Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Denver Post,
Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles will not play in tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators and is out indefinitely with a hand injury he suffered against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.
Avs coach Tony Granato said he hopes to have Liles back by the end of the team’s six-game road trip, which begins Friday night at Washington.
from Rory Boylen of the Hockey News,
Here are two tilts I always get up for because the potential for them to grow into something more than just another game is teetering on the edge of all-out war.
Detroit vs. Columbus
These are the culprits from the Friday game I alluded to earlier (and if you haven’t seen Steve Mason’s stacked-pads save on Henrik Zetterberg, two words come to mind: Dear Lord). The Red Wings, so dominant for so long in the barren Central Division, finally have a foe similar to that itch you can’t reach in the middle of your back. The Blue Jackets aren’t deep, they aren’t overly talented and they definitely don’t have much experience past the first 82 games of a season, but they have a hard-working team, a Ken Hitchcock system and this special kid named Mason.
more and a look at Philadelphia/Washington too…
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Negotiations with Franzen have progressed steadily.
“I think we’re in the ballpark, but we don’t have a deal done,” Holland said Monday. “They know I want to talk to Ritch Winter regarding Marian Hossa. Franzen’s camp hasn’t moved the extra mile, and neither have I. I haven’t gotten quite as far along with Hossa, and I do want to explore that and then sit down with our owner and make a decision on what to do.
“I think we have a chance to keep both players, but that does mean other players have to move.”
If the Wings keep Franzen and Hossa, there won’t be room to re-sign players such as Mikael Samuelsson and Jiri Hudler, both of whom also are in the last year of contracts. That’s why it makes sense for the Wings to explore a trade leading up to the March 4 deadline.
from Tapeleg of Jerseys and hockey love,
A hockey game may not mean much, but the events surrounding that game might. For me, tonight was one of those nights. In fact, it was one of those nights that is hard to put into words.
Tonight, the L.A. Kings held Armenian Heritage Night. This isn’t the only heritage night they held this season, they had nights for Russia and other nationalities (sorry, I can’t remember them off the top of my head). At first, it sounded like a joke, or a cheap promotion. The post-game entertainment was Armenian hip-hop artist R-Mean (seriously), and there would be Armenian beer at the after party. All of this because it was Atlanta Thrashers rookie Zac Bogosian’s first game in L.A., and he is the first Armenian to play in the NHL. It sounds like a cheap gimmick, and it could have been a cheap gimmick.
It wasn’t. In fact, it is going to be hard to top this night on the rest of the tour. Let me show you what I mean.
read on with some great pictures and watch an interview with Bogosian below. Zach talks about the Armenian Night the Kings hosted and about his three point night…
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
“Feb. 16, 1984: I was walking to the Saddledome with a costume that still smelled like glue in a garbage bag,” said Kelba, who’d played Ralph the Dog at McMahon Stadium for four years before convincing the Flames to give the NHL’s first mascot a shot….
Hired for $50 a game by the skeptical Flames, Kelba knew he didn’t have much time to make an impression before he’d be tossed out the door with the $4,000 costume he made.
“They didn’t think it was going to work, so they didn’t even introduce me as their mascot,” said Kelba, now 48.
“I sat down, and within a minute, some guy leaned over and said, ‘Go to hell.’ I immediately thought, ‘This is going to be tougher than I thought.’ He was tolerated or hated at best.”
from Rob Parent of the Delco Times,
Real hockey men are paid to feel, play, manage and coach as if all 82 games are vital. But what would the Flyers’ front office men say to the thought of trading Danny Briere?
If timing is everything, they’d rightfully say the time is all wrong to think about taking Briere and his huge contract and asking him if he’d mind them waving it across such trade routes as phone lines, e-mail addresses and bars during the general managers meetings.
Briere is a youthful 31 who has had a belly tear for much of the season. He might be over it soon, which would be welcome news for a Flyers team that has been suffering from viral strains of up and chuck lately. Once free of such bugs, this will be a team that shapes up well for the stretch drive, even as it continues to develop into what at some point will be a bit of a financial headache for upper management.
from Mark Hermann of Newsday,
A couple of words about tanking a season: It works. Lemieux saved the franchise as a superstar player and again as principal owner. In the latter capacity, he pulled the old bait and switch with Kansas City, making believe he was going to move the franchise so he could get Pittsburgh officials to build a new arena. Who knows where the Penguins would be had they not been bad enough to land Mario?
Ineptitude paid off again early this decade when the Penguins finished last for four straight seasons (one place ahead of the Stirling-Bylsma Islanders in 2005-06). That enabled them to draft Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, which transformed them into the NHL’s glamour team.
All of this is encouraging for the Islanders as they endure a rough year in last place. This is not to say they are tanking or that they should. There is no Lemieux or Crosby in the 2009 draft. But there is hope. The Penguins are living proof of what can happen if you play your cards right, as long as you have a bad hand.
Just be cautious and patient. The Penguins finished last in both Lemieux’s and Crosby’s rookie seasons.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Tomas Kaberle isn’t likely to go anywhere.
While Kaberle has provided the Leafs with a list of 10 teams he’d prefer to be dealt to in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause, Leafs GM Brian Burke sounds as if he’d rather keep the skilled, puck-moving defenceman….
“Two keys,” Burke wrote in an email. “One, Kaberle wants to stay. He could not be clearer. Two, (it’s) hard to believe I will get what I need to move this guy. (He’s a) quality person, great stats, good salary.
“I did not ask him to waive no-trade. (His) agent suggested looking at this vehicle because it allows him and Tomas to retain some level of control over where he goes. If we miss the playoffs, he has no control over where he goes.”
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
Got your playoff tickets ordered yet?
(See, the media isn’t always negative!)
Don’t lie, yee citizens of Sens Nation. I know you are doing the math.
“Let’s see, if we go 21-6, and Sabres go .500…and the Panthers trade Boumeester…and all the Hurricanes get mono…and the Rangers…umm…forfeit…hey we’re in! And the way the Habbies are goin’, Heck, we might get home ice advantage still!”
Brad Richards hurt his hand or shoulder after going into the boards during the 2nd period of the Dallas/Columbus game. Columbus TV team reports Richards was in severe pain in the locker room and doctors were examining him.
update 8:33pm, Report is Richards will not return- out with upper-body injury.
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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