Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail:
Here’s a thought for the Calgary Flames to ponder, as they enter another off-season answering the same old questions about their future, both short-and-long term, and why they’re always good enough to make the playoffs but never good enough to win any rounds. Would they consider moving Dion Phaneuf, a 24- year-old defenceman, only one season removed from qualifying as a Norris Trophy finalist?
It would be a counterintuitive move on one level because if Phaneuf ever matured into a dominant defenceman, a la Chris Pronger, it is a decision that could backfire in a big way.
However, it is hard to imagine the Flames standing pat with their current core, given that they haven’t been able to win in the playoffs with the group they’ve got.
From Mike Zeisberger at Sun Media:
Heading into his upcoming showdown against Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins, the NHL’s most electrifying superstar is getting the support of NBA royalty.
If Alexander Ovechkin was wondering who might be in his corner in this star-studded second-round showdown between his Washington Capitals and the Penguins, he received his answer this morning courtesy of a gift from LeBron (The King) James.
James, whose CIeveland Cavaliers await the identity of their second-round opponent in the NBA playoffs, sent The Great 8 a personally-signed Cavaliers jersey.
“To Alexander The Great. Keep Up The Good Work. King James,” it said, scrawled across the jersey’s white numbers in James’s personal handwriting.
San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan and Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien, who led the NHL’s top two teams this season, and Andy Murray, who lifted the St. Louis Blues to a surprising Stanley Cup Playoff berth, are the three finalists for the 2009 Jack Adams Award in voting by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.
Hockey legend Guy Lafleur has been found guilty of giving contradictory testimony.
The former NHL star, who played much of his career with the Montreal Canadiens, was on trial this spring on a single charge of giving contradictory testimony during his son Mark’s bail hearing in 2007.
Lafleur agreed to supervise his son at the time and enforce a court-ordered curfew. But he failed to tell a judge that he drove his son to a hotel to spend a night with his 16-year-old girlfriend while he was under curfew….
Lafleur faces up to 14 years in prison.
Update 1:30pm ET (Alanah): Guy Lafleur’s lawyer was a guest on AM 640’s Leafs Lunch today, further explaining the consequences of this ruling for his client. Follow this link, then look for the interview titled “Guy Lafleur’s Lawyer” and you can listen to the full interview.
Glen Healy, Director of Player Affairs for the National Hockey League Players’ Association talks NBC, NHL playoff hockey, the Ovechkin-Crosby matchup, profit-sharing and recaps round-one of the playoffs this morning on Fan590.
Healy rants over NBC for the first 5 minutes, well worth a listen.
click here to start listening…
from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
As the Wings head into the second round tonight against Anaheim, Hossa is in the spot he always envisioned. He’s needed and wanted but doesn’t have to do it all, or even the bulk of it. No one on the Wings ever does. And really, of all the unusual reasons Hossa took the Wings’ one-year, $7.45-million offer instead of long-term treasures elsewhere, this is the main one, for this time right now.
“Look around, you’ve got legends in here, and it’s a great group of guys,” Hossa said. “It’s just fun to be a part of it. And they play the way I like, the puck-control game. Playing with so many stars, the pressure is spread, there’s no focus on one guy.”
And there’s the dichotomy of the Hossa Experiment. He came to Detroit to win his first Stanley Cup, and by accepting a one-year deal, he put enormous pressure on himself. But the truth is, it’s actually less pressure than if he’d stayed in Pittsburgh for a reported $35 million, or gone to Edmonton for the rumored $80 million.
If Hossa is skating with a burden, he sure isn’t showing it. He led the team with 40 goals in the regular season, and often was brilliant. He was clutch in the first-round clincher against Columbus, scoring his first two goals of the playoffs.
from Gary Loewen of the Toronto Sun,
The hype is building for the NHL playoff series of the century, the Washington Capitals versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Evil Empire versus the Forces of Good….
Hold it, let’s back it up for a moment:
a) Doesn’t Crosby stand a better chance of becoming Snivelling Sid than Commander Canada?
b) Doesn’t Ovechkin, with his one good front tooth and his bad hair, qualify as an honorary Canadian?
c) Doesn’t Ovechkin’s hockey stick have more personality than Sid?
d) Didn’t Ovechkin get his nickname, OV, from a Canadian beer?
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
It would be erroneous to report that the latest flood of Joe Thornton trade sentiment occurred after the San Jose Sharks were ousted from the playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks.
Truth is that this wave began immediately after the Sharks lost the first two games of the series.
Columnists began to fire up the grill for the annual summer roasting of Thornton and fan rage began on comment boards. Of course, none of that matters, but it is noteworthy that Sharks general manager Doug Wilson was reported to be still boiling over San Jose’s early departure.
With that in mind, it’s time to address what might happen this summer:
continue for some trade questions answered…
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
So look at Maurice now – back on the post-season pace, Carolina opening its Eastern Conference semifinal in Boston tonight.
“It’s the best part of hockey, the best part of the year,” the once-again Hurricane steward told the Star. “When you’re out of the playoffs for so long, you really do start to wonder – what’s the point?
“But it’s just so much fun now, I can’t even tell you. The days just slide by. At the moment I’m feeling at ease because we’ve had this little rest. That will all change when the series starts.”
Maurice is among the diaspora of former Leafs who are still playing or coaching hockey that counts, in May. When the post-season began, there were 35 Blue & White – from low-level management to top-tier stars – on the Stanley Cup prowl, while Toronto watched from the sidelines, experiencing the excitement only vicariously.
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.
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