Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Patrick Reusse of the Star-Tribune,
They are the smartest guys in the room and if you gave them a choice between losing money and losing a player, the members of the Wild brain trust would go for losing the player every time.
Thus, there might be a tinge of front office disappointment that the Wild will be losing the most dynamic player in franchise history and get nothing in return, but you can be assured that Doug Risebrough and his minions will spend much time congratulating themselves for not committing to a long-term contract for many millions to Marian Gaborik….
The best bet today is Gaborik has played his last game for the Wild. He’ll hit the market this summer with two surgically repaired hips, sign a one-year contract with a contending team—such as Marian Hossa did with Detroit—and re-establish himself as a star.
The Wild? Lemaire will get his lads to play even more defense and keep his team on the cusp of playoff contention over the next two months. Then, as the March 4 trade deadline approaches and other teams yield prospects for reinforcements, Risebrough will strike.
A year ago, the acquisition was Chris Simon, a misunderstood gentleman now trying to start World War III in the Russian league. The prediction here is that this is the move Risebrough has on his hip, so to speak:
He’s going to bring in at the cost of nothing another misunderstood chap—Sean Avery.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
That was a disgrace to the game of hockey by the Burgundy and Royal Blue tonight. If this game didn’t get Francois Giguere reaching for the nearest phone to make calls around the league to talk a little trade, I don’t know what will.
Tyler Arnason needs to go. Now. He needs to just go. The hope is gone. The experimentation phase is over. The “he’s got potential, maybe he just needs a little more time” thoughts are gone. He needs to go. Period. It’s not working as the No. 1 center. It wasn’t working as the No. 3 center. He needs to go….
Peter Budaj just isn’t a No. 1 goalie. Sorry, Boods backers, but he’s not good enough. Period. He’s a good kid and I hate to keep knocking him, but he’s not good enough. He’s just not.
via the Florida Panthers Blog at the Sun-Sentinel,
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Blackhawks have been invited to open the 2009-10 season in Prague, Czech Republic and that the Panthers will likely be the opponent.
Chicago team president John McDonough told the Tribune that Blackhawks had been extended an invitation, and added, “nothing has been finalized. We’ll know sometime in the near future.” The newspaper cited an unnamed source saying that Blackhawks’ opponent would be the Panthers.
Asked about the validity of the report this afternoon, Panthers team president Michael Yormark said, “No comment” through team spokesman Justin Copertino
from George Johnson of Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
While sorting through candidates for the inevitable halfway-home awards selections (Malkin or Ovechkin for the Hart? Nabokov or Niklas Backstrom or Tim Thomas/Manny Fernandez for the Vezina), one possibility simply leapt off the stats page, passed through the corneas and deadened the brain: Jarome Iginla for the ... Lady Byng?!...
Among the NHL’s Top 10 scorers, only NJ Devils’ sprite Zach Parise, Washington’s super-slick Nicklas Backstrom and the reigning Byng holder, Pavel Datsyuk of the Wings, have spent less time in the bin than the Flames’ inspirational captain.
via John Glennon of the Tennessean,
Predators forward Steve Sullivan told the team he could be ready to discuss target dates for his return to the lineup as early as Monday, barring any setbacks before then.
The topic of timetable had been very much avoided, but Sullivan met Friday with general manager David Poile after practice and gave him the encouraging news.
“He says he’s feeling really good and that he wants to get a couple more full practices in on Sunday and on Monday,’’ Poile said. “Then he wants to sit down with (Coach Barry Trotz) and myself, and if all goes well, be more precise with a timetable of when he may be able to return to play. That was music to my ears to hear he was feeling that way.’’
via Russo’s Rants,
Marian Gaborik is scheduled to have surgery on his left hip on Monday in Vail, Colo.
The surgery will address a deficiency in his hip that has caused chronic left groin pain. The surgeon has apprised the team that a return to play from this surgery is as soon as ten weeks, with the player able to begin skating after six weeks.
That’ll take it past the March 4 trade deadline obviously.
via the Stat Wizards at Elias Sports Bureau,
When Detroit defeated Chicago yesterday at Wrigley Field it marked the 879th time that Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios played on the winning team in a regular-season game, tying the NHL record held by Scott Stevens. Chelios’ first win came in his first game, a 3-2 victory by the Canadiens over the Hartford Whalers at the Montreal Forum on March 8, 1984.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The San Jose Sharks may have something to say about it in the end, and playoff match-ups are unpredictable at the best of times, but could the NHL luck into a scenario in which four Original Six teams – the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens in the East; the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks in the West – qualify for the Stanley Cup semi-finals?
And if so, wouldn’t that be the strongest marketing ploy imaginable, as the league enters into a year in which its presence on the sporting landscape will be put to the test by the world’s growing economic crisis?
continued & many other hockey notes…
NEW YORK (Jan. 2, 2009) —Boston Bruins goaltenders Manny Fernandez and Tim Thomas, who combined to post a 12-1-0 record, 2.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 13 games, have been named co-recipients of the NHL ‘First Star’ award for December. Philadelphia Flyers center Jeff Carter was named Second Star and Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin earned Third Star honors.
NEW YORK (Jan. 2, 2009)—Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason, who posted a 7-5-0 record with a 1.41 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and three shutouts in 12 games, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for December. It marks the second consecutive month that Mason has earned top rookie honors and the third consecutive month a Blue Jackets player has done so, following Derick Brassard in October.
Mason edged St. Louis Blues center Patrik Berglund (6-7—13 in 15 games), Anaheim Ducks right wing Bobby Ryan (4-8—12 in 13 games), Boston Bruins left wing Blake Wheeler (5-6—11 in 13 games), Florida Panthers center Michael Frolik (4-7—11 in 14 games) and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Kris Versteeg (3-6—9 in 11 games) for the award.
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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