Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
Lou Lamoriello has a tiger by the tail, and if he lets go of Kovalchuk, it could come back to bite him. Imagine the fan fallout should the Rangers sign him up, as they did Scott Gomez and Bobby Holik.
The Devils have not won a Cup since they lost Scott Niedermayer, Brian Rafalski and Gomez to free agency. They probably never possessed an offensive star in his prime, like Kovalchuk, in their history. He surely never had a team with such immediate aspirations or possibilities.
Kovalchuk has yet to win a playoff game, and this seems his chance. If the Devils are serious about promoting themselves to the status they’ve earned, but never embraced, he is their chance.
Still, it is believed that not much has happened regarding negotiations. The Devils’ failure to move in advance of July 1 has been blamed by many departees as a needless launch towards free agency
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
The Jackets’ spotty drafting record has played an integral role in their lack of success. The club has traded away four of its 10 first-round selections. But only their 57-point second season has earned them a top-three pick, which they traded for the right to select Nash.
Meanwhile, Jackets fans have watched clubs such as Pittsburgh, Washington and Chicago evolve from rock bottom to rock solid by hitting on dynamic high-end picks.
The Penguins, the reigning Stanley Cup champions, drafted Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin, Crosby and Jordan Staal in a remarkable four-year stretch from 2003 to 2006. No pick was lower than No.2 overall, although they traded up to get Fleury.
“When you are picking that high, it does reduce the chance of error,” Jackets general manager Scott Howson said. “We got a real good one with Rick (Nash).
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
With apologies to Buffalo Springfield, the last few weeks showed when it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs there’s something happening here.
What it is may not be exactly clear, given the rebuilding touches that still need to be done and the youth of the team, but this is definitely a team that is starting to open some eyes around the NHL.
The young, speedy, hard-working Leafs (and when’s the last time you could use all that in an adjectival phrase about them) gave the defending Stanley Cup champions fits on Sunday before falling in a shootout. It broke a seven-game streak of overtime wins and afterward the Pittsburgh Penguins paid tribute to a team that should be in the playoffs next season.
from John Shannon of Sportsnet,
The regular season winding down also means 14 teams will be missing out on the Stanley Cup playoffs. As a result, some owners will start wondering if they have the right people at the helm of their franchises. Rather than pointing fingers at who is out, it’s probably fair to look at who will be in or back in the NHL. We’ve already talked about Steve Yzerman here, so add Doug Risebrough, Craig MacTavish, Greg Gilbert to the list. As well, Bob Boughner from Windsor in the OHL and Mike Johnston of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks have to be given some consideration. And while he’s a valuable member of the Oilers coaching staff, Tom Renney might just get another head coaching opportunity.
more plus additional hockey topics…
NEW YORK (March 29, 2010)—Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner of the National Hockey League, today released the following statement:
“In response to the many inquiries we have received in light of the story in the Phoenix Business Journal this morning, we would like to make clear that at this point in time the National Hockey League has no “deal” in place to move the Coyotes’ franchise to Winnipeg—or to any other city for that matter—in the event a transaction cannot be timely consummated in Glendale. Our focus continues to be on completing a transaction with local ownership that is committed to operating the team in Glendale. Based on the communications and information we are receiving on a regular basis, the stakeholders involved continue to express a high level of confidence that that can be successfully achieved. We will not focus on completing arrangements for one or more alternative option(s) until such time as it may become necessary.
“With respect to Winnipeg and Messrs. Chipman and Thomson, we have had ongoing discussions over time regarding their potential interest in owning an NHL franchise (as we have had with a number of other individuals and cities around North America) and potentially bringing an NHL franchise back to Winnipeg. It remains an intriguing possibility and one we would consider given appropriate circumstances, but there is nothing new to report on that front at this time.”
BUFFALO, NY (March 29, 2010) – Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced today that forward Patrick Kaleta had surgery on his thumb Monday, and is expected to be out a minimum of 2 weeks.
from Collin Orcutt of Men’s Fitness,
The Washington Capitals star on how he uses fitness to dominate the ice throughout the season….
What do think is your biggest asset when you’re on the ice?
My power. And sometimes I have luck—I don’t know why.
What’s the most important thing when it comes to training for an athlete?
Just work out. Don’t be lazy. If you take a day off, you’re going to be fat and you’re going to look terrible.
via Mark Emmons of the Mercury News,
Sharks star Joe Thornton said today that he’s not seriously injured and hopes to return to the lineup sometime on the four-game trip that opens Wednesday night in Dallas.
“I expect to play, but I just don’t know when,” Thornton said. “It’s just day-to-day. Every day I wake up and hope I feel a little better.”
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
There’s no denying Duncan Keith’s play has dropped off since before the Olympic break.
Keith is minus-7 in the last 13 games, eight of which the Blackhawks have lost.
While Keith is not one to make excuses, the all-star defenseman did admit Monday he has not been happy with his skates since before leaving for the Olympics.
Skating is a huge part of Keith’s game and there isn’t a Hawk more particular about his skates and how they fit and feel and how they are sharpened.
Whereas Keith normally goes through three or four pairs of skates in a season, he said he already is on his ninth or 10th pair with the issue still not resolved to his liking.
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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