Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
• Please don’t quote me, but it appears as if Jacques Lemaire is back where he belongs, behind the bench in New Jersey, able to get more out of what appears to be less.
• Now it’s the Blue Jackets who need the public to chip in their tax dollars in order to ensure that the privately owned franchise that caps its employees’ wages remains in place. The NHL is filled with franchises that simply cannot produce enough revenue to thrive and please, please, let’s not always blame “the lease.”
There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the league would be in substantially better condition had it adopted a meaningful luxury tax plan with those proceeds plus revenue share money flowing to small market teams, instead of the hard cap.
But then the NHL wouldn’t have its cost certainty, under which the only certainty is that small-market, U.S.-based clubs always will be on life-support.
• I’m sorry, but Phil Kessel became Frank Mahovlich, when?
more NHL talk including Brooks taking on the head shots debate…
Ward left the ice bleeding from the upper leg area and taken to the hospital.
update 10:15pm, Ward will spend the night in a Columbus hospital.
In an innocent play along the end boards, Jason Williams right leg was caught underneath him and he was helped off the ice during the first period of the Wings/Leafs game tonight.
Wings TV crew just announced he has a broken right leg.
added 10:02pm, Video of Williams breaking his leg.
“For 15 years I’ve said that it should be mandatory and should never be the players’ decision, because you give us a choice and the chances are we make the wrong one. In saying that, I haven’t worn a visor my whole career and I’ve had no problem with it, either. So I think when it comes down to it we’re all men, we should have the choice, but for myself, if they tell me to wear a visor because I have to, then I have no problem with it.”
-Brad May of the Detroit Wings stating visors should be mandatory for NHL players. More on this topic from May by Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.
from Steve Zipay of Blue Notes,
Less than 24 hours after coach John Tortorella declared that Henrik Lundqvist would start the final game of this three-game trip, he reversed gears and said backup Steve Valiquette would be in the nets for his second consecutive game. “Vally is going. It’s just rest for Hank,” was all Tortorella would say, but the Rangers No. 1 goalie is fighting a nagging injury.
Lundqvist (8-5-1, 2.52 GAA) mentioned the other day that the ice pack on his “stiff” right upper thigh/groin was for something minor, and indeed, both goalies participated in the skate at the Saddledome and Valiquette left the ice first while Lundqvist chatted at center ice with Sean Avery and other players. In the dessing room, Lundqvist removed his equipment and disappeared for treatment for more than an hour. When he emerged he said that was pretty confident that he would play against Atlanta on Thursday, a nine-day layoff.
from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,
For about six years now, Jonas Gustavsson has been skinny. Not slender, just skinny. His legs are skinny. His waist and chest are skinny. And even his face is skinny. Dress him in a skinny black tie and a skinny black suit and Gustavsson would not look out of place in a jazz club full of New York hipsters, circa 1955.
“It doesn’t matter how much I eat or how much I practise—I get stronger, but I just can’t get any bigger,” says the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender who begins each day with bacon and eggs, toast and an assortment of fruit, and ends it with a bedtime snack. “Everything I eat, I burn away. But I think this is the right way for me.”
Per Bob McKenzie’s Twitter,
Washington puts Michael Nylander on waivers.
His salary cap hit is almost $4.9M and it runs thru the end of next season.
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
The NHL season is far enough along to get a feel for how teams are distributing their power play minutes. In most cases, it’s obvious, or at least readily apparent, who is going to get that precious playing time, but here are some observations with regards to each team’s power play ice time.
Despite little production, LW Vyacheslav Kozlov ranks third on the Thrashers with 3:57 of power play time. D Tobias Enstrom is the mainstay on the blueline (4:48), with Zach Bogosian (2:00) and Pavel Kubina (1:59) splitting time. Ron Hainsey (0:59) is pretty much on the outside looking in.
Removing an injured Johan Franzen from the equation, LW Dan Cleary ranks sixth on the Wings in power play time, with 3:10 per game, yet has just two points with the man advantage. Jonathan Ericsson, who leads Red Wings defencemen with eight points, has a total of one second on the power play.
read on for a look at every NHL team…
Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun discuss next year’s possible HHOF class.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
Even Holland conceded that for the first time since he has been in Detroit, the Red Wings are no longer thought of as championship contenders.
“It’s a long-term plan,” Holland said prior to tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. “If you just hang onto the old guys, eventually everyone’s play falls off at the same time and it’s a long way back. What we’re trying to do is put a team on the ice that we think is going to be capable of being a playoff team. At the same time, we’re trying to get some younger people going.
“Obviously, we’ve played at a high level for a long time. We lost all the offence in the offseason. And some of our key guys are getting older. Nick Lidstrom is 39 and turning 40 in May. The expectations are at some point in time we’re going to decline.”
It has been a while since “decline” has been in the Red Wings’ vocabulary.
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