Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Craig Rivet revealed today that he’s dealing with an injured shoulder and the team’s captain is going to be out least two weeks while he tries to rehab the shoulder.
“It’s something that I tried to play with and it was really limiting what I could do on the ice,” Rivet said after taking part in practice in a limited role at HSBC Arena. “It’s really affecting my game so we took a different game plan. The pain issue, you can get through. But when it starts making it that much more difficult on the ice, you have to take a step back. We’re going to try to rehabilitate it.”
NEW YORK (Dec. 15, 2008)—Boston Bruins right wing Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Petr Sykora and Buffalo Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Sunday, Dec 14.
from Lyle Richardson at the Hockey News,
Since the imposition of the salary cap in 2005, only four notable players – Joe Thornton, Sergei Fedorov, Doug Weight and Andy McDonald – were dealt in early-season trades. The rest were lesser talented players carrying more affordable salaries, which made them easier to move.
So if you’re hoping to see a blockbuster trade by Friday involving players who have been frequently mentioned in trade rumors this season - like Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester, Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik or Chicago’s Martin Havlat – your hopes will most likely be dashed.
Sorry for playing the Grinch, but that’s the reality in today’s salary cap world.
read on for some rumor talk…
from Lightning Strikes,
The two stats from this morning’s story I thought were most interesting: the Lightning so far has used 36 players, a league high. It also has made 29 transactions since the start of the regular season. Compare that to the 2003-04 season in which it made only 14. I know, the two seasons aren’t really comparable, but thought it illustrated well where this team is at.
We also found out from GM Brian Lawton where the team is going. In short, expect more callups from AHL Norfolk. Players such as Brandon Segal, Andy Rogers, Vladimir Mihalik and even goaltender Karri Ramo will be coming up at some point to get a better look.
from Damien Cox of the Spin, his blog at the Toronto Star,
Mats Sundin, it would appear, has three choices.
Two make sense. One is a terrible risk.
The risky choice is to succumb to the pull of the hockey world and announce a return to the NHL sometime before Christmas.
This, it appears, is what most believe is going to happen. And that’s too bad.
See, the smarter choices for Sundin would be to either retire - which I’ve come to believe is what he really wants to do - or take the season off entirely and then join a new team next summer.
Jumping into the fray now is a recipe for trouble.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
If you can figure out what is ailing Kovalev, please let me know. Better still, pass it on to Guy Carbonneau. Here the Canadiens are nearing the 30-game mark and Kovalev has a respectable 22 points, but only five goals. In four games, Matt D’Agostini scored one fewer goal than Kovalev has this entire season.
The strangest part is that Kovalev is in a contract year. Guys like him are supposed to wake up just in time for free agency, get the multi-year deal tucked away, then go back to sleep-walking.
Instead, Kovalev has to go into a funk at the worst possible time for himself and the Canadiens. He did hit a post Saturday night, but somehow his game simply lacks the fire and drive he displayed almost from wire to wire last season.
from Dave Strader at PhoenixCoyotes.com,
This past Saturday night was a special one at Jobing.com Arena. The defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings were in town, a vocal crowd of 16,000+ was on hand (thanks in part to some loyal Red Wings fans) and the two teams put on an entertaining show.
But for me, it was also special because I had the opportunity to spend some time with my first TV partner in the NHL, Mickey Redmond….
The first season we worked together was 1985-86 and the Wings weren’t projected to be a very good team. We only televised 15 games that year (thank goodness!). The Wings were 1-13-1 in those contests and the average score was 8-3 for the opposition. Moments before my very first telecast in the NHL in Minnesota, Mick told me to take off my headset and stop staring at the rosters that I was trying to memorize. He said that we had to be prepared for the worst.
from Paul Kix of ESPN, To put it bluntly,
Sean Avery was the extent to which we followed hockey. A sartorially minded on-ice agitator who trashes the new boyfriends of his old exes? That’s reason enough to stay tuned, dude. We won’t any more, now that the Stars have banished him from the team, even agreeing to pay his salary so long as he keeps out of the arena. But with a look at Avery’s sins, one thing’s for certain: Whoever gets the Stars’ sloppy seconds will have to up the tolerance for anarchy, because this is milquetoast stuff.
And the NHL wonders why it can’t expand its audience….
This is the problem with the NHL: It thinks a guy who interns at Vogue and routinely shows up in People and on PerezHilton is bad for the game. You fools. He’s growing the game. Or at least, he was.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Believe it or not, there was a time just a few months ago when some of hockey’s most well-known experts were saying the Avalanche was a better team than the Detroit Red Wings.
“Colorado,” NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire said quickly, when a couple of us nosy reporters asked who would win the Avs’ Western Conference semifinal last spring with Detroit. “I like how they stack up against Detroit.”
Four games later, the Avs were done. Game 4 was the humiliating 8-2 Detroit romp at the Pepsi Center. Henrik Zetterberg was scoring on backhanders while falling down and Johan Franzen flashed his big Swedish grin for the final of his approximately 46 goals he scored in the series (actually, only nine — but still a Detroit record for one series).
This foolish reporter was actually sipping the Avalanche Kool-Aid before the series, too.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Sundin told friends money will not be the prime factor when it comes time to choose a team.
The Blueshirts currently have approximately $1 million of cap space. Pro-rating cap hits, the Blueshirts would need approximately $2.877M of space on Dec. 27 in order to be able to offer Sundin a full-season contract of $5M, half of Vancouver’s standing bid.
Trading or waiving Petr Prucha by Friday would add approximately another $1M of space. Returning freshman Lauri Korpikoski - who has had three straight games of under 10 minutes of ice time - to the AHL Wolf Pack by Friday would add approximately another $635,000 of space.
That would give the Rangers about $2.635M of space - enough to allot Sundin around $4.25M.
Understand, the Rangers are not trading Michal Rozsival to Dallas in exchange for the right to bury Sean Avery in the minor leagues.
They are most certainly not attempting to deal Scott Gomez.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org