Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
What will Burke do? The guessing game has begun. The trade focus—and the following information—comes from NHL executives polled, those not connected to the Leafs, speaking about those who may be available.
Listed is the likelihood (by percentage) of certain Leafs being traded before the March 4 trade deadline:
from Erik Erlendsson and Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,
With Tampa Bay spending the next week in Canada, trade rumors are sure to run rampant as the March 4 trade deadline approaches.
But Vinny Lecavalier’s name won’t be at the forefront.
In his boldest statement in his short tenure as Lightning general manager, Brian Lawton may very well have put an end to any lingering rumors surrounding Lecavalier by stating the Tampa Bay captain won’t be going anywhere, as far as he’s concerned.
“We’re not going to trade Vinny Lecavalier,’’ Lawton said Monday. “I’m going to say, ‘never,’ so I don’t have to deal with it.’‘
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
When Shea Weber hammered home 10 goals in the first 20 games of the season, he became the first NHL defenseman to do so in more than two decades.
The problem was that those numbers drew the attention of opponents and media around the league, which were two of the bigger reasons Weber’s goal production stalled over the next few months.
Rival coaches concentrated their efforts on finding ways to stop Weber’s feared one-timer, and journalists immediately turned him into a trendy pick for the next Norris Trophy winner.
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
The night John Tortorella was hired by TSN, I made a confession to him. I told him I had always secretly hoped he’d be fired by Tampa, just so we might get a chance to bring him on the panel.
He swore at me. But he was smiling as he cursed.
No coach has ever brought me more amusement than Torts. His post-game news conferences were often better than the game.
“We need a BLEEP BLEEP occasional save. Four goals on 16 shots, I’m getting tired of the 25 percent rule.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The moment John Tor torella walks through the door of the Ranger locker room today to take command, that will be the end of the excuses and that will be the end of the crutches for a team whose players sure didn’t seem very sorry to see Tom Renney go yesterday.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
In Oil Country, the fans are in one of those deep dips on the rollercoaster ride. Everything is dark and down. Angry comments abound. No one is happy, and my own mind turns to thoughts of what might have been this season.
If only Dustin Penner and Craig MacTavish had been on the same page.
If only Kevin Lowe had brought back Curtis Glencross.
If only Sam Gagner, Robert Nilsson and Andrew Cogliano had found a way to pick things up where they left off last year.
If only Gagner and Erik Cole had been put together on the first day of training camp.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Tonight, the Canadiens will attempt to notch back-to-back victories for the first time in more than a month, and they’ll do it with Jaroslav Halak between the pipes.
Habs coach Guy Carbonneau said he wants to ride the hot hand, and explained his decision in terms that could foreshadow a goaltending controversy in Montreal.
“I think I’ve given enough chances to Carey [Price] and enough time to come back from his injuries … now it’s up to Jaroslav to show what he can do,” Carbonneau said, adding “we have no choice” but to play the Slovak.
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
They could expand the Pronger trade talks to ask for a higher-paid veteran. Or they could be a major free agent customer in the summer.
Defensemen Jay Bouwmeester (Florida), Jordan Leopold (Colorado) and Mike Komisarek (Montreal) will be out there, as well as some interesting forwards like Brian Gionta (New Jersey), Daniel and Henrik Sedin (Vancouver). Or Johan Franzen and Marian Hossa (Detroit).
In anticipation of economic woes and perhaps a lost season, the Ducks are freezing prices on everything, including parking and concessions, for ‘09-‘10.
But isn’t it still Feb. 24? Aren’t there 21 games left?
Sure, the Ducks have a games-in-hand problem and a general lethargy problem, but they are only five points out of the No. 5 seed in the West.
Why give up totally on a team that has so many playoff merit badges, so much perceived star power?
via Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Rangers have hired John Tortorella to be their next head coach in the wake of this morning’s dismissal of Tom Renney.
GM Glen Sather made the announcement several hours after Renney’s dismissal this morning. Tortorella, who received a multiyear contract, was en route to New York tonight and likely would run tomorrow’s practice.
added 8:21pm, from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
There is little in the way of top-end talent coming through the Rangers system, which you can thank Sather for as well, and too much overpaid, underachieving weight on the big-league roster.
As one GM told ESPN.com on Monday, “Who’s going to take those contracts?”
That’s a recipe for misery at the NHL level, and it’s the stew Sather built.
If there was any accountability in the Rangers’ boardroom (and the fact Sather has managed to consistently squander Dolan’s money all these years suggests there is none), then the moment this season ends, the search will begin for someone who can make things right in a place that has gone so wrong, and will be wrong for a long time coming.
from the CP via TSN,
The Ottawa Senators haven’t quit on the season just yet, but general manager Bryan Murray won’t rule out selling off some of his assets before the trade deadline if it means giving the team a brighter outlook for next year.
‘‘We’re obviously not where we want to be going forward,’’ Murray said Monday while discussing the Senators’ plans for the March 4 deadline. ‘‘I hope to go do a couple of other things, whether it’s just add prospects or draft picks.’‘
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press,
Defenseman Kurtis Foster is officially back with the Wild, nearly a year after breaking his leg in San Jose.
“My time in Houston was a fun time, but I’m excited to be back with the team and back on the ice — hopefully tomorrow,” he said.
During a two-week rehab assignment in Houston, Foster had a goal and five assists, helping the Aeros go 6-0.
It will be hard cracking the Wild’s defense, however.
added 4:44pm, Also from Shipley,
Wild winger Owen Nolan has a fractured toe and is out indefinitely, the team said today.
“In two or three days, when the swelling goes down, we’ll know more,” assistant general manager Tom Lynn said.
Because Andrew Brunette (knee) was able to practice today, and Colton Gillies has recovered from the flu, the Wild likely will not call a forward up from Houston for Tuesday night’s game against Los Angeles.
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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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