Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Brehm of USA TODAY,
You mentioned San Jose and Detroit as Cup favorites. Who are your favorites to come out of the East?
Demers: The Flyers are a solid team. Boston is a solid team. It’s tough in the East this year. Washington is definitely a strong contender, as is Pittsburgh. But in my opinion, if everything goes the way I think it could go with Carey Price, he has the ability to take the Montreal Canadiens to the Finals.
more from Jacques…
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Unlike today, doors were open to the media. The Garden’s press box was close to the ice, so it was only a short trip to the clinic, where I found Plante, his nose only inches away from a mirror. He probed at the cut with his fingers.
“Pretty ugly, isn’t it,” he said quietly.
“I guess you could say that,” he was told.
Plante continued to study the wound until the Rangers’ doctor interrupted.
“That’s enough of that,” he snapped. “Get over here on the table. We’ve got to sew you up.” A few minutes later, Plante was on his way to the Canadiens’ room. He wasn’t a pretty sight. He also wasn’t prepared to return to the game unless he was allowed to wear the mask he had been trying out in team practices. Coach Blake wanted no part of it, but with no other goalie, he had no choice but to allow it. The Canadiens won 3-1.
from Lindsay Berra of ESPN The Magazine,
...But love can fade. Montreal’s fans and media, all famously fickle, have forgotten that they were a
little too quick with the anointing oil last season—and the boiling oil when things went south. It’ll take another run in the playoffs to see which kind is on hold for Price these days.
continue for a look at Canadiens goalie Carey Price…
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.”
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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