Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Sassone at Between The Circles,
Now the Hawks are rumored to be one of the teams interested in Ottawa center Jason Spezza, who is said to be on the block.
Spezza is a nice player, but he’s going to make $8 million a year through 2013. The question is, could the Hawks take on that salary with Brian Campbell set to make $7 million for the next seven years and Toews and Kane’s deals up in two years? They’re going to get somewhere in the neighborhood of $6.5 million a year each.
And the Hawks also have Duncan Keith to pay soon and he’s going to require at least $5 million, likely more.
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Attending a Thrashers game at Philips Arena this season has been a lot like riding an airline was 20 years ago: The seat next to you might very well be empty.
Announced attendance for the first four home games averaged 13,943, down 1,342 per game from the first four games of last season. The Thrashers have announced two crowds of fewer than 12,000 people, the lowest attendance in more than four years. And the announced attendance, the number of tickets distributed, has been thousands higher than the number of people in the seats.
Thrashers general manager Don Waddell blames the schedule, the economy and a wait-and-see attitude among fans disappointed by last season and unsure what to expect from 2008-09.
Watch the best Goals, Hits, and Saves from last week.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
“Obviously, we were concerned,” Wings GM Ken Holland told ESPN.com from Los Angeles on Monday. “We left him behind in Chicago on Saturday night. He flew back to Detroit on Sunday morning and had an MRI. It’s a Grade 2 MCL sprain. Right now, the doctor feels it’s 3-4 weeks. We’re going to wait 2-3 days, and if he feels pretty good in 2-3 days, then maybe we’re looking at less time than three weeks.
“If in 2-3 days he’s still pretty stiff, then we’re probably looking at 3-4 weeks and we might consider putting him on LTI so we can get another body up here. So, we’re going to sit tight here for the next couple of days and see how his knee responds.”
more plus how the Blue Jackets are handling their injuries…
from the CP,
Still, there are some players with bigger numbers than you might expect heading into the fourth week of the campaign and for poolies they can either represent waiver-wire gold or a wasted transaction.
Brandon Dubinsky (4 goals, 7 assists, all stats before Monday’s play), Filip Kuba (0-11), Mikko Koivu (1-9), Aaron Voros (5-4), Antti Miettinen (5-2), Ales Kotalik (4-3) and Bryan Little (4-3) all fit into that category and trying to decide if they’re legit can be tricky.
If you’re picking them up as an injury stop-gap or to milk a hot streak before moving on, there’s little risk involved. But if you’re looking at them as long-term solutions and plan to drop someone off to a slow start, than you had better be more careful.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Can you imagine what kind of response guys such as Mike Gillis or Brian Lawton would have received last week if they had proposed what Bob Gainey did at the GM meetings in Chicago?
They would have been laughed out of the room and would have been vilified in the media for suggesting the league look at the possibility of penalizing players who leave their feet to block shots. But because the notion came from Gainey, one of the most levelheaded and respected executives in the NHL, the idea is gaining some traction.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog,
Neither Coach Randy Carlyle nor Bret Hedican has unrealistic expectations for Monday night, when the newly obtained veteran defenseman is set to make his Ducks debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
Hedican, 38, signed a free-agent contract with the Ducks on Thursday, but has not been in an NHL game since he completed last season with the Carolina Hurricanes. He hasn’t even had the benefit of a full practice session, taking part only in morning skates and pre-game warm-ups Friday and Saturday before games against the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
We watched with interest during “Hockey Night in Canada’s” weekly Hotstove segment Saturday—and not just because our pal Pierre LeBrun was in his usual seat on the panel.
Veteran hockey writer Al Strachan reported that sources told him that during the Lightning’s season-opening weekend in Europe, co-owner and former NHLer Barrie was in the dressing room diagramming power-play and penalty-killing strategies. Strachan suggested the Bolts were “imploding” and that “the league over/under” on Melrose was mid-November.
On Sunday, Lightning co-owner Oren Koules, who was in Europe for those two opening games (both losses) versus the New York Rangers, told ESPN.com that the report was “a blatant lie. It never happened.”
continued with more hockey notes…
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Through the first 119 games played this season, an average of 1.47 fighting majors have been called per game. That’s up from just over one fighting major per game at the same point last season.
So is the NHL concerned? Nope.
“We haven’t really discussed fighting internally for quite some time,” said NHL vice-president Mike Murphy. “When we do talk about it we generally talk about the magnitude of today’s fighters; the size of them and how much power they have. We don’t really worry about the knockout punch; more about the fact a player could hit his head on the ice if he gets punched hard.”
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Devils coach Brent Sutter said his son, Brandon, is “improving” after the Carolina Hurricanes rookie center suffered a concussion and lost consciousness on a hit by the Islanders on Saturday night….
Brandon Sutter spent Sunday night at his father’s condo in New Jersey after being released from North Shore Hospital on Long Island earlier in the day. Brent Sutter said he spent Saturday night at the hospital with Brandon, who was held overnight in intensive care.
“They monitored him very closely,” Brent Sutter said.
Sutter said his son did not recognize him at first.
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.
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