Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vancouver Sun,
The sounds you heard out of the managers’ meetings in Florida this week were of frustration, of anger, and of determination to cut through all the horsedoodle the Goaltenders’ Benevolent Protective Association has been dispensing for years about how reducing the size of their padding is a safety issue.
The GMs have always known it’s not true. The only difference is that now, having turned the rulebook upside down in an effort to create more offence, they have been forced to confront the obvious: It’s the goalies, stupid.
“We’re tired of the conversation,” said Detroit’s Ken Holland, himself a former netminder.
“We’ve got to shrink the goalies. If we can’t get this right, then we have to sit down and look at the alternatives. And obviously bigger nets is one of the alternatives.”
No one wants bigger nets. No one wants the game’s history bastardized by tinkering with the dimensions of hockey’s most fundamental focal point. But there is no mistaking the threat.
from the Prague Post,
“We’ve become a supermarket for the NHL, where they get top products at discount prices,” said Zbyněk Kusý, the national team’s general manager. “We are left begging NHL clubs to pay our players while letting them play for the national team in their free time.”
The national team’s head coach, Alois Hadamczik, is planning to leave late this month on a North American tour, hoping to lure some Czech NHL players in for the World Championship in May. The more NHL players on the national team, the stronger it will be, Hadamczik said.
“The days when NHL players merely boosted our team are gone. … Now, we must form the whole team with them in order to be competitive,” he said.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL’s 30 general managers ended their annual winter meetings Wednesday by singing from the same song sheet with apologies to Nilsson: “Everybody’s talking at me but I don’t hear a word they’re sayin’.”
There were one or two things that were advanced on the official agenda, such as introducing a one-minute penalty in overtime for experimentation by the American Hockey League next season, but trade talks dominated the sessions, since the NHL’s trade deadline arrives next Tuesday.
The names flying about were mostly the same all week — Mats Sundin, Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell, Brad Richards, Dan Boyle, Vinny Prospal and Ollie Jokinen with Alex Tanguay and Michael Ryder being late arrivals.
Update 3:15pm ET— From the CP via TSN:
No, there weren’t any significant moves made, but when the big trades are pulled off before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, the roots will be found in their time in Naples.
“It goes from kicking tires to sketching and we’ll see where we are when we go home,” said Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi.
From Elliotte Friedman at CBC,
None of the general managers agreeing to these no-trade or no-move clauses are doing so under penalty of death. And the idea that the sudden explosion of said causes is single-handedly killing the trade market is a joke. Trades aren’t happening because the NHL’s system creates paralysis. Yes, the no-trades are a part of that, but there are plenty of other issues. The NBA, for example, has all kinds of exceptions to allow manouverability that the NHL doesn’t.
Now, we’re talking about taking away no-trade clauses in the next CBA. How about doing what we tell our children: “Just say no.”
Many emails have streamed in from KK readers, asking about our trade deadline plans.
Our plans are the same as always, giving you the hockey news when it happens.
You can review our work from last year on Februay 27, 2007 to get an idea on how we will present the news to you.
Also, I am sure the KK Chatroom will be active during trade deadline day too.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
If a talent such as Simon Gagne suffers three concussions in one season – among many other big-leaguers similarly suffering, you know that the head wound situation sadly has become epidemic – with no solution in sight. Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and Andrew Alberts are a couple of other victims.
Interesting Idea Dep’t. In the next CBA, why doesn’t the NHL itself just abolish the “no-trade” clause in contracts? …
much more from the Maven…
from John Buccigross at ESPN,
If you canvassed the NHL standings at the start of this week, you could make a case (albeit some are a bit flimsy) that every team except the Los Angeles Kings has at least a dream of going on a big run and finishing in the playoff money.
There are three reasons for this:...
3. Evolution of the “almost-foolproof draft era” and depth of front-office talent…
There are only nine more teams than there were during the 1979-80 season, but there are probably 90 people better qualified and trained to run an organization. The NHL is deep in talent on and off the ice and the bunched-up standings should be a yearly occurrence. That’s the point.
from Naples News,
So will something happen this year to change the size of the equipment?
“I’m not telling you that it will,” said Colin Campbell, NHL vice president and director hockey operations. “It needs a buy-in by our GMs and our players, particularly the goaltenders.”
“We’re tired of hearing about it ... we understand it all comes down to wanting to win, but we have to do something when you’re illegal.”
Outside of trades and goaltender equipment, other issues discussed at Tuesday’s meetings involved relations with other hockey leagues and potential rule changes.
From Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
As the trade deadline approaches across the NHL the topic of no-trade and no-move clauses has hit the front line of reporting and, not surprisingly by NHL standards, the players are being made to be the bad guys and general managers, the people in near complete control as to whether or not no-trades or no-movement clauses are made available, are doing the crying.
Now to be fair, Burke has a history of not giving them out and Fletcher inherited his, mostly from recently fired general manager John Ferguson, but that just makes it easier for them to carry the banner that reads as it so often does in the NHL GM ranks: Save Us from Ourselves.
from George Johnson at ESPN,
His optimism was contagious and, in truth, a bit baffling. Former Flames and Sharks defenseman Gary Suter grew up idolizing the Badgers and the Badger before getting the opportunity to play for the man in Calgary.
“He came into the room once and asked me, ‘How ya feelin’, Suter? On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel?’ So I say: ‘A 10, coach!’ Then he goes over, punches Joel Otto in the shoulder and says, ‘And how about you, Otto?’ Joel answers, ‘I’m an 11, coach!’
“So he turns around, glares at me and yells, ‘So Suter, what the hell’s the matter with you?!’”
Badger made players better. That was his business.
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