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Category: NHL-Teams

Blue Jackets Game Plan- Spirit & Goaltending

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

General manager Scott Howson, coming off a 32-victory season, attacked his team’s deficiencies by plucking 35-year-old Ethan Moreau off the waiver wire. Yowza.

To be fair, there was at least a concerted effort to change the culture. The back of the bench was swept clean, a new coaching staff was hired and a new style of play was publicly affirmed. A young, confident coach, Scott Arniel, believes he can play an up-tempo, pressure game and get results. The general thinking is that everything that went awry last season - the list is too long for this space - simply cannot be replicated. And the personnel has to be better. It has to.

Yesterday, Howson took some time to explain how this is supposed to work. In a phrase, it’s spirit and goaltending.

Howson’s core feeling is that the Jackets will be improved if only because their collective spirit, so damaged over the course of last season, is on the rise. What is more, goaltender Steve Mason - second in the Vezina Trophy voting as a rookie and second from the bottom of the league as a sophomore - is showing telling signs that he has matured and returned to good form.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Give The Flyers Fans A Hand

from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,

Philadelphia fans, as you know, gets a bad national rap.

But Flyers fans should be nationally praised (we doubt it’ll happen) for the appreciative treatment they gave Tampa Bay left winger Simon Gagne Thursday.

Ditto the Flyers organization, who put together a stirring video tribute of Gagne’s 11-year career that was shown in the first period against the visiting Lightning.

The fans stood and gave Gagne a two-minute standing ovation. They had also roared when he came onto the ice for the pregame warmup.

“The fans were awesome,” said Gagne, still fighting tears after the game.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: simon+gagne, simon+gagne

Is Craig Anderson A $4-5 Million Goalie?

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

When I asked him recently his thoughts on his contract, he demurred, saying that’s in the hands of his agent and the team. I don’t have any juicy details on any possible talks right now, but one would have to assume this is high on the agenda of GM Greg “The Shermanator” Sherman.

Another year like he had, and no doubt Anderson would get $4-5 million a year on his next deal. His cap hit now is $1.8 million, so a big raise is likely. Obviously, with the lowest payroll in the league right now, the Avs could afford a nice big extension right now.

Anderson didn’t start out in this organization, but this is the one that took a chance on him and gave him his first No. 1 job. So while he doesn’t probably have that longtime loyalty feeling to the Avs, no doubt he has a lot of warm feelings for it now.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+anderson

Where’s The Effort?

from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,

Please, no kool-aid swilling protestations. Not this morning. None of those accusing “you guys” barbs at a feckless media for having the umitigated gall to question or criticize.

After a performance of that calibre, it’s not about us guys.

It’s about YOU guys.

Truly abominable.

Imagine shelling out $125 to watch that travesty ... even with the loonie at last on par with the U.S. greenback. Yeah, it’s a long season. Sure there are gonna be “those nights”. But there is no - repeat, NO - excuse for lack of effort. Not in the tax bracket these gents dwell in. And the Calgary Flames were beaten to virtually each loose puck, on every board battle. This loss went beyond Xs and Os, strategy, personnel or luck.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Depending On Lehtonen

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,

Truth be told, the fallout from Joe Nieuwendyk’s decision to move on without Mike Modano won’t linger that long.

After the franchise icon received a nice ovation Thursday in his return in a Detroit Red Wings uniform, most fans were ready to move forward.

And that means the move that defines Nieuwendyk’s tenure as Stars GM might very well be the acquisition of Kari Lehtonen last February. The big Finn was solid again in net, making 25 saves in a 4-1 win. He was spectacular in the preseason and has been timely in the three victories. He came up huge in the third periods of games against the Devils and the Islanders and did it again against Detroit.

He’s not flashy, but he stops the puck. And that can make him pretty darned important.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kari+lehtonen

Franzen Out After Taking Hit To The Head

via Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen will miss the remainder of Thursday’s game in Dallas after taking a hit to the head from defenseman Mark Fistric, general manager Ken Holland said.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+franzen, mark+fistric

Give Chicago Some Time

from Barry Rozner of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

Give Quenneville time and he’ll figure out some productive lines.

So all is not lost, even though the Hawks lost a tough game in the final 30 seconds Wednesday night, missing two of their top four defensemen against a team that gives them fits.

It hasn’t been easy to watch thus far, but despite all their problems, most of which were fully anticipated, all 3 defeats are by a single goal.

Has it been pretty? No. Good personality? Not even. Aggravating? Completely. Should we get used to it? Definitely.

The good news is the Hawks have until the middle of April to figure it out. They have to find a way to make the playoffs and then discover the energy that’s tough to locate during the regular season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Pascal Leclaire Hurt Early In Senators Game

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

It didn’t take long for Pascal Leclaire to get injured ... again.

With the confidence of a fourth straight start bestowed upon Leclaire by coach Cory Clouston, the often-injured goalie left the game only 2:06 into the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes with what appeared to be a right leg injury.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pascal+leclaire

No Discount In Phoenix

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Good news for hockey fans in Winnipeg.

Matthew Hulsizer’s bid to buy the Phoenix Coyotes from the NHL has stalled because the Chicago businessman wants a big discount on the $165-million (all currency U.S.) the league wants for the team, two sources say. This, the sources add, is despite the fact Hulsizer, 40, has an agreement in principle with the city of Glendale, Ariz., on a multiyear arena lease that could pay him $100-million toward the Coyotes’ annual losses through parking charges, taxes and property levies from a community-facilities district created around Jobing.com arena.


added 9:16pm, via Darren Dreger of TSN,

Sources say that Chicago based businessman Matthew Hulsizer, the NHL, and the city of Glendale have conceptually agreed to a deal that would see Hulsizer become the new owner of the Phoenix Coyotes.

However, by no means is this a “done deal.”

There is no written agreement in place, so there remains the possibility that this sale could turn sour once again.

If negotiations continue to progress, the best case scenario would see a deal close by the end of  November.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Bouwmeester Defends Himself, Jokinen Wishes Panthers Well

from George Richards of the Miami Herald,

While Bouwmeester gets the blame heaped upon him, he remains a pretty popular figure among the Panthers. Bouwmeester remains friends with a number of players and coach Pete DeBoer, who only had Bouwmeester for one season, continues to rave about his talents.

—Jokinen, the Panthers former captain and the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, says he is hopeful the franchise is going in the right direction.

“They’ve gone through a lot of changes and I hope for the best, I hope they have it figured out,’’ said Jokinen, who keeps his offseason home in Broward County. “It looks like they have a good guy now leading the charge in Dale Tallon. It’s been tough times for the fans in South Florida. They still have fans and support, but it’s tough for them year after year missing the playoffs.’‘


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+bouwmeester, olli+jokinen

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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