Kukla's Korner Hockey
In an attempt to further extend the National Hockey League brand to a global audience, New York Islanders owner Charles Wang will be taking his team to China ahead of the next NHL season, Sportsnet has learned.
The Islanders will be spending 10 days in China, from September 13-23, with stops in Beijing and Shanghai. The team-based initiative has been given approval from both the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
To hear those close to defenseman Aaron Ward tell it, the popular ex-Bruin wants back into Boston in a big, big way.
The 37-year-old defenseman and famed dressing room pontificator is downright miserable in Carolina with the down-and-out Hurricanes, and experienced his own personal Waterloo when he was placed on waivers by the Canes back on Dec. 14….
The only thing Ward would admit to CSNNE.com is that he’s decided he wants to play at least one more season next winter, and that Boston would be at the top of his NHL destinations if there’s mutual interest from B’s GM Peter Chiarelli.
San Jose, Detroit and Philly are also likely to be on Ward’s wish list of potential teams now that the carnage in Carolina has taken on that old hockey team smell, but Ward never wanted to leave Boston in the first place.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Sources say the sale of the Tampa Bay Lightning to Boston-based hedge fund manager Jeffrey Vinik is all but complete and could be official as early as Saturday or Sunday.
In fact, it’s believed that Vinik has already agreed to cover the Lightning’s payroll, which is due Feb. 15, as part of a deal that will be signed in the coming days….
It’s unclear whether Lightning governor and CEO Oren Koules of the OK Hockey Group will have any stake in the team, but it appears as though co-owner Len Barrie, who is experiencing troubles of his own with his Great Bear Resort near Victoria, B.C., will no longer be part of the ownership group….
Sources say there was a deal in place last June to trade Lecavalier to the Montreal Canadiens for goalie Carey Price, center Tomas Plekanec and a prospect, but the deal was blocked by Bettman after Barrie refused to approve the deal.
via the Twitter of Bob McKenzie,
Three game suspension for Cap’s Mike Green for elbow on Michael Frolik.
Watch the elbow hit in case you missed it.
added 1:06pm, via the Twitter of Tarik El-Bashir,
Boudreau on the suspension: “I don’t know how to react anymore. Obviously I’m very upset about it. But what can you do?”
More Boudreau: “It’s like fighting a ticket [when] you know you’re not doing something wrong, from the police. You can’t argue with them.”
More still from BB: “I better not say nothing. I’m just livid about whole thing anyway.”
added 1:21pm, Again from Tarik’s Twitter,
Laich on Green: “Obviously we don’t want to lose Greenie. But at some point you have to take control of the game and protect the players.”
via Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Anaheim Ducks are very close to signing Jonas Hiller to a contract extension, a source told ESPN.com Saturday, taking a top-flight netminder off next summer’s free-agent market.
The 27-year-old Hiller, who will start in goal for Switzerland next month at the Olympics, was slated to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
update 12:43pm, Same link as above but some number are now included-
The deal is worth $18 million, the source said. The $4.5 million average salary is well above the $1.3 million Hiller is earning this year.
“Jonas has proved himself as a starting NHL goaltender,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “We expect him to only get better and are pleased he’s committed to us for four more seasons.”
“This is a very exciting day for me personally,” said Hiller. “Anaheim has been a great place for me to play, and I couldn’t be happier to stay here.”
A great day to sit in front of the TV and take in all they hockey talk and action on CBC and the NHL Network in the US.
Show starts at 12:00pm ET and ends about 13 hours later.
For all the information on HDIC, go here.
View today’s NHL schedule below…
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
“My intention today was to practice and not do anything (Saturday),” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “After the meeting got going, there was tremendous dialogue (between Hitchcock and players), and I didn’t want to extend it any further.”
In an hour’s time yesterday, the Jackets’ schedule went from having practice to canceling it to conducting the first two-man optional in recent memory—all from a team that has won nine times since Nov. 19 and has faded from the Western Conference playoff picture.
The Blue Jackets are not only losing, but losing by decisive margins. Only Toronto and Tampa Bay have incurred more losses by three goals or more (14) than the Blue Jackets (13), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Resilience has not been a strong suit. When the opposition gains an upper hand, these Jackets are tapping out.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
At the NHL level, the margin between winning and losing is razor-thin. The great ones have what Roy had: a ferocious will to win. It might be worth no more than a half-goal a game, but ultimately it’s the difference between Halak’s 14-9 record this season and Price’s abysmal and embarrassing 11-21.
A few fans last week accused me of “hating” Carey Price. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I was proud to cover the first regular-season game Price played for the Canadiens, on the road in Pittsburgh, because I thought I was seeing history. Like many others, I was fooled into believing that he might be a great one.
By now, I am heartily weary of the whole Price/Halak debate, especially of the obscene verbal abuse and mind-numbing justifications Price’s defenders trot out every time their overgrown baby draws a little flak.
But while I no longer believe Price has the inner stuff to be a great goalie, I still think he could be a good goaltender. I simply believe that it’s bad for Price and bad for the club when he’s handed a job he hasn’t earned - not once, but over and over again.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
“I am definitely not where I want to be or should be,’’ said Lucic, the left wing on a line with center Marc Savard, just returning from the disabled list, and ex-Sabre Miroslav Satan. “I would expect a lot more from myself, and I’m hoping maybe Savvy gives me a boost.’’
Count Lucic among those who believe he must do a better job generating speed to carry out heavy hits and be a force around the net.
“I know I’m not moving my feet like I can, like I have, and I’ve got to get over that,’’ he said. “I have to move my feet like I used to. I mean, that’s how I’ve been successful before, outracing guys to puck and pounding the boards. I have to be harder on myself.’’
Lucic broke a finger earlier this season, requiring surgery. The combination of fractured finger and testy ankle has hindered his effectiveness. His game has needed time.
more on the Bruins…
via Tim Bontemps of the NY Post,
The benching is just the latest in a series of struggles Redden has gone through since leaving the Senators to sign a six-year, $39 million contract with the Blueshirts after the 2007-08 season. But the former All-Star, who was taken second overall in the 1995 draft by the Islanders, has left a lot to be desired since he arrived.
Known as an offensive defenseman, Redden last season registered his lowest point total (26) since 1998-99, finishing with three goals and 23 assists. But even after those struggles, Redden’s play has sunk to a new low this season.
In 47 games, Redden has one goal and seven points, putting him on pace for what easily will be the worst season of his career. Tortorella scratched Redden twice in December in the hopes of kick-starting his season, but the moves have seemed to have little impact, as Redden has just two assists since Nov. 23.
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