Kukla's Korner Hockey
“It’s not a very good situation if you are talking about making the playoffs,” said general manager Bryan Murray on Monday. “I’m worried about winning tomorrow night and that’s at this stage of the year, the way we are playing or winning or losing - that’s what we have to worry about. We’re not in very good position for a playoff spot to be realistic. I think we can win some hockey games in the near future, I’m hoping, get some confidence back in this club and get rid of the frustration for all of us.”
And Murray, whose team is already 19 months removed from its trip to the Stanley Cup Final, knows that there is pressure on him to make big changes.
“I’ve been told by [Lightning GM] Brian Lawton that they are not actively shopping Vinny. They have received phone calls [from other teams] because people are hearing about the team maybe being in financial distress. But I was told they are not actively looking to move him.”
-Kent Hughes, player agent for Vincent Lecavalier. More on this topic from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
added 4:54pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
At some point, the folks in Tampa are going to have to get on the same page for a trade to occur, but that becomes a lot easier and much more manageable if the following happens: Vinny Lecavalier tells them he would just as soon move on.
Sources say that is precisely the type of soul searching that is going on now for the Lightning captain.
NEW YORK (Jan. 12, 2009)—Colorado Avalanche left wing Wojtek Wolski, Anaheim Ducks right wing Bobby Ryan and Florida Panthers center Gregory Campbell have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending Jan. 11.
from Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times,
See Patrick Kane get a little uppity because someone checked him or elbowed him in the throat. Or smacked him in the head. See the Blackhawks learn how to go through their first little slump. See other teams testing the Hawks, hitting them in the mouth and into the boards to let them know that they’re not kings yet.
Truth is, the Hawks aren’t even grown up yet. We’re still in the early learning stages. They are the one bit of fresh air in Chicago sports now, what with the Bulls collapsing and Lovie Smith trying to figure out whom he can blame for his Bears.
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed forward Rick Nash on Injured Reserve retroactive to January 6 and recalled forward Derek MacKenzie from the Syracuse Crunch, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson announced today.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
The big talk around the NHL’s water cooler right now is trade speculation surrounding Vincent Lecavalier.
There is a tug of war going on in the Lightning’s front office - some want the club to trade him and some don’t want him to be traded.
So general manager Brian Lawton’s job right now is to go out and collect information - collect the type of value you would expect in return for Lecavalier. And the Lightning’s expectations are extraordinarily high.
This is a player with an $85 million contract extension, so what does the team expect in return?
from Robin Brownlee at MetroNews,
Of all the questionable decisions the Edmonton Oilers have made with players this season, the handling of Gilbert Brule ranks up there in terms of head-scratchers.
Brule played his 152nd NHL game against St. Louis last night, meaning he is just eight games from having to clear waivers to move between Edmonton’s roster and the minors.
You’d think, seeing as Edmonton traded Raffi Torres to Columbus to get the talented speedster, there’d be some sense of urgency in wanting to assess Brule before that 160-game mark to see if he’s in the plans.
But there was Brule last night, stuck on the fourth line with Kyle Brodziak and Steve MacIntyre while Liam Reddox played alongside Dustin Penner and Shawn Horcoff.
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
The Penguins (20-19-4, 44 points) probably need to earn at least 60 percent of their remaining available points to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
They’ve earned only 51 percent through 43 games.
“We need to pick it up,” defenseman Ryan Whitney said before losses last week at Nashville and Colorado. “We needed to pick it up a while ago.”
They haven’t, of course, hence their status as one of the NHL’s worst teams for going on about two months.
Some of their putrid statistics from their 8-15-1 stretch dating to Nov. 22:
• 15.5 percent on the power play (16-for-103).
• 76.4 percent on the penalty kill (81-of-106).
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Reports out of Columbus have said Foote not only threatened to be a bad teammate and not have his heart in it if he stayed with the Blue Jackets, but he had a plane set up to take him to his reunion with the Avalanche, even before the deadline deal was consummated….
Those who made charges about Foote while insisting on anonymity are gutless. This isn’t “a State Department official,” with tacit approval from above, discussing Mideast policy with the media. Neither is this something as benign as “sources” disclosing that the Jackets are set to hire John Doe as an assistant coach; this is “sources” making reputation-damaging allegations.
Granted, hockey journalism often doesn’t set the bar high for “sourcing.” A “source” can be not just a league or team official, but also an assistant trainer’s brother-in-law’s barber . . . or a dart board. I’m not saying it’s that bad in the Foote imbroglio, but the use of unnamed sources, likely with axes grinding, for much of the material undercuts the credibility.
from Tom Blackwell of the National Post,
Hockey players had much higher levels of testosterone after a winning game on home ice than after a similarly victorious match-up away from home, according to a study published in the American Journal of Human Biology.
It is not clear what triggered the hormone boost. But “a rise in status (i. e. competitive victory) in front of friends and family members may be an especially potent stimulus for the endocrine system,” the paper said.
Justin Carre, the PhD pscyhology student at Brock University in St. Catharines, who spearheaded the work, said more recent research, yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, makes an even more intriguing finding. In that study, players only watched a videotape of a game they won on home ice, but experienced a similar spike in testosterone.
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