Kukla's Korner Hockey
There’s something almost unfair about Detroit’s immense depth. They have guys like Hossa, Zetterberg, Cleary, Franzen and Holmstrom, all-proven 20-goal threats, on the wing. The Penguins have… Petr Sykora and? Who? SIdney Crosby had Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis on his wings today. They’re fine third-line caliber player, but they shouldn’t be on a line with one of the world’s best players.
-Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters. More on the game including Seth’s unique live play-by-play blog.
BUFFALO, NY (February 8, 2009)—- Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that Thomas Vanek fractured his jaw when he was hit in the face with a puck during last night’s game vs. Ottawa. Vanek had successful surgery on his jaw today in Buffalo, and will be sidelined for at least 3-4 weeks.
Last night, Kelly Hrudey during the Coast to Coast segment on HNIC talked goaltending. I watched it live and thought Kelly had some great insight on the goaltending position and was left wanting more from Kelly.
Price, Luongo and Osgood were discussed but if you are interested in the goaltending position, I recommend watching it.
NHL.com has launched a contest to Get Out of the Cold: a trip for 4 to the Universal Orlando resort in Florida. You need to enter before the end of the first period of the Detroit Red Wings/Pittsburgh Penguins game on Sunday, and the winner will be announced by the third period.
Additionally—as Forechecker highlighted the other day—Twittering about this weekend’s game could earn you a subscription to NHL Game Center Live for the rest of the season. Just use the hashtag #NHLonNBC in your tweets, and you’ll be automatically entered.
*post originally dated Feb.6, 11:07am ET. Today’s game preview at NHL.com
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
In my many years of covering the NHL, one of the questions I most frequently hear after a game is:
“Gee, who picked the three stars?”
In some NHL cities, the choices are put to a vote of all media members in the press box. Most places, a single selector is designated before the game. At the Pepsi Center, the choices usually are made by a writer or by one of the four announcers on the “in-house” Altitude radio and television broadcasts.
Even when Denver Post colleague Adrian Dater or I make the official choices at an Avalanche home game, the “Post’s three stars” in the paper might be slightly different. Here’s why: Whoever is making the official choices at the game is gently asked to submit them with about five minutes remaining in the third period.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
It’s painfully obvious the Predators miss Alexander Radulov, who bolted for Russia last summer even though he had an NHL contract. Would they welcome him back next season? “Never say never,” said GM David Poile, who was furious that the kid just up and left, leaving the Predators with few options late in the summer.
“It’s about playing in the best league, but maybe he wants to stay in Russia.” He would have fences to mend in Nashville, but, as Poile says, “he scores goals.” The Predators are hanging in the playoff race, but they’re a shadow of their team from two years ago when former owner Craig Leipold told Poile to get out the meat cleaver.
“No Kariya, no Hartnell, no Timonen, Vokoun. That’s what the order was,” said Poile, who is not into excuses, but it was hard to stomach. “Craig wanted to be as low (payroll) as he could.” Leipold now owns the Minnesota Wild.
more hockey notes…
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The next few weeks of the season might determine not only the Predators’ chances of making the playoffs, but also the chances of a number of Predators to remain with the organization.
A scroll down the roster reveals nine players in the final years of their contracts, including established NHL players Radek Bonk, Greg de Vries, Vern Fiddler, Scott Nichol, Steve Sullivan and Greg Zanon.
Should the Predators slide from the playoff picture in the weeks leading up to the March 4 NHL trading deadline, at least some of those names are bound to surface as potential trade bait.
Should the Predators remain in contention for a postseason berth — and they’ve won five of six games going into today’s game at Dallas — the roster is much more likely to stay intact.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Canucks, we are told, have yet to officially make a contract offer to veteran defenseman Mattias Ohlund. So, unless something drastic changes soon, it appears Ohlund is headed to unrestricted free agency. While we’re sure the Canucks would love to be able to move him March 4 if they fall out of the playoff race, the fact is Ohlund controls his fate with a no-trade clause.
In the meantime, talks have also stalled with the Sedin twins, also pending UFAs. There was a meeting this past Wednesday between Canucks GM Mike Gillis and the Sedins’ agent, J.P. Barry, but no progress was made.
Vancouver, meanwhile, is believed to be among a list of teams that has at least inquired about veteran blueliner Mathieu Schneider, a UFA on July 1.
read on for more NHL topics. It is basically a recap of HNIC Hot Stove talk from last night but there is additional topics discussed.
from Bruce MacLeod of the Macomb Daily,
With the Detroit Red Wings (unfortunately) having salary cap room because of recent injuries to Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmstrom, the franchise has finally gotten a chance to look at some top prospects in NHL action.
When Stuart and Holmstrom return, the youngsters will be gone. But since the spotlight is on them right now, here’s one man’s rankings of Detroit’s prospects. Consider this a combination of proof and potential.
1. Darren Helm, center, 21. What separates Helm from defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is that Helm has more proof. Helm was very, very good in helping the Wings win the Stanley Cup last spring, solidifying the fourth line. Helm is physical despite being of average size and very fast. If the Red Wings were to put the system’s best team on the ice, Helm would be there.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Joe Thornton will be back on Causeway Street Tuesday night, only his second visit to the Hub of Hockey since the Nov. 30, 2005, trade that Mike O’Connell orchestrated, sending Jumbo Joe, the Boston franchise’s centerpiece, to the San Jose Sharks.
Some three-plus years later, O’Connell figures the trade was justified, and it is one that he would make again, given the same circumstances. As for what he got in return, said O’Connell, there will always be those who say he should have received more.
“That’s always the case, even if it’s your best trade,” said the former Bruins general manager, these days overseeing pro development for the Los Angeles Kings. “But it was like any trade: You take in, rely on what everyone in the organization says - scouts, everyone - and let’s not forget there was a money issue here, too, moving Joe with his high [$6.6 million] salary. This wasn’t the pre-salary-cap NHL. Like all these deals, the money had to work, too.”
continued plus more hockey topics…
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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