Kukla's Korner Hockey
Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider answers some emails…
Do you know if there is anything more to Atlanta GM Waddell attending the LA-NJ game last night?
Answer: Anything more to it? As in? Don sat in his seat on press row, next to Dave Taylor, coincidentally enough. Dean Lombardi sat in his booth with other Kings management folks. I’m not sure what else there is to say, frankly. Waddell being at that game, very likely, did little if anything to further any Kovalchuk talk. GMs can talk on cell phones any day of the week, and scouting staffs are so strong that it’s doubtful there was any wisdom gained.
more on the Kings…
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
It’s looking less and less likely that the Wild will be selling since it’s hard to imagine six games from now the Wild will be out of playoff contention.
Still, as for buying, I don’t see a ton going to happen simply because the Wild’s got limited assets and they’re not trading their young assets (i.e. guys like Scandella, Cuma, Almond, etc.) for free-agent rentals.
I’ll also do my Sunday column on yesterday’s Toronto/Calgary-Anaheim madness and explain why the Wild doesn’t have interest in guys like Ilya Kovalchuk—contrary to made-up rumors. And quite frankly, if you’ve read me on a regular basis, you should understand why the Wild cannot afford to be trading for 40 days of Ilya Kovalchuk.
Nevertheless, it’s the question I’m getting ad nauseum right now, so I’ll include that in my Sunday stuff. Also, if you’ve read me for a long time, you know I don’t throw stuff against the wall. So that’s why there are no rumors out there on the Wild. I don’t report rumors. I report what I know. I do know most the players available out there the team has no interest in by the way. When there’s something concrete as far as whom they’re going after, I’ll report it to you.
But I don’t suspect much until post Olympic break roster freeze (Feb. 12-28).
more on the Wild…
from a Toronto Sun Editorial,
Watching the Toronto Maple Leafs over the past few months, fans have witnessed a stunning display.
This team became world class in inventing new ways to lose.
Any Leafs fan could see president and GM Brian Burke needed to head out, buy some explosives, and blow the team up.
The amazing part is Burke found willing partners to pick up players that clearly weren’t going to take this team anywhere.
All the best hits, saves and goals from the past week in the NHL.
The San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks continue to wage a battle for top spot in the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings, but they’re getting some company at the top, as the Washington Capitals and Vancouver Canucks are also pulling away from the rest of the crowd.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It was a surreal atmosphere at the Pengrowth Saddledome Monday morning, with four new faces dropping into jointhe Calgary Flames, two current players in limbo and the overall sense of everyone waiting for the other shoe to drop….
As of noon today, Jokinen and Prust were still on the team and were on the ice earlier in the morning, preparing to play in Monday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Still, the tension in the air was palpable whenever you turned. Neither Jokinen nor Prust spoke in the dressing room following the morning skate; and when Jokinen came off the ice, he looked decidedly unhappy.
General manager Darryl Sutter wasn’t around either, and his brother, Flames’ coach Brent Sutter, dismissed a question about the speculation surrounding Jokinen and Prust by saying: “I’m not talking about it at all. We’re focused on the game tonight; and the guys in the dressing room. That’s our team.”
NEW YORK (February 1, 2010)—Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin and Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for January.
from Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck,
In the chase for the playoffs, some NHL teams have a harder road to travel than others, and as we flip the calendar over to February, the Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames will face the stiffest opposition during the rest of the regular season. Over in the Eastern Conference, the rich are likely to get richer as the current division leaders, Washington, New Jersey, and Buffalo, all face relatively easy remaining schedules.
continued with a schedule breakdown…
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
There are a couple of perfectly logical reasons why NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is feverishly brokering a deal to sell the Tampa Bay Lightning to Boston-based hedge fund manager Jeffrey Vinik.
First and foremost, it’s his job to do everything he can to have stable and well-heeled owners for all 30 NHL teams.
But there’s another far more personal reason: His integrity is on the line. After all, it’s Bettman’s regime that is, in large part, responsible for this mess in the first place.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The trade that last night seemed imminent in which the Rangers would have received Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust from the Flames in exchange for Ales Kotalik and Chris Higgins remains on hold because Kotalik has yet to waive his limited no-trade clause that includes Calgary, a well connected source has told The Post.
Kotalik, who somehow was able to wrangle a three-team no-trade clause in the three-year, $9M free agent contract he signed this summer, has told GM Glen Sather he needs time to ponder his options.
And he’s taking all of it.
continued and Bob McKenzie was just on Leafs Lunch on 640am in Toronto and he said the stumbling block seems to be on the Calgary side.
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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.
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