Kukla's Korner Hockey
from On Frozen Blog,
In a wildly amusing bit of unintended condemnation, the media Sunday asked Crosby about the “appropriateness” of Alexander Ovechkin’s unbridled joy after scoring goals. (Because, you know, hockey is supposed to be just like golf when it comes to celebrations.) The obviously unspoken undercurrent of this question was “Is there room in hockey for a rock star, Mr. Neil Diamond?” This perhaps is the start of the much-needed, media-led realignment of stars.
The NHL, however, remains in a horrendously awkward position. It’s confronting the very real possibility of a Crosby-less postseason, while his counterpart in the once barren hockey wasteland of Washington is turning the town on its collective sporting ear. Ovechkin’s Caps, with their Plan B goaltender, may well just play hockey into final four territory, or better. Crosby’s Pens, every reporter who watches them observes, aren’t altogether short on talent—qualifying for the postseason is something they should do in their shower sandals. What are we to conclude about the mettle of the faux messiah?
On a siden ote to this, I was listening to late night radio last night and heard a national sports radio show mention the Crosby/Ovechkin feud was staged by the NHL to attract viewers. Staged, ha, I think not.
from Us Magazine,
Hilary Duff stands by her man!
The star said that she defends her boyfriend, New York Islander Mike Comrie, against the “intense fans” at his games.
“I like to sit in the audience, you know I don’t sit up in a box or anything, and people started to know that I’m sitting there, and they’ll be like ‘Mike sucks!’ Or [they] try to rile me up,” Duff told Rachael Ray on the set of her talk show. “And I’m like, ‘Hey, watch it! I’ll come up there, you know.’”
She added: “I try to not be that crazy girlfriend.”
George Malik of SnapShots once again turns to the web for a story on Henrik Zetterberg,
Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg spoke to Expressen’s Mattias Eriksson recently, discussing a wide range of topics in a February 24, Expressen (roughly translated):
“Would not like to switch lives with someone”
He is one of the world’s best hockey players and recently signed contract worth almost 600 million [Swedish Kronor]. Henrik Zetterberg says with complete certainty: “I would not like to switch places with anyone.”
This summer, Henrik Zetterberg NHL won the finals’ scoring title and was named the finals’ most valuable player. He took a stride [forward to become one] of the world’s best hockey players and at the end of January he signed in one of the biggest contracts in NHL’s history.
from Jennifer Green of the Ottawa Citizen,
In seasons like this one, Mike Fisher thinks of the message he jots on his hockey sticks, the same one that helped him over an even tougher hurdle—success.
Inside the stick’s rubber grip, he has written Rom 12:12, referring to Paul’s letter to the Romans: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
“It’s just a verse that I’ve always liked ... ‘Be glad in all God’s planning for you’,”
Fisher said after the practice on Monday. “Sometimes, even this year, you go through struggles on the ice, and it’s just to keep things focused on God. Things seem to make a little more sense.”
from Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal,
Kevin Lowe and then Steve Tambellini settled into a seat at Rexall Place to watch their Edmonton Oilers practise on Monday morning, and one thought came to mind.
Shouldn’t those guys be on the phone? In fact, shouldn’t they have made a trade already? Shouldn’t they be in the middle of sending draft picks and/or cheap young players out for a proven scorer coming back?
In a word, yes.
And to be fair, they are trying. They want to make a deal for a point-producer who would immediately slide into Dustin Penner’s first-line slot on the left side. They need somebody to trade the puck with Ales Hemsky and score off the rush and they’re prepared to surrender quality assets to make that deal.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Filip Kuba has a no-trade clause in his deal, but he, Chris Neil and recently acquired Mike Comrie will be eligible to test the unrestricted free agent waters July 1. Murray will deal at least Kuba and Neil if he can’t get them to agree to contacts before the March 4 deadline.
At this point, it looks like they’re both as good as gone.
Asked specifically about the security of Jason Spezza, whose no-trade clause on his deal doesn’t kick in until next season, Murray said: “He’s our No. 1 centre. I’m not going to get into specific names. I don’t think that’s fair to the player, really, other than the guys that are unrestricted (free agents).”
A “he’s going nowhere” would have been so much simpler, if it was definitely the case.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
What will Burke do? The guessing game has begun. The trade focus—and the following information—comes from NHL executives polled, those not connected to the Leafs, speaking about those who may be available.
Listed is the likelihood (by percentage) of certain Leafs being traded before the March 4 trade deadline:
from Erik Erlendsson and Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
With Tampa Bay spending the next week in Canada, trade rumors are sure to run rampant as the March 4 trade deadline approaches.
But Vinny Lecavalier’s name won’t be at the forefront.
In his boldest statement in his short tenure as Lightning general manager, Brian Lawton may very well have put an end to any lingering rumors surrounding Lecavalier by stating the Tampa Bay captain won’t be going anywhere, as far as he’s concerned.
“We’re not going to trade Vinny Lecavalier,’’ Lawton said Monday. “I’m going to say, ‘never,’ so I don’t have to deal with it.’‘
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
When Shea Weber hammered home 10 goals in the first 20 games of the season, he became the first NHL defenseman to do so in more than two decades.
The problem was that those numbers drew the attention of opponents and media around the league, which were two of the bigger reasons Weber’s goal production stalled over the next few months.
Rival coaches concentrated their efforts on finding ways to stop Weber’s feared one-timer, and journalists immediately turned him into a trendy pick for the next Norris Trophy winner.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
The night John Tortorella was hired by TSN, I made a confession to him. I told him I had always secretly hoped he’d be fired by Tampa, just so we might get a chance to bring him on the panel.
He swore at me. But he was smiling as he cursed.
No coach has ever brought me more amusement than Torts. His post-game news conferences were often better than the game.
“We need a BLEEP BLEEP occasional save. Four goals on 16 shots, I’m getting tired of the 25 percent rule.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The moment John Tor torella walks through the door of the Ranger locker room today to take command, that will be the end of the excuses and that will be the end of the crutches for a team whose players sure didn’t seem very sorry to see Tom Renney go yesterday.
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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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