Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the CP via NHL.com,
Dallas is in the unique and undesirable position this season of being the only NHL team without a primary affiliate. It’s a one-year fix while waiting for the Texas Stars to make their American Hockey League debut in the Austin area next fall.
Neal made it back to the NHL after two weeks with the Moose, but at the all-star break the Stars still had 11 prospects spread out among seven AHL teams. They were playing different systems, with players from rival organizations and sometimes even facing each other.
“It’s not an ideal situation,” Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. “I look forward to next year. Austin is going to be a great setup, a strong, strong situation for us.”
Dallas announced plans last February for an AHL franchise closer to home. Iowa responded by ending a three-year affiliation with the Stars after last season and became the Chops - with a vicious boar’s head for a logo. They are now the Anaheim Ducks’ primary farm team.
The Stars were left scrambling this season for a way to continue developing their minor-leaguers closest to playing in the NHL.
from Joe O’Connor of the National Post,
“I flip off the TV whenever there is a fight,” he says. “The guys that fight now, they are guys that can’t play. They are only there for that reason, and I am not interested in watching it. And I am not interested in some Sluggo, on television, telling me that this sort of stuff was always part of hockey. Yeah, right: it was always in hockey. But the Sluggos, they do not know the other part of it.”
By Sluggos, Duff is referring to the in-studio experts, like Mad Mike Milbury, who does not want to “see hockey ‘pansy-fied’ and given to the granola people.” There are other experts, who never even played the damn game. There are owners, whose only interest is selling tickets and watching a crowd get to its feet when the fists fly, and the blood begins to flow. And there are the general managers—who draft that kid who is 6-foot-5 and can barely skate—and coaches that, a few years later, have that same kid sitting on the end of their bench for one reason only.
from Red Fisher at NHL.com,
He was the most intense athlete the game has seen.
He was everything that personified greatness. Richard’s eye-snapping career numbers don’t begin to describe what he meant to hockey in general and the Canadiens in particular. Winning at any cost was what he was all about. He was prepared to pay the price for every goal he scored, and no price was too high.
Richard scored important goals, lifting spectators out of their seats everywhere in the six-team NHL, because he was as much The Rocket on the road as he was in Montreal. At any moment, anywhere, he could erupt with another big goal.
“I first saw him in 1942,” Ken Reardon, a former teammate who went on to become a Canadiens vice-president, told an interviewer. “I was playing for an army team. I see this guy skating at me with wild, bloody hair the way he had it then, eyes just outside the nut house. ‘I’ll take this guy,’ I said to myself. He went around me like a hoop around a barrel.”
“This year has been the best year since I’ve been there, in a lot of ways. There seems to be more stability there now and there really wasn’t for a few years. Those are the things you think about. But right now there’s not really a lot going on and we haven’t been talking a whole lot, I don’t think. I haven’t ruled anything out. Money isn’t always everything. I haven’t played in the playoffs and that’s obviously No. 1. Where that is, whether it’s Florida or not, who knows?”
-Jay Bouwmeester at the All-Star festivities yesterday. More ASG topics from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
In the good old days before cable and glitzy television production, French-language radio broadcasts of the Montreal Canadiens were preceded not by pregame analysis, advertisements and anthems, but by a priest reciting the rosary.
Families would crowd together at the hearths and parlours of Quebec to join in, and it was only after the prayers were finished - usually near the end of the first period - that the airwaves were turned over to hockey.
But as French-speaking Quebec’s attachment to Catholicism has waned since the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, a new breed of secular saints has emerged: the Habs have taken over as Quebec’s unofficial religion.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
It is difficult to gauge how much a healthy Forsberg would command on the open market, but since the Colorado Avalanche paid him $1.1 million last season for 42 days, it’s a safe bet the Flyers could get him for about the same price.
Which begs these three questions: Why? Why? Why?
In his prime, Forsberg was an absolute force capable of winning playoff series by himself. But that was 10 years ago, before he signed with the Flyers in 2005 and began a three-year injury odyssey that included abbreviated stops in Nashville and Colorado, along with countless trips to foot surgeons and skate manufacturers.
Since having his foot surgically reconstructed in the summer of 2006, Forsberg has played in 66 NHL games in 2 1/2 seasons. After signing with the Avalanche late last season, he played in only nine of their 18 games and missed three more playoff games….
But does anyone really believe Forsberg will be anything more than a distraction on a team that has its best chemistry in years?
from Mark Moore at the Toronto Star,
The reason why the NHL and its players are resisting a simple ban on all hits to the head is this: Bodychecking is part of hockey, and it isn’t just for show or intimidation. Defending in hockey depends on playing the body. Playing the puck is too risky, because skilled players can move it around and leave you chasing air. You defend by stopping the puck-carrier with body contact as far from your net as possible….
However, I believe there are ways to eliminate the problem of hits to the head. Here is my proposal, fully explained:
1. Create a rule banning “high hits” the way we ban high sticks. A high hit could be defined as:
a) Any time a player leaves his feet to make a check;
b) Any part of the checker’s arm being extended above his own shoulder prior to or at the moment of impact;
via Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Will Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke be reunited with Ducks D Chris Pronger? That’s the whisper this weekend. There’s a strong belief that if the Ducks fall out of playoff contention in the Western Conference, GM Bob Murray might move the former all-star defenceman. While the Leafs are trying to rebuild, it might make sense to bring in a seasoned blueliner like Pronger, especially if Tomas Kaberle is sent packing at the March 4 trade deadline.
Is the clock ticking on Canucks coach Alain Vigneault? While the Canucks remain in a playoff position at No. 7 in the West, they’re just 2-4-4 in their last 10—with C Mats Sundin added to the lineup. Things have been mostly good since GM Mike Gillis took over, but the word out of Vancouver is Vigneault doesn’t have long to get the club’s act together.
In another report by Garrioch, he writes…
Detroit GM Ken Holland told ESPN.com that Lidstrom has been dealing with tendinitis in his knee.
You see folks, that is how rumors start! It is actually an elbow problem Bruce, not a knee.
Transcript courtesy of the NHL
Q. Can you describe exactly how the discussions about a possible trade, whether to Montreal or anywhere else, have unfolded for you? Who told you, how those conversations have gone, and what your thoughts are about that?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: I can’t remember those three, four days. I remember we were in California. It was a pretty hectic couple of days. Usually there’s rumors, but this one seemed that it had a lot of legs on that one.
So, no, I was just getting a lot of calls from parents, from family and friends. But it was just all rumors until obviously talking a little bit about it with the team and everybody knows here. And what the League came up with was obviously that if something was to happen, they would come to me and ask me or come up with a list or something like that.
It’s basically what you guys know.
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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