Kukla's Korner Hockey
All Wings talk with Steve Yzerman.
from Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,
If my name is Jeff Vinik and I’m about to complete the purchase of the Tampa Bay Lightning, there is one more caveat before I sign the deal.
I want a broom - a big one - and I want to sweep the Forum clean. It’s non-negotiable.
Given the events of the last couple of days, it’s reasonable to ask just who the soon-to-be owner of Tampa Bay’s hockey team can trust over on Channelside Drive. General Manager Brian Lawton? Rick Tocchet, the head coach?
The guy who runs the Zamboni?
Who could blame the new owner if he starts sweeping at the top and doesn’t stop until he reaches the bottom floor.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
There is nothing small in Brian Burke’s world. He does not use small words. He does not say the pressure on Team Canada at the Olympics is intense; he says it is “glacial, unremitting, unrelenting.” He does not say that he prefers his NHL teams—over the last 18 years he has been the G.M. in Hartford, Vancouver, Anaheim and now Toronto—to be tough or even robust; they must have the “proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence.” In macho throwdowns, Burke’s thesaurus is bigger than your thesaurus.
He does not make small trades. While other G.M.‘s tinker, swapping second-round draft choices for third-line rent-a-centers, Burke swings deals that bring 24-year-old franchise defenseman Dion Phaneuf and $7 million goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère to the Maple Leafs.
Burke does not have spats. He has epic Shakespearean feuds. In 2007, when Edmonton G.M. Kevin Lowe extended an offer sheet to winger Dustin Penner, a restricted free agent on Burke’s Stanley Cup—champion team in Anaheim, Burke lambasted the move and said, “If I had run my team into the sewer like [Lowe did], I wouldn’t throw a grenade at the other 29 teams.”
And now Burke’s grief matches the enormity of everything else in his life. On snow-slicked U.S. Highway 35 in Indiana, his 21-year-old son, Brendan, student manager of the top-ranked Miami (Ohio) hockey team, died in a car accident on Friday, Feb. 5.
read on (recommended)...
via Tarik El-Bashir’s Twitter,
Cam Janssen has been suspended five games by the NHL for “a late hit to the head ...to an unsuspecting” Matt Bradley.
If you want to review the hit, you can watch it here.
“I know we expect a lot from Toews because he has delivered a lot, but don’t overlook this example of his remarkable maturity. A kid who’s captain of one of the best teams in the NHL, a kid who centers the top line, a kid who leads off almost every shootout—- this kid is doing the scut work for his country, doing all the selfless, thankless stuff, and he’s still managing to stand out. Special kid. Lucky us.”
-Steve Rosenbloom on Jonathan Toews. More on Toews at RosenBlog.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Steve Ott is still trying to recover from appendectomy surgery, and had a small setback last week. However, he skated yesterday, hopes to work slowly into the Stars’ mini-camp that starts Friday, and said he is planning on being on the ice for the March 2 game against the Kings at American Airlines Center.
But there are a couple of things that could get in the way.
One, his conditioning might not be up to the standards he needs by that time, and two he could be traded when the NHL roster freeze comes off at 11 p.m. Feb. 28.
So, has Ott thought that he may have played his last game in a Stars’ uniform?
“That thought has never entered my mind,’’ he said via a phone interview. “Honestly, I’m a pretty simple guy, I work as hard as I can to prepare for the next game and play the next game, and I let the rest take care of itself.’‘
Calgary, AB - Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today the signing of left wing Rene Bourque to a multi year contract.
Bourque, a native of Lac La Biche, AB, is in his second season with the Flames after being acquired on July 1, 2008 from Chicago for a conditional draft choice. The 6’2”, 207lbs winger has recorded 156 points in 280 career NHL games. He has established a career high for points already this season with 41 (18 goals and 23 assists) in 53 games played. During the 2008-09 season, his first with Calgary, he reached a new career high for goals with 21.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Capitals overwhelm opponents with persistent waves of attack. Their retro style is becoming more prevalent - especially in the East, but not exclusively. In the West, the three division leaders - Chicago, Vancouver and San Jose - are not as defensively suffocating as they are offensively potent. Each of these teams has a goal differential between plus-42 and plus-53.
Not a day goes by when Boudreau isn’t asked whether his offensive style can hold up in the cauldron of the playoffs. His response is automatic: We play defense, too.
He also says, “The only way to answer the question is to win the Stanley Cup. And we’re trying really hard.”
If the Capitals manage to hoist the Cup, a process will be validated and more coaches will look to open up the game. That would be an Olympian development, especially in the eyes of the casual fan.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
The most interesting aspect of the change to the Tampa Bay Lightning coaching staff is not so much that assistant coach Wes Walz was fired after he declined the head coaching job at AHL Norfolk, or that Norfolk coach Jim Johnson has been hired as a Lightning assistant, helping to push out Walz. It is that Lightning coach Rick Tocchet apparently was not consulted by GM Brian Lawton before the change was made.
“None,” Tocchet said Wednesday when asked how much input he had into the changes. I was told at 12 o’clock (Tuesday).”
Lawton, for his part said, “I did discuss it with Rick,” but that, according to Tocchet’s time line, apparently was after the decision was made.
The Lightning is one point out of a playoff spot and has 21 games left. The season resumes March 2.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Detroit Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby said today that he will have shoulder surgery next week, keeping him out for the remainder of the regular season.
Maltby will be placed on long-term injured serve, solving the club’s salary-cap issues. This will enable defenseman Andreas Lilja to be activated. Lilja said he expects to be in the lineup Monday at Colorado, in the frist game following the Olympic break.
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.
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