Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
If the Minnesota Wild don’t want to give winger Marian Gaborik more than Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin ($8.7 million a year) in a seven- or eight-year extension, they could always consider trading a star for a star.
Here’s one wildcat trade possibility: Gaborik to Pittsburgh for Malkin because the Penguins are very weak on the wing.
That would be akin to Dany Heatley for Marian Hossa, pretty rare stuff in this league where quality usually gets dealt for quantity.
continued with more NHL talk
from Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press,
Why was there such tepid interest in Nashville?
It’s a cultural thing.
Is that anything you didn’t know going in or were you too optimistic?
Both. Nashville is a market where people who were raised in Nashville go to college in Nashville, they go back to work in Nashville. It was a little harder to break into that culture, and I should have known that. The fans in Nashville are great. They’re rabid. They’re vocal. They’re passionate. There just aren’t enough of them.
Do you consider your investment there a failure or a learning experience?
I don’t consider it a failure. I look at it as I was the caretaker there the first 10 years and I’ve now passed it off to some local guys, and hopefully they can take it to a level I wasn’t able to take it to. If the team ends up cratering and moves out, then I would say I was not successful.
more from Leipold, mostly on the team he currently owns, the Minnesota Wild…
from Corey Masisak of the Washington Times,
As the only new member of the organization, (Jose) Theodore will have to endure scrutiny this season. But toss in the position he plays and the great expectations for the franchise, and Theodore could be the linchpin for success or the scapegoat for failure.
Being a goaltender in places like Montreal and Colorado, Theodore knows all about that type of pressure. He also knows what the intense media scrutiny was like with the Canadiens - both on and off the ice - and is looking forward to settling in and being comfortable in the District.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
(Jason) Blake was not a stranger to new coach Ron Wilson. Wilson had coached him on U.S. national teams and knew the level at which he should be performing. Wilson also watched him on TV last season and it was a different Blake than the one he remembered. He spoke to the winger about it during camp.
“The Jason Blake that I knew on national teams and when he was scoring went hard to the net and competed,” said Wilson.
“Last year, I thought he kind of circled the wagons all the time and took a lot of perimeter shots that were a waste of time. They looked good on paper. He’d come of the game with five shots, but they’re all 50-foot wrist shots. He’s going hard to the net and he’s starting to score now.”
I still think he’ll come back around December. Where? To be determined. His heart remains in Toronto, but if the Leafs are already out of it come that time, he’ll need to cut the cord. Keep an eye on the Rangers and Flyers.
-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN on Mats Sundin. More from LeBrun and Mats, but we have heard it before…
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Ondrej Pavelec, the top prospect in the Atlanta Thrashers organization, will not be reporting to the AHL his agent told Sporting News….
Allan Walsh, Pavelec’s agent, said the Thrashers organization didn’t keep promises given to the young goalie when he signed with the team, so he wants out….
Walsh said he wouldn’t have had a problem if Pavelec had been given an honest opportunity to make the team and gotten beaten out. But he said the young goalie was never given a fair chance to the roster, something he said was part of the agreement with Atlanta.
from Paolo Boivin of the Arizona Republic,
Maybe it’s the Zamboni fumes clouding better judgment, but postseason inclusion no longer sounds far-fetched thanks to a blueprint that hints this team has a much better sense of direction. By trading Nick Boynton and Keith Ballard for Olli Jokinen, the Coyotes acquired a No. 1 center without giving up their best offensive talent. Other decisions, including nurturing young talent instead of banking on fading stars, should begin to pay dividends this season.
No storyline is more intriguing than the potential of top line Mueller, Doan and center Jokinen.
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
In places such as Chicago, Anaheim, Atlanta, Columbus, Boston, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington (and all of Canada, of course) there is a belief among our correspondents that excitement is high in the markets they cover, never mind this is prime time for MLB playoffs, the NFL season is in full swing and the global economy is in a free-fall.
However, a couple lines in one of the stories triggered alarm bells for me. Call it my DEW (Distant Early Warning) sensor going off, but I have a modicum of concern for a team in hockey’s heartland: the Buffalo Sabres.
“Buffalo just doesn’t seem as psycho about the Sabres,” writes our contributor John Vogl.
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
Marian Gaborik’s long-term future with the Wild never has been more uncertain.
General Manager Doug Risebrough told the Star Tribune on Friday that he does not expect to sign Gaborik, who is one season from unrestricted free agency, to a contract extension by the start of the season.
“Not making any headway,” said Risebrough, who last month said it would be prudent to sign Gaborik, the team’s all-time leading scorer, to an extension by next Saturday’s season opener. “I was trying to do something before the season. It’s not happening. ... It’s not going to happen by the start of the season.”
Asked if he’ll react by putting Gaborik on the trading block, Risebrough said, “That, I’ll have to determine.”
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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