Kukla's Korner Hockey
fromm Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
I don’t believe there will be as much as 10 points of breathing space in the standings between St. Louis and Nashville by the season’s conclusion; in the end, at least on paper, the Blues’ defense corps (which includes the prized rookie Johnson, Eric Brewer, Jay McKee and Barrett Jackman) gives them the edge.
read on... Adam takes a look at each team in the Central.
from Farther Off the Wall at the Daily News,
As far as the networks are concerned, West Coast hockey may just as well be contained to the Aleutian Islands.
In releasing their NHL TV schedules for the upcoming season Wednesday, both Versus and NBC don’t see any mystery in the fact that the Stanley Cup champion Ducks and everyone else in this time zone isn’t on anyone’s radar. In fact, they seem to be saying the Western Conference can take pucks and sticks and just hope the New York Rangers someday return to Mystery, Alaska.
from The Soapbox at Spector’s,
You know it’s far too quiet for NHL news when really, really dumb trade rumours make the rounds.
Heard the one about the Canucks trading Mattias Ohlund to Tampa Bay for Martin St. Louis as the centerpiece of a blockbuster deal?
My, seems like only yesterday Ohlund was headed to New Jersey in a package deal for Patrik Elias. Oh, yeah, that was last month’s dumb rumour!
Of course Ohlund and St. Louis have no-trade clauses but hey, that shouldn’t stand in the way of a juicy, over-the-top trade rumour.
Or how about Patrice Bergeron to the NY Islanders for picks and prospects. Of course, that makes perfect sense! The Bruins would be crazy not to make that deal! Action it yesterday, GM Peter Chiarelli.
Yes, I’m being sarcastic, because these rumours aren’t gonna happen.
from the Ottawa Citzen,
“I talked to (agent) Don Baizley last week and (Forsberg) is still two to three months away from making a decision (on retirement),” Murray said yesterday. “It would be a disservice to us, I would be doing a disservice as a general manager, if I didn’t make a call. I’m calling agents all the time, and I just asked, ‘What’s going on with Peter?’ His foot isn’t 100 per cent and he has a small hernia problem.”
If Forsberg does opt to resume his career, he would be in a position to shop himself to the highest bidder.
While the Senators can sell themselves as Stanley Cup contenders, they aren’t in position to offer a lucrative deal.
As Spector points out today, will Peca play for less than $1.5M and sign with the Rangers?
My feelings are Peca is shooting for a higher dollar amount than what teams have been offering him. Will he finally come down on his asking price or continue to shop for a team that will meet his $$$ demands?
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
“I tried to play but wasn’t strong enough,” the native of Toronto said. “It was tough. I tried but just didn’t have the health. I wasn’t ready. I hoped I could still play but couldn’t do it. With that, and other reasons, I decided to retire.”
The other reasons involved his family. He and his wife Beth, who is from Peterborough, have three children: Jade who is seven, four-year-old Mario and two-year-old Ella.
“My family is important,” he said. “It’s different now when you have three children seven and younger.”
He said they would continue to live in their current home in Haliburton, Ont., during the summer but move to San Jose during the winter. He said he intended to hook up with the Sharks, possibly in a player development role.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
• Look for Lee Stempniak to have a breakout season in St. Louis.
“In clutch situations I want to be the guy the coach has faith in,” says Stempniak.
Other teams are high on Lee as well.
“Whenever trades are discussed, one player they’re always asking for is Lee,” said Blues President John Davidson. “All I know is that we’ve got ourselves a very honest professional.”
• Scott Niedermayer’s “To play or not to play?” decision should be imminent. We’re betting that the Cup captain will be back; at least for a year.
more from The Maven, most has been mentioned at KK…
added 5:31pm, from The Maven at MSG Network,
In an attempt to make NHLers more recognizable and marketable, the league has suggested players remove their helmets during Shootouts. The NHL Players’ Association put the kibosh on this sensational idea on the grounds that the players’ hair would not be in the best shape after playing 65 minutes.
Some players do go bare-headed during pregame warm-ups. So, here we have yet another case of the Union simply being ridiculously obtuse rather than helpful.
via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Add Detroit Red Wings to the list of NHL franchises which don’t want a second team in Southern Ontario. The reason? The Wings want to move to the Eastern Conference. And fast.
• A Maple Leafs oldtimers team in search of a place to play: Curtis Joseph, Ed Belfour, Eric Lindros, Jason Allison, Bryan Berard, Mike Johnson, Jeff O’Neill, Mike Peca, Danny Markov all without contracts.
from Erin Nicks of the Ottawa Sun,
We’re heading into that portion of the NHL off-season where the unrestricted free agents left unsigned are beginning to look like wallflowers at a high school dance. Undoubtedly, there weren’t many who thought they’d be in this situation, and likely look at similar players who were signed, only to ask, “Why was he picked and not me?”
The sheer volume of free agents combined with salary cap restrictions means there will be some players left without a bench to sit on by October.
But not all the cases relate back to a player potentially being viewed as undesirable. Some are mulling retirement or overseas options, and others are recuperating from injuries or surgery before making a decision.
As most of you know, hockey talk is at a minimum these days, but make sure to check out Spector today for some Islanders, Canadiens and Senators talk.
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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