Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
Gainey said he had decided to resign as general manager after a “long and difficult period of reflection.” With his contract due to expire in June, Gainey approached Pierre Boivin during the Christmas holiday period, telling the Canadiens’ president he was not interested in staying on “for four, five or rix years.”
“Given the choice between staying too long and leaving early, I prefer to leave a little bit too early,” Gainey said. “I did my best. Now iyt’s time to pass the torch.”
via Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Canucks forward Pavol Demitra has left the team and returned to Vancouver to deal with a personal matter.
“He has has a personal matter that he had to take care of so he flew back to Vancouver this afternoon,” coach Alain Vigneault said after his team’s practice here this afternoon.
Vigneault said he does not know whether Demitra will be back for any of the four remaining games of the Canucks’ current eight-game road trip. The team would not make any further comment on Demitra, who is scheduled to play for Slovakia at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Word is, but not official, that the NHL Network will cover the Montreal press conference which is scheduled for 4:00pm ET today.
If a stream is available, I will also post it.
update 3:39pm, I have put a stream below that should show the press conference if you desire to watch it. It is not live yet, but should be by 4:00pm.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
When the Montreal Canadiens make the transition from Bob Gainey to Pierre Gauthier later today – presumably on an interim basis to start – I suspect the one question that everybody wants answered is one that won’t be; and that is, what was the plan that Gainey actually had in mind for the 2009-10 season and not the one that was actually put in place, which involved throwing a lot of money at Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri. I suspect two things: One, that it wasn’t – and that the moves that he put in place were a fallback plan after his pursuit of Vincent Lecavalier fell short; and two, we won’t hear the definitive answer in a public forum, even if it would a lot of last year’s machinations into their proper perspective.
But like a lot of Habs watchers, you had to think that Gainey knew the value of putting a French-Canadian superstar such as Lecavalier in a Montreal sweater, and not just because of his heritage either.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Forward Tomas Holmstrom (bruised left knee) was on the ice briefly at the start of practice but couldn’t push off, so he left. He said he will skate Tuesday morning in St. Louis before a decision is made on whether he can play against the Blues.
Defenseman Niklas Kronwall (left knee) practiced but said he won’t play Tuesday. He is waiting for a new knee brace to arrive, one that will better support his MCL. He said aiming to return Thursday against San Jose.
Forward Drew Miller (bruised ankle) will play Tuesday. Forward Patrick Eaves (sprained ankle) did not practice and won’t play. He is listed as day-to-day.
more on the Wings…
NEW YORK (February 8, 2010) – Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom have been named the NHL ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Feb. 7.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The Capitals like to tell people they’ve tightened up defensively and coach Bruce Boudreau will vociferously defend his defenders, saying his team doesn’t get enough props for how good it is defensively. Nice words, but we’re not buying it. The Capitals win games by sheer tour de force, overpowering their opponents with offense and, more often than not, hoping their defense and goaltending is just good enough to keep the other team from scoring five goals.
It flies in the face of everything we’ve believed wins hockey games and it yet may prove to be the Capitals undoing, but man, is it fun to watch. What makes it so entertaining is that the Capitals don’t kill you with a barrage of offense so much as they take the life out of you with the quick-strike power of a cobra.
via Bob McKenzie’s Twitter,
Rumors are rampant Bob Gainey is stepping down as GM of the Habs. I have asked the principals involved to confirm or deny. NO response.
The Canadiens have called a 4:00pm ET press conference.
added 12:37pm, Another tweet from Bob,
Bob Gainey is stepping down as GM of the Canadiens. Pierre Gauthier is taking over.
via Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
• Hockey Night in Canada executives spared Albertans from Toronto’s ongoing Dion Phaneuf love-in Saturday by showing the Flames-Lightning game here. However, the nationally-televised Toronto Maple Leafs-Ottawa Senators game featured close-ups of the word ‘work’ Phaneuf has started writing on the butt-end of his stick. The Air Canada Centre announcer also went out of his way several minutes after a Leafs goal to point out Phaneuf’s first-period assist “was his first as a Leaf,” prompting a roar from the crowd. Memo to Toronto: Calgary fell in love with Phaneuf at first, too.
• On behalf of the media, I apologize for “costing the Flames two points,” as Olli Jokinen suggested after he had to play one last uninspired game in Calgary despite word of his trade to the New York Rangers had been leaked before the game. OK, now it’s your turn, Olli, to apologize for all the points your disappointing play cost the club.
• Interesting footnote to the Phaneuf trade: New teammate Mike Komisarek is an ex-boyfriend of Dion’s girlfriend, Elisha Cuthbert.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
They are 4-6-4 in their past 14 games and have little margin for error as they try to extend their playoff streak to 19 seasons.
The Red Wings have three games before the Olympic break, including Tuesday at St. Louis, when they hope the return of power forward Johan Franzen from a four-month absence because of a torn knee ligament will provide a boost.
“Every game for us from here until the end is an incredibly important two points,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We got to put a run together. Playing .500 the rest of the year isn’t going to do it.”
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