Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
You see, one of these days Glen Sather will announce that he actually retired in 1992 but hasn’t bothered to inform anyone yet. Then the Rangers may have a chance of going somewhere. The Tortorella signing unusually was clever, even for Sather.
This coming after the Scott Gomez ($8 million US), Chris Drury ($7 million), Wade Redden ($8 million) and Markus Naslund ($5 million) signings were not.
That’s like messing up the cycle of free agency for the still irrelevant Sather. But getting Tortorella, man, this guy’s a pistol and when he’s comfortable enough to be himself, New York will eat him up with a spoon. He will be that delicious. He gives good sound byte. Even if he can’t change that dysfunctional roster which got a little bit stranger yesterday with Sather’s latest bit of sleep-walking, the claiming of Mark Bell on waivers from the Maple Leafs.
The hiring of Tortorella is different from most NHL hirings.
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from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
Backstrom said negotiations are being conducted between the Wild and his agent, Don Baizley.
“I haven’t talked to Don since last weekend, so I don’t know what’s going on,” Backstrom said. “We play so many games, and I want to stay focused on helping our team win. All I can say is I think they’re talking. There’s something going on, but I don’t know what that means.”..
In the last year of his contract, Backstrom can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. If he isn’t signed by Wednesday’s trade deadline, he’s a candidate to be traded because the Wild would risk losing him this summer for no compensation.
“I don’t know if you think about that,” Backstrom said. “I want to be here. I’m focused on just wanting to be here. We’ll see what happens. But for sure, you hope you can stay here at least the rest of the season.”
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull at the Philadelphia Inquirer,
In the last two games, each goalie has been superb.
In the Flyers’ 2-0 win over Los Angeles tonight, Biron made 34 saves and notched his second shutout of the season. It was also his 25th career shutout. The previous night, Niittymaki excelled in a 4-2 win at powerful Washington….
Coach John Stevens was asked if he would consider using two goalies in the playoffs.
“My focus right now is getting our team into the playoffs,” he said. “I think by that time, someone is going to take the lead role and then somebody is going to be the guy we count on.”
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
For the first time in Foote’s career with the Avalanche, the bigger names probably will be leaving Denver. Foote, of course, isn’t giving up on this season just yet. There is a game tonight in Newark, N.J., against the Devils, and Foote said he expects a victory. But, yes, the rugged Avs stalwart says, this is a new experience for him as an Av, playing on a last-place team with the calendar nearing March.
“This isn’t fun. But it reveals character. It really does,” Foote said. “You just try to stay focused, stay positive, keep plugging away.”
Trade rumors are flying and will continue to until deadline day. The Avs may be considering trading Jordan Leopold, Ruslan Salei, Brett Clark, Ian Laperriere, Darcy Tucker, Marek Svatos and perhaps even Ryan Smyth.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Ask Tom Renney if he has any regrets, as The Post did this afternoon, and the former Rangers’ head coach, says he certainly does.
“I would have pushed harder for Glen [Sather] to give Jags more money so we would could have kept him, and I should have pushed harder at Christmastime for Shanny,” said Renney, alluding of course to Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
When freshly-hired New York Rangers coach John Tortorella refused to discuss Sean Avery the other day - the same Avery who Tortorella used to roast during his TSN gig - most everyone suspected the awful truth: the Rangers were probably desperate enough to bring Avery back into the fold.
Now comes word from an NHL source that the Rangers are so intent on bringing Avery back they gave Tortorella a condition of employment: you can have the job but you’re almost certain to be coaching Avery before the season is done.
Sources tell Sportsnet Gary Bettman and the city of Glendale have come to terms on an agreement that will see Glendale concede at least $15 million per year to the Phoenix Coyotes towards a new lease deal.
Sources also say principle owner Jerry Moyes has had three separate out of state groups show interest with one already making a formal offer.
A league source tells Sportsnet they hope to have a new ownership group finalized by the 2009 NHL entry draft in Montreal.
St. Louis Blues forward Cam Janssen has been fined $2,500 for his high hit last night on Zbynek Michalek of the Coyotes, but he will not be suspended.
The incident happened in the first period behind the Phoenix net. Janssen jumped off the ice during a check and got his elbow up on Michalek. No penalty was called on the play.
Here’s video of the hit. Not great quality, but clear enough we can argue about it if you feel we must…
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Slightly used hard man for sale, still feared, no reasonable offers refused. Inquiries should be directed to B. Gainey, Bell Centre, Montreal, Que.
Yup, Georges Laraque says he’s on the trading block, assuming the Canadiens can find a taker for the $3-million remaining on the three-year contract he penned in the off-season.
“I haven’t asked for a trade, but with my salary and the way they’re using me, I’m definitely expecting it. The coach has told me he doesn’t like tough guys, he said I’ll be in and out (of the lineup) until the end of the season,” a dejected Laraque said after practice today.
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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