Kukla's Korner Hockey
Chris Foster (LA Times) reports Kings GM Dean Lombardi has plenty of available cap space to make some moves this season but those potential moves could depend on how the club performs over the next couple of months. Foster suggests the Kings need a top-line scorer and a legitimate number one goaltender and while noting neither becomes available very often anything is possible.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cue the Marian Gaborik and Nikolai Khabibulin to LA rumors! Meanwhile Lombardi will likely be patient and keep a close eye on the market.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
(Blake) Wheeler and linemates David Krejci and Michael Ryder have combined to be the Bruins’ most dangerous offensive threesome of late. Wheeler has a goal in each of the last two wins. Krejci has at least 1 point in the last six games. Ryder potted two goals against the Islanders and added two assists against Detroit.
All of that production comes with a rookie playing an unfamiliar position.
Before this season, Wheeler had played mostly center and right wing. But with the Bruins having less depth on the left side, they auditioned the righthanded-shooting Wheeler on his off wing during training camp. Coaches and management liked what they saw and have shown no hesitation in showcasing the rookie as a left wing during the recent hot streak.
“I think it gives us a little more luxury in moving guys around,” coach Claude Julien said. “At the beginning of the year, the question mark was whether we were going to keep him and where we were going to play him.
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull at the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers said yesterday that high-scoing center Danny Briere will miss four or five weeks because of a “significant” groin strain.
They also said the injury had nothing to do with rushing him back to action.
Maybe. But something sure looks fishy.
Earlier this season, Briere had abdominal surgery and missed six games. He then returned to the lineup much quicker than expected, played two games and suffered a groin strain. Originally, the club said the groin injury was not related to the abdominal problem.
Yesterday, Briere said doctors told him the injuries WERE related.
from Tom Gulitti of the Record,
Devils coach Brent Sutter said after Wednesday’s practice that he’s “assuming” Rolston will play tonight. Rolston said he’s anxious after a seven-week layoff.
“It has been a long time, but that’s the only thing that really heals ankles,” he said. “If I would have broken it, you know in four to six [weeks], you’re ready to go. With ankle [sprains], it’s not that simple. I’ve been patient and the team has been patient with me so I feel 100 percent.
“I’m not used to sitting out.”
Center John Madden also will play tonight after missing the last four games with a bruised left ankle.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Gretzky acknowledged that selling hockey in sunshine states – a “challenge” at the best of times – is even more difficult with the sudden, sharp recession that has struck North America.
“Since I came to the United States in 1988, this is as bad economic times as I’ve ever seen,” said Gretzky, whose team faces the Leafs here tonight. “It’s affecting everybody. A lot of people are unemployed. It’s not a good time.”...
“It only makes economic sense that teams can’t continue to lose money so they have to look for other options,” said Gretzky. “Could another team in Toronto survive? Sure. You could probably put two more teams there. We all know that. But that’s a decision the commissioner’s office and players’ association have to make.”
But Gretzky and Coyotes president Douglas Moss believe the Coyotes can weather this economic storm, which in Arizona hit the housing market first and hardest.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Rangers sure played with Pittsburgh. There wasn’t a player who turned away from the opportunity to get a piece of Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, with Colton Orr, Marc Staal, Blair Betts, Paul Mara and Ryan Callahan most notable. Crosby whined on the ice after Orr caught him legally in the first, then whined in the locker room.
“I don’t know if that’s what [Orr] needed to do to prove his toughness - to come after me,” Crosby said expressing a thought so preposterous that he might face suspension by the NHL language police.
Uh, no, Orr did not need to prove his toughness, but the Rangers believed that they needed to prove their worth against an elite opponent.
more on the Rangers win over the Penguins last night.
from Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
We all expect Ilya Kovalchuk to leave when his contract expires after the 2010 season, but there’s no need for Don Waddell to wait. The general manager should clear the air that befogs his last-place team. He should trade Kovalchuk now.
Kovalchuk has flashed past the point of diminishing returns. He has averaged 42 goals over his first six seasons; he’s on pace to score 24. He has averaged 3.7 shots per game over those six seasons; he’s averaging 2.8 shots now. He’s playing like a man who wants to be elsewhere.
from Drew Rememda of the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
You people in the chatrooms make me laugh. Not like you’re a clown, here to amuse me.. but I’m just saying…All I did last night (Tuesday) was opine that the NHL culture of defending a teammate that has been dropped by a perfectly clean bodycheck, 100% within the rules of the game is curious even ridiculous. The incident that was my jumping off point was Luke Schenn hammering Tomas Plihall right at the end of the game with a perfectly clean hit. A hit that Tomas called “great”. Marcel Goc rushed to confront Schenn and a small pushing and shoving match ensued. I questioned the legitimacy of Goc’s reaction.
I had the debate with Jeremy Roenick this morning at Sharks Ice. Just a note we didn’t yell, insult or question each others manhood. My basic question. Do you need to confront or fight every player who delivers a clean hit to a teammate?
In my daily tour around the web, I noticed many Canes fans are not very open to the hiring of Paul Maurice as coach of the Carolina Hurricanes. David at Red and Black Hockey at KK gave his views and following is another.
from Joe Ovies of the Blog at 850theBuzz,
Maurice might be considered a good coach in hockey circles, but he is the depressing face of what hockey used to be in the Triangle for too many loyal fans. Laviolette, in combination with Rutherford’s shrewd roster moves heading into the lockout, ushered in a new era. The organization can’t go back, but they managed to turn back the clock.
The reasons to fire Laviolette now are no different than they were during the summer, expect now the Canes put themselves in an odd position of choosing the next coach out of a shallow pool. They end up with Maurice because he’s “family”, not named Barry Melrose, and most importantly, willing to sign on without a long-term contract.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Sources tell TSN that Avery’s personal publicist reached out to the Stars’ organization first thing Wednesday morning in an effort to get Avery an audience with his teammates so he could apologize to them.
The Stars made it clear to Avery’s representative that the door was not open for that to happen at this time and perhaps not at all.
The Stars, it would seem, are not in the mood for reconciliation. The Avery-inflicted wounds - in the dressing room, in the coaches’ offices, in the front office and the ownership suite - are just too raw and fresh at this point. And they may never heal to the point to allow him a way back in.
more and with this story, I am closing the Avery talk. I have had enough and until something official comes out from either the Stars or the NHL, no more Avery talk from me. Perhaps I should turn my attention to Sundin non-news?
added 7:38pm, via Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
“I would like to sincerely apologize for my off-color remarks to the press yesterday from Calgary,” said a statement obtained by SportingNews.com.
“I should not have made those comments and I recognize that they were inappropriate. It was a bad attempt to build excitement for the game, but I am now acutely aware of how hurtful my actions were. I caused unnecessary embarrassment to my peers as well as people I have been close with in the past.
“I apologize for offending the great fans of the NHL, the Commissioner, my teammates, my coaching staff and the Dallas Stars Management and Ownership. As many of you know, I like to mix it up on and off the ice from time to time, but understand that this time I took it too far.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org