Kukla's Korner Hockey
from James Duthie of TSN,
Welcome to Habapalooza. The schedule isn’t even complete yet, and already we know the Ring of Honour ceremony will be followed by (brace yourself): Builder’s Night (Oct. 28), Memorable Games in Canadiens History DVD release (Nov. 4), Patrick Roy’s sweater retirement (Nov. 22), Opening of Centennial Plaza (Dec. 4), Centennial Gala (Dec. 5), NHL All-Star Weekend (Jan 24-25), launch of the Canadiens Hall of Fame (April), NHL Draft (June 27), 8 “Vintage Jersey” games, and two “Original Six Salute” games. Oh ya, and the Stanley Cup Final* (June).
And I didn’t even get to the Special Edition Montreal Canadiens Monopoly Game, the commemorative stamps, and a special minted Habs Loonie (the only Canadian dollar that may rise in value this year).
from Mike Milbury at Blogs and Colums at CBC,
The twins are terrific players but they lack the leadership and explosiveness to be considered amongst the very elite of the game. The Canucks need a face that’s not behind a mask: a leader and an offensive powerhouse. And this is why, dollars aside, that Mats Sundin makes great sense for the Canucks and why you have to applaud Mike Gillis for his bold offer to Sundin. And if it isn’t Sundin, will it be Marian Gaborik? This is a big hole to fill and it will be a challenge to complete the task. Until they do, contender status is beyond reach.
more on Vancouver…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• Martin Gelinas’s goal of playing 20 NHL seasons is on hold, and he’s not going to let things drag out much longer than another couple of weeks.
He’s been skating with the University of Calgary Dinos and says he’s in great shape, but nobody’s craving a 38-year-old winger.
“I talk to my agent (Steve Kotlowicz) in Edmonton and he says ‘I’ve got nothing, I’ve got nothing’ so you get a little frustrated and you wonder if I’m just spinning my wheels,” said the former Oiler forward, who finished last year in Nashville.
• Teams are growing leery of Gaborik’s injuries and the risk that would bring to paying him something in the $9-million neighbourhood. Maybe the Montreal Canadiens will offer Chris Higgins and a hot prospect (Mac Pacioretty or Ryan McDonagh, two first-round picks in ‘07) and a first-round pick for Gaborik.
As good as Gaborik is, the face of the Wild these days might be Saku Koivu’s brother, Mikko. He’s a stud centre. And their second-best player might be Brent Burns on the back-end.
more hockey notes…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
While it’s well within the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, the fact teams can bury their problems in the minors so that big salaries don’t count against the $56.7-million cap has GMs shaking their heads.
As training camps wound up last month, a host of players—including San Jose’s Kyle McLaren (making $2.5 million this season), Boston’s Peter Schaefer ($2.3 million) and Vancouver’s Matt Pettinger ($1.1 million)—cleared waivers and were sent to the minors.
GMs are saying privately that teams should be forced to pay for their mistakes by having demoted players count against the cap. Not everyone supports the theory, as teams still have to pay their problem players.
read on, more NHL notes and rumor talk too…
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strkes,
I know, they’re 0-2-3. They matched the 1998-99 team as the only Tampa Bay squad to start a season winless in five games, and the team lost a franchise-record third straight overtime game. It has just eight goals. But I really believe this is going to be a good hockey team.
I’m not saying it will make the playoffs or anything beyond what we can evaluate right now. And I know I’m going to hear about this on this post and at the end of the season if things don’t work out, but this team is so much better than it was even three games ago, the difference is notable.
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,
The current Blackhawks are a textbook marketing creation.
They very well could be the real thing, an actual competitive hockey team, but I have no way of knowing that right now. I do know, thanks to a marketing strategy that resembles an exuberant carpet-bombing, that they are new, improved, bigger and better, have less trans fat than competitors, and quite possibly will improve your posture while removing stains.
The team that has been publicized, hawked, packaged, airbrushed, Photoshopped and otherwise thrust upon us is a team that should go deep into the NHL playoffs. I happen to know this because a hefty majority of voters in a chicagotribune.com poll said so before the season began. And the voters said so because they had been hit over the head with the Hawks’ advertising campaign.
continued and I do recall a few comments left on KK over the last few months with the warning, be careful with the marketing, prove it on the ice first….
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
Their engines stalled during the national anthem and it was nothing but cough and sputter for the first 35 minutes.
Then a 265-pound spark plug changed everything.
With the Oilers down 2-0, newly-acquired super heavyweight Steve MacIntyre plastered Calgary’s Dustin Boyd into the end boards, essentially turning him into a rinkboard advertisement, then beat up the guy who came to his rescue, Brandon Prust, sparking a three-goal rally that buried the Flames in a sea of Oiler energy.
more and watch the hit below…
from the CP via TSN,
A nasty hit on Andrei Kostitsyn opened the door for Georges Laraque to show why the Montreal Canadiens went looking for an enforcer last summer.
Laraque was front and centre in a rough and chippy second period as the Canadiens downed the Phoenix Coyotes 4-1 on two goals from Alex Tanguay and a goal and two assists from Saku Koivu on Saturday night, although they look to have lost their gifted left winger Kostitsyn for an undetermined period.
“Whether it was cheap hit or not, when one of your best players gets knocked out like that, you’re not going to say it’s OK - you want to respond to it,” said Laraque.
continued and watch a video of the hit below…
“I’m going to give our skill guys a chance to get going, but it’s time for them to start doing the things we hoped they would do. ... It’s time for some guys in our lineup to start going. They’ve played four games now. If you’re a goal scorer and not scoring, what else are you giving our team? They have to decide. If you’re not scoring and everybody goes into a slump, you’ve got to help the team in other ways. It’s time for some of our stars to put the puck in the net and start helping us out all over the rink.”
-Barry Melrose this morning. More at Lightning Strkes…
from Iain MacIntrye of the Vancouver Sun,
Winger Kyle Wellwood has been given a few days off. He cleared waivers this morning and is back in Vancouver waiting for the Canucks to find him a place to play in the minors….
The Canucks are trying to find another minor-league team with room for Wellwood, although Vancouver will be paying his NHL salary of $998,000 US.
Bieksa is eligible to come off the injured list today will likely play Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks. He strained his knee early in the Canucks’ victory in Calgary one week ago.
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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