Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Cris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
First, veteran goalie Nikolai Khabibulin will not play tonight. He had been scheduled to see his first action of the preseason. Savard’s explantation for the switch was the team wanted to get a good look at free-agent signee Antti Niemi.
With rumors of the Hawks looking to move Khabibulin since the signing of Cristobal Huet, there’s always cause for a pause when a change is made without a definitive explanation. If something is going on, it makes you wonder if it wouldn’t be better to see Khabibulin in the lineup so teams can take a look at him.
more on Chicago…
from the San Jose Sharks,
Team Teal wasn’t quite up to snuff in the first two periods, falling behind 3-0 and taking way too many penalties. They rallied in the third with an impressive final stanza, but it was too little too late.
“The team wasn’t prepared and it’s squarely on my shoulders and on the leadership’s shoulders,” said McLellan. “We had a little discussion between the second and the third. We had to manufacture a moment to get them going and that was unacceptable.”
from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,
NHL players certainly are not immune. Eventually, the rush of speeding up ice, the sensation of delivering a hard body check, the thrill of scoring a big goal or making an important save and the jolt of energy felt from the home crowd fades, ultimately disappearing to memory.
Most face the end of their careers either seeing that they’re unable to keep up with younger players or having someone make the decision for them. Some are lucky to call it a day on their own terms.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Since an MRI confirmed that Johnson has torn knee ligaments in his right knee, which will force him to miss the 2008-09 season, rumors have swirled that the 20-year-old was involved in horseplay while attending a team golf outing Sept. 16 at The Club at Porto Cima in Sunrise, Mo.
Johnson maintains the incident happened when he got his right foot caught between the accelerator and the brake in a golf cart. Johnson has heard the different versions of the story and seems irritated that some are continuing with the speculation.
from Bud Barth of the Worchester Telegram & Gazette,
If (Tuukka) Rask continues to have strong outings, it could open some interesting options for the Bruins. One would be to trade Fernandez and his $4.3 million salary, opening up cap space to add more scoring punch now or before the trade deadline in February.
Rask carries a hefty $2.2 million cap hit because of bonus clauses in his contract, but that’s only half of Manny’s load. The B’s would have to be sure Rask’s slender body could stand the punishment of the NHL game, especially after watching him melt down with Providence during the Calder Cup playoffs last spring.
The question should be, would any team want Manny Fernandez and his salary?
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Friday’s acquisition of Mathieu Schneider from the Anaheim Ducks was the third step in an overhaul that appears to have transformed a team weakness into a strength. In less than four months, the team that ranked worst in the league in shots allowed and shared the bottom spot in goals allowed might have shaken its blueline blues. The trade for Schneider follows the free-agent acquisition of Ron Hainsey and the drafting of Zach Bogosian.
“We’re 100 percent better,” Waddell said when asked about his top four during a Friday teleconference. He added that he didn’t mean that as a knock on his former players. “We were playing guys in higher positions than they should have been,” Waddell said. And now? “We have a legitimate top four,” he said.
from Spector’s Hockey,
Are the Bruins in the market for a defenseman? Is Calgary’s Adrian Aucoin concerned over a possible trade? What’s the latest on Joe Sakic, Luke Richardson and Petr Nedved?
read on for the lates trade and signing talk…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Wings took on Hossa for this season but GM Ken Holland will have his hands full next year fitting him into the cap because he’s working on a new deal for Henrik Zetterberg (at least $8 million a year) and fellow second-line winger Johan Franzen. Lidstrom, out with a broken nose (he’s lucky an errant puck didn’t smack him in the eye in camp), will also be in the second year of his $7.45-million contract.
a little more on Hossa plus other NHL notes…
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
There are several ways to look at Maxim Afinogenov’s reappearance on the top scoring line. It could be because the Buffalo Sabres want to showcase him for other teams. It could be because they want to boost his confidence after a terrible season. And maybe, just maybe, he’s there because they feel that’s where he belongs….
The Sabres need his help if they want to return to the playoffs. Afinogenov’s play nose-dived last season. Formerly a point-per-game star, he had just 10 goals and 18 assists in 56 games with a team-worst minus-16 rating….
“I haven’t lost any confidence because I’m healthy right now, which is the most important thing,” Afinogenov said. “When I was injured, I couldn’t even practice, I can’t be in shape. When I was on the ice, I was out of shape. Right now, I worked hard in the summer and prepared for the season, and I’m ready to go.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
How then to categorize Renney’s straight-faced assertion that he has, “liked [Wade Redden’s] game?” Maybe it’s simply Redden, a veteran, attempting to prepare for the season on his own timetable, but no Rangers played more poorly in the exhibition matches than Redden.
Now, this worthless week that ended with this worthless game - the Rangers were bullied by the Devils, something that never happened with Sean Avery in the lineup - sends the team to Bern. That’s where they will try to get ready for the season by playing two exhibition games on the larger international ice surface against European clubs, all the while trying to be ambassadors for the NHL.
more on the Rangers
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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