Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
The most interesting aspect of the change to the Tampa Bay Lightning coaching staff is not so much that assistant coach Wes Walz was fired after he declined the head coaching job at AHL Norfolk, or that Norfolk coach Jim Johnson has been hired as a Lightning assistant, helping to push out Walz. It is that Lightning coach Rick Tocchet apparently was not consulted by GM Brian Lawton before the change was made.
“None,” Tocchet said Wednesday when asked how much input he had into the changes. I was told at 12 o’clock (Tuesday).”
Lawton, for his part said, “I did discuss it with Rick,” but that, according to Tocchet’s time line, apparently was after the decision was made.
The Lightning is one point out of a playoff spot and has 21 games left. The season resumes March 2.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Detroit Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby said today that he will have shoulder surgery next week, keeping him out for the remainder of the regular season.
Maltby will be placed on long-term injured serve, solving the club’s salary-cap issues. This will enable defenseman Andreas Lilja to be activated. Lilja said he expects to be in the lineup Monday at Colorado, in the frist game following the Olympic break.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars today placed backup goalie Alex Auld on waivers, which means there is little chance the team will trade Marty Turco before the March 3 trade deadline.
GM Joe Nieuwendyk, who is traveling to Cornell to have his number retired this weekend, confirmed that Turco will likely stick with the team.
“I don’t want to ever say never, but we would have to be blown away with a great offer to deal him now,’’ Nieuwendyk said. “We feel this is the best move for our team going forward, so that’s the plan right now.’‘
via John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The Predators have re-signed goalie Pekka Rinne to a two-year, $6.8 million contract.
The team is expected to officially announce the signing later this afternoon.
Rinne will make $2.8 million during the 2010-11 season and $4.0 million during the 2011-12 season.
from Chip Alexander of Canes Now at the News & Observer,
While saying there is no set timetable for a return, Canes general manager Jim Rutherford said today that goaltender Cam Ward could be back in net this season.
Ward, sidelined since Feb. 3 with a back problem, returned to a back specialist in Charlotte this week. Rutherford said surgery will not be required.
“We’re real encouraged with the progress he’s making,” Rutherford said. “He has been feeling much better in the last week. We’ll see where he is in the next week or two.
Tom Wilson will soon work for llitch Holdings, sources tell Action News. Having resigned last week as president and CEO of the Pistons and their owner, Palace Sports and Entertainment, he now joins the company that owns the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings.
Wilson will be responsible for heading up all the talks surrouding a new stadium for the Detroit Red Wings. The move is right up Wilson’s alley considering he was involved in the building of the Palace in Auburn Hills.
He will report directly to Mike Ilitch. It is not yet known if Ken Holland and Dave Dombrowski will report to Wilson.
A press conference could be held as early as Tuesday.
from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated, .
..in the Red Wings, Stars and Ducks, you’re looking at teams in transition despite their long playoff histories. Certainly the Wings are legitimate playoff contenders. They’re counting on their roster returning to health after the Olympics and, with that, a more robust offense. If Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom and Niklas Kronwall can all stay healthy, then the prospect of Detroit in the playoffs is much more probable. If the sparkling play of Brian Rafalski for Team USA should carry over, then the Wings’ once-vaunted power play will likely be another factor in Detroit’s improved play down the stretch..
The Stars’ situation is interesting in that they acquired goaltender Kari Lehtonen from Atlanta before the Olympics and the move seemed to spur incumbent Marty Turco. He backstopped successive wins before the break, stopping 73 of 74 shots, including a 45-save shutout at Phoenix.
Maybe the deal had nothing to do with Turco’s triumphs.
more including the teams for the East…
“The trade deadline comes up [March 3], and it’s going to be very interesting to see what’s going to happen,” Roenick said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show.” “Especially with a guy in Montreal who is playing unbelievably up here [at the Olympics for Slovakia], and wants a trade because of the goalie situation with [Carey] Price.
“Halak wants out. Chicago would be a perfect place for a guy like Halak to be traded to, free up a little cap space maybe, but also get a goaltender who could push you over the top and win a Cup.”
from Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk at NBC Sports,
...here’s something pure and admirable in the dedication that hockey players have for their chosen sport. After watching the American upset of Canada’s national team, a game for which the players will not receive a dime of salary, we’re now convinced that most if not all of the men who play hockey for money would play the game even if they were being paid nothing.
How many pro football players would do that?
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,
Pavel Kubina in an Ottawa Senators uniform? How about Dennis Seidenberg or Jordan Leopold from the Florida Panthers, Dan Hamhuis of the Nashville Predators or the return of Brendan Bell, who is now playing for the Syracuse Crunch in the American Hockey League?
All of the above have been mentioned in trade speculation involving the Senators, for good reason.
It’s pretty much a given that Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray will be adding a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent defenceman—or maybe two—before the March 3 trade deadline.
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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