Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
DeBoer and Booth talked for a while near the bench today and then Booth chatted with Dave Zenobi. DeBoer said it was nothing more than just another daily conversation on Booth’s progress.
I spoke with Booth this afternoon. I got the feeling he’s going to be back one of the next three games after tonight—either Sunday against the Islanders, Monday against the Ducks or next Friday against the Flames. All three are home games. My guess would be Friday.
I asked Booth if he was ready to play. He said he’s getting closer, but isn’t quite there yet.
“If I felt ready to play in a game right now I’d be playing tonight,” Booth said. “I don’t know when that date is going to be. I just don’t want to put my team in jepoardy of anything where I’m not ready. Every shift now counts. If you make a mistake and the other team capitalizes, it’s tough to live as a player.”
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Calgary’s massive defender is going through a difficult season—maybe he’s more than a bit guilty of buying into the hype that surrounded him early in his career—and his struggles to live up to expectations are reflected in his team’s current swoon. But at 24, there’s still plenty of time for Phaneuf to develop into a player who reads the game well enough to be physically imposing, positionally sound and a factor in the offense. The Flames don’t want to see his light go on while he’s wearing another team’s sweater.
After watching the Flames drop a 3-2 shootout decision Thursday night in Phoenix to run their losing streak to nine, it seems likely that Sutter will make some kind of move to ensure they remain relevant in the playoff discussion. But unless they can find someone who is willing to pay him $6.5 million for the next four years and offer up a player of similar age, accomplishment, and promise, Phaneuf will still be wearing the flaming C come March 4.
more hockey topics…
Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN discuss the upcoming trade deadline.
... watch them all in one video.
from Mike Norris of the Whig-Standard,
Four years after saying he believed that as many as a third of NHL players may be taking performance-enhancing drugs, the former chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency says the league still won’t admit it has a problem….
During a question-and-answer period following his speech, Pound was asked if he still felt the same way about performance-enhancing drugs in the NHL.
“I was attacking the closest thing to organized religion as you can,” he said of his original claim, made in January 2006.
Pound said he wasn’t referring to steroids, but rather stimulants, for which the NHL doesn’t test.
“Sudafed cocktails,” said Pound. “Those are performance-enhancing drugs.”
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
What a year in the NHL.
It’s the kind of year when a team like the Atlanta Thrashers can start the day in 11th place and end it in sixth place. I don’t care what anybody says about three-point games; I love the tight playoff races the current system creates.
… it’s the kind of year when Mike Green can be the top-scoring defenceman in the NHL with 12 goals and 51 points and still not be named to Team Canada for the Vancouver Olympics. And when Tim Connolly can be the third-highest scoring American-born NHLer with 13 goals and 48 points in 52 games and still not be named to Team USA.
… it’s the kind of year when the Chicago Blackhawks can continue their emergence as an NHL powerhouse even though some of its players do not understand the meaning of discretion.
from Lyle Richardson at Fox Sports,
For the past several weeks we’ve been hearing and reading about plenty of NHL trade rumors involving players with expensive, multi-year contracts.
Vincent Lecavalier (10 years remaining, average salary cap hit of $7.7 million), Dion Phaneuf (four years remaining, $6.5 million average cap hit), Wade Redden (four years, $6.5 million cap hit), Cristobal Huet (two years left, $5.65 million cap hit), Shawn Horcoff (six years, $5.5 million cap hit), Lubomir Visnovsky (three more years, $5.6 million cap hit)and Sheldon Souray (two years left, $5.4 million average cap hit) have in recent weeks received frequent mention as those who could be on the move by the March 3rd trade deadline.
Disregarding their varying performances this season and that several have movement clauses the fact they still have several years remaining on their respective contracts with salary cap hits between $5.4-$7.7 million should be the biggest indicator as to why the aforementioned almost certainly won’t be going anywhere by the trade deadline.
To kick off the WSJ’s series “The Olympics: How Hard Can it Be,” Reed Albergotti finds out from the NHL and Olympic great how hard it really might be to stop a slapshot.
Pretty entertaining video…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Whatever happened to the days when the NHL’s top-20 scorers featured a whole lot of late-blooming, off-the-radar players, who fell through the scouting cracks but turned into stars anyway?
Decades ago, it happened all the time. For every Mario Lemieux or Dale Hawerchuk that came along who lived up to his draft rating, there’d be a Brett Hull or an Adam Oates, a Bernie Nicholls or a Steve Larmer, a Theo Fleury or a Doug Gilmour, a Dino Ciccarelli or a Luc Robitaille that came out of nowhere to become a dominant NHL scorer.
Those days seem to be over, based on what’s happening in the 2009-10 when just about every player short of Martin St. Louis or Brad Richards was a blue-chip, can’t-miss prospect chosen at or near the top of the annual entry draft.
continued with more topics including a H2H mention. Thanks Eric!
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
There’s so many staggering statistics in play that it takes half a column and more just to list the Oilers, uh, accomplishments.
And here’s a new one.
The Oilers are one game away from doing what has never been done in franchise history before – lose every single, solitary game in a full month schedule.
It hasn’t been done by an NHL team for 12 years!
They have 12 straight losses.
It’s Dirty Dozen every which way you look.
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.
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