Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• The Pittsburgh Penguins will probably let their best defender, Sergei Gonchar, walk in July as a free-agent because he’ll be 36 and they’re not giving him $5 million a year for three years. They will make due with Kris Letang, although he’s looking for $4 million, and Alex Goligoski. They have cap issues, like all teams, but can easily dump Ruslan Fedotenko and/or Matt Cooke in the summer to free up some money.
• Do you think the free-spirited Maxim Afinogenov would be on the Russian Olympic team if he hadn’t signed in Atlanta and found himself on Ilya Kovachuk’s line? Me, neither.
from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,
Ryan Getzlaf suffered a cut on his right leg that required several stitches to fix. The injury is not believed to be serious but it could affect Getzlaf’s availability for Tuesday’s home game against Minnesota, though the center remains hopeful.
Getzlaf, their leading scorer with 41 points, said he cut himself with his other skate as he fell awkwardly to the ice.
“Obviously the main focus is the muscle and that everything’s OK there,’ he said. “Right now it’s just a deep cut. There’s definitely some healing to do but I think we’re talking days instead of weeks.”
more on the Ducks loss to the Sharks…
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
The Coyotes won their ninth consecutive home game Saturday night, stopping the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 at Jobing.com Arena in front of a crowd that appeared to number about 15,000.
The streak equaled the home franchise record set in the 1992-93 season by the Winnipeg Jets.
The Coyotes are 11-2 in their past 13 at home and 15-5 overall.
They reached the 50-point plateau after 39 games, as goalie Ilya Bryzgalov picked up his 22nd win of the season. Bryzgalov won his 10th in a row at home.
more on the game last night…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
It was the decade that contained the only canceled season in the history of North American big league sports. There is no reference to 2004-05, or to the lockout, or to the CBA, or to the NHLPA, or to Gary Bettman in this review. This review is about what transpired on the ice, not off it:...
Best NHL Free-Agent Signings:
1. Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim, 2005
2. Chris Osgood, Detroit, 2005
3. Michael Nylander, Rangers, 2004
4. Marc Savard, Boston, 2006
5.Zdeno Chara, Boston, 2006.
Tonight not a goalie, but Darren Helm of the Detroit Red Wings.
from Jerry Green at the Detroit News,
This is not the best Red Wings team of recent vintage. It is not the dominant team in the NHL any more. With Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Andreas Lilja, Valtteri Filppula, Danny Cleary, Jason Williams, Niklas Kronwall, Darren Helm and Brian Rafalski having missed games because of injuries or illness, the Wings continue to play competitive hockey. They have lost some 150 man-games this season, yet have a winning record. They have been forced to load up with fill-in players from Grand Rapids.
They play hurt. Just hockey players.
That’s guts, or courage—a trait for which I have huge admiration.
And when I watch these modern guys, my old nostalgia syndrome begins to purr.
Also, in case you missed it, the Wings have recalled Mattias Ritola tonight. Not sure if there is an injury we are not aware of or just a move the Wings wanted to make.
via Helene Elliott at the Fabulous Forum,
The official word from the Kings on right wing Justin Williams, who was carried off the ice on a stretcher early in the first period Saturday after injuring his right leg, is that he has a lower-body injury.
What were the odds that would be the official announcement?
The idea of teams being vague about injuries is understandable on some level. Teams don’t want to be specific because they fear an opponent might poke at it when that player returns.
But Williams was carried off on a stretcher, won’t return tonight and will be re-evaluated tomorrow. A bit more information would be appropriate in this instance because the stretcher leads to thoughts of horrible injuries—and that might not be the case.
update 8:30am 12/27/09, Broken leg for Williams. Watch video below…
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
Vincent Lecavalier is the highest-paid player in the league this year at $10 million. The Lightning center signed a monster contract based on previous production and potential for more, but he had only six goals and 26 points in his first 32 games before he had three goals and seven points in a five-game hot streak.
Carolina center Eric Staal has a $6 million salary for this season on a contract in which he’ll average $8.25 million. He was sixth on the NHL’s worst team in goals (six), fourth in points (19) and sixth-worst in plus-minus (minus-10). In all three categories, he’s behind Jussi Jokinen, who is making $1.5 million.
Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, usually mentioned in the same breath in these parts, are together for their ineffectiveness. I’ll go to my grave — hey, don’t get any ideas — believing the Sabres should have kept them for $10.3 million combined because they were terrific here with the right chemistry and ideal circumstances.
Pierre LeBrun on the HNIC Hotstove states Alexander Semin of the Capitals will have a new, one year contract announced very soon.
Contract is between $5-6 million.
added 8:56pm, from Sports Network at KTVU,
The Washington Capitals signed right wing Alexander Semin to a one-year contract extension on Saturday.
Washington general manager George McPhee confirmed during Saturday’s game against New Jersey that the 25-year-old Semin, whose current deal was set to expire at the end of the season, agreed to the extension.
added 10:07pm Tarik El-Bashir says $6M is the contract.
Read Washington Capitals release below…
from Judy Hevrdejs of the Chicago Tribune,
At the moment, though, Toews is sitting in his new condo, 30-plus floors above the hustle and grind and noise of the city on a cafe au lait-toned sectional, its long, comfortable stretches big enough for his 6-foot-2-inch, 210-pound frame.
The sofa — its view-blocking chaise relegated to another room by Toews — faces a 12-foot-tall wall of windows, offering up picture-perfect vistas of Trump Tower, the Wrigley Building, the Chicago River, Navy Pier and Lake Michigan.
“It’s kind of like your cave on top of the world with a view,” says Toews (pronounced tayvz). “It’s all very modern, it’s new, it’s young. I just really felt it fit my personality.”
It’s also quiet, peaceful and big — three bedrooms, three baths, 2,700 square feet — big enough for family and close friends. And exactly what the Chicago Blackhawks’ captain — one of the youngest in NHL history — wanted when he searched for his first home.
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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