Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice:
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said he has about “10 percent” of his recovery left to go and hopes to be on the ice “soon” with his teammates in practice. He said will be examined by doctors again later this week, but they have already cleared him to practice with the team.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that long,” Brodeur said after facing shots again for about 20 minutes at the end of today’s morning skate. “It’s not going to be be tomorrow, but it’s not going to be that far at all.”
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that forward Andy McDonald has signed a four-year contract extension.
“St. Louis Blues ownership and myself realize how integral Andy is to the future of our organization,” said Davidson. “He’s a first line center who will play a major role in the development of our team.”
NEW YORK (Feb. 9, 2009)—Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, Detroit Red Wings right wing Marian Hossa and Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Feb. 8.
NHL player agent Pat Morris checks into the Hockey Central studios to talk about Sean Avery and where he might end up after being placed on waivers. Pat details what Sean Avery will look to do in order to get back to the National Hockey League.
Pat was on about a half hour ago after Avery cleared waivers. A good listen if you are interested in the future of Avery.
Update 2:40pm ET (alanah): From Eric McErlain at the Sporting News, the Rangers need Avery:
Were the Rangers a better team last season with Avery in the lineup? The answer to that question was an emphatic yes. The real problem, simply put, was that the team couldn’t afford to keep Avery on a roster that added Markus Naslund, Wade Redden and a passel of interchangeable checking forwards to the payroll. But now that New York GM Glen Sather has spent all this cash with the aim of constructing a team designed to go deep into the playoffs, he’s running out of options.
In that way, the Rangers are a lot like the Vancouver Canucks. The money has been spent, and the players—and their massive contracts—are in place. At this point and for the foreseeable future, rebuilding isn’t an option for the Rangers. Either they make the playoffs with the players they have or they don’t. And if they don’t, heads will undoubtedly roll.
In light of that information, I can understand why the Rangers would break the glass and reach for Avery. But let’s not pretend that it’s a good option. Rather, it’s just the only option available with time running down on the season.
from Marc Crawford of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
I have watched many a game this year involving the Los Angeles Kings and one of the players who has stood out for me is their emerging superstar defenceman in Drew Doughty.
While he is a gifted puck handler and an extremely quick skater, what I enjoy most about watching his games is the interaction he has with his partner on defence, veteran Sean O’Donnell.
With his 15-plus years of experience, O’Donnell is the perfect foil for Doughty.
continued and Crawfors uses Yzerman as an example too…
from Curtis Zupke at Ducks Blog,
Teemu Selanne has had enough injuries in his career that he knows it takes time to re-gain what has been lost.
In his case, he is trying to build up his quadiceps muscle after he missed five weeks with a laceration to the leg.
“Obviously the strength is not back,” Selanne said. “It’s funny how much muscle you lose when you don’t use it in 2-3 weeks.”
Selanne has played six games since his return from the injury and has yet to score a power play goal. He had an NHL-leading 13 power play goals in his first 27 games but has none in his past 12.
His drought is a microcosm of the Ducks, who are 0-for-9 on the power play over their past three games - the first time they have gone three games without a power play goal since an 0-11 span in mid-December.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald via Canada.com,
Todd Bertuzzi, the Calgary Flames resident philosopher, waxed poetic Sunday about the troubles plaguing his slumbering hockey club.
``Put it this way,’’ the big brute said after a back-to-basics practice at the Pengrowth Saddledome. ``We’re not a paintbrush. We’re sandpaper.’‘
The quip actually generated a few chuckles in the melancholy clubhouse as the Flames prepared for a home date Monday with the Montreal Canadiens.
``We’re coarse sandpaper,’’ defenceman Robyn Regehr said through a sloppy grin. ``I can only draw stick men, anyway. I wouldn’t be pretty with a paintbrush.’‘
In other words, the Flames need to quash any fantasies of masquerading as the NHL version of Monet or Van Gough.
from Rob Higgins at the Toronto Sun,
Back to Weber. Nashville’s coach, Barry Trotz, recently commented on his slump, saying “They’re aware of him, not letting him get the shot off as much. He’s also been battling some bumps and bruises for the past month, which probably takes a little edge off his game. But he’s starting to get healthy again, so I think you’ll see him coming back.”
Brilliant. Right from the source. Once the media, the National Hockey League AND its players get their heads around just how powerfully this type of insight resonates with a considerable portion of the fans of this game we will experience a degree of interactivity that the NHL has never known. As it stands, the media, generally speaking, ask lame questions of players and coaches in one-on-one opportunities. And, generally speaking, most hockey people oblige with lame, run-of-the-mill answers. We all know the cliches.
Look, I’ve said it a thousand times and I’m going to say it again. Fantasy hockey is the most cost-effective marketing solution the league has at its disposal.
more fantasy talk…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
It would be the smart play for the Rangers to accelerate the process rather than allowing the Stars to assign Avery to the Blueshirts’ AHL Hartford affiliate for an indeterminate period of time before going the re-entry route.
The Rangers gain nothing by allowing teams to get a free look at Avery for a week or two before deciding whether to pluck him. That’s a time frame in which some club might suffer a series of injuries and thereby choose to take a shot at him. If any team wants him, the Rangers should force the decision to be made immediately, sight unseen.
Plus, it best serves the Rangers’ interests to get Avery into the organization as quickly as possible in order to integrate him into the equation as smoothly as possible and to have complete control of the process and the timetable.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
The outspoken Laraque was more direct in his assessment as the team packed their equipment bags after Sunday’s practice.
“This is the turning point for the season,” he said matter-of-factly. “Make or break.”
The Canadiens sit seven points ahead of the 10th-place Pittsburgh Penguins, and it’s conceivable that a subpar trip could send them plummeting out of a playoff spot.
But Carbonneau pointed out that parity among the teams jockeying for playoff position means the pressure is on for everyone, other than perhaps the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks, who bestride their respective conferences.
“If we’re in trouble, a lot of teams are in trouble,” said Carbonneau, who huddled with his coaching staff and general manager Bob Gainey before practice for a postmortem of Saturday night and then held a team meeting to hammer in a few truths.
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