Kukla's Korner Hockey
I am sure Spector will be busy following all the latest trade talk.
He normally updates numerous times a day at this time of year, so make sure to check often.
from John Vogl of Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,
“I want to play, definitely,” Afinogenov told The News on Saturday. “I want to help the team, but if they’re not using me, it’s probably no point for me to be here.
“Anything can happen. We’ll see. If they don’t want to use me here, they’re probably going to move me. I don’t know what’s going to happen right now.”
Afinogenov missed his 24th straight game when the Sabres lost, 2-0, to the New York Islanders. Most of those absences were due to a groin strain, and Afinogenov is still on the injured reserve list. The right winger, though, said he’s been ready to return since the middle of February.
“I was injured, but now I’m healthy,” Afinogenov said after a hard skate in Nassau Coliseum. “It’s like 10 days now. The doctors cleared me to play and stuff, but I’m not in the lineup. That’s why it’s frustrating for me, definitely.”
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
General Manager Doug Risebrough made it clear this weekend that, in his mind, Marian Gaborik will be the biggest acquisition the Wild makes by Wednesday’s trade deadline.
Risebrough said Gaborik, who has played six games all season, is right on schedule in his rehabilitation from left hip surgery. Even if it means the pending unrestricted free agent walks away this summer for nothing, Risebrough said he probably won’t trade Gaborik.
“[Gaborik’s] further along than we thought he was going to be,” Risebrough said. “So, I don’t know what that means other than I know it’s going to be a big shot in the arm for us when he comes back.
“And that’s one consideration when you ask, ‘How comfortable are you [with this team]?’ I’m planning on [Gaborik returning].”
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
First off, junk the entire third and fourth lines. Start over with younger guys, guys who are faster. This team needs a lot more speed, especially in the depth areas - that includes penalty-killing.
Second, get another goalie. Let Budaj and Raycroft both go, and just start over. If no stud is available in the draft (or a more palatable veteran alternative at the deadline), sign a Manny Legace or somebody like that this summer, give Tyler Weiman a shot in training camp and try like hell to find a gem with your No. 1 pick in the draft.
Drop the stubborn attitude in certain areas. That includes everything from PR and TV (stop trying to fool the fans with don’t-worry-be-happy BS when everybody knows this team is knee deep in doo doo) to being able to admit you made mistakes in personnel areas.
more from Adrian, including trade talk…
Don Cherry last night after the first HNIC game talked Wings. He claims Datsyuk hits are from behind and the Wings are not drawing fans to the Joe because of the Wings style of play. Also a bit of Lidstrom thrown in too.
Now scroll to the :55 second mark of part 2 of the video below. More Wings talk…
added 8:01am, George Malik of SnapShots breaks down the video…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
No GM is under more pressure confronting Wednesday’s trade deadline than Boston’s Peter Chiarelli, who must properly calculate the risk/reward ratio of potentially jeopardizing the chemistry of his conference-leading Bruins by acquiring difference-maker Chris Pronger at the cost of a package that would surely feature Phil Kessel.
The temptation to unite Pronger ($6.5M per through next season) with Zdeno Chara on what is now a somewhat suspect defense must be overwhelming. One or the other would be on the ice essentially all game, every game. They could form a last-minute shutdown pair….
Blair Betts, a pending unrestricted free agent whose role will apparently change dramatically under the new regime and who has value to a contender as a dependable checker and penalty-killer, is likely available. Detroit is believed to have interest.
more trade and hockey topics…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The Wild could be ready to deal goaltender Niklas Backstrom.
Two NHL executives told Sun Media that the Wild might deal Backstrom before Wednesday’s trade deadline rather than risk losing him for nothing as an unrestricted free agent on July 1….
The Flames are looking at dealing for Phoenix C Olli Jokinen. He has a strong relationship with Calgary coach Mike Keenan from their days together in Florida. Calgary was in the mix to land Jokinen before he was dealt to the Coyotes last summer. Edmonton, Columbus, Minnesota, Montreal and Vancouver are also interested.
A league executive insists the Stars have been floating the names of C Brad Richards and C Mike Ribeiro around. Richards has a no-movement clause and it’s doubtful he’ll be going anywhere, but Ribeiro might be an attractive option for the ‘Hawks.
want more of the same?... read on
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Dallas Stars winger Steve Ott received a match penalty in a scrum that occurred immediately after Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Anaheim and has been suspended awaiting a review Monday with Colin Campbell, the NHL’s chief disciplinarian.
Ott will not be able to play today (Sunday) against Pittsburgh.
A match penalty is given for deliberately injuring an opponent. Ott gouged Anaheim’s Travis Moen in the scrum.
“It was an accident. I didn’t mean to do it,” Ott said.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
...So could the Hawks be this season’s version of the Penguins?
“Absolutely,” Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “They had a young team last year, and they did great things. We’re a team that’s right there, and we have to have a good finish to the season and have a good start to the playoffs.”
Last season’s Penguins relied on Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to provide the offense along with veteran Marian Hossa. Sergei Gonchar was a scoring threat from the defensive corps, and Marc-Andre Fleury came on strong in goal.
The Hawks have second-year forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane along with Martin Havlat as forces up front and Brian Campbell as the point producer on the back end. When Nikolai Khabibulin is healthy, he joins Cristobal Huet to form one of the strongest goalie tandems in the NHL.
Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner tonight talks Georges Laraque, Steven Stamkos, Steve Mason and Alexander Ovechkin goal celebrations.
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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