Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Count me in for some NHL viewing tonight. OK, so I do that every night (much to my wife’s chagrin), but seriously, there’s a pair of real compelling matchups tonight with Detroit at San Jose and Montreal at Minnesota….
As expected, the Wings and Sharks already top the Western Conference standings. It’s only late October, but you know these kinds of games are important for a San Jose team trying to finally break through after four seasons of contending.
Sibling rivalry will be taken to a new level Thursday night when Saku and Mikko Koivu face off against each another in Minnesota.
The game will mark the first time in NHL history that two brothers will clash as captains — Saku is the long-time captain of the Canadiens, while Mikko was given the “C” by the Minnesota Wild before this season.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Developing team chemistry always has been a priority for Wild General Manager Doug Risebrough, and his summer additions have fit in perfectly.
Minnesota’s two most important signings were left wing Andrew Brunette and right wing Antti Miettinen. They’ve been placed on a line with center Mikko Koivu, and voila! Instant chemistry.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
With potential trading partners just saying no, it’s starting to seem more likely that impending free agent Marian Gaborik will remain with the Wild, at least until the new year. Even then he’ll be a tough sell, unless GM Doug Risebrough is willing to lower his demands.
“There’s nowhere near the market for him that you think,” one league exec said. “He’s a highly skilled guy, but the risk is so high. Even if you were able to sign him [to an extension] as part of the deal, you have to consider his [injury] history. I’m not sure it’s worth the risk to a contender or a young team that’s rebuilding.”
more with other hockey topics…
A hockey website had this headline today: Teams Scouting Gaborik!
I did not read on, but did wonder, are they following him around, checking out his walking ability? He hasn’t played a game in two weeks, so it may be a little difficult to ‘scout’ him these days.
John Loomis is the manager of game presentation for the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center, and it’s his job to “entertain the fans between the whistles.” From Travis Brillowski of the Minnesota Wild (via NHL.com):
From pregame videos to between-periods entertainment, to anything that happens outside of the action on the ice, it falls on Loomis and his staff to keep things coordinated and organized, and most importantly, keep the building loud. Considering the Wild have sold out every game during their first seven seasons—and season No. 8 is tracking to be another full-season sell-out—he and his crew must be doing something right.
Here is what an average game day is like for Loomis, leading up to the drop of the puck at 7 p.m.
read on for ‘a day in the life’ of entertaining a hockey crowd
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
Convinced his client has been the victim of a “character assassination,” Marian Gaborik’s agent Ron Salcer on Wednesday denied a handful of contract numbers that have surfaced recently in newspapers and blogs.
Salcer specifically denied a New York Post report that Gaborik is asking the Wild for a 10-year, $100 million deal, and said he has not received offers of $85 million over 10 years, $90 million over 10 years or $70 million over 10 years.
“When and if they do get offered,” he said, “maybe something will happen.”
from Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
Since this lovely rumor seems to have gained some traction among legitimate news organizations, I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about rumors in general and the ``Marian Gaborik might be coming to L.A.’’ rumor in specific. It’s rumors such as this one that tend to make my hair fall out in clumps.
Gaborik makes $6.3 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Those are two HUGE red flags that should indicate to anyone that he’s not coming to the Kings.
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
Gaborik, who has a history of abdominal and leg injuries, has missed the past two games because of a “lower body injury.” Because there’s always a risk of injury with Gaborik, the latest leg problem has convinced the Wild it’s important to investigate trading him sooner than later, sources say….
It’s believed Risebrough has had trade talks with Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey and Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi. Risebrough will attend Thursday’s GM meetings in Chicago, so talks could heat up with a number of teams.
It’s believed the Wild is interested in Canadiens defenseman prospect Ryan McDonagh, a former Cretin-Derham Hall star and Minnesota Mr. Hockey who was Montreal’s No. 12 pick in 2007 and plays now at the University of Wisconsin. The Wild would also want an established player.
fromMichael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
After the Wild’s 1-0 shootout victory Saturday night at Tampa Bay—a game in which the Wild was outplayed by the Lightning—coach Jacques Lemaire lit into Benoit Pouliot, 22, James Sheppard, 20, and Colton Gillies, 19, for not stepping up…
“They’ve got to do better!” snapped Lemaire, his voice rising, his face reddening. “Come on. We’ve got to see them. I’ve got nobody! I’ve got nobody to play, and I’ve got to sit them? They have to wake up. Come on!
“I don’t want to get on them, but you know, this is the NHL. I’ve said that. But we demand a lot. The kids, they’ve got to play.”
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.
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