Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Michael Russo at Russo’s Rants,
As for the big-shot Bergeron, I talked to Risebrough twice Tuesday, once before his flight to Toronto for the goalie equipment trimming meetings and once after. He believes Bergeron will be a guy who can play regular minutes, not just a bunch of power-play minutes. He says part of the motivation was to be a fill-in for Foster while he’s out, but “that doesn’t mean it’s one or the other. It will be an improvement to have both when Foster’s back.”
Bergeron has a club option for next year at $1.653 million. The Ducks almost certainly wouldn’t have exercised that. So why didn’t the Wild wait for free agency? Risebrough says other teams were interested in Bergeron, and Brian Burke was definitely going to trade him. In other words, he wouldn’t make free agency, according to Risebrough.
From Kent Youngblood at the Star-Tribune,
Winger Branko Radivojevic, who spent the past two seasons with the Wild, has signed a two-year deal to play with Spartak in the Russian Premiere League.
Radivojevic came to the Wild from Philadelphia as a free agent before the 2006-07 season. In two seasons in Minnesota he totaled 18 goals and 41 points, becoming one of the team’s most reliable checking forwards.
From Michael Russo, Russo’s Rants at the Star Tribune,
Funny, last year when I wrote at the Draft that the Wild was going to pursue Alexei Yashin, people didn’t believe me even though it was true. Now it’s being reported the Wild has interest in Yashin and people believe it when it’s not true.
I’ve been told as of now Yashin’s name has not come up within Wild offices and it has not had conversations with Yashin’s agent, Mark Gandler, as has been reported.
Here’s the deal: the Wild had genuine interest in Yashin last summer when it was reported he’d be willing to sign for little money. The Wild made an offer, and Yashin responded by asking for multiple millions of dollars, according to people in the know.
That left a sour taste in the Wild’s mouth, and as of now, it has no interest in revisiting him despite the strong season he had in Russia. That could change, of course, but this is what I’m being led to believe now.
more on the off-season in Minnesota
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
It’s believed the Wild and Canadiens have held talks with Yashin’s agents.
The 35-year-old Yashin, a former No. 1 pick of the Senators, had 43 points in 56 games this season with Yaroslavl. He returned to his homeland after receiving a $17.6-million US buyout from the Islanders last summer.
“Some teams were asking me about (Yashin) at the under-18 championships in (Kazan, Russia last month),” said agent Todd Diamond. “We had a few teams that were inquiring. He had a great year over there. He was the MVP of the league and he was the leading scorer in the playoffs.”
from Kent Youngblood at Russo’s Rants,
When contacted Friday afternoon, Jacques Lemaire sounded like a happy man. Now we know why: After three days of meetings in Florida between Minnesota Wild coaches and front-office staff, Lemaire decided that he would return for an eighth season, remaining the only coach in franchise history. The decision was announced this morning.
via the Pioneer Press,
The Wild’s Marian Gaborik underwent successful minor arthroscopic surgery on his right hip joint this morning at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo., according to team general manager Doug Risebrough.
The Wild sent Gaborik to Dr. Marc J. Philippon, one of the world’s leading orthopedic hip surgeons, who performed the surgery to repair a torn labrum and to relieve some impingement in Gaborik’s right hip.
from the Pioneer Press,
Marian Gaborik has what the Wild are calling a “hip deficiency” and will require further medical tests before the team determines the treatment.
The Wild issued a short statement Thursday saying the injury was “attributable to overuse,” after the Slovak Ice Federation announced the team wouldn’t permit Gaborik to play for Slovakia in the world championships because of the injury.
Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said he doesn’t know how serious the injury is.
“I don’t know either way, so I don’t want to comment on it,” he said.
Risebrough said Gaborik has seen team doctors who are consulting with others to determine a course of treatment. Risebrough said Gaborik didn’t inform the team of any discomfort during the playoffs.
Russo’s Rants has a Q & A with Doug Risebrough and Jacques Lemaire…
(DR) “I don’t want to comment on Rolston and Demitra. But I will say this about Roli. I remember when we were trying to get legitimacy here. We were just an expansion team that was working hard and we were getting the same types of players. Then Rolston wanted to come here. That seemed to change a lot of people’s opinion of Minnesota. For a general manager that likes to remember a lot of things, that plays into it. I remember when players play hurt. I remember when players play hard. This has a bearing on how I’ll deal with Roli.”
Do you want to comment on Demitra? “No.”
Does it bother you that you haven’t been given more at the last two trade deadlines?
(JL) “I’m coaching the guys given me. We talk about different stuff, but I know how tough a job GM is. It’s hard to get players with the cap and everything that surrounds it. a GM job is not like the past. It’s a tough job now. I’m telling you. It’s hard, it’s unreal, unbelievable how hard that job is.
from Russo’s Rants,
A lot of the blame should fall on Risebrough.
Think Adam Foote helped Colorado? I’ll let Gaborik answer that question. Think Ruslan Salei helped Colorado? I’ll let Mark Parrish and Niklas Backstrom and every other Wild player he creamed answer that.
Think Chris Simon helped the Wild? I’ll let Jacques Lemaire answer that. It’ll be the same answer he’d give on whether Dominic Moore and Adam Hall helped the Wild.
Colorado needed to make moves at the deadline. It did. It goes on. The gun-shy Wild needed to make moves at the deadline. It didn’t. It’s cleaning out its lockers, probably Monday.
more on the Wild…
From Jerseys & Hockey Love, Tapeleg puts his feelings into poetry:
(but in a manly way)
And from Jim Souhan at the Star-Tribune:
“When I look at the effort that our guys put on, you can’t ask for much more,’’ Lemaire said. “Except goals.’‘
Unfortunately for the Wild, the NHL czars insist on keeping score that way. With goals.
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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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