Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vancouver Province,
So the Canucks held on to their future, sacrificed the present and raised questions about their fate.
For this year, that will be in the hands of a star goalie, a potentially high end blueline and what general manager Dave Nonis dubbed “a middle-of-the-road” offence.
Is that enough to make a legitimate run at the Stanley Cup, considering a similar combination wasn’t enough last year, considering the significant improvements the Stars, the Sharks and the Avalanche all made Tuesday?
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
On a ver-r-r-ry interesting NHL trade deadline day, the youngest and most inexperienced of the general managers took the boldest steps.
Ray Shero, the second-year GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins, outmanoeuvred the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins to land Marian Hossa and complete the most significant upgrade among Eastern Conference playoff contenders.
François Giguère, the second-year GM of the Colorado Avalanche, surrendered a significant package of draft choices to land Adam Foote and Ruslan Salei, improving his defence corps a day after Peter Forsberg provided additional help up front.
Then, in what was probably the biggest deal of all, that quirky Dallas Stars front office, consisting of steady Les Jackson and wildly exuberant Brett Hull, pried playoff-tested Brad Richards out of the Tampa Bay Lightning without giving up a core asset.
from Russo’s Rants,
Look, I don’t want to blast Simon. I barely know the guy. Quite frankly, he seemed like a nice enough fellow when he graciously answered my call at his house. And most the guys I’ve ever talked to that have played with him swear by the guy.
But the Wild might have been better off doing nothing.
The Wild may be bigger and stronger and tougher and yada, yada, yada.
But you know what? You have to make the playoffs for this anticipated physicality to matter.
from Eric Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
The Fantastic Four is no more.
The quartet of pillars the Lightning built their franchise around is down to a trio after cornerstone center Brad Richards was traded Tuesday to the Dallas Stars in a five-player deal. In exchange, Tampa Bay received what it hopes will be a No. 1 goaltender in 25-year-old Mike Smith.
“I think it’s a good deal,” Lightning coach John Tortorella said. “And I hate saying that because Brad Richards is involved in it. But you put that aside and you think of the business part of it and how it helps your team.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
There was no giant trade for the Maple Leafs. There was no Philadelphia Story. There was no garage sale reduction of salaries.
Trade Deadline Day was everything that is Maple Leafs these days: The production did not meet the promise.
But at least, and in fairness, consider the miserable circumstances Cliff Fletcher found himself in. Between the bad contracts, the no-trade arrangements, and the players of little value, this was at least a start for the Leafs.
from Woody Paige at the Denver Post,
These are not the good old days of the Avalanche, but they are the good-news days for the Avs.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and their Hole-in- the-Wall Gang are riding together again, some for the first time.
Nobody knows how the season will skate out, but the fun’s about to begin.
Get my swan costume ready. I feel the thrill.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Once considered a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, the Senators are looking like easy, first-round playoff fodder—if they manage to hang on and qualify for the post-season tournament.
Crazy talk? Don’t think so. They have a nine-point cushion now, but the air is leaking out.
Hence, the growing speculation that Paddock will be replaced behind the bench by GM Bryan Murray, who took the team to the Stanley Cup final last season.
from Working the Corners,
(Joe) Thornton also told about seeing Campbell in a New York restaurant at the start of this road trip. That story got out to the national media when Campbell mentioned it at his phone conference call. But he didn’t mention how Thornton jokingly called Campbell over to the table where the Sharks were dining and asked the Buffalo defenseman if he’d like to be introduced to his new teammates. The man’s a prophet as well as a points machine.
more on the Sharks…
from Gil LeBreton of the Star-Telegram,
Doug Armstrong, fired from the GM job last November, searched in vain for nearly six years to find the Stars an impact scoring forward.
And the Ambassador of Fun finds one in three months?
Stars fans should be delirious. To get Richards, as well as backup goaltender Johan Holmqvist, Hull and Jackson had only to relinquish goalie Mike Smith, winger Jussi Jokinen and center Jeff Halpern.
NHL pundits are calling it the hockey equivalent of the lopsided Lakers-Grizzlies Pau Gasol trade
from Jamie Fitzpatrick at About.com,
The general manager of the Montreal Canadiens didn’t make the biggest splash at the NHL trade deadline. But he might have shown the most nerve.
Bob Gainey dumped his only veteran goaltender, dealing Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals.
Gainey is staking the franchise on a 20-year-old goalie with 12 NHL wins.
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.
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