Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
As it happens, Minnesota can make a fairly respectable claim to being the state of hockey, even though there would be some dispute from Michigan and Massachusetts.
Still, there’s no disputing that Minnesota is definitely a hockey hotbed and that people in that area are passionate fans.
But they lost their original NHL team when Norm Green found a way to make a mess of that great market.
They got Bob Naegele, who talked a good game but never got around to backing up his words with on-ice achievements.
And now they’ve got Craig Leipold.
They deserve better.
From the Minnesota Wild,
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has activated center Mikko Koivu from injured reserve and that center Dominic Moore has been claimed off waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
added 1:27pm, from TSN, the Leafs have recalled goaltender Justin Pogge.
from Russo’s Rants,
The Wild has placed center Dominic Moore on waivers, sources confirmed this morning, so Koivu will be able to return tomorrow in Chicago.
After talking to Jacques Lemaire, Doug Risebrough said Lemaire made clear he wants to continue to play Pavol Demitra at center and that Moore would be the odd guy out.
more on the Wild…
via the Minnesota Wild,
Minnesota Sports & Entertainment (MSE) has announced a major press conference regarding the organization on Thursday, January 10 at 12:30 p.m. CT
The parent company of the Minnesota Wild will announce this afternoon that the team is being sold, a source close to the situation tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.
added 11:53am, via Michael Russo at the Star Tribune,
While the announcement was unclear Thursday morning, there have been indications for months that majority owner Bob Naegele was considering selling the team.
Recently, there have been reporters that Craig Leipold, the Racine, Wis., native who finalized the sale of the Nashville Predators in November for $193 million, was interested in buying into the Wild.
Update 1:50pm ET: From Russo again,
Bob Naegele’s tenure as owner of the Minnesota Wild ended today when it was announced he sold his interest in the team to former Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold.
From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
“If somebody’s going to sign Butch to an offer sheet, I doubt it would be for 5 percent more than [his $2.6 million salary],” Lynn said. “In fact, that might be a favor for us. So let’s assume it would be a huge bonus to what he’s making this year. The field narrows pretty quickly, and then of those few, they’d have to be willing and able to do so.”
Of course, if Bouchard is in the Wild’s long-term plans, the team will eventually have to pony up anyway. After all, Bouchard can become an unrestricted free agent in July 2009. So why not pay now?
“If oil’s $100 a barrel, would you rush out now and buy as much as you can if you know there’s a good chance it won’t get worse?” Lynn said. “Or, would you wait and see if it goes down to $70 or $80 a barrel? You could always spend $100 a barrel three months from now.”
from the Star Tribune,
Don’t expect any monumental Wild trades by the Feb. 26 deadline, especially if it means mortgaging any piece of the future just for the prayer of acquiring a player who could help Minnesota win a playoff round or two.
“None, guaranteed,” Wild General Manager Doug Risebrough said. “I think the perfect example of why I won’t do anything like that happened last year.”
Risebrough is referring to the New York Islanders trading for Ryan Smyth, the Atlanta Thrashers for Keith Tkachuk and the Nashville Predators for Peter Forsberg.
Net worth? Two playoff wins ... total.
more (reg. may be req.)
from the Pioneer Press,
Aaron Voros is no Mike Modano.
If the light’s just right, though, Voros could almost pass for him.
Modano, the highest-scoring American-born player in National Hockey League history and a popular North Stars player during his early days in the NHL, is expected to be a focal point tonight when the Minnesota Wild play the Stars in Dallas….
The uncanny physical resemblance between the two was first given a name by journeyman defenseman Dan McGillis, who started calling Voros “Modo” when the two played in the New Jersey Devils’ system at Albany, N.Y., in 2005-06 and in Lowell, Mass., in 2006-07 before Voros was acquired by the Wild on March 1.
KK normally doesn’t do game recaps, but this one is special…
from the AP via Yahoo,
Marian Gaborik posted the NHL’s first five-goal game in a decade, lifting the Minnesota Wild to a 6-3 win over the New York Rangers on Thursday night.
Gaborik’s outburst was the biggest in the league since Sergei Fedorov scored five for Detroit on Dec. 26, 1996, in an overtime game against Washington. Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux was the last to net five in regulation, pulling off the feat on March 26, 1996 versus St. Louis.
added 11:22pm, Check out the video highlights of the game…
From Kent Youngblood at the Star-Tribune,
So when the NHL returned, so did Lemaire—for the long term. And tonight he’ll become the 14th man to coach 1,000 games.
And that begs the question: Has Lemaire had more impact as a player or as a coach? Lemaire played 12 seasons with Montreal. Including playoffs, he played in 998 games, totaling 974 points.
“I’m probably the wrong guy to ask, because I can see it in both cases,” said Wild GM Doug Risebrough, who was Lemaire’s teammate in Montreal for five seasons. “I guess it depends on your time frame. Your younger players probably don’t realize how good a player he was. ... He was the best two-way player I’ve ever seen play. Not of my time, but ever. He was the centerman who could pass, he had a great shot, he was smart. He played with two good players [Steve Shutt and Guy Lafleur] because he was so good defensively.”
from Russo’s Rants,
Jacques Lemaire, without much prodding I may add, called out his “skilled players” after today’s practice, saying their scoring slumps have become an “emergency” as the Wild continue to be severely offensively challenged (two goals or fewer in 15 games).
He says they need to work harder to get out of these slumps and that there’s a difference in opinion in what they think “working hard” means and what the coaches think “working hard” means.
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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