Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Red Fisher at NHL.com,
My 50 years on the Canadiens beat have included dynasties that delivered Stanley Cups five years in a row from 1955-56 through 1959-60 and in four consecutive years starting in 1975-76. I’ve seen them win 17 of their 24 Cups, so imagine for a moment the glittering quality of those players as individuals and as teams.
It’s all in the numbers: 21 of the skaters and four goaltenders (Jacques Plante, Gump Worsley, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy) who wore the CH on their hearts during the last half-century have been voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (current Montreal coach and former player Guy Carbonneau has been nominated, but hasn’t received the required number of votes ... yet.)
from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,
From The Gazette’s Herb Zurkowsky, who covered practice today in Brossard:
Growing weary of widespread rumours and gossip surrounding injured players, Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau on Wednesday said anyone sidelined indefinitely will now have the nature of their injuries released to the media.
No longer will the team report such players have upper- or lower-body injuries.
Carbonneau said the decision was reached following a meeting between himself, general manager Bob Gainey, vice-president (hockey operations) Julien BriseBois and the team’s communications department.
continued with an update on the Montreal injuries…
Yesterday KK readers chimed in with some of the hockey catchphrases that bothered them.
Last night, a donnybrook broke out, but I am still looking for it!
from Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,
Montreal reporters have started following the Lightning closely because Lecavalier is akin to a hockey god there.
Funny thing about that, though.
“Zero people have called me from Montreal to ask about this,” Lawton said from the West Coast, where the Lightning are on a road trip. “I don’t mean one; I mean zero.”
Still, Lawton was quoted in another local media outlet Tuesday that no player is untouchable – including, presumably, Vinny. Lawton says that was taken out of context, so I asked him directly: In his opinion, will Vinny Lecavalier be a member of the Lightning at the end of this season?
“In my opinion, yes,” he said. “I don’t want to be coy and play games here, so I’ll just say yes.”
added 7:08pm, from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
The Lightning are backtracking now, saying that if Lecavalier leaves, it will be his call. But agents don’t make special trips across the country because they want to see Tampa play the Kings. Clearly, Kent Hughes, who represents the captain, felt an immediate need for a face-to-face meeting. The Koules/Barrie era is one of almost total mismanagement, and alienating your franchise player isn’t exactly a great idea. Wherever this goes from here, a level of trust is gone.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
A memo to Vincent Lecavalier: Say no.
When Tampa Bay Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie or general manager Brian Lawton formally approach you about a trade to the Montreal Canadiens, tell them sorry, but forget about it.
If you want to go “home”—and really, you haven’t lived in Montreal since you left to play hockey in Saskatchewan as a teenager—you can drop by for a few weeks in the summer. Try the smoked meat and bagels.
from Ryan Corazza of ESPN The Magazine,
Montreal Canadians tough guy Georges LaRaque had been penning an insightful, well-written blog this season for Sportsnet in Canada. Like most athlete blogs, it was rarely updated, but when he did write LaRaque’s work was top-notch.
Perhaps it was too good.
At the beginning of his latest entry, LaRaque said it would be his final one, citing a Canadiens team rule to be fair to all media entities that ask for their players to blog. Say no to one, say no to all….
But was there more to it? Had this been an issue of censorship? His latest entry touched on the code of fighting in the league and racism he’s been on the receiving end of—his entries have been anything but vanilla. Or was this just a move to transport LaRaque scribing to the Canadiens’ site, a move to have the team disseminate the media to the fans, instead of another outlet?
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
Tampa wants the world in return for Lecavalier, of that there is little doubt. No one is completely sure of the package begin demanded, though you’ve probably heard the names being tossed around: Higgins, Plekanec, Komaserik, a top-flight prospect (P.K. Subban?), draft picks. Perhaps they’re not asking for all of them. Perhaps they are. Heck, perhaps they’re asking for more.
If it’s either one of the last two, it sounds like too much.
Lecavalier is a wonderful player, certainly among the top handful in the world. But in an age when depth in everything, giving up four (five? Six?) quality assets for one superstar is a massive risk. Especially when that superstar has a new contract that will pay him 85 million dollars over the next decade (the 11-year deal kicks in after next season, and will pay Lecavalier huge dollars until he is 41 years old). In Capland, the country the NHL now resides in, that kind of contract could handicap you for the next decade.
from Lightning Strikes,
In the meantime, the rumor mill will churn. Canada’s TSN already has a trade mapped out having to do with the Canadiens, though it does not include shut-down defenseman Mike Komisarek, who, logic says, would have to be included in any deal of this magnitude.
If Lecavalier thinks the rumors and speculation are bad now, wait till the Montreal native goes home for the Jan. 25 All-Star Game. As he said Monday, “I’m just glad we’re in California and not Canada. I haven’t even looked at the Internet.”
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
“There is obviously some suspicion that something nefarious was going on and I don’t think so at all. I think it was just tremendous fan interest,” Gillett said while his team was on the ice for its morning skate. “You have to remember Montreal is a city of about 3.7 million people and the Province (of Quebec) has 7.5 million and they are huge hockey fans. There are 186,000 junior hockey players up there and those kids love it so they all voted.
“Did we have a marketing program going on? No. This is natural passion.”
Gillett went on to admit that “there were players that were perhaps not selected to the starting lineup that you might say, ‘Hmmm.’ Like (Alex) Ovechkin, right? But, the fans spoke. There is a level of passion and interest there and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. That is why we get such huge television ratings and so forth.”
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
The 24-year-old Belarus-raised native of Potsdam, East Germany, was suspended an automatic three games yesterday by the NHL for abuse of an official. Grabovski tussled with linesman Scott Cherrey in his overzealous effort to get at Canadiens’ Sergei Kostitsyn.
The players never managed to dance, despite their best efforts, and both were handed misconducts for their vigorous efforts. Grabovski was given a game misconduct as a bonus.
There is bad blood between these two, litres of it. Apparently it has to do with Kostitsyn’s distaste for things Grabovski is alleged to have said about himself and his brother, Andrei, to Russia’s sensation-seeking sports media.
(Ask Alex Kovalev about that.) But a feud needn’t be based on anything, of course, and it seems that before theirs is done, these two are bound to change their names to Hatfield and McCoy.
Mikhail Grabovski of the Leafs trys to get at Sergei Kostitsyn of the Canadiens. The video tells the rest of the story…
Here is the game recap from the CP via TSN.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org