Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bud Barth of the Worchester Telegram & Gazette,
If (Tuukka) Rask continues to have strong outings, it could open some interesting options for the Bruins. One would be to trade Fernandez and his $4.3 million salary, opening up cap space to add more scoring punch now or before the trade deadline in February.
Rask carries a hefty $2.2 million cap hit because of bonus clauses in his contract, but that’s only half of Manny’s load. The B’s would have to be sure Rask’s slender body could stand the punishment of the NHL game, especially after watching him melt down with Providence during the Calder Cup playoffs last spring.
The question should be, would any team want Manny Fernandez and his salary?
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Friday’s acquisition of Mathieu Schneider from the Anaheim Ducks was the third step in an overhaul that appears to have transformed a team weakness into a strength. In less than four months, the team that ranked worst in the league in shots allowed and shared the bottom spot in goals allowed might have shaken its blueline blues. The trade for Schneider follows the free-agent acquisition of Ron Hainsey and the drafting of Zach Bogosian.
“We’re 100 percent better,” Waddell said when asked about his top four during a Friday teleconference. He added that he didn’t mean that as a knock on his former players. “We were playing guys in higher positions than they should have been,” Waddell said. And now? “We have a legitimate top four,” he said.
from Spector’s Hockey,
Are the Bruins in the market for a defenseman? Is Calgary’s Adrian Aucoin concerned over a possible trade? What’s the latest on Joe Sakic, Luke Richardson and Petr Nedved?
read on for the lates trade and signing talk…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Wings took on Hossa for this season but GM Ken Holland will have his hands full next year fitting him into the cap because he’s working on a new deal for Henrik Zetterberg (at least $8 million a year) and fellow second-line winger Johan Franzen. Lidstrom, out with a broken nose (he’s lucky an errant puck didn’t smack him in the eye in camp), will also be in the second year of his $7.45-million contract.
a little more on Hossa plus other NHL notes…
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
There are several ways to look at Maxim Afinogenov’s reappearance on the top scoring line. It could be because the Buffalo Sabres want to showcase him for other teams. It could be because they want to boost his confidence after a terrible season. And maybe, just maybe, he’s there because they feel that’s where he belongs….
The Sabres need his help if they want to return to the playoffs. Afinogenov’s play nose-dived last season. Formerly a point-per-game star, he had just 10 goals and 18 assists in 56 games with a team-worst minus-16 rating….
“I haven’t lost any confidence because I’m healthy right now, which is the most important thing,” Afinogenov said. “When I was injured, I couldn’t even practice, I can’t be in shape. When I was on the ice, I was out of shape. Right now, I worked hard in the summer and prepared for the season, and I’m ready to go.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
How then to categorize Renney’s straight-faced assertion that he has, “liked [Wade Redden’s] game?” Maybe it’s simply Redden, a veteran, attempting to prepare for the season on his own timetable, but no Rangers played more poorly in the exhibition matches than Redden.
Now, this worthless week that ended with this worthless game - the Rangers were bullied by the Devils, something that never happened with Sean Avery in the lineup - sends the team to Bern. That’s where they will try to get ready for the season by playing two exhibition games on the larger international ice surface against European clubs, all the while trying to be ambassadors for the NHL.
more on the Rangers
from Bill Clement of NBC Sports,
Detroit is the best team in the NHL. No other club is more talent-laden or has better depth with high-level players both up front and on the blue line. The Red Wings are loaded. Yet, they won’t win a second straight Stanley Cup.
I know that sounds like a contradiction but my feeling this way speaks directly to the extreme degree of difficulty in winning back-to-back championships in today’s NHL.
“He (Tampa co-owner Len Barrie) was more of a Sean Avery-type player when we were in junior. It was my first game in Victoria and my folks came down from central Vancouver Island to watch.
“[Barrie] was all over me, chirping and smacking me. Finally, about halfway through the second period, I had enough. I dropped my gloves and we went at it. Who would have thought 21 years later he would be my boss?”
-Lightning goalie Olaf Kolzig. More at the Globe and Mail…
It is not often you read about a team owner discussing some of the trade inquiries they receive. I wonder how the teams mentioned below feel about it?
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
(Oren) Koules has a ready response to any questions about Smith, the former Dallas backup who was 3-10 after arriving in Tampa last February.
“There was an erroneous report on the first day of free agency that we wanted to trade Mike Smith,” Koules said. “The first two calls we got were from [Stars GM] Les Jackson and [former Stars GM] Doug Armstrong (now VP of Player Personnel for the Blues). Then, we got one from [Vancouver Canucks GM] Mike Gillis, who used to be his agent.
“What’s that tell you about Smith?”
much more on the Lightning…
from Peter Scowan of the Globe and Mail,
In February, 1971, a slightly bewildered boy stood beside his father in the Montreal Forum as waves of applause tumbled over them.
The ovation lasted 10 minutes, an unbridled display of gratitude from Canadiens fans who had just seen the team’s legendary captain, Jean Béliveau, score his third goal of the night and the 500th of his career.
The cheering fans in the better seats were the picture of Montreal elegance. Women wore fancy hats and good dresses, and the men were in suits. Higher in the arena, the standing-room-only diehards wore Habs jerseys emblazoned with their favourite players’ numbers.
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