Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the ICEMAN Bloggeth at the AJC,
So I ask you…exactly what is it in the history of Don Waddell’s dealings that makes anyone believe that he is capable of bringing in the highest yield in exchange for Ilya Kovalchuk?
My God, think about it…we could almost ice an All-Star line up with the players that have passed through here. Coburn, Hossa, Savard, Heatley…and what do we have to show in return?
Again, 9-14-3 so far this season after a 34-40-8 season last year. This after being swept in the one and only playoff appearance the team has ever played in two seasons ago. That’s what.
Thus, I simply cannot join the “Trade Kovy Away Now For the Good of the Team” movement… not at this time at least. Not as long as the same person that has put us in this position in the first place is in the same position to do the above-mentioned type of deals to us again.
from Shira Springer of the Boston Globe,
Something strange is happening in Boston. The Bruins matter. A proud, old hockey town has rediscovered its pulse. When was the last time anyone could say that?
This young and feisty team has vaulted to unexpected relevance with 18 wins in its first 26 games, and to first place in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference. Built from the ground up by a revitalized front-office team, the new Bruins aren’t exactly big or bad, but they have so far showcased the essential elements of success on ice: shifty scorers, a fists-up enforcer, a towering defenseman, a rock in goal. And not one household name in the bunch. Not yet.
Average attendance is up 10 percent; pro shop sales, 30 percent. Home game sellouts are no longer a dream but a growing expectation. Even the team’s flatline TV ratings, rivaled only by the New England Revolution for local sports broadcast oblivion, have begun to perk up.
It’s enough to make Cam Neely jump out of his seat.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• You can’t make this up: I heard Doug MacLean say that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, right now, are better than Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. Honest.
• The hiring of Maurice in Carolina was pure nepotism. After two lousy seasons in Toronto, how was Maurice, another fine man, the best candidate for the Carolina coaching job?
read on for a few more hockey notes tossed in with other sports talk…
Yes, I have received your emails, telling me about the Toews goal last night against the Wings. Yes, great goal, and yes, Dan Cleary, playing the roll of a defenceman on the play, looked silly.
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
There isn’t much the Leafs can do now but tend to their injured stars and regroup.
Another frustrating night – one in which they couldn’t dial up their intensity until it was too late – was compounded by injuries to rookie defenceman Luke Schenn and talented forward Niklas Hagman.
Schenn’s loss will be significant – an estimated two weeks with a suspected left leg injury suffered in a collision with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, who certainly had his wrecking ball out last night in the way he was hitting Leaf players.
Hagman took a knee to the head and, while he felt better by the end of the night, he left the game after one shift in the second period feeling “groggy.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
• There’s a lot of talk the Rangers are looking to move either D Wade Redden or D Michal Rozsival. Both were signed to new deals in the off-season, but Redden, who agreed to a six-year, $39-million deal, has a no-movement clause in his contract, making it more likely that Rozsival would be dealt.
• The Canucks are waiting to see what happens with Sundin before deciding what to do with D Mattias Ohlund. The Canucks are more likely to move Ohlund if they sign Sundin because of salary-cap considerations. Ohlund, who can become a UFA on July 1, will command a five-year deal worth around $30 million.
• The Panthers are trying to move C Nathan Horton. He is scheduled to make an average of $4 million on a contract that runs through the 2012-13 season, which could make him difficult to trade.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
This contract ordeal has been watched closely by the entire NHL, and over the past month the Star Tribune has talked to nearly a dozen current and former league executives. Many refused to be quoted or asked for anonymity, but they all had an opinion—from “Gaborik should re-sign” for a fair deal to “the Wild waited too long.”
“Unfortunately, it’s as difficult and challenging a situation that you can be in,” said Doug MacLean, the former Columbus Blue Jackets general manager.
That’s in part because it’s hard to see an end game that has Gaborik re-signing, yet the team’s ability to trade him has been halted by this injury. It’s a worst-case scenario for the Wild.
“You’ve got the [March 4 trade] deadline,” MacLean said. “That’s the sad part of this whole scenario. They had an amazing asset that’s diminished.”
from San Jose Magazine,
Last spring, the morning after the Detroit Red Wings—the team he was assistant coaching—won the highly coveted Stanley Cup, Todd McLellan called San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson to set up an interview for the head coach’s position. It was 6 a.m., and McLellan was running on only an hour of sleep after celebrating the Red Wings’ victory into the wee hours of the morning. Opportunity had struck, and he wasn’t going to waste a minute in advancing his career to the next level.
“It’s human nature for people to stay within their comfort zone,” he says of himself and the players he coaches. “I believe that the exceptional professional finds a way to elevate his way outside those limits.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Gilbert Brule is out on parole.
The Edmonton Oilers farmhand was slapped with a four-game American Hockey League suspension for a hit from behind on Lowell defenceman Matthew Corrente on Wednesday, but he’ll be able to play tonight against the San Jose Sharks after his call-up from the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.
Suspensions from the AHL don’t necessarily travel to the NHL, so Brule will play his first Oilers game, likely on the fourth line, after he was summoned Friday when Sam Gagner came down with concussion-like symptoms after taking an elbow in the head in a Dallas Stars’ game Wednesday.
“It’s up to the league whether they will allow a player to play if he has a suspension somewhere else,” said Oilers assistant GM Rick Olczyk, indicating it’s a case-by-case basis.
from Al Balderas of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
There’s no telling where the Ducks would be without Teemu Selanne’s league-leading 13 power-play goals.
There is also no telling where the Ducks would be if some of his teammates contributed with power-play goals of their own.
Selanne has 13 power-play goals this season. The rest of the Ducks have nine. Four of those have been scored by defensemen. Scott Niedermayer has three power-play goals, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have two, and Chris Pronger and Chris Kunitz have one.
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle acknowledged some recent improvement but stressed the importance of the Ducks’ need to get more balanced scoring with the man-advantage.
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.
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