Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
So while Hollweg brings an edge and willingness to fight, nobody on the Leafs squad at this moment will strike a sense of fear or dread into the opposition.
“I think it could be a concern,” Wilson acknowledged yesterday, when asked about his club’s lack of toughness. “But, again, we haven’t had our full lineup all together.”
Wilson insisted that an NHL team does not need the big heavyweight any more, as the game has changed and a mid-sized scrapper, who can also skate and hit, like Hollweg, can be just as valuable.
“A lot of times, that’s just sideshow—heavyweight fights heavyweight. What’s that got to do with the game?” the veteran coach said. “If you just got a guy who plays two or three minutes and can’t skate or do anything, I don’t know if that serves a purpose. (But) we’ll see how our team is this year and if we have to address that, we will.”
from Mick Kern of the NHL Home Ice Blog,
If you had to win ONE big game, be it for the Stanley Cup, or, if your expectations are more realistic, be it for first place in your division, or even the last playoff spot in the conference…which player would you most want to have on your side?
A few conditions, but of course. First, no Hockey Hall-of-Famers can be considered. Way too obvious. Second, this one may stir up some debate as to what defines a star, but any player most fans would recognize as a star cannot be included (though many did vote for Danny Gare…and we allowed him to be included, so go figure). Third, the player can come from any era, any team, but we had to have a concrete, logical reason why.
from Dan Wood of the OC Register,
Aspiring NHL players Bobby Ryan and Brett Festerling, whose training-camp performances have put them in solid contention to be on the Ducks’ opening-night roster, are at opposite ends of a curious twist in the league’s salary-cap system.
Ryan, a winger chosen second overall in the 2005 entry draft, is in jeopardy of not making the team because of a relatively big contract that includes an $821,700 base salary at the NHL level and $925,000 more in potential performance bonuses.
Festerling, a defenseman who was never drafted and originally joined the Ducks on a training-camp tryout in 2005, could land a spot in part because his $473,300 NHL salary would be barely above the league minimum of $450,000.
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
With Chelios going on long-term injured reserve and his salary not counting against the $56.7-million US cap, the Wings payroll now sits at $56.250-million US.
“The deadline (to trade a defenceman) possibly could be pushed back,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
The choice appears to be down to either Derek Meech or Kyle Quincey. “I think each of the kids has played okay,” Holland said. “There’s been the odd giveaway, but all (of them have) played pretty well.”
more on the Wings…
Khabibulin’s agent, Jay Grossman told TSN that his client has playing options with the Russian Continental Hockey League (KHL).
“Nik has several options, both here and over there,” Grossman told TSN.
“However, nothing has been finalized and by no means is anything imminent.”
Grossman admitted that he would like to get a deal worked out quickly so that Khabibulin could get back on the ice.
“Nobody is looking to drag this thing out,” he told TSN.
From the Canadian Press,
Several NHLers consider Laraque the league’s top heavyweight and make sure to give the six-foot-three, 245-pounder ample space.
“He’s probably the toughest in the league,” says Ottawa Senators enforcer Chris Neil. “He’s strong, he’s powerful. It’s one of those things where you watch his fights, meanwhile, when he’s out there on the ice, he’s coming after you, so you’ve got to be aware.”
Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, no stranger to the rough stuff, agrees.
“I wouldn’t want to get caught in a line brawl with him,” he says with a smile.
Brad Isbister’s time with the Ottawa Senators organization has come to an end. The veteran forward did not report to the Binghamton Senators, despite being assigned to the AHL farm club last week.
Isbister remains under contract with the Senators, but the NHL club will loan him to a European club for the rest of the season if his agent can work out a deal.
If Isbister fails to land a job elsewhere, the Senators will likely suspend him.
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Still, there is a consistent belief in the hockey community that the decision to hire Melrose after a 13½-year absence from the coaching scene runs somewhere between risky and foolhardy.
“That’s a big question mark for them,” national hockey analyst and former NHL netminder Darren Eliot said recently.
Other hockey sources, including current NHL general managers, questioned Melrose’s ability to stay current on trends in penalty killing, power plays and defensive schemes.
One of the Lightning’s new owners, former NHLer Len Barrie, rolls his eyes at the oft-repeated questions surrounding the team’s coaching choice.
read on for more on Melrose, plus his history with his assistant coach Cap Raeder.
Defenceman Jeff Finger, who has only played one pre-season game, will likely miss the first week of the season as a foot injury is taking longer to heal than originally expected.
The 28-year old, who signed a four year deal worth $14 million with the Leafs in the summer, suffered the injury in the Maple Leafs pre-season opening game against the Sabres.
from Loose Change of the Hockey News,
You’re here for predictions. You want someone bold to lay their renowned reputation on the line with some brazen declarations. Lucky for you, I like making predictions. And lucky for me, I’m not renowned.
You won’t hear Loose Change joining all the other talking heads in parroting that the Red Wings are (oh golly) “the team to beat.” Personally I think the team to beat is the Minnesota Wild. Any team wearing a god-awful jersey like that deserves a good beating.
I see 16 teams qualifying for the playoffs (no more, no less), no later than April 7th. Kansas City will not be one of them.
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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