Kukla's Korner Hockey
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled defensemen Bryan Helmer and forward Andrew Gordon from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
Helmer, 36, is a 6’1”, 215-pound 16-year pro from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He is the Bears captain and is the active AHL games played (894) and assists (361) leader. The undrafted Helmer, No. 43 with Washington, has 11 assists in 25 AHL games with year. He was recently named captain for the Canadian team in next month’s AHL All-Star Classic. This is Helmer’s second recall of the year, as he recorded one assist in six games with the Capitals from Nov. 28 – Dec. 10. He has 24 points (8g-16a) in 140 career NHL games with Washington, Phoenix, Vancouver and St. Louis.
Gordon, 23, is a 6’0”, 185-pound second-year pro from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has 20 points (10g-10a) in 30 AHL games this year and is one of only four Bears to have double-digit goals and assists. Gordon has two game-winning goals and has tallied at least one point in 15 games this season.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
...there’s a good chance that if Wheeler (11-9 -20, plus-19 in 33 games) continues to produce at his current rate, he’ll earn some extra cash to tack onto his $875,000 base pay.
Wheeler is in line to hit three $212,500 Individual A bonuses: scoring at least 20 goals, finishing among the top three Bruins in plus-minus, and making the All-Rookie Team. Wheeler is on pace to score 27 goals. He is second on the team in plus-minus, trailing only Marc Savard (plus-20). Among rookies, Wheeler is tied with Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski with 20 points, trailing Columbus’s Derick Brassard (25), Chicago’s Kris Versteeg (25), and St. Louis’s Patrik Berglund (21). Brassard dislocated his shoulder last Thursday and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
more on the Bruins
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
The Oilers have an abundance of young, skilled, play-making future stars but they clearly haven’t found a goal scorer to go with Ales Hemsky, are still seriously short on guts and remain at the bottom of the league in penalty killing and faceoffs. There’s been a serious shortage of will and willingness to compete. Some of the veterans aren’t as safe as they were at this time last year.
There’s no need for Eric Cole to remain here playing on the third line or that he’ll have a future fitting in on the first two. If you’re scoring Lowe is oh-for-three trying to find Hemsky a mate.
First there was Joffrey Lupul. Dustin Penner keeps getting chances and keeps failing to claim the spot. And getting right winger Cole to play with right winger Hemsky didn’t work either. Next.
from Brent Jang of the Globe and Mail,
(Peter) Pocklington, who’s now 67, is trying to keep things in perspective. Having hundreds of familiar and valuable possessions seized isn’t driving him to distraction, he insists.
“I don’t want to get involved in the public again. You never win. It’s ‘he said, you said.’ I don’t really give a shit what people say any more. I really don’t care. You can write whatever the hell you want. Thirty or 40 years from now, who gives a shit,” he says. “With all the shit that I’ve been through in my life, I don’t really mind. I’m not a bitter person. People who are bitter end up having heart attacks. That’s why I’m healthy at my age. I don’t internalize things.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
After Ottawa finishes an eight-game, season-defining road trip—which begins tonight in Philadelphia—fans will pretty much know where their team stands.
While Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says the media will be calling it a miracle turnaround when his team vaults into the top four in the Eastern Conference by March, it’s these next eight games that will determine what kind of miracles this team can perform.
After tonight’s game against the Flyers, the Senators will get a two-day Christmas break before heading to Western Canada for games in Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton.
After returning home for New Year’s, the Senators, who are being displaced by the world juniors, will hit the road for four more (Toronto, New Jersey, Buffalo and Boston).
In pursuit of a playoff spot or in pursuit of a lottery pick? It could go either way.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Rangers need Gomez to be much better. There have been far too many haphazard passes to nowhere, far too many turnovers.
Gomez is holding on to the puck way too long. His instincts appear to have become hazy.
Not everybody is going to play the same way as Patrik Elias and Brian Gionta, Gomez’s linemates in New Jersey with whom he had brilliant chemistry, but it is on the centerman to make it work with Naslund and Zherdev.
Gomez turns 29 today. He’s the team’s seventh-eldest.
It’s a long way from his tenure as a Devil during which he had people like Claude Lemieux, Scott Stevens, Randy McKay and Ken Daneyko to learn from and lean on.
Now, ready or not, Gomez is at the head of the class.
You make the call and Tony of The Confluence has brought the subject up too.
from Russo’s Rants,
Assistant GM Tom Lynn said Marc-Andre Bergeron, who leads the Wild defensemen with 16 points, is out a matter of “weeks, not days,” due to a lower-body injury. He didn’t want to peg an exact time frame, but obviously it’ll be into the New Year. Defenseman Erik Reitz will take Bergeron’s spot in the lineup, and with Kurtis Foster still a ways from returning, you can bet this puts a halt on any possible trading of one of the Wild defensemen….
Lynn also said Marian Gaborik will be managing his injury for at least a month. So he’ll be judging his own discomfort and decide when he needs to take a practice off or leave practice early. Lynn said that’s normal, and with only one back-to-back before Jan. 19-20 games, Lynn feels Gaborik should be fine to play every game (unless of course there’s an aggravation).
read on for more on the Wild and the Gaborik to Atlanta rumor…
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
The economy is bad and could get even worse.
Even many fans who would have been willing to dig deep into their pockets were unable or unwilling to get to the Devils’ past two home games because of snowstorms.
Still, Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek remains optimistic fans will support a team that has been surprisingly resilient on the ice and that the club will be profitable for a second straight season in the Prudential Center.
“The health of the Devils is fine,” Vanderbeek told The Star-Ledger Monday. “Certainly we saw the light (financially) last year, but we need to continue to grow. I haven’t seen specific numbers, but I think our attendance is just a touch up (from last year at this point). I think the prospects are good.”
The Flames, Panthers, Hurricanes and Coyotes climb as the Blue Jackets and Oilers slide in this week’s edition of the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings.
2. San Jose
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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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