Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
We all expect Ilya Kovalchuk to leave when his contract expires after the 2010 season, but there’s no need for Don Waddell to wait. The general manager should clear the air that befogs his last-place team. He should trade Kovalchuk now.
Kovalchuk has flashed past the point of diminishing returns. He has averaged 42 goals over his first six seasons; he’s on pace to score 24. He has averaged 3.7 shots per game over those six seasons; he’s averaging 2.8 shots now. He’s playing like a man who wants to be elsewhere.
from Drew Rememda of the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
You people in the chatrooms make me laugh. Not like you’re a clown, here to amuse me.. but I’m just saying…All I did last night (Tuesday) was opine that the NHL culture of defending a teammate that has been dropped by a perfectly clean bodycheck, 100% within the rules of the game is curious even ridiculous. The incident that was my jumping off point was Luke Schenn hammering Tomas Plihall right at the end of the game with a perfectly clean hit. A hit that Tomas called “great”. Marcel Goc rushed to confront Schenn and a small pushing and shoving match ensued. I questioned the legitimacy of Goc’s reaction.
I had the debate with Jeremy Roenick this morning at Sharks Ice. Just a note we didn’t yell, insult or question each others manhood. My basic question. Do you need to confront or fight every player who delivers a clean hit to a teammate?
In my daily tour around the web, I noticed many Canes fans are not very open to the hiring of Paul Maurice as coach of the Carolina Hurricanes. David at Red and Black Hockey at KK gave his views and following is another.
from Joe Ovies of the Blog at 850theBuzz,
Maurice might be considered a good coach in hockey circles, but he is the depressing face of what hockey used to be in the Triangle for too many loyal fans. Laviolette, in combination with Rutherford’s shrewd roster moves heading into the lockout, ushered in a new era. The organization can’t go back, but they managed to turn back the clock.
The reasons to fire Laviolette now are no different than they were during the summer, expect now the Canes put themselves in an odd position of choosing the next coach out of a shallow pool. They end up with Maurice because he’s “family”, not named Barry Melrose, and most importantly, willing to sign on without a long-term contract.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Sources tell TSN that Avery’s personal publicist reached out to the Stars’ organization first thing Wednesday morning in an effort to get Avery an audience with his teammates so he could apologize to them.
The Stars made it clear to Avery’s representative that the door was not open for that to happen at this time and perhaps not at all.
The Stars, it would seem, are not in the mood for reconciliation. The Avery-inflicted wounds - in the dressing room, in the coaches’ offices, in the front office and the ownership suite - are just too raw and fresh at this point. And they may never heal to the point to allow him a way back in.
more and with this story, I am closing the Avery talk. I have had enough and until something official comes out from either the Stars or the NHL, no more Avery talk from me. Perhaps I should turn my attention to Sundin non-news?
added 7:38pm, via Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
“I would like to sincerely apologize for my off-color remarks to the press yesterday from Calgary,” said a statement obtained by SportingNews.com.
“I should not have made those comments and I recognize that they were inappropriate. It was a bad attempt to build excitement for the game, but I am now acutely aware of how hurtful my actions were. I caused unnecessary embarrassment to my peers as well as people I have been close with in the past.
“I apologize for offending the great fans of the NHL, the Commissioner, my teammates, my coaching staff and the Dallas Stars Management and Ownership. As many of you know, I like to mix it up on and off the ice from time to time, but understand that this time I took it too far.”
NHL Local Ratings Box Score
• The Washington Capitals‘ ratings are up 140% compared to a year ago, thanks in part to reigning NHL MVP, Alex Olvechkin, continuing his great play and leading the Caps to first place in the Southeast division.
• The Chicago Blackhawks are televising all of their regular season home games for the first time, and viewers are responding to their exciting young team with a 71% boost in average ratings from last season.
• Not only are the San Jose Sharks on top of their division, they also have an impressive 50% increase over last season’s ratings in the SF-SJ-OAK Market..
more team ratings…
Thanks to Capitals Insider for the pointer.
via On The Fly at PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,
Flyers center Danny Briere will be sidelined for the next four-to-five weeks with a groin strain, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
Briere left last night’s 4-3 overtime win over Tampa Bay after the second period. Prior to that game, he had missed the 14 of the previous 16 games with various injuries.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Gary Bettman’s decision to indefinitely suspend Avery pending a hearing tomorrow in New York is extraordinary, unprecedented, and most importantly, an abuse of power that the NHLPA must vigorously oppose even if a vast majority of its membership would just as soon see Page Six Sean receive a dishonorable discharge from the NHL.
This suspension must be challenged in an independent forum where the burden of proof would be placed on the commissioner to demonstrate that saying the words “sloppy seconds” represents “[conduct] detrimental to [the NHL] or the game of hockey,” as Bettman is claiming in citing the language in By-Law 17 and Article 6 of the NHL constitution as grounds for imposing discipline.
You do know there is a very simple solution to all of this? Stars waive Avery, he clears, spends a few weeks in the minors. Stars recall Sean, he gets picked up by Calgary. Case settled!!!
“It’s ridiculous we’re even talking about this, because our game is about great people doing great things and yet the attention our game is getting today in the U.S. is over this.’‘
-Wings coach Mike Babcock on the Avery issue. More comments from the Wings from Ansar Khan of Mlive.
from Jesse Campigotto of CBC Sports,
NHL players are working overtime like never before to earn their six-, seven- and eight-figure salaries. Through Friday, 89 of the 333 games (26.7 per cent) played this season required more than 60 minutes to decide a winner.
That’s a notable increase from each of the three seasons following the 2004-05 lockout, when shootouts were introduced to settle contests still knotted through overtime. In those campaigns, the rate of games going to OT hovered between 22.1 and 22.8 per cent.
So what, right? More overtime equals more excitement. More fun. More hockey for your hard-earned (and, given the sickly state of the TSX, increasingly precious) dollars. Plus, you don’t exactly see fans filing for the exits before the start of a shootout.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
“Had the league not have suspended him, the Dallas Stars would have,” Hicks said. “This organization will not tolerate such behavior, especially from a member of our hockey team. We hold our team to a higher standard and will continue to do so.”
To which I say: Give me a break. You’re telling me Hicks hadn’t heard a word about Avery’s penchant for classlessness before he approved the $15.5 million over four years?
Count Hicks as another hypocritical, clueless owner. He had no problems with Avery in July, despite the long list of behavior issues. Now, the Stars have a higher standard.
So, if the Stars are so mortified by Avery and want to be done with him, what’s next?
How about a Rangers reunion?
read on and would you want Avery to be a member of your team, vote below…
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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