Kukla's Korner Hockey
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star tells us all about it…
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
I know Jay Feaster’s called already. I talked to Pat Quinn and Doug MacLean, who are very interested. I believe Neil Smith would like it. I think Rick Dudley would be a great candidate. I believe Pierre McGuire would be an interesting choice (he’s long been interested in getting into management), as would Nashville Director of Hockey Ops Mike Santos and assistant GM Paul Fenton.
You can see the list I’ve compiled. You can bet they’d be interested in Dave Nonis, but I can’t see Brian Burke letting him go from Toronto. Jim Nill in Detroit has been coveted by many, but he never leaves. Lots of people will line up.
Normally I’d think Tom Lynn would be a candidate, but Leipold made clear today he’s looking for “new eyes.”
Said Leipold, “If I’m someone out in the NHL, and this job is available, with the kind of players we have coming back next year and the kind of fan base, I would jump all over this.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
So yesterday, after a night on which he and partner Michal Rozsival were called on in relief of Marc Staal and Dan Girardi to contain the essentially uncontainable Alex Ovechkin in Game 1 against the Caps, Redden chuckled when I asked him whether he not only considered the playoffs as a clean slate, but whether he believed he was in need of one.
The question could have been the opening of a cross-examination had Redden been in a courtroom witness chair rather than a hockey locker room.
“Whether it was a good or bad regular season doesn’t matter at this point,” Redden said a day after his 27:35 of work contributed to the Rangers getting the series jump, 4-3.
“All that matters is we win every night, and that’s where my focus is, helping the team out.”
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding at USA TODAY,
Detroit Red Wingts defenseman Jonathan Ericsson’s strong play in the opening game of the Western Conference quarterfinal against the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday is another illustration of the rewards of a franchise that can afford to be patient with its draft picks.
Ericsson, who scored in the game, is a 25-year-old rookie with just 27 games of NHL experience and I believe he has a chance to become an NHL All-Star over the next three seasons. The former ninth-round pick from Sweden played three seasons in the American Hockey League, making the final adjustments from center to defense and now he looks like a veteran performer.
from Stuart Shea at NHL.com,
The Calgary Flames cried foul.
Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff maintained after the Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime win Thursday night that he was interfered with on Martin Havlat’s game-winning goal. Calgary coach Mike Keenan said there was no doubt that Hawks forward Andrew Ladd impeded his netminder.
“I believe it was Ladd who did not try to stop his movement toward the net, and that’s goaltender interference,” Keenan said. “However, the officials saw it different or didn’t make the call because of the excitement of overtime.”
continued and watch the goal below…
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
After three consecutive second-round playoff exits the San Jose Sharks decided that to reach the next level they needed players who had proven their poise under pressure.
So they brought in six players who had won a collective nine Stanley Cup championships, moves that seemed justified when the team compiled the NHL’s top regular-season record.
So much for the value of postseason experience.
Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller stopped 35 shots in his NHL playoff debut Thursday and made third-period goals by Scott Niedermayer and Ryan Getzlaf stand up as the eighth-seeded Ducks upset the top-seeded Sharks, 2-0, at a stuffed and stunned HP Pavilion.
Hiller, who was helped by the goalpost several times, said the Ducks “got kind of lucky.” Maybe so, but they were good when they had to be, killing off six disadvantages.
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
Flames coach Mike Keenan wasn’t screaming or yelling after Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Hawks in Game 1, even though he felt Andrew Ladd interfered with goalie Miikka Kiprusoff on Martin Havlat’s winning goal 12 seconds into overtime.
Keenan was doing what he does best, subtly sending a message to the NHL that he wants his goalie protected while also warning the Hawks that Nikolai Khabibulin better keep his head up in Game 2 on Saturday.
“There will be a debate about goaltender interference,” Keenan said. “A couple times they had run Kiprusoff over earlier in the game. It’s certainly part of their game plan. It’s a good plan if you can get away with it, and so far they have.”
more on Chicago
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Their dressing room gave off a cool, quiet, upbeat vibe. There was none of the devastation that was seen after those poor games they played down the stretch of the regular season. Is that strange?
“It’s a good thing,” Michael Peca said.
Rick Nash said, “After eight or nine years of driving to get here, it’s nice to be done with the first one. Coming into this, we all knew that we were going to go game to game, no matter what happened. That was stressed. That is how you’ve got to take it.”
The Jackets played half-well tonight. What they took from it was the knowledge that they can play under postseason conditions. They will take this powerful knowledge and, they must hope, fix their mistakes.
Mike Cammalleri delivers a right forearm/elbow to the head of Martin Havlat.
from Sid Hartman of the Star-Tribune,
It’s hard to understand how Craig Leipold sang the praises of Doug Risebrough when Leipold bought the Wild, only to fire Risebrough, one of the best hockey executives in the game, as team president and general manager a year later….
The johnny-come-lately owner of the Wild must not be informed of all the great things that Risebrough did, taking over an expansion club and making it pretty competitive from the start….
To top it off, Leipold didn’t have the courage to face the media and call a news conference to announce his decision to fire one of the most popular sports executives in my long media career, instead staging a conference call to let the media learn what I consider to be sad news.
added 10:59pm, via Darren Dreger of TSN,
The Minnesota Wild are building a list of candidates to replace fired general manager Doug Risebrough.
Sources tell TSN the Wild have contacted the Toronto Maple Leafs seeking permission to speak with Dave Nonis, the Leafs senior vice president of hockey operations.
Toronto has flatly declined.
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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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