Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
If Mats Sundin is to be taken at his word, that he truly bleeds blue and white, then in the best interests of the Maple Leafs he must act accordingly.
He must waive the no-trade clause in his contract and allow Cliff Fletcher to trade him at the Feb. 26 deadline.
That way, he can impact the next decade of the Leafs, just as he impacted the past decade. That way, he can enable the Leafs to build for next season and beyond, and if he chooses to return as a free agent in July, then he returns to a team that has a Steven Stamkos or a Drew Doughty, a team with fresher, younger legs, a team he can resume his captaincy and leadership of, while surrounded with a better cast and crew.
from the NY Post,
Opposing scouts, who may be shopping for trade-deadline bargains, claim Gionta’s struggle this season is the result of the loss of the tip-bait Brian Rafalski used to send his way. It doesn’t explain last season, and Gionta doesn’t clutch that crutch.
Gionta offers no remedy, just the desire to help the Devils any way he can, even if goals are scarce.
“Even when I was scoring, it was doing things I could do to help the team win,” Gionta said. “When the team’s not winning you feel more pressure.”
He said he doesn’t feel he’s been helping enough.
from the New York Times,
The Rangers hope giving him long-term security helps spur another hot stretch.
Lundqvist’s original contract expired after last season and he signed a one-year contract worth $4.25 million last summer so the Rangers could fit his long-term deal into their salary cap. The two sides could begin negotiating again after Jan. 1.
By then, Lundqvist had his father’s health weighing on his mind as well.
“Henrik is, in our minds, if not the best goaltender in the league, then one of the top two or three,” Coach Tom Renney said. “My feeling is, he’s been able to keep his eye on the ball anyway, with all the issues going on all around him.”
From TSN (and CP),
If the Carolina Hurricanes hope to make the playoffs, they will have to do so without their captain.
General Manager Jim Rutherford announced that the team will be without Rod Brind’Amour for four to six months after he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee during the first period of Thursday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Following the game the Hurricanes announced that Brind’Amour would undergo reconstructive knee surgery.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The offense is just now starting to show signs of life, thanks mostly to Chris Drury’s recent spurt of productivity (he is still minus-11 and has just 18 goals after a career-best 37 a season ago).
The main issues confronting Sather are what to do about Jaromir Jagr and how to improve his average defense. One issue seems to naturally lead to another. Jagr is done in New York—that much seems clear. Once again, this isn’t about a mercurial star quitting, but a talented star (and captain) who has hit the wall. It is not a stretch to suggest Jagr’s departure would free up the rest of the forward contingent to be more productive; addition by subtraction, if you will.
from Thrashers Blog,
...Hossa said the chances of him signing an extension before the trade deadline are “very slim.” I imagine that’s the closest he’ll come to saying, there’s no way he signs before the deadline.
He still hasn’t ruled out signing with the Thrashers down the road, but he understands the ramifications of not doing it before the deadline. It puts the ball in Don Waddell’s court, because Waddell has been maintaining he’d like to sign Hossa to an extension before the deadline. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen.
added 6:45pm, from Blueland Blog,
If the Thrashers don’t trade Marian Hossa between now and Feb. 26 he’s still under contract for the remainder of this season and the team retains exclusive negotiating rights with Hossa up until July 1. A lot could happen between now and then. For example, Don Waddell could work his magic and pick up some key pieces at the deadline like he did last year.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Today is Valentine’s Day, anybody in the National Hockey League feeling the love?
Certainly not NHL general managers, who going into their upcoming meetings this weekend are pretty much obsessed with how best to handle relationships that are on the verge of falling apart.
from Edward Fraser of the Hockey News,
Trading for prospects and draft picks can drastically improve your chances of making a Cup run in the future, so why settle for two or three playoff home games now when you could have upwards of 16 in the not-too-distant future?
So, to the teams that are likely thinking of buying in an effort to make the post-season (that’s you, Capitals, Sabres, Bruins, Rangers, Thrashers, Panthers, Islanders, Flames, Predators, Avalanche, Canucks, Blue Jackets, Coyotes and Blues):
Don’t do it. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is your year. Build for the future and, on Feb. 26, sell, sell, sell.
Howson confirmed Thursday morning he will be talking to Rick Curran either today or Friday about whether the Blue Jackets can afford to re-sign the team captain. Foote, 36, is an unrestricted free agent and is believed to be seeking a two- or three-year deal.
The general manager said he won’t need to talk to Foote again before discussing money with his agent. The Jackets have seven unrestricted free agents and Foote is the only one management is negotiating with, Howson said.
more on Columbus…
via the Detroit Free Press,
Quick update from practice: Wings coach Mike Babcock said defenseman Brian Rafalski would miss Friday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a groin injury.
Babcock said he thought Kyle Quincey would be called up to replace Rafalski in the lineup.
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.
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