Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Wild Nation:
Yes, it is the famous (or infamous) March 17th. The day where public intoxication becomes not just acceptable, but expected. So, we here at Wild Nation have decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by putting together a small tribute to our favorite Wild player and resident Irishman, Owen Nolan.
Nolan was born in Belfast, Ireland on February 12, 1972. His family soon moved to Canada, where Nolan began playing hockey at the age of nine.
from Todd Smith at MinnesotaWild.com,
“Hockey sticks are the tools of their trade,” said Minnesota Wild Assistant Equipment Manager Matt Benz, standing in an auxiliary room that houses the Wild’s hockey stick workshop deep inside the bowels of the Xcel Energy Center. The room was filled with a wide assortment of tools: saws, blow torches, heat guns, files, spray cans, vices, sanders, and endless rolls of tape. “Each player’s stick is unique. The knobs, blades, and tape job are all specific to the player.”
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Wild veteran Andrew Brunette faces major right knee surgery after the season.
While General Manager Doug Risebrough and Brunette declined to identify the exact injury, it’s believed Brunette’s playing on a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament that may be fully torn.
“At the end of the year, we’re going to have to make a decision whether he’s going to need surgery or not,” Risebrough said. “It’s up to him, but he’s had two incidents of sprains, so that shows you a dysfunction of some sort.”...
Asked why he doesn’t shut himself down, Brunette said: “It’s the same approach I take to every hockey game I play. I want to play. I’m part of this team and I want to help this team win. I would sell myself short if I didn’t try to help this team. You’ve got to look yourself in the mirror, and if I can get out there, I can help this team.”
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
On Thursday in Vail, Colo., Gaborik was sought out by Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, who last Monday had a torn labrum in his hip surgically repaired, like Gaborik, by surgeon Marc Philippon.
“He just wanted to know what to expect, how I’m feeling, what I’m doing as far as treatment—pretty much everything,” said Gaborik of his 15-minute meeting with A-Rod. “[St. Louis Blues winger Paul Kariya] and me just suggested to stay there for a while because it’s the best place to be to [rehab for hip surgery].”
Gaborik said it was great to meet such a star.
“Everybody knows A-Rod,” Gaborik said, laughing. “Nice guy. Huge, huge guy. He doesn’t look like that on TV.”
Kariya and Gaborik had surgery an hour apart Jan. 5 and rehabbed together all winter. “It was fun to be around him and learn some things from him,” Gaborik said.
more on the Wild…
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Although most have assumed Gaborik’s Wild career will end after the season, General Manager Doug Risebrough said Thursday the Wild is considering making a short-term contract proposal to Gaborik.
“I envisioned signing him this year. It didn’t work out. Now maybe this is a way to make it work out based on the existing circumstances,” Risebrough said.
The “existing circumstances” Risebrough’s referring? With the salary cap expected to decrease significantly in two summers, it’ll be difficult for Gaborik to sign a long-term deal with any team this summer, especially considering he has been limited to six games and has had three injury-shortened seasons in the past four.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tibune,
Gaborik, out since Jan. 5 following hip surgery, headed to Vail on Wednesday night to be examined by surgeon Marc Philippon.
Lemaire said, “He asked me to skate with us [this] morning.”
However, when told Gaborik said to a reporter he didn’t know if he would skate tonight, Lemaire said: “See, that’s why we can’t make a comment because we don’t know what’s going on. I guess if he feels like skating [today], if he wakes up and he feels like he can go and skate with us, he will. And if he wakes up and doesn’t feel that skating will be part of his day, he won’t.”
read on for more on Pierre-Marc Bouchard
From Derek Felska at The State of Hockey News:
Any team more or less makes a covenant with its fans to do the absolute best it can. In the case of the fans, they have shown incredible devotion and dedication to the Minnesota Wild selling out every home game in team history up to this point. The fans have made its merchandise amongst the top selling teams in the league, and have filled the arena to over 100% capacity for the last few seasons. That covenant is a trust between fans and ownership. The actions or in this case the inaction of this team is a huge betrayal of that trust. With the team’s fortunes this season clearly heading south, the Wild opted not to be a big seller and chose not to trade soon-to-be unrestricted free agents Stephane Veilleux, Martin Skoula, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Kurtis Foster, or star winger Marian Gaborik. It seems strange a team that will likely not qualify for the post season did not even attempt to trade off assets with the hope of acquiring picks or prospects for the future.
At the Star-Tribune, Michael Russo notes there was some action in Minnesota yesterday, but it fell apart:
While the Wild won’t confirm what “major deal” it was involved in until Wednesday morning, sources say General Manager Doug Risebrough continued his longtime quest for Jokinen, the former Florida Panthers captain who was ultimately traded from Phoenix to the Calgary Flames.
According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune:
I am told by a very good source that Marian Gaborik is in play right now, meaning the Wild’s working the phones.
via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Minnesota Wild have signed star goalie Niklas Backstrom to a $24 million, four-year contract, a source told ESPN.com on Tuesday.
He was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and he had been the subject of numerous trade rumors.
from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,
Expected then to be back in 10 to 14 weeks, Gaborik, said he believes he’s ahead of schedule but said his return would depend on his upcoming workouts.
“I feel really good,” he said, adding that training at nearly 8,000 feet of elevation, skating, swimming and working out in Vail “definitely helps.”
He called Vail “the best place to rehab,” but said his skating has been limited to hitting the ice without pads and equipment.
That changes Thursday, when he will begin zeroing in on getting back into the lineup. The Wild have made the target date between March 10 and March 20.
“I’m going to come back and skate with gear on and progress, and when that time will come, I’m definitely looking forward to it,” he said.
more and Marian talks about his future too…
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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