Kukla's Korner Hockey
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that defenseman Roman Polak will be sidelined indefinitely with a fractured right foot. He suffered the injury in the third period on Jan. 17 vs. Chicago. In addition, the club has recalled defenseman Steve Wagner from the Blues’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Those who remember Datsyuk as a rookie, when he was a lanky little thing with deft hands and the shiest smile, aren’t the least bit surprised he has become a luminous star.
“His first day of training camp he had the flu,” former captain Steve Yzerman said. “From the second day on, he wowed us.”
Yzerman played with Datsyuk from 2001-02 until he retired in the summer of 2006. Now a member of the front office, Yzerman has vivid memories of Datsyuk’s first year.
“His stickhandling stood out immediately,” Yzerman said. “He just shoots more now. He was really good back then; he just didn’t play a lot.”
It spoke volumes about Datsyuk that, even as a rookie, veteran Brett Hull wanted to play with him, because Hull wasn’t the type to tolerate linemates who didn’t get him the puck.
“Brett recognized a good player there, for sure,” Yzerman said. “Pavel was so good right off the bat. Had we needed him to, he could have played a lot more than he did. He was phenomenal.”
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,
The Flyers have taken 251 minor penalties this season—second in the NHL to the Anaheim Ducks’ 266—and they lead the NHL with 11 bench minors for too many men on the ice.
As a result, they have been short handed 228 times this season (second to Anaheim) while being awarded just 167 power plays (second-fewest to the New Jersey Devils).
So the question begs to be asked: Why have the Flyers received 61 fewer power plays than their opponents, while the Minnesota Wild have been awarded 36 more power plays than their opponents?
“I think it has a lot to do with the crest we wear on our jerseys, with all our history and stuff like that,” said Hartnell, who leads the Flyers with 28 minor penalties, which is tied for third in the NHL. “But we have to do a better job individually to keep our sticks where they belong.”
from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
There’s a pretty hot debate brewing over what the Bruins should do about their goaltending situation before the trade deadline with both Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez in the final year of their contracts and headed for unrestricted free agency if still unsigned by July 1.
The conventional wisdom says you trade one of them — in this case, presumably Fernandez — before the March 4 deadline so at least you get something in return. Clearly, the Bruins cannot re-sign both of them; they could cost up to $10 million combined, and that’s way too much money to be tied up on a team that’s already up against the salary cap — a cap that probably won’t be rising next year….
So, what to do?
In this case, the answer is simple: You don’t trade either Thomas or Fernandez — unless you’re offered something crazy like Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
read on and sorry no author was listed for the article, just a picture of the writer…
from Empty Netters,
Also, with NBC doing the game, prepare yourself four quite a few “Staals are brothers” references. Even more than an FSN Pittsburgh broadcast. Network television is generally geared towards the most broad, generic mentally dull audience available. So instead of actually explaining the Penguins’ power play, they’ll just bring up the Staals 902 times.
more on today’s Rangers/Penguins game…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• There’s no guarantee Osgood will be the goalie to start the playoffs if this keeps up. Conklin is a huge favourite in the Red Wings room. They like everything about him except his love of flying. He’s got his own little Super Cub two-seater after first taking flying lessons when he was playing for the Oilers.
“I limit my flying to Redbird (team plane) and Northwest,” joked Kris Draper, talking to Detroit writers. “I’m not flying Ty Conklin Air. Not a chance.”
• New York Islanders winger Bill Guerin has a no-move clause in his contract, but if New Jersey came calling at the deadline and he could rejoin Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston, would he say no?
• The Boston Bruins have Marco Sturm on the long-term injury list, which saves them his $3.5 million salary and also gives them a shot at another forward at the deadline if he’s out several months. If the St. Louis Blues aren’t in the playoff hunt at the March 4 deadline, would they move Keith Tkachuk, who grew up in Massachussets and went to school in Boston?
more hockey talk…
“We came out on top and that is what we set out to do,” said Dan Boyle.
The hero on the night was Milan Michalek who has the primary assist on two goals and used a dramatic burst of speed to make the game 5-4 and change the momentum in San Jose’s direction for the remainder of the evening.
“It was a great game tonight,” said Michalek. “It was good to get the goal and the win. We want people to know that we are the best in the NHL.”
Watch the game highlights below…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The players, said union boss Paul Kelly, remain eager to work with league officials on adding penalties for those who target opponents’ heads with checks. “The trick is to do that without reducing the amount of contact that is part of what makes this such a great sport,” he said.
The five players on the Competition Committee: Jason Spezza, Mathieu Schneider, Brian Campbell, Jeff Halpern, and Ryan Miller. To sum up their dislikes: 1. whistles (needless stops in play) and 2. defensive, trapping hockey. Sounds like a group that gets it.
more hockey notes…
Paul Kelly talked with Ron MacLean last night on numerous topics. Watch the ten minute interview below…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Now that it has a hit on its hands, the NHL should whenever possible use the Winter Classic as a vehicle to help needy markets and franchises.
Which is why next season’s Winter Classic should be played in New York between the Islanders New York Islanders and Rangers New York Rangers , whether at this new rich mans’ palace masquerading as Yankee Stadium or at the Mets New York Mets ’ new ballpark with the stigmatized name, or in Central Park….
We know. The national TV ratings would take a beating. So what? It’s a singular affair. The NHL claims that TV ratings are secondary, anyway, when they lag, so what is the purpose of constructing a one-day exhibition simply to inflate numbers on a fleeting basis?
A Jan. 1, 2010 outdoors Battle of New York would energize and elevate the Islanders. It would give this woebegone club a spotlight event. It would put hockey on the back page in New York, and not only for a day, but for a number of days.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
• The word is Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is shopping C Daniel Briere and his huge contract. While Briere has extended his rehab assignment from a groin injury with AHL’s Phantoms through tonight, Holmgren has been trying to find room for his $6.5-million (all terms US) cap hit. Since finding somebody to take Briere, who has missed 29 of the club’s last 30 games, is going to be nearly impossible because he has five years left on his deal, the club will likely have to move D Randy Jones and RW Joffrey Lupul to make room for Briere.
• Pat Quinn is considered the top candidate to replace Therrien, TSN analyst Pierre McGuire shouldn’t be ruled out as a possible replacement.
more of the rumor talk
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 firstname.lastname@example.org