Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
To qualify as a rental, a player must be an unrestricted free agent next summer. Here is my list of top potential rentals.
1. Jay Bouwmeester (Florida): With Marian Gaborik hurt, Bouwmeester is the big prize. He’s an unusual case only in that there are teams that would like to acquire and sign him, and they might be willing to pay more if they can talk to him and get him on the dotted line….
2. Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues): At 36, he’s still on a 25-goal pace, and he brings experience and an edge to his game….
3. Mathieu Schneider (Atlanta): Many teams are looking for a puck-moving defenseman, and Schneider still has a big shot and knows how to move the puck effectively.
Each week, the NHL on TSN panel voices their opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.
Question No. 1: Is Jason Spezza part of the problem or the solution in Ottawa?
Keith Jones: He is part of the solution. He’s only 25 years old and has a tremendous amount of upside and skill is the key word….
Bob McKenzie: I agree. Spezza needs to be part of the solution. There’s no question he’s had some shortcomings and flaws in his game but are the fatal? No, build your team around what he gives you offensively and fill in the holes. Defensively and all the rest of the things you need elsewhere.
read on with more Q & A…
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
The Phoenix Coyotes believe Arizona is a strong hockey market and are convinced this NHL team isn’t going anywhere.
However, the Coyotes are in a deep financial crisis, propped up by the National Hockey League with short-term financing protection and operating loans helping Phoenix manage cash flow to sustain their business for the remainder of the season.
It’s unclear how long the league will continue to carry this team, although league sources say contraction or a dispersal draft haven’t been discussed or considered.
Sources say the team is expected to be sold within the next two months with current owner Jerry Moyes retaining as much as 20 percent.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
The frequency and severity of leg injuries among NHL goaltenders, especially those who incorporate elements of the butterfly style, are a source of concern in several hockey cities….
here is an emerging consensus on the causes: specialized leg movements, more intensive practice drills, faster play in games (less clutching and grabbing means more shots and goals) and heavier schedules.
“The game has opened up, the new rules mean goaltenders are a lot busier, the saves are harder and more spectacular, there’s more stress on the joints,” said Anaheim Ducks goaltender coach François Allaire, who popularized the butterfly style — so-called because goalies spread to keep the inside of their leg pads flat against the ice — with Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy.
from John Shipley of the Pioneer Press (Thursday edition),
Dwayne Roloson is no stranger to the expiring contract. He is playing with one now, just as he did with the Minnesota Wild in 2005-06.
It’s not easy.
“But in that situation,” he said, “you’ve got to block it out the best you can.”
Roloson likely will be in net tonight when the Edmonton Oilers take on the Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. His counterpart will be Niklas Backstrom, who is looking more and more like 2009’s most eligible goaltender….
There’s no doubt Backstrom is the Wild’s top goaltender, yet it appears he’ll play in the Jan. 25 All-Star Game with a contract set to expire in July. Not only has general manager Doug Risebrough declined to discuss his contract situation, he also has declined to even say the Wild want him back.
from Dave Stubbs of Habs Inside/Out,
From The Gazette’s Herb Zurkowsky, who covered practice today in Brossard:
Growing weary of widespread rumours and gossip surrounding injured players, Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau on Wednesday said anyone sidelined indefinitely will now have the nature of their injuries released to the media.
No longer will the team report such players have upper- or lower-body injuries.
Carbonneau said the decision was reached following a meeting between himself, general manager Bob Gainey, vice-president (hockey operations) Julien BriseBois and the team’s communications department.
continued with an update on the Montreal injuries…
It’s official: the New Jersey Devils have made room for the return of unrestricted free agent Brendan Shanahan, signing the veteran on Wednesday.
Shanahan signed an $800,000 dollar contract, meaning he will receive about half of that for playing half of the NHL season.
The Blue Jackets have acquired forward Jason Williams from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Clay Wilson and a sixth-round draft pick, The Dispatch has learned.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired center Jason Williams from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Clay Wilson and San Jose’s sixth round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft previously acquired by Columbus in exchange for Jody Shelley on January 29, 2008, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today.
from Dave Gross of Camwest News Service via the National Post,
Dallas Stars forward Mike Modano believes the Sean Avery saga could have been handled differently.
Speaking with the media on Wednesday afternoon, Modano said the entire headache - that became the talk of the National Hockey League for the better part of December and early parts of January - could have been avoided with a bit of advance research by the Stars.
“I think we would have analyzed (the signing) a little bit more over the summer before you go into the free-agent market. Do a little more homework and detailed analysis (and get the opinions) of players who have played with him, or how guys feel about it,” said Wednesday the 19-year veteran during a conference call.
I always give big hits, so if I have a chance to hit him, why not? We both play in [the] Russian national team, so it’s not a rivalry. We’re not friends [but] we can still talk to one another.”
-Alexander Ovechkin talking about Evgeni Malkin. Much more at Capitals Insider as the Penguins and Capitals prepare to meet tonight…
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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