Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Derek Felska at The State of Hockey News:
Any team more or less makes a covenant with its fans to do the absolute best it can. In the case of the fans, they have shown incredible devotion and dedication to the Minnesota Wild selling out every home game in team history up to this point. The fans have made its merchandise amongst the top selling teams in the league, and have filled the arena to over 100% capacity for the last few seasons. That covenant is a trust between fans and ownership. The actions or in this case the inaction of this team is a huge betrayal of that trust. With the team’s fortunes this season clearly heading south, the Wild opted not to be a big seller and chose not to trade soon-to-be unrestricted free agents Stephane Veilleux, Martin Skoula, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Kurtis Foster, or star winger Marian Gaborik. It seems strange a team that will likely not qualify for the post season did not even attempt to trade off assets with the hope of acquiring picks or prospects for the future.
At the Star-Tribune, Michael Russo notes there was some action in Minnesota yesterday, but it fell apart:
While the Wild won’t confirm what “major deal” it was involved in until Wednesday morning, sources say General Manager Doug Risebrough continued his longtime quest for Jokinen, the former Florida Panthers captain who was ultimately traded from Phoenix to the Calgary Flames.
How do you think the return of Sean Avery to the Rangers will impact the team play? The Rangers do play tonight on Long Island.
Scott Burnside ad Pierre LeBrun break down the trades and grade the impact the trades will have.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Ducks’ trades said they want to make the playoffs now. If they miss, which is likely, they have restocked enough talent and promise to rightly feel optimistic. They don’t have to rebuild from the ground up.
The Kings’ trade said fans who have endured four decades without a Cup title will have to wait again.
Wait two weeks to see Williams, twice a 30-goal scorer but a victim of knee, Achilles’ tendon and hand injuries the last two seasons.
Wait until next season for the team’s first playoff berth since 2002.
Wait for a day that never seems in sight.
from John Grigg of The Hockey News,
10. Calgary acquires Jordan Leopold from Colorado for Lawrence Nycholat, Ryan Wilson and a second round draft pick
The Flames are much better today than they were yesterday, but Colorado wins this deal….
9. Pittsburgh acquires Bill Guerin from the New York Islanders for a conditional draft pick
This was a real head-scratcher on the Islanders’ part….
from Scott Cruickshank of Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
It’s put-up or shut-up time for Olli Jokinen.
After years of teasing and flirting with becoming a truly elite player, rather than just a solitary figure trapped in unhappy situations, Wednesday’s trade to the Flames gives him every opportunity to finally fulfil his vast potential.
His lack of leadership in the past has come into question. Well, he isn’t obliged to be a centrepiece in Calgary. No one’s looking for him to lead the charge into Joe Louis or The Shark Tank. There’s already many strong personalities inside the Flames’ room. Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr, for starters. There’s plenty of insulation for him to just go out and dominate on the ice - and certainly all the ingredients are in place for that.
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
While many of the Eastern Conference contenders got better today, the Flyers took a step backward. All because they were backed into a corner by their lack of cap space.
So they traded energetic winger Scottie Upshall to Phoenix for tough-guy winger Dan Carcillo, the NHL’s leader with 174 penalty minutes .
My first reaction: The Broad Street Bullies are being resurrected _ and that won’t work in today’s speed-first NHL.(Carcillo and Flyers winger Riley Cote are second in the NHL with 18 fights each.) Still, general manager Paul Holmgren deserves a mulligan. In two years, he has transformed the Flyers from a laughing stock to one of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams.
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
In Quebec, they were howling for Olli Jokinen. They were screaming for Jay Bouwmeester. But neither player made sense for the Canadiens and Gainey knew it. He knows the truth. His team is not good enough to win….
For Gainey, either move would have been irresponsible. The honest truth is that with either Jokinen or Bouwmeester, the Canadiens wouldn’t be good enough to win. Heck, I’d argue that adding both of them still isn’t enough.
Only a bad GM would panic and waste precious young players/draft picks in such a deal - and Bob Gainey isn’t a bad GM.
more and other deadline notes…
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
“This day was different for myself and our staff [because] we were buyers and not sellers,” Tallon said as he addressed the media at the United Center after acquiring center Samuel Pahlsson from the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman James Wisniewski. “Buying is a lot more fun than selling, believe me.”
The Hawks targeted a veteran center who is tough defensively, wins faceoffs and has postseason experience. Pahlsson fits the bill.
The 31-year-old hasn’t played since Jan. 31 because of mononucleosis and is up to three weeks from joining the Hawks’ lineup, but the Hawks have their sights set more on the postseason than the final 20 games of the regular season.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The Canucks were willing to give up LW Mason Raymond and a No. 1 draft pick. The belief is Florida wanted either D Kevin Bieksa or D Alex Edler included and GM Mike Gillis wasn’t willing to make the move. That’s where the discussions ended for Vancouver.
The Flyers wanted to move either RW Joffrey Lupul or RW Scottie Upshall (who landed in Phoenix) along with prospect James vanRiemsdyk and a No. 1 pick to the Panthers. It’s believed Florida wanted LW Scott Hartnell as part of the trade.
There is risk involved for the Panthers. A first-round playoff fall doesn’t constitute playoff success.
more and a few more hockey topics…
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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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