Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Gorten of Florida Panther blog at the Sun-Sentinel,
Yes, the Panthers are going to make the playoffs this April.
My prediction isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to tonight’s 5-1 win against the Canadiens. This performance only punctuates the progression of this team.
I watched the third period tonight, seeing the Panthers attack more in those 20 minutes than in some entire games last season. This team plays a fun style to watch. And now its confidence is soaring.
Much of that credit has to go to Pete DeBoer. In my opinion, if the Panthers make the postseason, he will and should be named the NHL’s coach of the year. As a Panthers fan, you should love what DeBoer said tonight when I asked him what statement this win made about where his team’s at:
“I grew up a hiuge Red Wings fans, and I usually leave with a loss under my belt and have to hear about it all summer from all of my friends, who are also Red Wings fans. They have a great hockey team and it’s a tough place to play, and when you win and take three out of four in the season series, it definitely give your team a lot of confidence.”
-Steve Ott of the Dallas Stars after defeating the Wings last night. More from the Stars at the Dallas Stars Blog.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
And, make no mistake, our fair-haired boys were the victims of a horrible call tonight by Don “Have another donut, you fat pig” Koharski. Ryan Smyth gets pushed into the goalie - and barely touched the goalie anyway - and gets called for goalie interference, thereby nullifying Milan Hejduk’s third goal of the night and causing lots of fans to lose their hats for nothing.
It was a crazy call, no question about it. But let’s face it: our lads are a loser’s bunch right now, and one bad call should not be used as a mask for the dismal reality of this team.
The Avs are basically a two-thirds line team right now. Milan Hejduk and Smitty are the only ones consistently bringing it every night. The rest are trying, but…nothing’s happening.
from Kevin Allen at Mucking and Grinding,
The Red Wings are pressed up against the cap ceiling already, and here’s my take on what could be done to allow the Red Wings to sign all three players:
+ Detroit will have to put together a similar long-term, front-loaded deal with Hossa, only the cap number has to end up in the $5-$5.5 million range. You can still give Hossa $7 million per season for several years and still get down close to $5 million cap number as long as the last three years are similar to Zetterberg’s deal. In his contracts, Zetterberg earns $3.35 million,$1 million and $1 million in his last three seasons.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Since the last time I wrote about NHL ticket prices, the North American economies have become so battered that if this were happening on the ice, the linesmen would have jumped in long ago.
More than ever, I’m convinced that regardless of how the NHL attempts to spin and manipulate the numbers, the league botched the chance coming out of the lockout, and beyond, to address more aggressively the issue of affordability.
And as the crisis continues on both sides of the border, the NHL is going to pay for that lack of foresight, especially in the U.S. markets. It’s going to pay for it in virtually all of those markets, both “troubled” and more traditionally supportive.
From the Anaheim Ducks:
The Ducks announced today that they have signed right wing George Parros to a three-year contract extension. The new contract will keep Parros with Anaheim through the end of the 2011-12 season. Per club policy, no financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
via the Pioneer Press,
The Minnesota Wild have acquired forward Dan Fritsche (FRIHT-chee) from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Erik Reitz, Wild general manager Doug Risebrough announced today.
“Dan is a versatile player who can play center or wing, a determined player who makes the game harder on the opposition, and a winning player — he’s won a Memorial Cup and a World Junior Championship for Team USA,” Risebrough said in a statement from the team.
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
Ask a National Hockey League general manager to draft any three players from across the league, and it’s not impossible that the three names that come out would be Alexander Ovechkin, Vinny Lecavalier, and Henrik Zetterberg. Sure, Roberto Luongo or Sidney Crosby or Luke Schenn could jump in there - this last possibility is assuming the GM in question only listens to talk radio in Toronto, and then only in the first month of the season - but any GM would be thrilled to sign those first three players to a lot of dollars and for plenty of years.
But at some point there should be limits. That is not to directly criticize the 12-year, US$73-million deal Zetterberg signed Wednesday with the Detroit Red Wings. The deal’s average cap hit is just US$6-million, Red Wings GM Ken Holland is among the game’s smartest men, and Zetterberg, 28, is the epitome of the team-oriented star. This is probably a laudable move.
But even if it is, it doesn’t mean it should be allowed.
from John Grigg of the Hockey News,
In this week’s THN.com Top 10 we’re adding some international flavor by counting down the Czech Republic NHLers we’d most like to have on our roster right now.
Two factors were taken into account: current performance and career projection.
10. Michael Frolik, Center, Florida
If this list was made two months ago Frolik wouldn’t have made it. But an 11-point splurge in December moved him into the top 15 amongst Czech scorers and included flashes of brilliance, showing why the Panthers chose him 10th overall in 2006.
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Colums at CBC,
Considering my recent history with Red Wing fans, allow me to begin this blog with the following disclaimer: I have not spoken to anyone in the Detroit organization about this. It is purely guesswork on my part.
Now, let’s go to the thesis: Ken Holland’s next big negotiation will not be Marian Hossa, Johan Franzen, Jiri Hudler or Mikael Samuelsson.
It will be Nicklas Lidstrom.
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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