Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
In my many years of covering the NHL, one of the questions I most frequently hear after a game is:
“Gee, who picked the three stars?”
In some NHL cities, the choices are put to a vote of all media members in the press box. Most places, a single selector is designated before the game. At the Pepsi Center, the choices usually are made by a writer or by one of the four announcers on the “in-house” Altitude radio and television broadcasts.
Even when Denver Post colleague Adrian Dater or I make the official choices at an Avalanche home game, the “Post’s three stars” in the paper might be slightly different. Here’s why: Whoever is making the official choices at the game is gently asked to submit them with about five minutes remaining in the third period.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Flyers, who will have to shed around $2 million of cap space in order to reinstate Daniel Briere from long-term injury reserve once he recovers from groin surgery, are somehow positioning themselves as in on Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester while also having substantial interest in Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer ($6.75 million), should he become available as a rental.
We’re told that Philadelphia is prepared to move Mike Knuble ($2.8 million, unrestricted on July 1) and Joffrey Lupul ($2.312M this year, $4.25M the next four years) in order to help the blue line.
The Ducks will be seeking young defensemen in any deals for Niedermayer or Chris Pronger, who seems on his way out with another year at $6.25 million remaining on his deal.
The Devils are interested in bringing Niedermayer back for their Grateful Dead Reunion Tour, but will not move Paul Martin to get it done.
more trade talk plus Olympics and suspension talk too…
From Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings:
Your e-mails and comments are ALWAYS welcomed, but I’m going to end up muttering to myself and wearing a bathrobe if I get any more ``Is there a Jason Spezza trade coming?’’ e-mails.
There’s NOTHING happening on that front right now, at all. Not unless I’m being massively deceived, when in this case I’m fairly certain there’s zero reason for deception. Could it come up in the future? Perhaps, but I seriously, seriously doubt it.
My serious question is, why do people buy this stuff? Is it just sugary fun?
From Frank Seravalli at NHL.com:
Since his playing career ended in 1997—after playing for the Devils, Kings, and Stars all in one season—the native son of Minnesota hasn’t stayed very close to the game. He doesn’t often grant interview requests and he doesn’t always have much to say.
Burnout can hit players who spent 19 grueling seasons at the top levels of the game. But it’s not that Broten doesn’t love the game anymore. It just doesn’t play the same day-to-day roles. Broten has since retired to River Falls, Wis., where he helps his wife breed quarter horses on a farm that they run together.
“I just got done cleaning out six horse stalls,” Broten said. “Things are pretty different. But it is peaceful. It is something that I can hang my hat on.”
Check out the Inside Hockey Radio Show with hosts James Murphy and Todd Carroll and their guests today: Michel Goulet (NHL Hall of Famer and Avalanche Asst. GM), Bob Harwood (Versus), Louis Jean (Sportsnet), Jim Cummins (former NHLer), and Patrick King (Junior hockey insider, Sportsnet.ca.
From Lyle Richardson (Spector) at FoxSports:
With the NHL trade deadline less than a month away and the race for playoff berths in both conferences heating up, several teams could soon find themselves in the market for roster depth to improve their postseason chances.
Here’s a look at several of the Eastern Conference clubs struggling to nail down playoff positions. We’ll examine the Western teams next week.
Montreal Canadiens: They’ve blown hot and cold throughout this season and have only two victories in their last seven games since mid-January. GM Bob Gainey signaled a month ago he was interested in adding an experienced puck-moving defenseman. With top-scoring center Robert Lang out for the season he might also need a first- or second-line center. Ignore those silly rumors of Gainey selling the farm for Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier. That’s not going to happen.
From Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News:
Hockey and Black History Month have a sort of awkward relationship. Inevitably, February serves as the convenient time to tell stories of diversity in the NHL’s past and present, but also consequently reminds the reader how these plotlines are largely ignored during the other 11 months of the year.
This presents much hand-wringing amongst members of hockey’s media, who, by and large, have the diversity of a John Mayer fan club. The result? Wishy-washy columns about how skin color shouldn’t matter anymore backed up by testimonials from black NHLers forced to confirm a loaded question: Hockey’s not racist, right? Your teammates, the 20-plus guys you see every day for nine months and will no doubt hear your answer to this question, aren’t racist, right?
Talk about a Catch-22.
From Brian Compton at NHL.com:
With many successful coaches in the NHL, it can be difficult for aspiring coaches to reach the most prominent League in the sport. This season, though, there’s been somewhat of a breakthrough, and it’s due to the number of talented coaches the American Hockey League has produced.
Entering this season, nine coaches who began the 2007-08 campaign behind an AHL bench were at the top level. With only 30 teams in the NHL. Just last week, Cory Clouston became the ninth when he took over for Craig Hartsburg behind the Ottawa Senators bench.
NHL.com takes a closer look at the 10 AHL head coaches who have moved to the NHL this season.
Cory Clouston— Cory Clouston was at the halfway point in his second AHL season with the Binghamton Senators when he got the call from Ottawa General Manager Bryan Murray to replace Craig Hartsburg.
continued… with the other nine coaches who’ve made the NHL jump this past year
from the CP via TSN,
The head of the NHL Players’ Association believes it’s time to consider a rule mandating helmet use during fights, and to examine the role of one-dimensional enforcers in the game.
While a “clear majority” of players want fighting to remain a part of hockey, Paul Kelly feels his constituency is open to new restrictions on how the gloves are dropped.
“A couple that we’ve talked about that ought to be looked at anyway is, do you consider a rule whereby players need to keep a helmet on during the course of a fight, and perhaps require officials to step in if a helmet comes off during a fight,” Kelly told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s Conn Smythe Celebrities Dinner and Auction….
Kelly, however, didn’t stop there.
Acknowledging the role fighting has in policing the tenor of play on the ice, he added that so-called “staged fights” between two players with skill sets limited to chucking knuckles may no longer have a place on the ice.
From John Grigg at The Hockey News:
This week we’re paying homage to those players who were repeatedly told they were too small to play big-time hockey. The one’s who were passed over and pushed aside (figuratively) before making it to the best league in the world. This is THN.com’s Top-10 NHL Little Guys. [...]
10. Nigel Dawes, Left Wing, New York Rangers, 5-foot-9
The diminutive Dawes is having a disappointing sophomore season, but is one of just four players with a positive plus-minus on the Blueshirts. He’s on pace to put up almost the same totals as last season, but his points-per-game pace is down.
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