Kukla's Korner Hockey
In case you missed it last night, Elliotte Friedman of CBC did a great job with an ‘Inside Hockey’ segment on Alexander Ovechkin.
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
Last March 19, Kurtis Foster’s left femur snapped in half. Three people told Foster it was “the worst break they’ve ever seen in a person’s leg.”
Many people privately were skeptical he would ever play again. He still walks with a limp.
Yet here we are, a little more than nine months later, and the Wild defenseman is close to reporting to Houston for a conditioning stint….
Despite coming so far, Foster believes he is being rushed back by the NHL.
According to Section 13.8 of the collective bargaining agreement, teams are not permitted to send players to the minors on “conditioning loans” for longer than “14 consecutive days.”
Upon Foster’s request, the Wild begged the league to make an exception. The team offered up Foster’s medical records. The team offered to fly Foster to New York to be examined by NHL doctors.
Yet, the league refused to make an exception. If Foster is in Houston one second longer than two weeks, he will have to clear waivers.
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
We know the game-day skate was already well established in the NHL by the mid-1970s.
What is less clear is how the ritual became so entrenched in the fabric of the league.
After contacting a number of former NHL players and managers, it appears the skate grew out of a number of factors, including: a natural progression from morning meetings at the rink on game day; growing rosters that meant “extra” players needed to skate when not playing that night; and even some influence from the Soviet national team—who were known for their hard practices the morning of a game.
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
The numbers (ratings) seem to say a couple of things: Local fans have noticed that this year’s team is better than last year’s squad, which competed hard but lacked the depth of talent to be in the race, and they’re increasingly interested in the good story lines (Benedict Foote), strong opponents (Calgary) and players worth watching (Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, whose Capitals drew a 2.35 rating).
If form holds true, the best ratings are going to come after the All-Star break. And if this team continues to trend upward, we might soon discover what a lot of people said nine years ago:
If the Blue Jackets ever have a good team, this is going to be one heck of a hockey market.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• The Predators, who can’t win because they can’t score, should be on the phone offering up their No. 3 defenceman Dan Hamhuis, 26, for a winger. Maybe they should be going after Flyers’ Joffrey Lupul, who is about Philly’s sixth best forward and has 15 goals. Hamhuis isn’t having a good year (minus-12), but he’s in his fifth NHL season and plays 22 minutes a night in Nashville. He’s a solid, two-way D-man.
• Slugger Derek Boogaard has the longest NHL run without a goal (150 games), but as he says, “how many fights has Mikko Koivu had in his 250 games?”
• Teemu Selanne is back skating after the quadricep muscle in his left leg was sliced by his own skate a month ago at Rexall Place. No explosive stuff yet,” said the Ducks’ winger, who could help a pretty ordinary Anaheim team, maybe this week. They’ve won only five times in 16 games since he was hurt.
from Red Fisher at NHL.com,
As long as anyone can remember, even before he was to become everything that was good about this Montreal Canadiens franchise, Jean Beliveau has been special.
Was there ever a player blessed with more grace on and off the ice? He was a quiet leader who led by example. He walked and skated tall—and always will be remembered that way. We rejoiced in his accomplishments and were left limp with grief when he was struck with adversity—on and off the ice.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The kind of move Chiarelli may be pondering, he said, is something akin to what the Ducks did en route to winning the Cup in 2007. His club in need of a character boost and experience up front, then-GM Brian Burke hired on veteran winger Brad May, swapping Mike Wall to the Avalanche. Burke’s first move as Toronto’s new GM was to bring May to the Leafs earlier this month….
Boston’s forward corps, full of youngsters such as Kessel (if), Lucic, and David Krejci, received valuable maiden experience in last season’s seven-game run in the first round against the Canadiens. Veteran pivot Marc Savard, at age 30, also experienced his first minutes of postseason action. Untested, no. But support and experience could help come crunch time.
more an additional NHL topics are discussed…
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The crowd at the Bell Centre today will roar for one of its own, the hometown kid who made it big in the NHL and brought the Stanley Cup back to Montreal—though only for a visit—in the summer of 2007.
But when the starters are announced for today’s All-Star game and Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s name is called for the West, the Ducks’ goaltender will be looking for someone who is not there, listening for a voice that was silenced too soon.
Giguere’s father, Claude, who bought the second-hand gear that launched his youngest son’s hockey career, died on Dec. 15 after valiantly fighting cancer that began in his colon and spread throughout his body. Claude rallied after J.S. visited him in late November but the disease won out before he could see his son’s All-Star moment.
“But I know he’s going to be there, somewhere, watching,” Giguere said. “He’s no stranger to me being there, too, I think. You’ve got to believe that he’ll be there.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• The euphoria over the possible drafting of John Tavares, and what he could do for an NHL team, is overblown. Think about this: Rick Nash and Jay Bouwmeester were the best two players drafted into the NHL in 2002. Six seasons later, neither has been in a playoff game.
• Department of Dumb: Suspending Nicklas Lidstrom, who has played hurt, been to a million all-star games, and never has taken a shift off in his spectacular career, for not playing in today’s all-star game. This is so typical of Gary Bettman: He’ll protect his bankrupt owners but toss the best of his players under the bus.
more hockey notes…
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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