Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lightning Strikes,
Bear with me here, even though this is more speculation and reading between the lines than anything.
We read in Tuesday’s paper that hockey ops chief Brian Lawton said he would not hesitate to keep star Vinny Lecavalier and defenseman Paul Ranger out of at least the season opener Oct. 4 in Prague if their rehabbing right shoulders were not ready to go. He said he might even put them on injured reserve to help the team manage their numbers. That’s a big hint not to be taken seriously, especially after watching Jussi Jokinen star at center this preseason.
“I know there’s a lot of people this is going to bother, obviously. But you can’t let it stop you in your tracks. This is a good organization that’s going to work hard to overcome something like this.
“We’re not going to sit there and feel sorry for ourselves ... it doesn’t make any sense. If you feel sorry for yourselves, where do you get yourselves? We’re not going to do that. We’re going to go forward.”
-Blues President John Davidson on the year-ending injury to Erik Johnson. More on the Blues at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch….
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues defenseman Erik Johnson has a torn ACL in his right knee and will undergo surgery in a couple of weeks, a source has told the Post-Dispatch.
Johnson, 20, is expected to be sidelined six to nine months after injuring his knee in a golf-cart incident last week at the Lake of the Ozarks.
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
Marian Gaborik was nowhere to be seen today.
Negotiations are clearly at a delicate juncture, very delicate. The two sides are far apart, although Risebrough said he plans to keep trying to get Gaborik inked to an extension. He again maintains he has had no trade talks and doesn’t plan any in the foreseeable future.
The irony here is the big risk in paying Gaborik Ovechkin money or Crosby money or Malkin money or Staal money or Lecavalier money is he’s so injury prone.
And here Gaborik is seeking to be paid like a top two or three player in the NHL while he’s out with a strained quad aggravated on the first day of training camp.
more on the Wild…
Darren Dreger during Leafs Lunch on AM640 reports John Muckler is in Phoenix today and will be joining the Coyotes as a consultant.
from Kevin Allen at Mucking & Grinding,
The Atlanta Thrashers are still pondering a move to land a defenseman, and Anaheim’s Mathieu Schneider would seem to be a logical choice if the Thrashers can fit him into their budget.
The Thrashers are only near the $41 million mark, and based on their off-season moves they don’t want to venture too far north of that figure….
Of course the Thrashers would have to convince Burke to probably take Ken Klee ($1.25 million) and another $500,000 player to make it work.
added 12:07pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
When Schneider is dealt, it’s possible it could be rolled out to a larger deal. Some teams have inquired about forward Bobby Ryan’s availability and the truth is Ryan, the second overall pick in the 04 draft behind Sidney Crosby, may be expendable on this Ducks’ roster.
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that for the 2008-09 season the organization has surpassed its previous franchise record of 13,425 season ticket holders established in 1994-95, during the inaugural campaign at the United Center. In addition, a near-capacity crowd is expected for tonight’s home preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, marking the most tickets sold for a home preseason contest in franchise history.
“Chicago is a hockey city and this is a tribute to our great fans and their hunger for a return to the glory days of the Blackhawks,” Senior Vice President of Business Operations Jay Blunk said. “We would like to thank our fans for giving us their trust and support and remind them we never forget that excellence on and off the ice is what they richly deserve.”
Season ticket sales for the 2008-2009 Blackhawks season have increased 300% from October 2007 when the base was 3,400. The increase for the upcoming campaign marks one of the biggest one-year turnarounds in sports ticket sales history for a team that did not qualify for the postseason.
from Elizabeth Payne of the Ottawa Citizen,
According to the local grapevine, children have beaten a path to his front door hoping to catch a glimpse of one of their hockey idols, or, even better, to nab an autograph. And, apparently, Mr. Spezza has charmingly complied in many cases, handing out autographed hockey cards to awe-struck neighbours….
I have no idea what Mr. Spezza, a young hockey star in a country that idolizes hockey players, thinks about the attention his move to the neighbourhood is getting. The fact that he bought a house in a part of the city that is full of children and answers the door when some of them come calling tells me that he sees himself as part of the community, and that is probably as important to the future of the Senators in Ottawa as how the team does this season.
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
Mike Keenan isn’t an easy man to impress.
So, when he praised his players yesterday as being the fittest team he’s ever coached in the NHL, the statement carried some serious clout.
“I’m very happy. It’s the highest levels that I’ve seen in my NHL experience, as far as a team average is concerned,” Keenan said yesterday. “And, individually, the number of players in the elite is impressive and significant.
“It’s a tribute to their preparation.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The cost of paying so much to so few, as Tampa Bay found out with its now disbanded Big Three, will be instability and yearly turnover with the other 60 per cent of the roster. This summer, the Pens lost unrestricted forwards Gary Roberts, Ryan Malone, Jarkko Ruutu, Marian Hossa, Georges Laraque and Adam Hall, as well as goalie Ty Conklin.
In their place, the club brought in forwards Miro Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko and Eric Godard and will give some farmhands a chance.
The Penguins can expect similar roster churn next summer, with nine more unrestricted free agents.
Still, many have anointed the Pens as the No.1 team in the Eastern Conference. But Crosby and Co. do have some speed bumps ahead.
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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