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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Picking an All-Star Team, Especially this Year, Isn’t Easy but, Hell, I’ll Do it Again Anyway

It’s never a cinch to select the rosters for an All-Star game in any sport and, with a bizarre “fantasy draft” format for this year’s NHL midseason showcase and the game’s first six participants already selected via fan balloting, filling out this season’s All-Star pool of 42 has some added challenge to it, to say the least.

For starters, dividing things by conference is no longer a provision, as the remaining 36 All-Stars named today will go into said pool along with the elected top-six for a field of 42. With that in mind, and factoring in at least one representative for every member club, there will be notable omissions, no matter how this list is put together, or by whom.

Nevertheless, always one to face a challenge head-on, in keeping with my annual tradition (whether an All-Star game has been played or not), I’ve put together my own list of mid-season honorees, complete with a set of 12 rookies to be featured in the skills competition at All-Star Weekend, as the NHL Hockey Operations department will do later today.

(For clarity’s sake, I’ve already accounted for the fan selections.)

Deep breaths, everyone. Here goes nothing, with a few explanations afterwards…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

Video- Let’s Summarize The Kind Of Year The Devils Have Had

Game winning goal tonight…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wild News

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

I talked to GM Chuck Fletcher on the phone for a long time today about a variety of subjects you’ll be reading about in the nexty little while, one being Zidlicky. The defenseman is getting a second opinion and then in the next week, the Wild and Zidlicky will go over the options and make the best decision.

Fletcher said they’ll disclose the exact injury when they get more information, but it’s not minor and, “It’s not something you want to have happen to one of your players, let’s put it that way.”

As for Ortmeyer, again, just a depth signing. Fletcher said he’ll go to Houston and fit in the callup mold of Robbie Earl and Warren Peters. They just wanted more depth down in Houston so they didn’t always have to confuse their prospects by calling up guys like Wellman and Almond and Gillies for short-term callups. But this is an Aeros’ signing mostly. No biggee, and he doesn’t count vs. the cap. It’s a one-year deal at $525,000 (prorated) when he’s up, $105,000 in Houston.

more Minnesota talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Fan Taunting?

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,

Several fans in Nationwide Arena’s section 109 tonight said NHL official Paul Devorski made a “crying face” and an obscene gesture during the third period of the Blue Jackets’ 4-3 shootout win over the Wild.

NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell had no comment when contacted by The Dispatch. Devorski did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Roughly 15 fans seated in or around the area sent emails or Twitter messages to The Dispatch shortly after the incident. One of them, Ritter Hoy, who was seated in the middle of the fifth row up from the glass, agreed to be interviewed by The Dispatch.

“Two guys in front of us started giving the refs (grief) after they clearly missed a call,” Hoy said. “Happens at every game, right?

“Well, the No. 10 official put his fingers up and rubbed his eyes and made a crying face, like ‘what are you going to do, cry?’ They started giving him more (grief) and he put his middle finger up to his chin and acted like he was scratching his face. It was very, very blatant. The whole section saw it and went crazy.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: paul+devorski

Bothered By Clutterbuck

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

There are some players I just have to laugh at in this game, though, and Cal Clutterbuck is one of them. Nothing against the guy at all. He’s good at what he does, which is drive you crazy with the game of “I hit you first, then try to draw the penalty with your retaliation hit against me.” These guys have been in hockey for time immemorial.

That’s fine, I respect that. It’s a game. You have to play every angle, and if being the agitator who gets the opposition to lose their minds and, hence, the game is what you need to do to succeed, then by all means do it, especially if you’ll be paid a million dollars for it.

But, and part of me hates saying this in a way, because I really don’t care either way. But, Cal Clutterbuck is a cowardly hockey player.

He’s Bill Laimbeer on skates, folks.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cal+clutterbuck

Afternoon Line

More soft dumps than you’ll find at a Preparation H testing facility. Tighter ‘n’ Oprah’s corset. Less room than a solitary confinement cell in D-Block on Alcatraz.

Wild hockey.

Never was anything more inaptly named.

The NHL’s version of elevator muzak. The league’s chastity belt. The team that’s as much about clutter as Clutterbuck.

The guys in the Wrigley Spearmint Gum duds are (in)famous for dead-bolting the doors, drawing the shades, turning off all the lights and daring unwanted visitors to trespass on their premises.

-George Johnson of the Calgary Herald describing the Minnesota Wild, who beat the Flames last night.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wild Losing In Different Ways

from Michael Russo of the StarTribune,

Last game in Anaheim, it was a shorthanded penalty shot and an opposing player scoring with the Wild captain’s stick that sunk the Wild.

Thursday night against the fragile Ottawa Senators, the Wild found an even more inventive way to lose.

“All my time, I’ve never seen that,” coach Todd Richards said of the extraordinary momentum swing that led to the sinking Wild’s uninspired 3-1 loss.

Richards was referring to center Mikko Koivu setting up center Kyle Brodziak in the second period for a 2-1 Minnesota lead.

Problem was, as Richards noted, “Kyle had Mikko on the line change, and Kyle ended up taking the pass from Mikko, so ... as soon as I knew what [the officials] were discussing, I figured that they probably had it right.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Does Mikko Koivu Get An Assist?

Bobby Ryan scores with Koivu’s stick.

added 10:23pm, Watch the Ducks broadcast of the goal below, you will get a better explanation of how the sticks got reversed.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+ryan, mikko+koivu

Wild Not The Same Without Lemaire

from Rory Boylen of The Hockey News,

When the Minnesota Wild and coach Jacques Lemaire parted ways after the 2008-09 season there was a sense the shutdown and trap style he’s so famous for would go by the wayside. New coach Todd Richards was to bring in a new brand of exciting hockey that would put butts in the seats and generate a buzz defensive hockey doesn’t create.

The only thing that’s happened, however, is that the Wild have gotten worse.

Take one look at the Phoenix Coyotes and Dave Tippett (plus assistant Dave King) and you’ll find proof positive of how much a good coach can influence a team’s position. The Coyotes, despite a lack of superstar power, ascended to the playoffs as soon as the pair arrived and have continued to be a difficult team to lineup against this season.

Lemaire had the same affect with the Wild.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Will Minnesota Make A Move Before Their Next Game?

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

So what does Fletcher do? Make a trade? Look at replacing his coach?

I know Fletcher really doesn’t want to fire Richards. He’s made it clear to me that he feels the players have to be accountable before the coach.

So I really believe a trade’s coming at some point soon. Just, is it now—before Thursday?

If so, most the depth in the organization’s on the blue line, so does it come from there? Could it be Burns? He’s healthy. His stock could be back up there, and like I’ve said for awhile, like Koivu last summer, the Wild will have to make a critical long-term decision with Burns next summer. Could it be Schultz? Cam Barker?

We know it’s not Marek Zidlicky, who’s got a partial no-trade?

And as I wrote in the Insider the other day, too, four forwards are in their last years of contracts—Brunette, Madden, Kobasew, Miettinen.



Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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