Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Sundin is expected to make his debut with the Vancouver Canucks any time after New Year’s Day. He is 37, two-and-a-half years older than Niedermayer, with nearly 200 more NHL games played than the Anaheim defenceman.
“You’re stepping into a season [that is already] underway, where the team has got things going. Strategy-wise, personnel-wise … they’re already set with their D-partners, powerplay, penalty kill,” Niedermayer said. “And physically, there is a lot going on, obviously. Your legs, your hands…”...
“He has to have patience. His expectations will have to be a bit lower, at first,” Selanne warned Sundin. “It took me three weeks.”...
“It depends on how much intensity there has been in his workouts. You can’t know,” Carlyle said. “If it’s a sore hip, a sore groin, a sore back… Without the benefit of training camp, that’s one thing you have to be wary of. In essence, this is his training camp now.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Last season, the waiver pickup of the year was goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
This year, while still early, it may just be Kyle Quincey. In a move that didn’t exactly turn many heads in mid-October, the Los Angeles Kings picked up 23-year-old defenseman off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings. And they’ve been head over heels ever since.
“This is an example of not only getting a good player, but also of our infrastructure working,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi told ESPN.com on Friday.
When Quincey went on waivers, Kings pro scout Rob Laird made his case. “This guy can play,” Laird told Lombardi.
“He was right on,” Lombardi said of Laird. “That’s a great job by a guy that works in the trenches and goes out there and works his butt off.”
continued plus Sundin and Wings/Sharks talk…
A bit late, but the NHL just put the video online today, so we thought we’d post it here for your Friday afternoon perusal.
from Mike Heika at Dallas Stars Blog,
Not that this means the Stars are going to make the playoffs, but parity has brought the entire West down this year.
Currently, seventh place Phoenix is on pace for 87 points. So is eighth place Nahsville, ninth place Colorado and 10th place Minnesota.
So, the idea Dallas needs 95 points to make the playoffs might be wrong.
That’s a small difference, but one I think is worth nothing.
Maybe they just need 88 or 90 points, and that means they would need 60 points in the final 51 games. That’s just a .588 winning percentage.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
No, Stamkos and Kyle Turris, the other pre-season Calder Trophy favorite, are not in the mix as the NHL passed the one-third mark of the season in mid-December – and you could make a case that the leader at this stage of the season is a player who wasn’t even in the NHL on opening night.
That would be Columbus Blue Jackets’ goaltender Steve Mason, the London Knights’ grad, who continued his exceptional early-season run this past week, by out-and-out stealing a 2-1 overtime victory from the Sharks. Mason stopped 47 shots in the victory – third-most in franchise history – and allowed just a single goal to the highest-scoring team in the NHL.
read on plus, Sundin, Wings/Sharks and other hockey topics…
From Damian Cristodero at Lightning Strikes:
The Tampa Bay Lightning placed Jussi Jokinen on waivers at noon Friday. We will know whether he clears or is picked up by another team at noon Saturday. Jokinen has six goals but zero in his past 15 games.
via Mike Knobler of the AJC,
Thrashers defenseman Garnet Exelby has a hairline fracture of his lower right leg and expects to be out three weeks.
Exelby had been playing on the injured leg for 21/2 weeks since getting hit by a shot in a game.
“The last few games, it was a lot worse. [Wednesday] I couldn’t even walk on it,” said Exelby, who wore a walking boot Friday and wasn’t on crutches.
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
I believe I’ve found the winning formula for an all-star game worth watching: Team Superstars vs. Team Exile.
Team Superstars would be comprised of, well, superstars. The players could be picked by the fans, the media, coaches, other players, my cat. It doesn’t matter. I don’t really care who plays for them. I’m more interested in the other team’s make-up.
Team Exile would feature the ultimate bad boys of hockey, the dressing room “cancers,” whose evil powers run so deep they’ve been shunted and disposed of because they singlehandedly caused their NHL teams to lose.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Maxime Talbot to a two-year contract through the 2010-11 season, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
The 5-11, 185-pound forward has registered seven points (four goals, three assists) along with 18 penalty minutes in 28 games this season with Pittsburgh. Talbot has a winning faceoff percentage of 57.1% this season and is currently tied for fourth on the team with 44 hits.
“Max has developed into one of the key players in our organization,” Shero said. “He has shown his versatility and plays in all situations for our hockey club. He played an integral role in helping our team reach the Finals last season and we look forward to having him for the coming years.”
“Gordie? Every night playing with him you see him do different things. I guess in Toronto where he beat (Maple Leafs defenseman) Kent Douglas twice and then going in, because he was kind of going bald, he always had a long piece of hair that came down to his eye and he had to move the hair out of his eye, and he stickhandled past Johnny Bower and tucked it into the top shelf with one hand.”
“He was trying to get it (the hair) out of his eyes. We all laughed about it and then he wished Johnny Bower a Merry Christmas, to which Johnny chased him halfway to the blue line because Johnny was so mad at him.”
-ex-Wing Bryan (Bugsy) Watson. More from Evan Weiner at NHL.com.
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