Kukla's Korner Hockey
The poor guy needs his teeth.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Wings are very interested in keeping Bertuzzi, who takes 13 goals and 27 points into tonight’s game at Minnesota—and he is very interested in staying.
“I love playing here,” Bertuzzi said Wednesday. “I love the guys. It’s somewhere I’d like to stay and retire.”
General manager Ken Holland would like to get a deal done, too.
“We’re very happy with him,” Holland said. “When we signed him in the summer, our hope was he could get 40 to 50 points, and it looks like he’ll get that. He’s given us a dimension of size and strength. ... He’s scored a lot of big goals for us. Certainly, we’d like to keep him.”
from Paul Branecky of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
General Manager Jim Rutherford said Thursday that he expects to make any number of trades from now until the league deadline on March 3 involving a group of veteran players who are on the last years of their contracts. In return, he hopes to bring back young talent and draft picks in order to re-stock the team down the road.
”We have veteran guys that have won the Stanley Cup, so not only are they good players but they’ve had the experience of winning,” said Rutherford. “These are guys that can certainly go into any top team and help them this year. We’re going to get some interest in some of our unrestricted free agents.
“At this point it’s about building real good assets for the future,” he continued. “It’s not about trying to put the team together for next year. It’s about getting as many young assets as we can, and then in the off-season we’ll look at what our needs are and try to shape the team then.”
If this were just a normal game, why would NHL.com have not one, but two people in Pittsburgh covering the game? We normally don’t have anyone here.
If this were just a normal game, why would national reporters from ESPN.com, The Hockey News and The Sporting News be in town to cover the game? They don’t normally do that unless it’s the playoffs.
If this were just a normal game, why would the Capitals send both of their P.R. guys to Pittsburgh? Normally only one of them travels for road games.
If this were just a normal game, why would those Capitals’ P.R. guys go out of their way to make both Ovechkin and coach Bruce Boudreau available to reporters at the team hotel upon their arrival in town? The only time they normally do that is on off days during the playoffs when it’s League mandated that the coach and a few players are available.
added 12:37pm, from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The NHL doesn’t need Fenway Park or Wrigley Field to dress this baby up.
The best rivalry in hockey resumes Thursday night at Mellon Arena, a passionate clash of NHL superstar players and powerhouse franchises that doesn’t need one iota of marketing to sell.
from Edward Fraser of The Hockey News,
THN correspondent John Vogl suggested in his Jan. 11 issue team report that a distance has been created between the team and the fans as a result of free agents leaving town coupled with disappointing on-ice results.
“The arena, though near capacity, is often lifeless,” Vogl wrote. “There are just as many doubters as diehards. The Sabres must inspire their fans again.”
Well, with a death-lock on the Northeast Division, one of the league’s stingiest defenses (2.27 goals-against average), the current best goalie in the world (and leading Hart and Vezina candidate) between the pipes and a good bet for the Calder Trophy patrolling the blueline, inspiration is now as plentiful as cheese on a Chef’s ‘parmed’ sandwich.
Georges Laraque will not play another game with the Montreal Canadiens.
TSN’s sister station in Quebec RDS reports that the club does not intend to play him for the rest of the season and will buy him out at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.
Laraque, a Montreal native, signed a three-year, $4.5 million contract in July of 2008 and has one year remaining on his deal.
added 10:32am, from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Laraque, who told TSN he was on his way to practice in the morning when he received the call to meet with Gainey, insists he’s been a good team player and said there were no issues with the team or Martin, whom he believed was behind the decision.
“Jacques Martin doesn’t like me and doesn’t believe in toughness,” Laraque told TSN.
Laraque added that Martin never shared any concerns directly with him and is furious with the Canadiens’ approach based on the emotional issues he’s dealing with following the devastating earthquake in Haiti and the impact this disaster has had on both him and his family.
“Classless,” Laraque said angrily. “To do this in the midst of all I’m dealing with in Haiti, the timing is awful. I’m not going to sugar coat anything.”
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Who knows what’s going to happen in the next month or so? Maybe Alex Auld will take over, and the Stars will look to trade Turco. Maybe they will be right on the edge of the playoff race and will feel they have to keep both goalies. Maybe Turco will lead them to the Stanley Cup and re-sign a long-term deal.
(Well, maybe not…)
But the plan, it appears, is to find another goalie. Turco has been shaky for the past couple of years, and there is some concern that Turco does not have the athletic ability at age 34 to win a Cup.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Gustavsson is called The Monster, but often resembles a lobster when he gets into the pressure cooker of game situations and starts flailing around, over-playing angles or mishandling pucks.
He must be given some leeway for adjustments to a new league, new country and two heart procedures, yet he’ll turn 26 this year.
As good a goalie guru as Francois Allaire is, five months of tutoring has not made Gustavsson a Kwai Chang Caine to his Master Po, snatching pebbles from his hand to show the teacher he’s ready to take on the world. There are technical deficiencies that Gustavsson’s size haven’t yet compensated for, but might with patience.
Toskala’s three-year tenure in Toronto has produced 62 wins. That doesn’t make him a washout, but does nothing to prove the San Jose Sharks were wrong to keep Evgeni Nabokov and deal the Finn here.
Janssen & Hamrlik received 2 minutes for roughing and Blues goaltender Ty Conklin received 2 minutes for going beyond center ice.
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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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