Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP via TSN,
Struggling veteran Alex Kovalev has been given some time off by the Montreal Canadiens.
General Manager Bob Gainey said Tuesday he met with Kovalev to tell him he won’t be on the team’s trip this week for games Wednesday night in Washington and Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
His status for a home game Saturday against Ottawa remains uncertain.
Gainey said Kovalev is not suspended and will still be paid. He said the right-winger appears to be tired and has not been playing well of late.
added 4:27pm, via Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Gainey said he hasn’t spoken to any other teams about trading Kovalev, but when asked if he would be willing to move the vastly talented 36-year-old, he said “this is the trading season.”
MONTREAL – The Canadiens announced Tuesday that forward Gregory Stewart has been recalled from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. The team also announced that forward Sergei Kostitsyn has been assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Stewart will join the club in Washington.
This season with the Canadiens, Sergei Kostitsyn, 21, scored 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) and served 64 penalty minutes in 52 contests.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
When the Flames’ coach was asked about matching up Robyn Regehr against the suddenly red-hot Mats Sundin, he turned the conversation around and suggested he was more concerned about the Canucks’ defensive match-up against Jarome Iginla.
Specifically, Keenan charged that defenceman Willie Mitchell used an illegal stick – too long – to defend against Iginla.
Keenan was coy about whether he’d ask for a measurement against Mitchell tonight (“I would never say”), but it was clear that he was trying to ramp up the rhetoric for the game, and maybe take some pressure off the slumping Iginla.
Mitchell, for his part, laughed off the charge.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed forward Fredrik Modin on injured reserve retroactive to February 14, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today. Modin, who suffered a lower body injury in last Saturday’s 5-1 win at Carolina, was evaluated by team physicians from OhioHealth upon the team’s return to Columbus and is expected to miss at least one week.
via the Denver Post,
Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles will not play in tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators and is out indefinitely with a hand injury he suffered against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.
Avs coach Tony Granato said he hopes to have Liles back by the end of the team’s six-game road trip, which begins Friday night at Washington.
from Rory Boylen of the Hockey News,
Here are two tilts I always get up for because the potential for them to grow into something more than just another game is teetering on the edge of all-out war.
Detroit vs. Columbus
These are the culprits from the Friday game I alluded to earlier (and if you haven’t seen Steve Mason’s stacked-pads save on Henrik Zetterberg, two words come to mind: Dear Lord). The Red Wings, so dominant for so long in the barren Central Division, finally have a foe similar to that itch you can’t reach in the middle of your back. The Blue Jackets aren’t deep, they aren’t overly talented and they definitely don’t have much experience past the first 82 games of a season, but they have a hard-working team, a Ken Hitchcock system and this special kid named Mason.
more and a look at Philadelphia/Washington too…
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Negotiations with Franzen have progressed steadily.
“I think we’re in the ballpark, but we don’t have a deal done,” Holland said Monday. “They know I want to talk to Ritch Winter regarding Marian Hossa. Franzen’s camp hasn’t moved the extra mile, and neither have I. I haven’t gotten quite as far along with Hossa, and I do want to explore that and then sit down with our owner and make a decision on what to do.
“I think we have a chance to keep both players, but that does mean other players have to move.”
If the Wings keep Franzen and Hossa, there won’t be room to re-sign players such as Mikael Samuelsson and Jiri Hudler, both of whom also are in the last year of contracts. That’s why it makes sense for the Wings to explore a trade leading up to the March 4 deadline.
from Tapeleg of Jerseys and hockey love,
A hockey game may not mean much, but the events surrounding that game might. For me, tonight was one of those nights. In fact, it was one of those nights that is hard to put into words.
Tonight, the L.A. Kings held Armenian Heritage Night. This isn’t the only heritage night they held this season, they had nights for Russia and other nationalities (sorry, I can’t remember them off the top of my head). At first, it sounded like a joke, or a cheap promotion. The post-game entertainment was Armenian hip-hop artist R-Mean (seriously), and there would be Armenian beer at the after party. All of this because it was Atlanta Thrashers rookie Zac Bogosian’s first game in L.A., and he is the first Armenian to play in the NHL. It sounds like a cheap gimmick, and it could have been a cheap gimmick.
It wasn’t. In fact, it is going to be hard to top this night on the rest of the tour. Let me show you what I mean.
read on with some great pictures and watch an interview with Bogosian below. Zach talks about the Armenian Night the Kings hosted and about his three point night…
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
“Feb. 16, 1984: I was walking to the Saddledome with a costume that still smelled like glue in a garbage bag,” said Kelba, who’d played Ralph the Dog at McMahon Stadium for four years before convincing the Flames to give the NHL’s first mascot a shot….
Hired for $50 a game by the skeptical Flames, Kelba knew he didn’t have much time to make an impression before he’d be tossed out the door with the $4,000 costume he made.
“They didn’t think it was going to work, so they didn’t even introduce me as their mascot,” said Kelba, now 48.
“I sat down, and within a minute, some guy leaned over and said, ‘Go to hell.’ I immediately thought, ‘This is going to be tougher than I thought.’ He was tolerated or hated at best.”
from Rob Parent of the Delco Times,
Real hockey men are paid to feel, play, manage and coach as if all 82 games are vital. But what would the Flyers’ front office men say to the thought of trading Danny Briere?
If timing is everything, they’d rightfully say the time is all wrong to think about taking Briere and his huge contract and asking him if he’d mind them waving it across such trade routes as phone lines, e-mail addresses and bars during the general managers meetings.
Briere is a youthful 31 who has had a belly tear for much of the season. He might be over it soon, which would be welcome news for a Flyers team that has been suffering from viral strains of up and chuck lately. Once free of such bugs, this will be a team that shapes up well for the stretch drive, even as it continues to develop into what at some point will be a bit of a financial headache for upper management.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org