Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun at Sporstnet,
Given Monday’s setback in Sweden when Forsberg left practice with the national team after feeling some discomfort in his right foot, who knows what it means for his NHL future?
Which brings things back to Sundin.
His contract is up after the season. He’s the perfect rental. Whether or not Sundin would want to leave Toronto and whether or not Ferguson would want to trade the big Swede is a question no one has the answer for at this point. Sundin insists he wants to win in Toronto and doesn’t want to leave. Time will tell.
from Kevin Kaduk of the Northwest Herald,
It didn’t take long Monday for Rocky Wirtz to answer the questions many of us have been wanting to ask for about, oh, the past two decades or so.
At any point, did he ever set dear old Dad down for a talk about TV and its magical ability to provide a free three-hour commercial for his product, Chicago Blackhawks hockey?
And did he ever try to argue against the archaic notion that televising home games would hurt the turnstile count?
He had to have said something, right?
“Absolutely,” Wirtz said of his father, Bill, who died in September. “And it usually started and stopped about there.”
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Melrose credits the structure created by coach Ken Hitchcock, the commitment of the players and the goaltending of Leclaire as the major factors in the Blue Jackets’ turnaround. Several national hockey pundits expressed similar opinions about a team that began yesterday with the NHL’s third-best record.
“I don’t think anyone can truly say they saw this coming,” said Brian Engblom, an analyst for the Versus television network and a former Blue Jackets television color commentator.
from the Edmonton Sun,
Last night Raffi Torres played his 201st consecutive regular-season game for the Edmonton Oilers. It’s a streak that dates back to Feb. 21, 2004 and is currently the 16th longest in franchise history.
“I don’t know what the secret is,” said Torres prior to facing the Minnesota Wild.
“I’m just going out there and trying to play the same game every night. It’s not like I’m playing a shy game or anything like that, I guess I’ve just been fortunate to stay healthy for such a long time.”
from the Ottawa Sun,
“I would feel real good leaving next year and see them win the Stanley Cup,” he said, sarcastically.
So, with that in mind, Redden admitted to Sun Media he would consider taking a pay cut from his current $6.5 million salary to stay….
Redden has no idea how much he’s willing to leave on the table to stay and be a part of what is going on here. He’ll have to talk to Meehan about that, he said. But that should be encouragement enough for Senators GM Bryan Murray to be proactive—as he has been so far—to keep Redden.
Update 12:42pm ET: (Alanah) Some Senators/Redden salary cap math from Mike Chen a few days ago.
from Fire & Ice, Devils Coach Brent Sutter after a 5-0 loss to the Penguins last night….
“Our effort was brutal outside of our goaltenders. If it wasn’t for the goalies, it probably would have been 8-0 or 9-0. To me, tonight was a total lack of professionalism by our commitment as individuals and as a group, our preparation for how to play. It’s totally unacceptable.
“I will not accept that. That’s not even close. That’s players’ accountability to the front of that jersey.”
from Ross McKeon of Yahoo,
Maybe they lack flair or style. Maybe they’re soft-spoken and surrounded by more recognizable stars. For whatever reason, every team has them – underrated players who show up every night and make a difference.
With input from a number of traveling hockey writers, here’s the player who earns the underrated label for each team.
Montreal Canadiens: Mark Streit – A late-bloomer who hails from Switzerland, the smooth-skating defenseman didn’t join the Canadiens until he was 27 years old.
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
“That’s the reason why I’m here,” said Kovalchuk, speaking of Waddell. “He brought me to this country and drafted me No. 1. When he’s behind the bench, it’s a little bit special for me.”
“It goes back to the first time he was in town [for an interview before the 2001 draft],” Waddell said. “I basically kidnapped him. He had his agent with him and I had one of our PR guys, and they went to the bathroom and I said, ‘You take the agent; I’ll take Kovy.’ I’ve watched him grow up, not just as a player but as a person.”
Note: Earlier transcript of Kovalchuk interview here
from the CP,
Gillett said that despite the rising value of the loonie, the NHL’s salary cap will keep the team’s payroll in check.
But a stronger dollar allows the hockey club to spend aggressively and continue to build with younger players and supplement with free agents.
“No matter what happens with the exchange rate, up or down, we’re going to spend aggressively toward the cap,” he said.
from the CP,
The NHL handed out 230 fighting majors through Sunday (201 games), up from 167 through the same number of games last year. All around the league, tough guys are taking names and leaving lumps.
The surge in fisticuffs early this season flies into the face of what had been happening. Fights have steadily gone down the last few years, especially after the lockout. In fact, this year’s pace is still behind the pre-lockout numbers. There were 299 fighting majors handed out in 2003-04 through the same number of games.
But the numbers are back up this season.
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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