Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Russell Brooks of PhoenixCoyotes.com,
Coyotes defenseman Kurt Sauer suffered a lower body injury during the third period of Saturday night’s victory over Dallas and is expected to miss the next four weeks.
“It is a big blow for us,” General Manager Don Maloney said on Sunday. “(But) it will open up an opportunity for someone else to step in and play well.”
from Ethan J. Skolnick of the Sun-Sentinel,
Most are predicting, with good reason, that he will not re-sign. The fact that he hasn’t agreed to an extension, when the Panthers want to retain him, is evidence enough. Why would he go? Well, he’s 25, and he hasn’t played in the postseason since the Panthers drafted him third overall in 2002, one pick after Atlanta took Lehtonen. He is from hockey-crazed Alberta, and while playing in relative obscurity here seems the best fit for Bouwmeester’s introverted personality, his father, Dan, told New Times that South Florida “shouldn’t even be in the NHL” and “it’s not a hockey town.”
So all signs point to relocation to the North, to play for a fan base that better appreciates his attributes, even if it might also be more critical of the inconsistency of his physicality.
This has all inspired the assertion that the Panthers should get value for him now, while they can. After all, better to get 80 cents on the dollar than nothing.
That would be a reasonable argument, and the prudent approach, for any franchise other than this one. The Panthers will never get any traction, or respect, without a playoff appearance.
from Jed Lockett of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (West Virginia),
She counts three things among her loves in life, English history, crafting and hockey. She became a hockey fan watching NBC’s telecasts during the early-1970s and picked a team — the Detroit Red Wings — in 1974. But hockey soon left the air and she would not be able to watch again until ESPN began televising it in the 1980s and ’90s….
Later that summer, the NHL announced the next location of the Winter Classic, Wrigley Field in Chicago for a game between the hometown Blackhawks and their Original Six rivals, the Detroit Red Wings. That would be my Christmas gift to the woman that meant more to me than anyone else….
Mom exclaimed, “Detroit AND Chicago?”
Our trip to the Windy City would include a detour through the Motor City….
Depressed area? Do not tell that to the people of Detroit. Do not even think that about the people of Detroit. It is a blue-collar city with a heart of gold. They believe hard work and perseverance pays dividends. So it is no surprise that they avidly support a team that has made the playoffs the last 17 seasons.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
If the goal is to finish with the best shot at the No. 1 draft pick in the NHL lottery, then the first half of the Islanders’ season has been an unqualified success. One game past the midpoint of their season, the Isles are planted firmly in the 30th spot, four points below their nearest competitors for the chance to select either Canadian center John Tavares or Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman in the June 26 draft in Montreal.
As tough as this season has been to watch, the reality is that grabbing a player such as Tavares or Hedman is the best way to build a legitimate contender. Top teams have superstars, and no one on the Islanders qualifies.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Chiarelli has slightly more than seven weeks (52 days) before the March 4 trade deadline to figure out some contingencies if neither Bergeron nor Sturm can make it back before the playoffs.
Five names to consider:
# Keith Tkachuk - The former Malden Catholic star, who will turn 37 March 28, still has a little bit of touch (14 goals and 27 points) in those meaty hands (now 514 career goals and counting). He is finishing up a two-year deal with the Blues, with a cap hit of $4 million, and certainly will be moved at the deadline with the Blues able to trim some $800,000 in cap exposure….
Jason Williams - A season lost in the ongoing train wreck in Atlanta. Not big (5-11/195), but can play both center and wing and is only 28 years old. Cap hit is $2.2 million….
more plus additional hockey topics…
Ritch Winter, Maian Hossa’s agent states Hossa is enjoying his stay in Detroit and both sides are interested in seeing if the relationship can continue past this season.
Read more from Craig Custance of the Sporting News Today.
Along with host Ron MacLean, Al Strachan, Mike Milbury and Pierre LeBrun talked about contraction, the Penguins, Lightning and a few other topics last night.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
But most NHL teams are just like the Oilers in this regard, having handed out numerous long-term contracts to players in recent years, perhaps in the mistaken belief that the cap would just keep rising.
In Edmonton, the only way out of this problem would be for the Oilers to dump some long-term contracts and perhaps get in return other players who have expiring contracts.
For instance, Brendan Morrison of Anaheim has an expiring contract at $2.7 million, Maxim Afinogenov and Tim Connolly of Buffalo have an expiring contracts for $3.5 million, Jaroslav Spacek has one for $3.3 million, Adrian Aucoin of Calgary, $4.0 million, Martin Havlat of Chicago, $6 million, Joe Sakic of Colorado, $6 million.
These are just a few examples, but if you were to acquire any of these players at the trade deadline, you would have their cap hit for the rest of the season, but you would have all of that cap space for the next season.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Yeah, the Pens are too loose defensively right now and it’s a major reason why they’ve lost seven out of eight. But, geez, it just leaves you green with envy when they leave town and you know you have to go back to watching the …zzzzzzzzzzzzz…..Minnesota Wild or the ….zzzzzzzzzzzz….Nashville Predators or the ….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….Columbus Blue Jackets 12 more times this year, or whatever it is.
The West might have the better teams as a conference, but let’s face it, the three most exciting players in the NHL play in the East: Crosby, Malkin and Alex Ovechkin. I just wish we could see them more, instead of Jacques Lemaire and his Ambien brand of hockey.
more observations from Dater…
from Bruce Garrioch of he Ottawa Sun,
• While league sources say the Oilers have a mild interest in Ottawa’s top centre (Spezza), the man Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini really wants in the middle is Mike Fisher.
Fisher has been struggling this season with only three goals in 35 games going into last night, after scoring 23 last season.
• A team that would love Spezza is Columbus. The word is Ken Hitchcock believes he can transform the struggling centre into the next Steve Yzerman. Hitchcock worked with Spezza at the world championship in Quebec City last spring.
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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