Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Joseph at FloridaPanthers.com,
There was the bed shaped like a pony in Edmonton.
Then there’s the moose that got hit on the way back from Sault Ste. Marie. The plane engine that caught fire. The accident in the parking lot of Tim Hortons. The hotel operator needing a snowmobile to get supplies in Winnipeg.
Welcome to life on the road in the NHL.
When the Panthers flight from Toronto to South Florida was delayed nearly 24 hours last week due to mechanical problems and then bad weather, it was an inconvenience. But Panther players and coaches have had their share of strange trips – some scary and others funny – when it comes to life on the road in minor and professional hockey.
from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,
Vancouver Canuck superstar goalie Roberto Luongo will partake in a full team practice on Monday and appears set to return to game action this week.
Luongo survived a rigourous 75-minute workout run by goalie coach Ian Clark today at GM Place.
Seven players took shots on Luongo in a variety of drills designed specifically to test his injured groin.
“I pounded it pretty hard and the groin is feeling fine,” said Luongo. “We pretty much explored everything today. There were some broken plays where you kind of had to react and kick your leg out and be in a bit of a vulnerable position and I didn’t have any problems. So that’s really encouraging. I’m really happy with the way things went.”
from Ben Wright of Blueland Blog,
We have a captain! Following the player introductions here at Casino Night Don Waddell presented Ilya Kovalchuk with a new jersey- one with a C on it. After consulting with the alternate captains and coaching staff it was decided that Ilya will serve as the Thrashers team captain.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
That nagging injury that kept Brad Lukowich out of the past two games is a sports hernia problem that could mean surgery for the Sharks defenseman as early as this week.
Sharks Coach Todd McLellan confirmed a tip that came my way earlier today that Lukowich, who had sports hernia surgery while he was with the Tampa Bay Lightning, is dealing with the same issue again.
The source said a decision has been made to have the surgery, but McLellan said it was his understanding that options were still being weighed — though the answer could come as early as later today when McLellan and trainer Ray Tufts are to meet with General Manager Doug Wilson.
from Russell Brooks of PhoenixCoyotes.com,
Coyotes defenseman Kurt Sauer suffered a lower body injury during the third period of Saturday night’s victory over Dallas and is expected to miss the next four weeks.
“It is a big blow for us,” General Manager Don Maloney said on Sunday. “(But) it will open up an opportunity for someone else to step in and play well.”
from Ethan J. Skolnick of the Sun-Sentinel,
Most are predicting, with good reason, that he will not re-sign. The fact that he hasn’t agreed to an extension, when the Panthers want to retain him, is evidence enough. Why would he go? Well, he’s 25, and he hasn’t played in the postseason since the Panthers drafted him third overall in 2002, one pick after Atlanta took Lehtonen. He is from hockey-crazed Alberta, and while playing in relative obscurity here seems the best fit for Bouwmeester’s introverted personality, his father, Dan, told New Times that South Florida “shouldn’t even be in the NHL” and “it’s not a hockey town.”
So all signs point to relocation to the North, to play for a fan base that better appreciates his attributes, even if it might also be more critical of the inconsistency of his physicality.
This has all inspired the assertion that the Panthers should get value for him now, while they can. After all, better to get 80 cents on the dollar than nothing.
That would be a reasonable argument, and the prudent approach, for any franchise other than this one. The Panthers will never get any traction, or respect, without a playoff appearance.
from Jed Lockett of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (West Virginia),
She counts three things among her loves in life, English history, crafting and hockey. She became a hockey fan watching NBC’s telecasts during the early-1970s and picked a team — the Detroit Red Wings — in 1974. But hockey soon left the air and she would not be able to watch again until ESPN began televising it in the 1980s and ’90s….
Later that summer, the NHL announced the next location of the Winter Classic, Wrigley Field in Chicago for a game between the hometown Blackhawks and their Original Six rivals, the Detroit Red Wings. That would be my Christmas gift to the woman that meant more to me than anyone else….
Mom exclaimed, “Detroit AND Chicago?”
Our trip to the Windy City would include a detour through the Motor City….
Depressed area? Do not tell that to the people of Detroit. Do not even think that about the people of Detroit. It is a blue-collar city with a heart of gold. They believe hard work and perseverance pays dividends. So it is no surprise that they avidly support a team that has made the playoffs the last 17 seasons.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
If the goal is to finish with the best shot at the No. 1 draft pick in the NHL lottery, then the first half of the Islanders’ season has been an unqualified success. One game past the midpoint of their season, the Isles are planted firmly in the 30th spot, four points below their nearest competitors for the chance to select either Canadian center John Tavares or Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman in the June 26 draft in Montreal.
As tough as this season has been to watch, the reality is that grabbing a player such as Tavares or Hedman is the best way to build a legitimate contender. Top teams have superstars, and no one on the Islanders qualifies.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Chiarelli has slightly more than seven weeks (52 days) before the March 4 trade deadline to figure out some contingencies if neither Bergeron nor Sturm can make it back before the playoffs.
Five names to consider:
# Keith Tkachuk - The former Malden Catholic star, who will turn 37 March 28, still has a little bit of touch (14 goals and 27 points) in those meaty hands (now 514 career goals and counting). He is finishing up a two-year deal with the Blues, with a cap hit of $4 million, and certainly will be moved at the deadline with the Blues able to trim some $800,000 in cap exposure….
Jason Williams - A season lost in the ongoing train wreck in Atlanta. Not big (5-11/195), but can play both center and wing and is only 28 years old. Cap hit is $2.2 million….
more plus additional hockey topics…
Ritch Winter, Maian Hossa’s agent states Hossa is enjoying his stay in Detroit and both sides are interested in seeing if the relationship can continue past this season.
Read more from Craig Custance of the Sporting News Today.
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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