Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Should Darcy Tucker have his contract bought out in Colorado, which is entirely possible, and should he sign elsewhere for next season, also possible, he will become the first player in hockey history to be paid by three teams all at the same time.
• Has there ever been an NHL season with such high quality coaches such as Lindy Ruff, Dave Tippett, Jacques Lemaire, Craig MacTavish and Ron Wilson, all out of the playoffs at the same time?
• Truth in numbers: Four of the top 150 point-getters in the NHL were free agents signed directly out of U.S. college. Their names: Martin St. Louis, Todd White, Dan Boyle and Chris Kunitz. The book on free agents: You have a better chance of signing the next Andy Wozniewski than you have of signing the next Andy McDonald.
more hockey notes mixed in with other sports talk…
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
Our good friends from Canada continue to speculate that Jacques Martin is in danger of losing his job as general manager of the Florida Panthers.
Their theory: Owner Alan Cohen is upset that JM the GM didn’t get anything good for Jay Bouwmeester at the trade deadline. Because of that, if the Panthers don’t make the playoffs, Florida could be looking for a new GM.
continued and the Martin topic was brought up during the Hot Stove segment of HNIC tonight.
Mikhail Grabovski of the Leafs hits Andrei Markov of the Canadiens early in the thrid period.. Grabovski received two for boarding and a misconduct. Markov did not return.
from Russo’s Rants,
You would not believe the excitement and anticipation going on right now in this city for Sunday’s matinee between the Wild and Detroit Red Wings.
It’s strange, but for some reason, sports fans from North Carolina and Connecticut and East Lansing and, most bizarre, Villanova, Pa., have flocked to Detroit because NHL matchups just don’t get bigger than the Wild and Wings. I mean, who knew there were so many Wild fans in Delaware County?
Planes were full. Hotel rooms are like going for $500 a night. Downtown was just a carnival atmosphere with all sorts of neat outdoor activities. It’s awesome that the Wild’s finally gotten onto the map because of this battle for the postseason.
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
This Wild season has been one long snoozefest. My 14th season covering the NHL is about to wrap up and I’ve never been so bored covering a team—and I’m including the lockout year when no games were played, folks.
This season has been blah from the very beginning. I mean, did anything remotely exciting happen?...
The Wild, which truly believes it does it better than everybody else, is a stand-pat organization in every area.
Well, somebody better stand up this offseason and take a hard, honest assessment of things and say, “It’s not good enough.”
If the front office convinces owner Craig Leipold that this was a throw-away season solely because Gaborik was hurt, it’s an injustice to everybody who paid a dime for tickets or merchandise.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
First off, I don’t know if Francois Giguere is going to keep his job or not after April 12. From what I hear, it’s still being considered by those higher on the food chain, and pretty much that consists of only two people: Pierre Lacroix and E. Stanley Kroenke.
Lacroix has not and, according to Avs VP of media relations Jean Martineau, will not speak with the media in the near future. There is nobody more secretive and tight-lipped with the media than Pierre Lacroix, so what follows, for now, is a little educated-guessing parlor game about who the next GM would be if Giguere goes.
There are a couple of sources around the Avs who do believe there is a decent chance Lacroix will step back in to the GM role, replacing the man who he picked to succeed him with himself.
So, here is a look at probable candidates, should the job open up: First up, Pierre Lacroix
read on with more candidates…
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
Back with the Devils after an injury to Kevin Weekes, goalie Scott Clemmensen said he was actually flattered when GM Lou Lamoriello decided not to trade him at the March 4 deadline.
Clemmemsen, who will serve as Martin Brodeur’s backup while Weekes recovers from a left knee injury, said he asked to be traded when he was sent back to Lowell (AHL) but wasn’t shocked when it didn’t happen.
Late in the 3rd period with the Bruins leading the Rangers 1-0. TV timeout, Bruins goaltender taking a break on his knees.
Avery skates by and stick makes contact with Thomas. Avery looks innocent, and the fun begins.
Both Avery and Thomas received 2 minutes for roughing and the Bruins ended up winning, 1-0.
The above video is via the Rangers network and watch the Bruins network broadcast of the play below…
from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen,
It’s time for the highly anticipated, anxiously awaited, goose-bump inducing, second annual, “Top 10 Surprises of the NHL Season”....
10. Jeff Carter
The Philadelphia Flyers owe a big man-love hug to Tomas Kaberle. Last year at the deadline, the Flyers and Leafs had agreed to a deal to send Carter AND a first-round pick to Toronto for Kaberle. But the Leafs defenceman refused to waive his no-trade clause. Carter has 44 goals, 15 more than his career high, and will likely be a superstar in Philly for the next decade.
9. Celebrity Senator Sidekicks
Duff, Underwood ... Who knew the Senators would get more coverage in Us Weekly than The Hockey News? Be careful Nick Foligno, it is only a matter of time before Miley Cyrus hunts you down.
from Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal,
As Textgate proves, Daryl Katz can be all thumbs.
The hardwired Edmonton Oilers owner whose heartfelt but clumsy text vote of confidence in head coach Craig MacTavish poured digital fuel on a raging bonfire in the middle of this hockey-mad community, has been in cyber-contact with other members of his team this season. He sent Andrew Cogliano a text after the diminutive centre scored the winner against Tampa Bay on Feb. 24.
“He just said ‘inspiring game, keep it up, you’re playing well.’ It goes a long way to showing what kind of guy he is. I thought it was pretty cool to have your owner text you,” said Cogliano. “It’s not like you’re talking to an owner, just a regular guy.” Katz also sent Sam Gagner a text on the road on March 17.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org