Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Can Team Canada find a way to sneak Steven Stamkos on to the Olympic roster, if only to play the power play? He leads all NHL players with 13 power-play goals.
• With the Sedin brothers leading hockey’s dominant line, Henrik Lundqvist in goal, the steady influence of Niklas Lidstrom on defence and Daniel Alfredsson and Henrik Zetterberg getting healthy at the right time, why aren’t more people considering Sweden a real threat for hockey gold in Vancouver?
• Don Waddell said he wanted a top-six forward and a top-four defenceman and he came away with Niclas Bergfors and Johnny Oduya? And you wonder why the Thrashers have never won a playoff round.
a few more hockey notes…
from Steve Sexton of the Sun-Sentinel,
Sexton said he’s been busy on the phone and has spoken more to GMs in the Western Conference than the Eastern Conference. That’s because with so much parity in the Eastern Conference, hardly any team has decided it will be a seller. As for teams talking possible deals with the Panthers, “there are a lot of [teams] out there with guns and masks.”
“If you’re going to acquire a player, what teams want from you in return is ridiculous,” Sexton said. “I don’t mind paying a fair price for a player we’re going to keep, but for some of the rental players that are out there, some of the prices being asked are ridiculous.”
Sexton said he’s prepared for the possibility that the Panthers will be sellers, but really believes they’ll be buyers at the March 3 deadline.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
• I’m told star goalie Tomas Vokoun, who has one year left on his deal at $6.3 million, will not be made available before March 3 regardless of where the Panthers are in the standings. That’s a situation the team will revisit come June.
• As I reported earlier this season, the Flyers are hoping to reach an extension with goalie Ray Emery before the end of the regular season. Because Emery signed a one-year deal this past summer, the team wasn’t allowed to approach his agent until January. That happened in Calgary last week, when Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and Emery’s agent, J.P. Barry, chatted briefly and only agreed they would commence preliminary talks after the Olympics.
more and note, some of the information was discussed on the HNIC Hotstove tonight…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
• The Bruins might be on the verge of trying to deal Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas.
While it would have been unthinkable when Thomas was signed to a four-year, $20-million (all terms US) contract extension last spring, two league executives confirmed to the Sun on Saturday that Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has held talks with teams looking for goaltending help….
• The Blackhawks would love to add Montreal G Jaroslav Halak, but at this point, G Carey Price might be the one who gets moved by the Habs.
• Players are getting restless on the Island with coach Scott Gordon.
He could be on the hot seat because GM Garth Snow has given Gordon the tools to make the playoffs and the Islanders are currently on the outside looking in. The situation could be coming to a head and it wouldn’t surprise NHL insiders if there was a coaching change.
from Mihira Lakshman, of CBC Sports,
Atlanta Thrashers general manager Don Waddell got taken on the Ilya Kovalchuk deal, Hockey Night in Canada analyst Mike Milbury told the Hotstove segment on Saturday night.
Kovalchuk was dealt, along with Anssi Salmela, to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday for defenceman Johnny Oduya, rookie Niclas Bergfors, prospect Patrice Cormier and a first-round draft pick.
Milbury was highly critical of the Thrashers’ GM, and doesn’t believe Waddell got fair value in return for his star.
contniued or watch the video below, which has some trade talk, but nothing earth shattering.
from James Gordon of Hockey Capital,
Scary moment for Ottawa Senators fans tonight after defenceman Matt Carkner was dropped by Toronto’s Colton Orr in a first period fight. The big defenceman made it back to his feet, but definitely looked woozy as the referees and trainers surrounded him and forced him into the dressing room to make sure he was fine.
Tomas Holmstrom (leg), Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller have left the game and will not return.
Updates when they become available.
added 6:15pm, Both Eaves and Miller have ankle injuries.
added 8:14pm, via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
It doesn’t sound like any of the injuries the Detroit Red Wings sustained in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the Kings are long-term. Tomas Holmstrom has a bruised left knee, after being checked into the boards. Patrick Eaves has a sprained ankle. Drew Miller has a bruised left ankle, after blocking a shot. Miller said X-rays revealed no fracture.
All three will be re-evaluated Sunday.
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney looks at the Olympics as great entertainment for hockey fans
but at the same time wonders about the overall benefits of having NHL players participate. That includes the risk of injury as well as the rationale for shutting down the season for two weeks.
“(For) the NHL, at least at this stage, there is no tangible financial benefit,” he said. “We all enjoy the Olympics, love to watch it, but I personally like the amateurs. I like the unexpected.
“It’s all revenue, television revenue. If they had some tangible benefit other than the good will of seeing the best players - we all enjoy that, the fans love it - but I think there’s some really hard discussions going forward to see whether it makes sense for this league to shut down.
from J. Freedom du Lac of the Washington Post,
The streak has vaulted the team to the top of the NHL points standings. Add a zesty marketing campaign from franchise owner Ted Leonsis and a loud, thrill-a-minute fan experience inside the downtown arena and, suddenly, in a region starving for something—anything—resembling pro sports success, the Capitals are Washington’s most buzzworthy team, to the point that people are daring to wonder if this might someday become a true hockey town.
The result is wild success—and a certain sense of resentment among die-hard fans who see the newcomers in the crowd as Ovie-come-latelys.
from Kevin Mitchell of the Leader-Post,
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper played reporter Friday night with a couple of iconic story subjects.
Harper, a hockey buff who was in Saskatoon for the Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Dinner, grilled hockey greats Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky during a lengthy Q-and-A session before an appreciative sellout audience.
Howe was a surprise addition to the podium, brought onstage to a prolonged ovation while Harper and Gretzky talked about the first meeting between the two puck legends—at a Kinsmen celebrity dinner in Brantford when Gretzky was 10.
continue for some great stories from Howe and Gretzky…
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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