Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,
The Rangers can’t afford to open it up more with defensemen who have minimal offensive ability. They cannot pretend that Markus Naslund is any longer the player he was in Vancouver, nor can they expect that veteran B or B-plus players will morph into team-carrying players this late in their careers.
Sather, responsible for this big miscalculation, can keep Zherdev, an upcoming restricted free agent, or save that cap room for somebody more often going to show up.
But unless the Rangers swallow Redden’s cap-choking contract for five long years, there will be little maneuverability to sign the level of scorer the team badly needs.
And making a coaching change isn’t going to bring him.
more about the Rangers…
from Matt Kalman of The Bruins Blog,
If you think Boston Bruins center Stephane Yelle is smart on the ice, you should see and hear how wise he is when insults and innuendos start flying across the Bruins’ dressing room.
The 34-year-old Yelle knows just how to toss in a phrase or two and then get out of the conversation unscathed.
“He’s dry. He’s really dry. He’s always throwing his little bombs from the corner,” Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference explained to TheBruinsBlog.net about his longtime teammate this week. “We call him a giant, wooden spoon. He just likes to stir the pot and then kind of get out of there once the water’s moving around.”
Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette quoting Guy Lafleur,
- “If I were in (Alex Kovalev’s) skates, I’d have played my last game for the Canadiens.
No player with his talent would accept being humiliated like that. ... I don’t know what (Bob) Gainey is trying to prove in front of everybody.”
- “If you’re paying guys $4 million, $5 million a year, give them the tools to make sure they’ll produce. You just can’t switch lines and try things every night and hope something will come out of it.”
- “I don’t think this club has a team spirit. They don’t play for each other. They’re not playing as a team and they’re not ready to sacrifice themselves to win.”
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Thomas Vanek is back doing some light exercise but the Buffalo Sabres’ leading scorer says returning in 3-4 weeks from his fractured jaw may be an overly optimistic timetable.
“I hope that I haven’t lost too much of my fitness but we’ll see about that once I start skating again,” Vanek wrote in a diary entry posted on his official Web site for fans in his native Austria. “The doctors said that I would miss at least four weeks altogether but it also could be five to six weeks. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Here are the NHL’s 10 biggest disappointments, with the Canadiens and Penguins leading the way.
1. Underachieving Pittsburgh
“We’re still confident we can make the playoffs,” Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis told SportingNews.com on the night Therrien was fired. They might be the only ones.
The Penguins could get a boost with the firing of Therrien, but the bigger boost comes from the return of defenseman Sergei Gonchar. Even with Gonchar, this team is still a scoring winger away from returning to the playoffs
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
“We’re in a situation where if we don’t get points, it’s a grim outlook,” Coach Randy Carlyle said.
With the NHL trade deadline looming March 4, it is by no means a stretch to think a number of Ducks might have played their final home game at Honda Center. Having seen the club go from Stanley Cup champions to potentially missing the post-season in only two years, General Manager Bob Murray is undoubtedly considering dramatic personnel moves in an effort to re-tool the team sooner rather than later.
“That’s really not up to us,” Niedermayer said. “Our job is to go out there and compete and focus on being a good hockey club here, and I think that’s what we’ll do. So I don’t expect anything.”
Alexander Ovechkin scores a goal from his back last night against the Canadiens.
added 11:12am, Japers’ Rink breaks down the goal.
According to a report in Montreal’s La Presse, Habs’ forward Alex Kovalev is not expected to rejoin the team after he was sent home on Tuesday by general manager Bob Gainey.
Gainey is reportedly in the process of attempting to move the veteran forward prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 4th.
“Bob called everybody about Alex Kovalev,” one unnamed agent told La Presse. “This player is on the market for the next two weeks; it’s not a secret around the hockey community.”
added 8:35pm, TSN has updated the same link after speaking with Kovalev directlty.. The story has now changed since it was first posted.
To get the Writing on Deadline blog ball rolling, let’s start with the 10 questions facing the League and its member teams as the deadline begins to loom on the immediate horizon….
With all that said, who will be the biggest name moved by the time the curtain falls at 3 p.m. on March 4?
My money is on Chris Pronger, just because he would likely bring the biggest return if the Ducks fall out of the playoff race. Pronger has one year left on his current deal, so there is not the pressure to move him usually associated with impending free agents. But, he will be in high demand among the Eastern Conference’s top playoff contenders as they look for separation from the pack. That means someone will cave under the pressure and make an offer the Ducks can’t refuse.
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Center Sammy Pahlsson, out of the Ducks’ lineup since Feb. 2, has mononucleosis and is week to week, a club spokesman said after the team’s game-day skate in advance of tonight’s game against the Kings at the Honda Center.
The Ducks had previously said only that he had a viral infection.
Pahlsson, a valuable two-way player who has centered the Ducks’ stopper line with Travis Moen and Rob Niedermayer the last few seasons, will be examined again next Tuesday. He can’t skate again until he’s cleared medically, and after that would need another week or so to get in shape.
continue for more on the Ducks…
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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