Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dan Martin of the NY Post,
Brendan Shanahan Brendan Shanahan skated with his new Devils New Jersey Devils teammates for the first time yesterday in Columbus and came away impressed.
“I like what I saw,” Shanahan said after officially signing with the team he came up with over two decades ago. He agreed in principle with the Devils on Saturday after being unable to rejoin the Rangers earlier in the year. “It’s definitely a Lou Lamoriello-built team.”
Now, Shanahan and the Devils just have to figure out when he can make his season debut after sitting out nearly half of the season waiting for the right opportunity to come along.
“It’s day-to-day,” Shanahan said. “I want to get right out there, but they didn’t sign me just to play a few games in mid-January and then get hurt.”
from Lightning Strikes,
Perhaps rallying is a little too strong, but there certainly is a sense in the locker room that the players, who have listened to the trade rumors involving Vinny Lecavalier, would rather the core group not be disrupted, especially now that they believe they are starting to come together with a 7-4-1 streak.
Said forward Ryan Craig: “We’re all teammates. We don’t want to see anyone from our group go, especially our leader and captain.”
Said goaltender Mike Smith: “These are our brothers in here. This is our family. We don;t want to see anything happen to our core group. ... To even think about trading a guy like that I don’t know. He’s the face of this franchise. He’s been here since he’s 18 years old.”
from Flames Insider,
“They’re a top team in the league and they’re so good at home,” said Kiprusoff, who made 33 stops, “so I think it’s a good confidence-booster for us. We’ve been able to beat them twice now (Calgary was a 5-2 winner on Jan. 6 at the Saddledome) and we know we can battle against those top teams.”
Now that Calgary is 18-4-3 in its last 25 games and has fashioned a nine-point lead over Vancouver—with three games in hand—atop the Northwest Division, have the Flames done enough to move in the same neighbourhood as the Sharks and Red Wings without making it necessary for the blue-bloods to call the cops and shoo away the riffraff?
“Well, I think we’re getting there,” said centre Daymond Langkow, who collected two points in the victory. “We’re taking the right steps. But the last thing you want to do is start thinking you’re better than you are….”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
With the team possibly looking at losses of nearly $30 million this season, the situation is dire. But there are still many cards to be played before this team would be relocated:
These factors are all important in determining the fate of this franchise:
• The league is not considering, and has no plans, for folding the franchise or contracting the league. There’s no secret plan for a dispersal draft of Phoenix players.
• Commissioner Gary Bettman’s history has always been that moving franchises is only the last resort. That showed most recently during the sale of the Nashville Predators and during the Pittsburgh Penguins’ negotiations for a new arena.
from Chip Alexander of Canes Now,
While saying the decision to fire Peter Laviolette as the Hurricanes coach was made by general manager Jim Rutherford, team owner Peter Karmanos said today he approved of the move.
“I didn’t like our coach,” Karmanos said. “His public persona and his private persona were two different things.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The last time we checked in on the Columbus Blue Jackets for you puckheads was about a month ago, when we predicted dire things for the NHL club after it lost sensational rookie center Derick Brassard.
Ah, the egg is on your blogger’s face right now.
The Jackets have not only survived, but they have also found a way to gain traction in the tough Western Conference standings, sitting in the last playoff spot by one point before NHL action Thursday night.
And that’s despite losing Brassard to a season-ending shoulder injury along with a half-dozen other bodies for a period of time, including star winger Rick Nash. The Jackets have gone 7-3-0 in their last 10 games despite the injuries.
OK, time to move on…
added 4:39pm, from Lightning Strikes,
As for Lecavalier, the calm and cool one showed a few cracks.
“I signed with Tampa for 11 years thinking I’d be here,” he said. “Obviously, it was a big decision for me this summer. The people in Tampa have been great to me, the team, we won a Stanley Cup here. It’s definitely been a stressful few days. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. But right now, it’s just rumors. That’s all it is.”
added 5:18pm, from Bolts Report,
And until either Vinny comes out and say he has no desire to leave the franchise or Lawton says emphatically that Vinny won’t be traded, none of this is going to go away. And just think of the zoo that will await Lecavalier when he heads to Montreal next weekend for the All-Star game.
From Charlie Teljeur at The Hockey News:
Certainly the future of professional hockey in Arizona looks bleak. I guess an argument could be made about the viability of putting a team in the middle of the desert in the first place, but remember, this is the NHL and it’s about passion and fortitude, not logic, common sense or reality.
Instead of this grim, foreboding death watch, maybe it’s time to think positive about this thing. Perhaps we need to look at what hockey in Phoenix has to offer and not dwell on what it doesn’t. Enough space has been wasted on stupid material like pie charts, demographics and projections. What we need here is more blind optimism about this thing.
read on for some “blind optimism” (the drug-of-choice for every NHL fan, I dare say).
San Jose Head Coach Todd McLellan will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman.
The show is on now, from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208).
You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online once the show starts.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: email@example.com
**Archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.
Goaltender Curtis Sanford cleared waivers on Thursday and has been sent to Manitoba of the AHL
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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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