahead of, we need a grittier, more committed physical team. Fedoruk, we didn’t get just to come and fight. He makes us a tougher team.”
from Russo’s Rants,
I watched Canucks color guy John Garrett last night between periods of the Canucks-Oil game making it like Boogaard threatened everybody on the Canucks and their significant others.
Besides continually trying to put words in Ray Ferraro’s mouth, Garrett said the league should have an IQ test for players and that Boogaard is not the “sharpest tool in the drawer.” I guarantee you Garrett has never had a conversation with Boogaard in his life.
added 1:22pm, Alanah chimes in at Canucks and Beyond. Be prepared…
“Any time a guy takes a two-hander and breaks another guy’s leg, things are bound to get heated,” Wild left winger Brian Rolston said.
Monday, the Canucks recalled minor league tough guy Mike Brown (24 fights in the past 13 months), who last season was suspended two games for a blindside hit that left the Wild’s Matt Foy with a broken nose and concussion. Wild minor league callup Aaron Voros, who has two goals, one fight and 10 hits in five games, spent Monday night on the Internet studying Brown’s fighting tendencies.
It might only be a November regular-season game, but the NHL is also prepared. It’s sent animated, take-control veteran ref Mick McGeough in for the game, and the league headquarters will have multiple sets of eyes on this fiery divisional showdown.
Many of these types of games have not lived up to the pre-game hype, wondering if this one will be different?
from the Vancouver Province,
The Vancouver Canucks may start a three-game road trip in Edmonton tonight, but the focus is already on what’s shaping up as a grudge match Wednesday in Minnesota.
That would be the second half of a home-and-home series with the Wild, whom the Canucks drubbed 6-2 Friday at GM Place in a game that got very ugly. After a variety of elbows and chops, Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund two-handed Wild centre Mikko Koivu on the ankle, cracking a bone and earning himself a four-game suspension.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But we care not what Koivu did. You want to suspend Koivu for the elbow? Go ahead. Of course, it’s a moot point given that he has a broken leg.
Did we mention that? A broken leg. In the mind of NHL czar of discipline Colin Campbell, that equals four games or a paltry 5 percent of the season.
Given that Campbell went all soft on Randy Jones a couple of weeks ago by giving the Philadelphia defenseman just two games for a hit from behind that may have ended Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron’s season, four games seems just about right on the NHL’s sliding scale of mayhem.
from the Star Tribune (Sunday edition),
Hill is ready to play and finally eligible to do so. Perhaps that will come today against the Colorado Avalanche because he’s formally served the final 19 games of his 20-game suspension for becoming the first NHL player to test positive for steroids.
“I’m as ready as I can be,” said Hill, a Duluth native who denies he used steroids last season while playing for the Islanders. “Obviously there are times when I’m a bit rusty, and maybe my timing won’t be where it should be, but I think we’ve done everything we can as far as preparing, and the rest of the stuff’s going to come the more I play.”
via the Pioneer Press,
Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu has a cracked left fibula, non-displaced, and will miss about a week of action, a team spokesperson said Saturday night.
Koivu was injured when he was slashed by Vancouver’s Mattias Ohlund late in the the third period of the Wild’s 6-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday in Vancouver, British Columbia. Ohlund was given a five-minute major. There was no word Saturday night on any possible discipline being handed out to Ohlund by the NHL.
added 10:16pm, You can watch the two-handed slash by Ohlund…
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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