Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Josh Cooper at the Morning Skate,
At today’s morning skate, Blues players confirmed the team had a closed-door meeting following their 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay. Sources have told the Post-Dispatch that in the meeting, general manager Larry Pleau laid into the club.
Defenseman Barret Jackman was not caught off guard, and in fact sensed something would be said sooner rather than later.
“Were not shocked that anything happened, closed door meetings or anything like that,” Jackman said. “It is something that has come to a boiling point and its everybody in our room that has to change things right now.”
Added forward Keith Tkachuk: “It had got to the point where something had to be said, and it was said, and now we move on.”
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
How does David Booth feel toward Flyers center Mike Richards, who dealt him the concussion that’s caused him to sit out two months and at least three more weeks?
“Uh…yeah, I mean, that’s…you know…uh…there’s…uh…I don’t know. I can’t say anything,” Booth said, unable to muster more in a span of 15 seconds.
Is Booth angry?
“Yeah I’m angry. How could you not be angry? Everyone would be angry.”
The Florida Panthers will play the Flyers on Monday night for the first time since Richards drove his left shoulder into Booth’s head at full speed on Oct. 24, a hit that dropped Booth flat on his face on the Wachovia Center ice and sent him to the hospital.
from William Houston of Truth & Rumours,
Ultimately, perhaps, the final word on workplace safety, specifically head injuries, won’t belong to commentators or even the NHL. TSN’s Bob McKenzie said during the Friday night show, “Whether the NHL likes it or not, it’s going to be dragged kicking and screaming into an era of legislation because this is becoming an athletic pandemic.
“What’s going to happen with (U.S.) Congress being involved, medical authorities being involved, it’s going to go beyond the game of hockey. It’s going to become societal, and, when that happens, people in hockey are going to lose a little control about how the rules are governed. It’s going to become illegal. Within five years, you are not going to be allowed to hit anybody in the head.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• Chances are Carolina Hurricanes UFA Ray Whitney will end up with the Boston Bruins as a trade-deadline deal for a second-round draft pick. The offensively-challenged Bruins will perhaps ask Mark Recchi what he thought of Whitney from the Canes’ 2006 Cup run. If not Boston, then Philadelphia may be a possible destination, as former Hurricanes bench boss Peter Laviolette is currently head coach there.
• Montreal’s Scott Gomez has seriously missed linemate Brian Gionta, who has been our with a broken foot since November. Gomez, at $8 million, is the club’s second-line centre behind Tomas Plekanec. The Habs are seeing what the Rangers saw -not nearly enough offensive production.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
I do not believe that firing Hitchcock, at this juncture, would be an intelligent move.
I do not believe the players have quit on Hitchcock. The 2001-02 Dallas Stars and the 2006-07 Philadelphia Flyers quit on him. There are no signs that there is any sort of revolt afoot in Columbus. If anything, the Jackets still buy into the coach’s message. They might roll their eyes in the next video session, but they will understand the message, and they will believe in it.
I believe the Jackets need a defenseman, and an enforcer, and that Howson must address these concerns. I believe that, other than some tinkering, the answers to the present problems are largely within the grasp of the players in the locker room.
After the loss in Denver, the Jackets find themselves on a 2-9-5 jag.
I think they lost their identity and suffered a crisis of confidence.
I do not think it is the end of the world.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Repeat after me: the Avalanche is not trading Matt Duchene or Ryan O’Reilly. It’s not going to happen. It’s especially not going to happen for a guy like Ilya Kovalchuk or any other guy in the last year of a contract, and the salary demands for his next deal are said to begin at $11 million per year. The Avalanche has played this game before, but they don’t play that game anymore.
They are NOT trading their young, up-and-coming stars for high-dollar guys who may flee after a few months. Won’t happen.
Same goes for a rumored deal of O’Reilly and Wilson and Liles to Philly for Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell and a pick. Won’t happen.
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
There is no proof that the NHL schedule was designed to benefit the Stanley Cup champions, but the Penguins have been playing advantageous hands the past few weeks.
A game Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena marked the fourth of eight previous contests in which a rested Penguins squad faced an opponent that played the previous night.
In fact, according to FSN Pittsburgh, seven of the Penguins’ past 12 games have come against opponents that either played the previous night or traveled a great distance the day before. The Penguins were 5-0-1 in those contests.
“It’s just the nature of this year’s schedule,” coach Dan Bylsma said.
continue for more on the Penguins…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun via the Toronto Sun,
• The Flyers are believed to be trying to trade C Jeff Carter. Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren nixed a deal for Montreal G Jaroslav Halak, and wants to see if he can get more for Carter.
• When is somebody going to challenge the leadership of Rangers GM Glen Sather? The club hasn’t had a great record since he took over and things are going downhill fast this season. Here’s a rumour: Sather and coach John Tortorella out. Mark Messier and coach Wayne Gretzky in.
• Confirm or deny: St. Louis coach Andy Murray pushed one of his daily scouting reports under a player’s hotel door recently and the player pushed it back out. Then, Murray pushed it back in. Can’t be true, can it?
more including Kovalchuk talk…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
So we’ve been doing research for All Decade lists that will appear in this space next week, in the final Slap Shots of the 2000s, but while reviewing the best and worst first-overall Entry Draft selections, this single Draft Day deserves special mention:
It was June 24, 2000 in Calgary, when Mike Milbury went Mad. Holding the first overall selection, the Islanders’ GM first traded young netminder Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen to the Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha, thus opening a hole in goal that Milbury filled by selecting Rick DiPietro at No. 1 overall, ahead of Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik.
Thus, instead of the Islanders presenting a lineup that would have included Luongo, Jokinen and either Heatley or Gaborik, Milbury chose one with Parrish, Kvasha and DiPietro.
more topics from Larry, includeing Bill Guerin should be Team USA captain…
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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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