Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
When the Flyers head off on their post-Christmas road trip, there is a very good chance they will have both of their injured defensemen back and on the plane.
Randy Jones and Ryan Parent - both out since training camp recovering from surgery, Jones a hip repair and Parent a shoulder - were back practicing with the Flyers yesterday and moving toward December return dates.
Both are still working under restricted status, but they are getting closer to full participation. Both have moved back into their stalls in the practice facility locker room.
Jones is hoping to play before Christmas and the plan for Parent is for him to play Dec. 26 in Chicago.
from Dan Martin of the NY Post,
In spite of his problems staying on the ice, DiPietro doesn’t intend to change his playing style when he does return.
“I don’t think I will ever let that affect the way I play,” DiPietro said. “That might be part of the problem.”
He said that with somewhat of a rueful laugh, knowing his injury woes have kept the Isles wallowing near the bottom of the league, despite their recent success. He insists that won’t be for long and that they won’t end up regretting his epic contract.
“I’ve had a lot of bad luck, which [stinks],” DiPietro said. “But in the long run, it’s going to work out. There’s absolutely no question that my goal since signing that deal was to win here, and everyone here wants to win the Stanley Cup. I think we’re taking the right steps.”
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail, T
he next step in the journey for Balsillie, who makes little secret of his ambition to own an NHL franchise, ideally in Southern Ontario, may hinge on a coming legal argument in a California bankruptcy court.
As the complex proceedings involving disgraced banker and deal maker William (Boots) Del Biaggio III grind inexorably onward, the already fierce legal fight over his 27-per-cent ownership share in the Predators will only get more heated.
According to lawyers involved in the case, Balsillie’s prospects hinge on a crucial ruling likely to be made by Judge Thomas E. Carlson before spring.
The issue: transferability of the contractual rights associated with Del Biaggio’s shares.
from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,
Brian Burke? Hates European players.
“Really, the league is pretty 50-50 these days, there’s so many Europeans,” the player said, shaking his head when asked about Burke’s reputation. “I don’t think there is that mindset any more. Not really. There are certain jobs and roles that appeal to certain types of players, but I think that’s the same whether the guy’s a Canadian or a Euro.”
The player paused. “I don’t think people view it that way any more … although, I don’t know that for sure.”
An hour or so later, Alexander Steen — the player talking — was traded by the Maple Leafs to the St. Louis Blues
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Welcome to the Stars, where the harder the team digs in, the deeper the hole gets.
At some point in the transition from Western Conference finalist to NHL doormat, the Stars probably got too cocky.
Management probably looked too hard at taking the next step and adding the piece that would “beat Detroit.”
Players probably believed too much in the hype that they were Stanley Cup contenders and felt the magic would instantly return once they hit the ice.
Coaches probably trusted the players too much and allowed them to skate through a lackadaisical preseason.
from Tim Sassone of Between the Circles at the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Is it being a little too greedy to think the Hawks can go 6-0 on this road trip?
Wednesday’s game in San Jose won’t be easy, but the Sharks can be beat and the Hawks almost did it last week at the United Center. The Hawks led 5-4 going to the third period then took a couple dumb penalties and wound up losing 6-5.
It’s on to Anaheim Friday and the Ducks aren’t anywhere near as good as they were when they won the Stanley Cup.
The Hawks close the trip Saturday at Los Angeles against an improved, but nothing special Kings team.
The way Khabibulin is playing and the way the Hawks have shown they can score goals, there’s not a game on the schedule they can’t win.
more on the Blackhawks…
From an NHL press release today:
If the puck were dropped today, the first shift of the 57th NHL All-Star Game would look a lot like a Montreal Canadiens home game—or a latter-day version of the early All-Star games that pitted the defending Stanley Cup champs (often the Canadiens) against a team of luminaries from the rest of the League.
One major difference: Should current voting trends ultimately prevail, the Canadiens would become the first team in the history of NHL All-Star fan balloting to ice an entire starting lineup when the NHL All-Star Game faces off in Montreal’s Bell Centre Jan 25.
So the current starting lineup is: Alex Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, Andrei Markov, Mike Komisarek and Carey Price.
Below is the complete list of Eastern Conference nominees and their current voting numbers:
from NYI Point Blank,
For the 2008-09 season the NHL salary cap is $56.7 million. A less-heralded fact is that teams must meet a minimum player payroll - the salary cap “floor” - of $40.7 million. While it is unclear to the penny how much the Islanders are currently above the floor, a league source estimated the figure at $2 million.
Since Mike Comrie (’08-09 salary: $4 million) began the season slowly and is now on Injured Reserve while the team gives his surgically-repaired hip more time to heal, the point may be moot. But for fans wondering if the Islanders could trade the No. 2 center for a prospect or a draft pick, the answer is clear.
Even if the Islanders wanted to move Comrie for a pick, they could not right now. In just about any major deal the Islanders make, they will need to bring back approximately equal (or more) dollars in salary than they unload.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Brian Burke and Gord Kirke are in the final lap of negotiations that will see Burke introduced as president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs in time for a big splash on the Hockey Night In Canada broadcast of their game with the Philadelphia Flyers.
It is still too early to say Burke is officially signed, but at this point there is no reason to believe the remaining details, which involve the power structure under Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Richard Peddie, cannot be worked out. If so, Burke will likely be introduced as the new Leaf boss on Friday or Saturday.
From the Globe & Mail:
Mike Sullivan is returning to the Tampa Bay Lightning bench.
The NHL team has named him associate coach, a position he held with the Lightning last season.
“He’s been here and knows the players well, and he’s an upgrade to the overall quality of our coaching,” Lightning general manager Brian Lawton said in a release Tuesday. “Mike is highly respected throughout the league and has been successful as a head coach at the NHL, AHL and international levels.”
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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