Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
• The Rangers’ Sean Avery won a settlement in his libel case against Toronto radio reporter Howard Berger following mediation earlier this month, Slap Shots has learned. The suit was brought in the aftermath of the pregame incident in Toronto on Nov. 10, 2007, after which Berger alleged that Avery had made comments to Jason Blake relating to the Leaf winger’s previously diagnosed cancer. Terms of the settlement are confidential. Avery has at least one more pending suit relating to the incident.
• The Coyotes, we’re told by an interested party, have received deposits on 1,800 season tickets and full payment on exactly, um well, on exactly none for the coming season. Gary Bettman’s check must be lost in the mail.
• Seems that Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf could have been given a match penalty for intent to injure on his mean, blind-side blow that concussed the Isles’ Kyle Okposo on Wednesday, but neither the league nor PA seems to have a clue how to legislate against technically legal hits to the head, even ones that appear premeditated.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Now that Dany Heatley has been traded to San Jose, if the Sharks don’t reverse their long history of playoff failure, it will cost general manager Doug Wilson his job….
“We’re completely comfortable with the type of player Dany is, and more importantly, with the type of person he is,” Wilson told reporters. “There are often cases where players have asked for trades. ... Sometimes, it is best for everybody involved. We have zero concerns about that.”
What Wilson should be concerned about, however, is his job. The Sharks have greatly underachieved in recent years, even with the presence of Joe Thornton. They’ve been expected to challenge or outright win the Cup, but have faltered in the playoffs.
more plus other NHL topics, many of which appeared on KK in the past week.
A Maple Leafs general manager probably hasn’t acted with this much bully power since Conn Smythe was running the franchise years ago.
-Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding at USA TODAY. More on Burke and the Kessel deal.
via Steve Zipay’s Twitter,
Brandon Dubinsky signs two-year deal with Rangers.
from Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck,
The good news for Predators fans is that GM David Poile was prepared to add a multi-million dollar salary to his roster, without sending a current player back in trade. While that budget might have had a little extra allowance considering that an elite, 21-year-old goal-scorer was on the market, this is a sign that Poile is indeed in a buying mood.
So what do the Preds need, and what’s available? Obviously a goal-scoring winger would be nice, but depth on defense is also a concern. As much as the organization touts the development of Alexander Sulzer, Cody Franson, and Teemu Laakso, it boggles the mind to think that the Preds seriously plan on relying on three rookies in the 5-6-7 spots on the defensive depth chart.
Combine that with the tremendous turnover in penalty killing personnel, and I’ll toss a name out there that I’d like to see the Predators sign - not at all a replacement for Kessel, but a guy who can bolster the 3rd pairing on D and soak up the PK minutes so that Hamhuis, Suter and Weber don’t have to.
His name? Greg de Vries.
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
He’s a hitter. He’s a hunter. And physical presence remains an integral part of the game.
What is troublesome, though, and what has become a disturbing trend, is the big No. 3 stepping back, surveying the carnage he has wrought and letting someone else—the willing, but unfortunate Mark Giordano in this case—wade in to clean up the mess. To often unpleasant results.
As if he’s somehow above it all.
from Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal,
But as he warmed up his offensive act, they warmed up to him. When he thanked them in a second-intermission interview shown on the video scoreboard, the support was loud and unanimous. When he fought, they chanted his name. And when the 4-0 drubbing of a watered-down Panthers roster was over, and Comrie had drawn the first star for his four assists, they cheered again.
He saluted them and the love-in was an officially registered happening.
“That was pretty emotional out there,” Comrie said afterwards. “I’ve said since I signed I was going to try to earn their respect back. For them to chant my name, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it felt unbelievable. I just felt rejuvenated. I felt excited.”
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,
Chimera’s situation is the most troubling, obviously. As of this writing—it’s about 12:15 a.m.—the only update was that Chimera was not flying back to Columbus with the Blue Jackets tonight. It’s unclear if he’s going to spend the rest of the night in the hospital, but that’s probably a safe assumption….
Modin was the first to arrive at Chimera’s side, hovering over him and speaking to him. Within moments of the hit, center Sammy Pahlsson began waving into the tunnel for paramedics to come onto the ice.
Here’s what Modin had to say. It’s pretty emotional.
“I didn’t see the hit,” Modin said. “I just saw Chimmer lying on his back, with blood coming out of his head. I wanted to talk to him, to let him know somebody was there with him … to let him know we were all there for him.
“It was very scary to see, because his eyes were rolling and his head was twitching, and it was pretty clear that something wasn’t right.”
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
The Kessel trade, of course, fits with Burke’s make-a-big-splash-early history. He moved heaven and earth to land Chris Pronger for Hartford. He bagged the Sedin twins for Vancouver. Now he’s arm-twisted the unwilling Bruins into trading Kessel.
Of course there is risk for the Leafs, but arguably greater risk for Boston, which acquired Kessel through the draft just three years ago as a franchise-type player and may be unable to turn their newly acquired first-round picks into NHL talent.
The Leafs haven’t lost anything tangible yet. The Bruins have.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports,
The Bruins, understanding his strengths and weaknesses, protected him. He instantly becomes the most skilled player on the roster, but the highest-paid one too. In Toronto, that comes with a target.
I’m not convinced that the enormously shy Kessel will be comfortable in the spotlight. A white-hot hockey market is not the best fit for him.
Will he discover the work ethic necessary to become a truly great player? And, can the Leafs find a centre who was as good for him as Marc Savard?
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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