Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Somehow, the sixth-place Rangers are only four points ahead of the ninth-place Sabres, though they do hold a game in hand on Buffalo. Somehow, the Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives following last night’s 3-0, empty-net-abetted defeat here to the Lightning.
Somehow? Here’s how: The power play, even more pathetic last night than usual while going 0-for-3, is operating without purpose, confidence or competent play from the point, yet coach Tom Renney refuses to adjust his personnel….
Somehow? Here’s how: Despite diminishing returns from veterans Martin Straka and Brendan Shanahan, Renney opted against a rest-and-replenishment night for either, even with three games in four nights coming up this week beginning with Tuesday’s Garden match against the Penguins that will be followed by games in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Senators can buy out goalie Ray Emery between June 15 and June 30 at one-third of the $6.75 million left on the last two years of his deal. That would be spread out over four years, or $562,000 each year on the cap. Bet on them doing it.
much more NHL talk…
via the LA Times,
“I don’t think we’re happy about it,” (Scott) Niedermayer said of the suspension. “It’s not something you want to have happen for sure. But, again, Chris is a guy that plays an intense game. And we know that. I’m sure he’s said this before that he’s not going to change the way he plays.
“I personally think the incident was a lot different than a lot of incidents that happen. It was just a quick reaction that could be viewed in many, many ways.”
Said goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere: “You know Pronger is a competitor and sometimes he gets emotionally involved in the game. These things happen. That’s not to defend what he did. But we’ll have to accept the consequences and move forward.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
It’s really going to be up to Babcock to decide if he wants to stay with the Wings. He holds the option on the last year of his contract, which means he has the hammer in negotiations.
At this point, it doesn’t seem likely Babcock will leave the Motor City, but things could change if the club underachieves in the playoffs this spring.
If Babcock, 45, were to become available, Senators GM/coach Bryan Murray would almost certainly have an interest in speaking to him.
read on an many more NHL bits…
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Chris Simon and those close to him, including current and former teammates, are disgusted and outraged over Chris Pronger’s eight game exile that is dwarfed by the 30 games Simon was banished for following a similar stomping incident in December.
The NHL understands the outpouring of emotion and predicted as much, but will say while acts appear similar; the intent is what defines the difference.
It is over and done, time to move on in my opinion.
from Jamie Baker at Seagate Broadcaster Blog (before the suspension came down),
I haven’t seen the video of Chris Prongor who allegedly stomped on Ryan Kesler. I do know this however; Prongor is sending a message to everyone that he means business. I know fans love to hate him, but the reality is he tries to hurt players. Teams have a few options for this type of intimidating tactic. One, complain to the league and say Prongor does not inhibit sportsmanship. Two, go after Prongor. Three, go after someone else on the Ducks, say Getzlaf or Kunitz or Scott Niedermeyer.
The National Hockey League has handed Anaheim Ducks defenceman Chris Pronger an eight-game suspension for stomping on Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler in a game Wednesday night.
The team has nine games remaining in the regular season, starting Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues. He is eligible to return for the team’s final game on Apr. 6 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Update 3:07pm ET: From the LA Times,
“I’d like to apologize to Ryan Kesler, the Vancouver Canucks, my teammates, and the National Hockey League for my actions last Wednesday night,” Pronger said in a statement. “While I did not intend to injure Ryan, I respect the league’s decision on this matter and look forward to returning to the ice and leading my teammates into the playoffs.”
Update 3:13pm ET: From the CP via Hockey.com,
“In attempting to free himself, Pronger carelessly and recklessly brought his foot down,” Campbell said in a statement.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Pronger is considered a repeat offender. He will forfeit US$609,756.08 in salary. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Note: video and previous commentary here.
Former Montreal Canadiens defenceman and Hockey Hall of Famer Kenny Reardon has passed away after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 86.
Reardon played seven seasons with the Canadiens between 1940 and 1950, scoring 122 points in 341 games.
He played his first two seasons with Montreal before enlisting with the Canadian Army in 1942 for the Second World War. He returned to Canada in 1945 and rejoined the Canadiens.
Playing with greats like Maurice Richard, Toe Blake, Elmer Lach and Emile Bouchard, Reardon helped the Canadiens win two Stanley Cups. He was also selected to the NHL’s First All-Star Team twice and the Second All-Star Team three times in his career.
From Scott Cruickshank at the Calgary Herald,
“I still feel that I can play in the NHL, that I can help a team,” says Gauthier, a six-foot-three, 224-pounder. “This is not the end. I’ll be back. I just want to play in the NHL. It’s tough to be told that you’re an NHL defenceman, but you can’t play in the NHL.” Out of training camp, the Philadelphia Flyers, flush with high-priced personnel (including his Drummondville junior teammate Daniel Briere), needed cap relief. So they shoved Gauthier and his salary—$2.1 million US—across the parking lot, to the Spectrum, headquarters of the Philadelphia Phantoms.
Which marooned Gauthier in the minors for the first time in a decade.
more… *a detailed look at Denis Gauthier’s ‘greatest hits’
from On the Islanders Beat,
Indeed, Campbell is the one who set the bar. If the league’s attorneys are doing their job, the suspension should be in the same ballpark as what Simon received for his last two incidents. If it falls significantly short, then, Simon’s agent, Larry Kelly, should file suit to reclaim the difference his client lost in salary compared to Pronger.
from Russo’s Rants,
...league disciplinarian Colin Campbell said, “While it was fortunate there was no serious injury to Mr. Ruutu as a result of Simon’s action, the deliberate act of kicking an opponent with an exposed skate blade, especially where the opponent is in a vulnerable position, is and always has been a repugnant and totally unacceptable act in the game of hockey.
“In addition, while the act itself was extremely dangerous, the fact that this is the eighth incident requiring the imposition of supplementary discipline on Simon compelled me to impose a very severe penalty in this case.”
Today we’ll find out how “repugnant and totally unacceptable” it is when Chris Pronger is the perpetrator. And by the way, Pronger has suspended seven times.
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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