Kukla's Korner Hockey
In case you don’t visit Abel to Yzerman while at KK, IwoCPO has embedded the video to the Henrik Zetterberg press conference scheduled for 2:00pm.
In the meantime, enjoy the ads for Olympia Entertainment!
from a Q & A fan chat at the Columbus Dispatch,
Aaron, you’ve been very clear that the Jackets will not enter the Spezza or Lecavilier sweepstakes. Give us a few names that we Blue Jackets fans may not have considered as possible acquisitions.
[Aaron Portzline] This is all guesswork, of course. But it’s players who fit the following criteria: a young player with upside, and a reasonable contract that extends beyond this season, or a veteran player who’s contract is up at the end of the season. Again, Antoine Vermette is a name that keeps popping up, but the asking price—Kris Russell and a pick—is way too high. The Leafs want too much for Nik Atropov, too. Well, more than the Blue Jackets are willing to part with. This is a strange science. All the talk of the last few weeks, and Jason Williams’ name never came up. I make calls around the league all the time. You do what you can do.
more about the Blue Jackets…
from Kostya Kennedy of Sports Illustrated,
Being a fighter in the NHL takes courage. Advocating fighting in the NHL does not. The most courageous thing would be to end the NHL’s Neanderthal Age, to get past the old thinking, to behave as if it were the year 2009 and to make the hockey world a better place.
via Lightning Strikes,
Lightning backup Olie Kolzig will have surgery on Saturday to repair a ruptured distal tendon in his left forearm. The surgery will be performed in Washington by orthopedist Ben Shaffer, a Capitals team physician who treated Kolzig when he played in Washington. Lightning head trainer Tommy Mulligan said Kolzig will be out three to four months.
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
They’ve taken a critical step toward that goal. On Wednesday afternoon, the Wings will announce that Henrik Zetterberg signed a 12-year deal worth approximately $72 million US. That will put the annual cap hit at $6 million for the length of the deal, phenomenal for a player of Zetterberg’s ability.
(Sources say it is front-loaded in the model of the Vincent Lecavalier and Daniel Briere deals, but I don’t have the breakdown.)
What’s best for Wings fans is that it leaves some flexibility for Holland to deal with his remaining big guys — Marian Hossa, Johan Franzen, and Jiri Hudler. Detroit has 15 players on its current roster signed for $47 million in 2009-10, meaning Holland could have anywhere from $6-8 million to play with (assuming a cap of $53-$55 million).
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
Small things. At Tuesday’s practice, Mats Sundin didn’t tag along behind Daniel and Henrik Sedin on the first power play, but confidently ran a second unit. The day before, Sundin not only survived the practice-ending conditioning skate, but led it. He had terrific scoring chances the last two games and finished one of them.
But so far, all Sundin has been able to offer are small things, dropped hints that he may be getting close to the player he was the last 17 National Hockey League seasons.
It is the big things from Sundin the Canucks are still awaiting and desperately need. A month into Sundin’s return to hockey, it’s about time he delivered them.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Losing 10-2 on their first game back from the All-Star break after having won five of their previous six going into the break was a world-class dive into the toilet, a sheet- soiling like few you have ever witnessed since way back ......
Every time the Oilers get excited, they get evicerated.
“We weren’t ready from the start,” said Sheldon Souray, just back from the All-Star Game in which he played for a team that scored 11 goals and lost.
“The game was essentially over in the first few minutes.
“That was embarrassing plain and simple. Everything, everything was horrible. I don’t care if we had lost our last 10 games. Who cares about that?
“We can see that we’re not just looking at, if we get lucky we might squeak in (the playoffs). We’re looking up and seeing that people are catch-able. We’re not pretending we’re in a race; we’re in a race, a battle and the players recognize (the situation). Games matter, every point is important and he’d be the first to recognize the complete change over in the fans. There’s a different atmosphere in the building and they have a sense of urgency, just as we do.”
-Columbus coach Ken Htichcock after defeating the Red Wings last night. More post-game quotes at ColumbusBlueJackets.com.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
To debunk the misconception that the long and gruelling regular season lacks meaning, one only needs to look at the nine most recent Stanley Cup winners.
Under the current conference configuration, teams that have finished first overall have won the Cup four times while a fifth finished first in its conference. The other four champions were no worse than tied for second in their conference.
The Sharks, while not exactly a surprise given their form in recent seasons and some key upgrades in the summer, have been the most impressive thus far.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators coach Craig Hartsburg couldn’t find the single word to describe his team’s play last night.
We’ll do it for him: Atrocious, brutal, cruddy, deplorable ... you get the point.
The Senators reverted to the uninspired hockey that has haunted them so many times this season and they heard the jeers as they left the ice following a 4-1 loss to the Devils at Scotiabank Place….
“In the third period, we lost every battle. It wasn’t even close,” said Hartsburg. “When we talk about inconsistency in our game, that’s usually where it starts. It’s competing for pucks. We had a four-minute power play and never won a battle, never won a loose puck….”
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 email@example.com