Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun via the National Post,
Toronto general manager Brian Burke says he sees no need to clear the air with Vancouver counterpart Mike Gillis over tampering allegations when the Canucks meet the Maple Leafs on Saturday at General Motors Place.
In fact, Burke isn’t even sure whether he and Gillis will speak at all this weekend.
“I know there was a lot of yapping going on in Vancouver the last little while, but you noticed none from Toronto,” Burke said in a phone interview Thursday when asked about the apparent bad blood between the two organizations. “I’m certainly not going to pour any gasoline on a fire that as far as I’m concerned doesn’t exist. When other organizations talk or complain about the Leafs, I ignore it by and large.”
TORONTO (October 22, 2009) – Anaheim Ducks forward Evgeny Artyukhin has been suspended for three games, without pay, as the result of a slew-footing incident against Dallas Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen in NHL game #117, Oct. 21. Niskanen sustained an injury on the play.
The incident occurred at 4:23 of the second period. No penalty was assessed on the play.
Artyukhin, who was suspended for two games January 19, 2009, now is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Accordingly, Artyukhin forfeits $34,756.11 in salary based on the number of games (82) in a season, rather than the number of days (193). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
from Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
At first glance it sounds like something out of a Vince Vaughn movie: “Crease Crashers—the sequel to Wedding Crashers and every bit as outrageous!” Except we’re talking hockey here and running goaltenders in the crease isn’t funny and it can be dangerous.
Like most things in the NHL, the how and why isn’t really at issue. Goalies, well-padded but arguably as defenseless as a punter in the path of a half-dozen onrushing linesmen, are being overrun across the NHL. It appears to be a tactic and the league is at least giving lip service to doing something about it.
Though it hasn’t officially been added to the agenda for next month’s general manager’s meetings, enough GMs are lobbying to get it there. That alone doesn’t provide for any real hope to putting a stop to the nasty tactic.
continued plus some Chelios/NHLPA talk…
from Brian Duff at NHL.com,
While not every team is dealing with the same magnitude of trauma, sometimes it needs to be spelled out just how widespread the injury bug is spreading.
By my count, through Wednesday’s games, we are looking at more than three teams’ worth of players that have, are, or will miss some (or sometimes significant portions) of this season.
And even the “short-term” ailments can’t be swept aside, with the knowledge that once bitten, the injury bug can linger, re-appear or wreak havoc down the road.
So, in an effort to catch your attention, here’s a look at the all-injured teams of October. Yes, some players have returned, BUT you can’t replay the games they have missed.
from Steve Rosenbloom of Rosen Blog,
The Blackhawks lost their captain and then lost their poise. The Hawks then lost the lead, lost one of their top two defensemen, and finally lost the game on a stupid play in the defensive zone by two of their best offensive players.
Man, the Hawks will go to any length to take your mind off the goaltending mess, eh?
Thing is, goaltending wasn’t the problem against Vancouver Wednesday night. In fact, Antti Niemi, the backup who starts because big-money starter Cristobal Huet is bad, was the answer most of the night for the confused, abused and diffused Hawks. He made enough point-blank saves that if alleged No. 1 Cristobal Huet was in there, his goal-against average might’ve hit double-figures.
And besides, it wasn’t Niemi’s fault the Hawks choked another 5-on-3 advantage that could’ve turned a one-goal lead into a three-goal win.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
It should also fall on Burke to recognize that truculence is not a synonym for skill and that if you’re going to add toughness to allow your skilled players to play better, you better have the skilled players that will benefit from the added option. The Leafs didn’t have those players -or at least enough of them-before Burke got to Toronto. They don’t have them now.
If you want to stretch fact to the edge of opinion, I would argue that Burke is also wrong in assessing the Kessel deal with Boston. His argument is that he couldn’t get a player of that age and skill level for less than the three draft picks (two firsts and a second) he surrendered to the Bruins.
I admire and respect a man who stands by a belief, but that’s not the same as doing whatever is necessary to get what’s necessary to survive and prosper. I don’t steal, but I can’t say I never would, not if there’s a loaf of bread available and my family was starving. A person does what he or she has to do. Burke knows that, every man does.
And no matter how he chooses to defend the Kessel trade, he overpaid. He paid a price for Kessel with the idea that he wouldn’t be paying with the possibility of a first overall selection in the 2010 Entry Draft. It seemed both logical and defensible at the time, but it wasn’t exactly a given. Burke bet that he made enough moves in the free-agent market to assure he won’t put the franchise in that position. The standings could change, but for now at least it appears he could lose that bet.
from Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Consider that after three days of stewing over a 5-0 home beating at the hands of St. Louis, their response Wednesday night was falling behind to Dallas by three goals and being severely outshot by the Stars in the process.
That the Ducks rallied to make it a close game in the third period did not assuage any ill feelings. In fact, the temperature seemed to rise in the dressing room afterward.
When asked if guys are fed up, Ryan Getzlaf said, “I think so. I am. It’s kind of at that point where we’ve got to decide if we’re going to play and we’re going to be a good hockey team. I’m more fed up with myself than anything.”
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle was seething between each word that he uttered in his postgame news conference.
“My message is that obviously what we did prior to this game and to the previous game against St. Louis wasn’t enough,” Carlyle said. “Because the results in the hockey game are one where we got beat 5-0 and then in the other one, we were down 3-0 in our building until the third period.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
If you thought Hamlet was a confused young man, you’ve never met Sergei Kostitsyn.
In a 24-hour period, the younger Kostitsyn brother walked out on the Hamilton Bulldogs, was suspended by the Canadiens for the second time this season and then agreed to return to the American Hockey League team after meeting with Bob Gainey after the general manager told Radio-Canada that he thought Kostitsyn was going to Russia.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Dany Heatley is moving on and loving life in San Jose, remaining unmoved by the public opinion that his reputation has taken a serious hit after a tumultuous and controversial summer that included trade demands and trade rejections.
Heatley’s approach may seriously irk the passionate fans in Ottawa and Edmonton, but that’s not what he is trying to do, nor is it something he even cares about at this point. His focus, plain and simple, is on helping the Sharks win games and performing well enough to hopefully get a call from Hockey Canada sometime in December.
“I don’t know if I needed a fresh start, but after the summer it was nice that something happened,” Heatley, who was dealt from Ottawa to San Jose on Sept. 12, told NHL.com. “If you want to call it a fresh start that’s fine, but it’s not so much that I had a down year and needed to go somewhere else to have a fresh start. There were issues that I felt made it best that we go our separate ways. All I can say is I’m happy to be a Shark.”
from George Malik of Snapshots at Mlive,
ESPN’s John Buccigross posted a set of daffy comments responding to a Red Wings fan’s questions about Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk’s status as star players in the prime of their respective careers, as well as the supposed “end of the Red Wings’ run” at Stanley Cup contention thanks to a 3-3-and-1 start…
In today’s NHL, 29 is not “past your prime.” As far as the Red Wings are concerned, forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders don’t really hit their “prime” years, superstars included, until the latter half of their 20’s, and can play at an elite level well into the latter half of their 30’s. If the NHL was a “young man’s game,” none of the Red Wings’ four Stanley Cups, all won with “graybeards” playing essential roles on the Wings’ championship teams, would not have been won…
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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