Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Don Waddell’s phone rang Sunday afternoon in Anaheim. It was Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey, asking his Atlanta counterpart if he could meet with Habs executive Pierre Gauthier later that evening at the Thrashers-Ducks game.
The Canadiens were stepping up their efforts to acquire a defenseman and they wanted to further pursue Mathieu Schneider, a veteran slated for unrestricted free agency July 1.
Waddell didn’t waste his opportunity. For starters, there was always the chance the Canadiens, under tremendous pressure to act with the team in freefall, could opt for a different player if they couldn’t come to terms with Atlanta. The clock was ticking and Waddell feared the Canadiens had another deal in the works for another defenseman.
from Bill Price of the NY Daily News,
Tom Renney and Chris Drury said all the right things after the Rangers did all the wrong things in Sunday’s dismal loss to the Flyers at the Garden.
“I take full responsibility for where this team is right now,” said the coach.
“I’m not doing what I was brought here to do,” said the captain.
As for the man who put this team together . . . nothing.
In case you’ve forgotten, he’s Glen Sather, the president and GM of your New York Rangers. Honestly, I can’t blame you for forgetting, because he’s nowhere to be found.
He never speaks to the New York media and he’s rarely seen at games.
from P.J. Stock of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
Well, if I’m a player or goalie or coach, I really don’t care about my first half as much as I do about my second half. You all want to know my first-half MVP and all that jazz? Well, instead, I’m going to go on a limb and give you who I think will be the eventual winners of these major awards.
You win nothing in the first half and all will be forgotten if your team doesn’t make the playoffs, just ask Jarome Iginla.
Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the year)
Winner: Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks
Runner-up: Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
Who I’d like to see win it: Blake Wheeler, Boston Bruins, or Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Norris Trophy (best defenceman)
Winner: Nick Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
You have to knock out the champ and he’s still standing.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Brian Burke has the list.
He knows the teams that Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle will waive his no-trade clause to go to.
Burke knows that Kaberle wants to stay in the Eastern Conference.
Burke also knows that Kaberle would prefer to stay in Toronto and failing an offer that stops Burke in his tracks, keeping Kaberle may make the most sense.
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today Patrick Sharp will miss 2-3 weeks with a lower-body injury and Nikolai Khabibulin will not travel with Chicago on their Florida road swing.
The Atlanta Thrashers have traded defenceman Mathieu Schneider to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for second and third round picks.
Schneider previously played for the Canadiens from the 1989-90 season to the 1994-95 campaign.
added 3:15pm, from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
For the Thrashers, the deal clears salary and helps the team stockpile draft picks. Considering that just a few months ago, Atlanta traded spare parts Ken Klee and Brad Larsen to Anaheim for Schneider, getting multiple draft picks is a good return. It’s GM Don Waddell’s belief that there will be teams looking to clear salary this summer and by getting additional draft picks now, he puts the Thrashers in position to acquire some of that talent. One of just a few sellers at this point in the season, the Thrashers could still be active after this deal. Waddell is getting calls about Niclas Havelid and there would be a strong market for Colby Armstrong if the Thrashers decide to move him…
added 3:30pm, via the Montreal Canadiens,
“We were looking for a defenseman who could contribute offensively. Mathieu, an experienced player with a lot of offensive upside, will bring depth to our core group of defensemen and will be an asset on our powerplay,” said Bob Gainey.
from David Droschak of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
No matter what sport you pick, players with special defensive skills are often overlooked when it comes to Hall of Fame balloting. A defensive second baseman like Bill Mazeroski, regarded as the best glove man to play his position in baseball history, was overlooked for years by Hall voters for guys who couldn’t field at lick but belted homers or hit for average.
Same is true for NHL defensemen. Point men on the power play, who pile up gaudy offensive stats, often come away with the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.
So, where does a player like Glen Wesley fit into his generation of defensemen?
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So what do the league’s GMs do (they decide on the award)? Well, if Columbus pushes its way into the playoffs (the Blue Jackets were among three teams tied for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference on Monday morning), the award has to go to rookie Steve Mason….
Who else? Evgeni Nabokov, a finalist last season, should get some love, but it’s almost as though the Sharks are so good his play will get overlooked. Miikka Kiprusoff plays every night and the Flames are back in as Cup contenders, with the goalie leading the league in wins.
read on and other topics discussed…
NEW YORK (Feb. 16, 2009) —New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parise, Calgary Flames center Matthew Lombardi and Atlanta Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Feb. 15.
from Ben Wright of Blueland Blog,
The LA Kings are holding a series of heritage nights throughout the season and tonight’s game against the Thrashers happens to be part of Armenian Heritage Night in LA. Why tonight? Because as far as anyone has been able to determine, Zach Bogosian is the first NHL player of Armenian heritage. To mark the occasion Zach decided to talk about his heritage in another blog post.
It’s pretty special for the Kings to have Armenian Heritage Night while I’m playing there. My grandparents are Armenian and that part of my background is really important to me, because even though I’m not from there it’s always good to go back to your roots and understand where you came from. Plus it’s special to my family so it’s special to me. I’m pretty proud to be Armenian, and there are a lot of them out in LA, so my grandfather is really excited about it. I think there’s something like 2 million of them in the LA area, which is crazy since there are only about three million people that actually live in Armenia.
continued and great job Zach!
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.
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