Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Do I think the Avs are trying to trade Liles right now? Yes, absolutely. Nobody will go on the record saying that, but a couple conversations around the league I’ve had about his situation lead me to believe the answer is yes. Do I know where he might go? No, not at the moment.
The trade I advocated the other day (Liles and maybe a pick to Edmonton for Sheldon Souray) would appear to be dead in the water now, with Souray out indefinitely with a broken hand. But does it have to be? The fact is, Souray probably would be OK to play by early March or so, give or take a few, and his acquisition would be for a late-season run and, if all goes well, two more years after that.
So, theoretically anyway, such a deal still could happen.
via Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
Are the Blackhawks stepping up their efforts to acquire a defenseman for the stretch run?
There were plenty of rumors Monday pointing in that direction.
There were eyebrows raised in Pittsburgh on Monday night when defenseman Jay McKee was a healthy scratch against Buffalo. Could McKee be headed to the Hawks?
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
All season long, Brian Burke has remained steadfast in his support of head coach Ron Wilson – and that’s a good thing.
Few coaches have a fair shot at success – or survival – without the explicit backing of their GM.
Still, some have suggested repeatedly, and snidely, that only Wilson’s position as head coach of the U.S Olympic team, with Burke also his boss there, has protected him from dismissal.
The implied accusation is that Burke is putting the welfare of the American team ahead of the needs of the Leafs.
It certainly has created a peculiar dynamic and Wilson’s overt praise of various U.S. Olympians in recent days has made it even more uncomfortable as the fortunes of the Leafs have plummeted.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In all, the Flames will have turned over a third of their roster in the past 48 hours, a move that smacks of panic.
Jokinen and Prust both played in the loss to the Flyers, an odd gamble considering that if either had been injured, it would have likely scuttled the transaction.
“You’ve got to play hard every time you go on the ice, no matter what distractions you have,” Jokinen said. “You play for that sweater, that logo in front of you, until they tell you you’re no longer part of the team.
“I just got the news, I’m not part of the team any more, so I’ve got to turn the page and move on. Obviously, 11 months ago when I got traded over here, I was very excited. I was hoping I could stay here for the rest of my career. But it’s a cruel business and that’s the way it goes. It comes with the salary. If you make $5-million, 11 goals is not going to cut it, so ….
“It’s definitely a slap in the face to get traded.”
via Daren Millard’s Twitter,
Trade call is going to go through. Calgary and the Rangers much talked about deal
added 12:40pm, via Bob McKenzie’s Twitter,
Cgy-NYR trade call is happening now. Deal is exactly as @DarrenDreger reported it last night - Jokinen/Prust for Higgins/Kotalik.
added 12:45pm, There is some talk the trade may not be officially announced until tomorrow morning so I am going to bed.
I have to be up at 5:00am so I need some sleep.
CALGARY, AB – Calgary Flames’ General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today the acquisition of forwards Christopher Higgins and Ales Kotalik from the New York Rangers in exchange for forwards Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust.
Higgins, a native of Smithtown, NY is playing in his fifth NHL season. Originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, 14th overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Higgins was traded to the New York Rangers on June 30, 2009. During his first three seasons in the NHL, the 6’0”, 205lbs left winger has surpassed the 20 goal mark (23, 22 and 27). In 337 career NHL games, Higgins has notched 165 points from 90 goals and 75 assists.
added 6:31am, from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The key player in the deal for the offense-challenged Blueshirts is Jokinen, the very talented 31-year-old center who has scored 34 goals or more in four seasons, but who also has a terrible reputation around the league as a selfish player who also is a bad teammate.
GM Glen Sather did well to move Kotalik, whom he signed to a three-year, $9 million free-agent contract over the summer who but fell quickly out of favor with head coach John Tortorella and became a shell of himself over the last month.
from Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog, Comcast SportsNet’s
Alan May openly suggested this week that the Canadian media is out to spotlight transgressions by Caps players, and that this may have contributed to Green’s punishment.
“They’re always trying to poke holes in the Capitals, and it’s the same reason that Mike Green was suspended,” May said on 106.7 The Fan’s Mike Wise Show Monday afternoon, when asked about criticism of the Caps’ netminders. “I thought it was created by TSN up in Canada and their announcers, sitting there on a Friday night. The only angles they showed of the Mike Green hit were very poor angles that looked like it was a bad hit, and when you go in super-slow motion, it makes it look worse all the time. And I thought the Mike Green hit, no one even noticed it the other night. And they made a big deal, and he winds up getting three games out of it.”
The conversation moved on, but May—who is Canadian—later returned to this subject, again pounding away on the Toronto media pack.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Holmgren said he was “not done” trying to make another deal that would strengthen the club.
“We might want to still do something on defense and forward, but not in goal,” Holmgren said.
A club source said nothing was imminent, but that the Flyers would listen to what others had to say. The Flames reportedly asked the Flyers about their interest in Phaneuf before making the multi-player trade with Toronto that stunned the NHL on Sunday.
Holmgren would not comment on his discussions with Calgary.
“Doesn’t do anyone any good and it should be confidential,” he said.
The Flyers didn’t have the cap space to afford Phaneuf, much like they don’t have the cap space to afford Atlanta winger Ilya Kovalchuk … unless they are willing to move Jeff Carter.
more on the Flyers…
via Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Andreas Lilja has been assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins on long-term injured-reserve conditioning loan, general manager Ken Holland said this evening.
That means Lilja can be with the Griffins for three games and six days, and the Wings can appeal for two more games, Holland said.
Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider answers some emails…
Do you know if there is anything more to Atlanta GM Waddell attending the LA-NJ game last night?
Answer: Anything more to it? As in? Don sat in his seat on press row, next to Dave Taylor, coincidentally enough. Dean Lombardi sat in his booth with other Kings management folks. I’m not sure what else there is to say, frankly. Waddell being at that game, very likely, did little if anything to further any Kovalchuk talk. GMs can talk on cell phones any day of the week, and scouting staffs are so strong that it’s doubtful there was any wisdom gained.
more on the Kings…
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
It’s looking less and less likely that the Wild will be selling since it’s hard to imagine six games from now the Wild will be out of playoff contention.
Still, as for buying, I don’t see a ton going to happen simply because the Wild’s got limited assets and they’re not trading their young assets (i.e. guys like Scandella, Cuma, Almond, etc.) for free-agent rentals.
I’ll also do my Sunday column on yesterday’s Toronto/Calgary-Anaheim madness and explain why the Wild doesn’t have interest in guys like Ilya Kovalchuk—contrary to made-up rumors. And quite frankly, if you’ve read me on a regular basis, you should understand why the Wild cannot afford to be trading for 40 days of Ilya Kovalchuk.
Nevertheless, it’s the question I’m getting ad nauseum right now, so I’ll include that in my Sunday stuff. Also, if you’ve read me for a long time, you know I don’t throw stuff against the wall. So that’s why there are no rumors out there on the Wild. I don’t report rumors. I report what I know. I do know most the players available out there the team has no interest in by the way. When there’s something concrete as far as whom they’re going after, I’ll report it to you.
But I don’t suspect much until post Olympic break roster freeze (Feb. 12-28).
more on the Wild…
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