Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Still, with the Rangers New York Rangers having needs that now include the ability to play with poise under pressure, what would Henrik Lundqvist Henrik Lundqvist think if Brendan Shanahan Brendan Shanahan somehow suddenly walked through the door into the locker room?
“I don’t want this to be taken as a sign of disrespect to anyone, because I believe in the group we have here now, but I like Brendan a lot, he helped me and our team a lot, and I would definitely welcome him back,” Lundqvist told The Post following yesterday’s up-tempo practice. “But it’s hard to say what the impact would be, because we’re a different team than the one he left.
“I look at that the same way I did when there was the chance that Mats [Sundin] would come here. Mats and Brendan are two players who know what it takes, and I think any team with the cap space would love to have either, but you don’t know how adding players like that in the middle of the season would affect team chemistry.
“I’m not saying we need it, but sometimes change is good. But it doesn’t do any good to talk about players who aren’t on our team,” said The King, who will face the Devils tonight at the Garden.
from Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
The Thrashers aren’t merely the 28th-ranked team in a 30-team league. They are a mediocre, even if hard-working, bunch put together with the primary objective of losing as little money as possible. The roster screams it. The payroll confirms it. Nobody denies it.
A franchise can’t possibly send a worse message to an already dwindling fan base.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where we sit in salaries in the league,” general manager Don Waddell said before Friday’s loss to Carolina — and it should be noted here that while he didn’t shirk responsibility for the way this team has devolved, it always helps to spread the blame….
All of the problems obviously can’t be attributed to finances. Most of the problems can be traced back to year one. Waddell was here, the Spirit wasn’t. Even in budget-crunching times, a general manager can make things work to a degree if there’s a solid foundation. Waddell poured the foundation. It hasn’t been just about bad drafts or miscalculations in personnel. It’s mostly about never having a successful plan, a structure, an identity.
Nick Lidstrom did not appear after the first period in tonight’s game in Nashville.
Word is he is out for the rest of the game with a lower body injury.
edit 9:54pm, Nick did play about a minute in the 2nd period, then went to the locker room.
added 11:05pm, SnapShots has all the details and in summary, nothing major, xrays were negative and Nick could play either tomorrow or the next game.
Seems Lidstrom took a shot to the foot and had discomfort in skating.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
I’ve had a zillion dreams involving the Avs. They happen all the time. In many of them, I’ve been an actual player on the team. And it felt so real . I’m usually a fourth-liner, but I’m out there playing, hearing the crowd, talking with teammates on the bench. For about an hour every so often in my sleep, I’m an actual NHL player, literally and figuratively living the dream. It’s wonderful. It’s a major bummer when I wake up, therefore, and go back to being a 40-something newspaper hack with a bad back and an ambien habit.
So last night, here are scenes from the dream factory, and I’ll just tell them in the same scattershot manner in which they happened and that I have of them now: I’m at a game between the Avs and Red Wings - in Sweden. The Avs win 1-0 on a goal in the last couple minutes, but I missed it, because I’m trying to get online in the press room of a foreign country and things aren’t working right…
from Chris Foster of the LA Times,
(Drew) Doughty, the second overall pick in June, walked out of the Ontario Hockey League in spring and into the Kings’ lineup in fall. He logs 25 minutes a game, showing sleight-of-hand skills handling the puck and a he-shoots-he-scores ability from the blue line.
Such a package needed to be handled with care. Where to store him away from the rink was easy. You can even set it to music.
The “I Love L.A.” life is handled by defenseman Matt Greene, who was asked to take in Doughty at his Hermosa Beach residence. The “On the Road Again” chore is handled by Dustin Brown, who rooms with Doughty on trips.
It’s a tag-team big brother setup that strays into parenting at times.
Said Brown: “He sleeps for hours. I have to make sure he gets out of bed and gets to the rink on time.”
Said Greene: “I have a five-second buffer that I employ with him. Just think before you talk.”
from George Richards of the Miami Herald, .
..Florida lost that night, 4-2 to the red-hot Boston Bruins. The Panthers were 7-11-1.
‘‘We had hit a crossroads in the season,’’ DeBoer said.
As soon as the team got back, Martin put enforcer Wade Belak on waivers. Players were shocked.
Belak, who had signed a two-year deal to stay with the team in the offseason, cleared waivers and was welcomed back. Then he was traded to Nashville.
The Panthers haven’t been the same since.
‘‘I didn’t have a problem with Wade; he worked hard every day and did his job,’’ DeBoer said before Florida beat Belak’s Predators 3-0 on Tuesday. ``But at that point of the season, we needed to shake things up. He was a casualty of that. He’s gone on and done good things for Nashville.
``We’ve turned our season around, but it wasn’t because of Wade Belak or because of that trade. That would be simplifying it a bit. But everyone on our team needed to be put on notice, know that status quo wasn’t going to be good enough.’‘
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
It is unfathomable that Petr Prucha Petr Prucha cannot get a chance to play for this team.
If Tom Renney doesn’t believe that Prucha is a more viable option on either wing for Brandon Dubinsky Brandon Dubinsky than Aaron Voros or Fred Sjostrom, then Glen Sather must either give Prucha away in a trade (if he can) or put him on waivers once the holiday roster freeze lifts at midnight tomorrow.
The Rangers simply cannot afford to plant a $1.6 million player in the press box every night. Deleting Prucha from the roster - if he clears waivers and both parties are amenable, Prucha could play in the Czech league rather than in Hartford, and perhaps for Martin Straka’s club in Pilzen - will open approximately $886,000 of cap space. The team needs it.
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
The B’s have about $43 million already locked up in 2009-10 contracts, leaving about $13 million open. It’s easy to see how the Thomas, Kessel, Krejci and Hunwick contracts will total, say, $14 million - which would leave no cash for other signings, like unrestricted free agent P.J. Axelsson.
Thomas declines comment on contract matters, but likely will be the first guy with a new deal. It will be interesting to see how high he aims. He has arguably been the Bruins’ MVP the last three seasons - while earning a total of just $3.3 million, which is the best bargain in the game. His age (35 next season) cuts his earning potential, but he should still command something like a three-year, $12 million pact.
The 21-year-old Kessel and 22-year-old Krejci are more difficult to peg.
from Mark Emmons of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The quickest explanation for why the Sharks (27-4-3) will face the Blues on Saturday night in the Scottrade Center with the NHL’s best record is this: They have become the mirror image of Detroit.
The Sharks hired Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan in the offseason, and the first-year coach has installed much of the same system that has helped make Detroit, well, Hockeytown.
But that’s not all. The Sharks might very well be bigger, stronger and faster than the vaunted Red Wings.
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Q. You’ve said you won’t trade Ilya Kovalchuk. Are there any other players you rule out trading?
A. There are some guys that I won’t trade, but I’m not going to get into the names. There are certainly some younger guys, and you can figure it out, that we want to continue to build around.
Q. What’s the first priority you’re looking for in a trade?
A. A centerman would be No. 1, but if it’s a player that’s going to make us a better team at this point, particularly a forward, we’ll look at pretty much anything.
Q. When do you start having to make a decision, is this a team that has a chance to make a run or is it time to look to the future?
A. The trade deadline’s March 4. In February we only have [five] home games. We have to put ourselves in position over the next five, six weeks. If we don’t, it’s going to be tough for us.
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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