Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sun Media,
From water coolers to pub tables to hockey stands, debates rage—arguments over hockey’s great questions. Wagers are often made. Wait no more hockey fans. Hockey writers from across the Sun Media chain have polled more than 50 players, scouts, coaches, executives and media members on 25 of the most critical questions and compiled the results.
MOST OVERRATED PLAYER ...
1. Sean Avery, in limbo ... 9
2. Dion Phaneuf, Calgary ... 8
3. Wade Redden, New York Rangers ... 4
4. Jeff Finger, Toronto ... 3
MOST UNDERRATED PLAYER ...
1. Marc Savard, Boston ... 6
2. Mikko Koivu, Minnesota ... 5
3. Tim Thomas, Boston ... 4
4. Patrick Sharp, Chicago ... 3
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins’ front office doesn’t seek this space for advice, but if I were general manager of the hottest hockey team on Causeway in 15 years, I’d try to tie down Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez today for three-year extensions worth an average $3 million a year. I could be wrong, but I think each of the 34-year-olds might bite (key stat: age 34). That wouldn’t be music to the ears of wunderkind Tuukka Rask, eager to launch his NHL career, but Thomas and Fernandez are proven NHL commodities.
more NHL notes including MacTavish and Hartsburg on the hot seat…
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
They not only survived, the Devils prospered, their plague of injuries becoming a plague on their opponents. And they’re all the stronger for it. The players are the biggest heroes, but significant credit must go to coach Brent Sutter, this recent prodigy of junior coaching no longer unproven at the NHL level.
Sutter doesn’t go around telling everyone what a genius he is, quite the opposite. He sometimes feigns not being taken seriously, pretending he’s wrongly regarded as a rube from the prairie, when he’s not being so viewed.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Twenty-two-year-old netminder Justin Pogge is expected to make his NHL debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday.
The Leafs will promote the young prospect from the Toronto Marlies of the AHL after No. 1 goalie Vesa Toskala suffered a groin injury in the second period of Toronto’s impressive 7-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday evening….
“We’re concerned with our goaltending issue on two levels,” Burke said from California before the game. “We need to take care of the health of our goaltender’s health and stability over an 82-game schedule and we need to get a look at this kid.
“[Pogge] hasn’t been dominant at the AHL level, but we need to see what we have with him.”
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
How, by the way, would the Protector of Children (a previous refereence to Gary Bettman) explain Sidney Crosby’s behavior on Thursday night in Atlanta when the Chosen One first sucker-punched Boris Valabik across the side of the head before continuing to rein blows on his nether regions while the Thrashers’ defenseman was wrestling with Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and unable to defend himself or fight back?
Crosby should be facing a disciplinary hearing with NHL vice president Colin Campbell. He should have gotten a game-misconduct penalty as third-man-in. Instead, the wimpy Chris Rooney-Don VanMassenhoven referee tandem got into the spirit of the Christmas season by assessing Crosby a mere two minutes for roughing. Ho! Ho! Ho!
more NHL topics from Brooks and if youi missed the Crosby incident, watch the video below…
via a press release from the Anaheim Ducks,
Teemu Selanne underwent an MRI this evening that revealed a cut in his left quad muscle (injury occurred last night @ EDM). It did not damage any tendons or other connective tissue, and no surgery will be required. He is expected to return to the Ducks lineup in 4-6 weeks.
from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald,
For years, sportscasters have tried to coin catchy signature phrases to punctuate and celebrate baskets, goals, touchdowns and home runs.
Now the Panthers and Randy Moller are allowing fans to do it for him.
When 790 The Ticket’s Dan Le Batard suggested early this season that listeners call in with phrases that Moller could spew after goals, Moller felt apprehensive: ‘I thought, `Oh, my God! What are they going to suggest?’ ‘’
But listeners have delivered—and so has Moller, who has spiced his call with more than a dozen fan-suggested lines from movies and music. Sure, it’s gimmicky, but it’s also a clever and bold idea for a team that could use the extra publicity.
The Los Angeles Kings today announced a special 36-hour Holiday Ticket Sale.
All tickets – including available tickets in the lower bowl—currently unsold for the six Kings games at STAPLES Center in January will be available for purchase for $11.50 in a unique RUSH Sale Presented by Sports Chalet and Kings flagship radio station KTLK 1150….
We are excited about our young team and the more we can expose this team to the fans and to our city the better,” said Kings President, Business Operations Luc Robitaille….
In January, the Kings play the following six games: Saturday, Jan. 3, against Philadelphia; Thursday, Jan. 8, against the Ducks; Saturday, Jan. 10, against New Jersey; Monday, Jan. 12, against Tampa Bay; Thursday, Jan. 15, against the Stanley Cup Champion Red Wings; and Thursday, Jan. 29, against Chicago.
from Damian Cristodero of the Stt. Peterburg Times,
The shootout must go. It is an argument that will fall on deaf ears. The fans love it, and if the fans love it, the league loves it, too. But after what happened Thursday in the Lightning’s shootout loss to the Avalanche, it should be clear the shootout is evil.
Start with this: It is a gimmick, and a gimmick should never determine who wins and loses a game. Earlier this season, the Lightning and Senators needed eight rounds to decide a winner. That is not a test of skill; it is a coin flip and a disservice to players who knocked themselves out for the previous 65 minutes.
from Sam Weinman of Rangers Report,
It is not unusual for your loyal correspondent to skip a road game (which I suppose makes me not-so-loyal, after all), but tonight’s game in San Jose marks a rare occasion: a regular season Rangers game in which not a single New York paper will be represented.
Both the Daily News and the Record have traveled regularly with the Rangers this season but skipped the week-long West Coast trip. And while the New York Post and Newsday were present for the back-to-back games in Anaheim and L.A., both papers decided to have their reporters return home rather than wait around an extra three days for tonight’s game against the league-leading Sharks….
According to people in the Rangers organization who have been with the team for years, it’s the first time they can remember that at least one beat writer hasn’t been at a game.
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 email@example.com