Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
A goalie’s life is never easy, but it should be particularly difficult for Colorado’s Jose Theodore and Detroit’s Chris Osgood over the next 10 days.
That’s because the NHL’s two best pests in front of the net, Tomas Holmstrom and Ryan Smyth, will be plying their trade.
“They’re both similar players,” Detroit’s Nick Lidstrom said.
“They’re good at knocking pucks down, good hand-eye co-ordination. They’re both good at taking the puck to the net too.”
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Rangers profess to be glad to have him as a teammate; one was quoted recently as saying he would “take a bullet” for Avery.
Not surprisingly, players on other clubs view him a bit differently. Characterize their feelings about him as mixed, because some think he’s a jerk and a blight on the sport; others aren’t nearly as charitable.
Earlier this month, when asked about Avery’s celebrated face-guarding stunt against New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur in a first-round game, Penguins left winger Gary Roberts responded by labeling Avery an “idiot.”
It was the kind of remark Avery isn’t likely to forget. After all, it might be the nicest thing an opponent ever says about him.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Brian Burke very much wanted to talk to the Maple Leafs about their opening for a new hockey boss.
But his bosses with the Anaheim Ducks said no chance.
That, in short, is what happened yesterday, just 24 hours after Burke said he didn’t know if he’d be back with the Ducks next season. Burke will now have to grit his teeth and fulfill the fourth and final year of his existing contract next season knowing he could have had the Leaf job.
Update 12:59pm ET—(alanah) Jim Kelly at Sportsnet.ca shares another perspective:
But there is another version making the rounds in the NHL, and though it’s clearly still in the rumor stage now, it also makes a great deal of sense: The NHL said no go.
It makes sense on several levels, the most important being that, to the best of anyone’s knowledge (and I’ve polled a few long-time hockey people on this), no GM under contract to a team and in good standing with ownership has ever jumped to another club while the contract was in force.
And Marty Henwood at Hockey.com points out that maybe Burke just didn’t want to go to Toronto. (And could you blame him?!?)
from Jay Greenberg of the NY Post,
“With all due respect for [Sidney] Crosby and [Evgeni] Malkin, I don’t think they are Mario Lemieux,” said Jagr, preparing to go to Pittsburgh, his first NHL home, for tomorrow’s night second-round opener between the Rangers New York Rangers and Penguins.
“I say that with all due respect because the game has changed.
“The gap between the best and worst players on a team [today] is very small. The gap between Mario and the rest of the guys when I was in Pittsburgh was so huge he was able to score 20 points in one series. I don’t think those kids are able to do it. If I am wrong I am going to apologize and [say], ‘Great job.’
from the St. Petersburg Times,
John Tortorella wishes he could do it over again because he certainly would do it differently.
The Lightning coach said he regrets telling general manager Jay Feaster perhaps it was time he step down because he discovered that is not how he feels.
“I want to stay here and fight and try to make this team better with the new ownership group and Jay Feaster,” Tortorella said Wednesday. “I want to be part of the retooling.”
But at his postseason meeting with Feaster, Tortorella said the opposite; that after seven seasons and finishing 2007-08 last in the league, “Maybe there needs to be a different voice.”
from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,
It’s over. If Al tries it tonight, it’s a $10,000 fine. That’s a lot of Zamboni rides. And whose bright idea was this? What NHL official actually sat at a desk and decided that a tentacle twirl is bad for business? When asked for an explanation, the NHL sent this e-mail to the Free Press last week: “Because matter flies off the octopus and gets on the ice when he does it.”
This from a sport on a TV network known for cattle rustling.
“Well, I, for one, am glad,” says the octopus. “You have no idea what it’s like.”
What what is like?
“My journey. Think about it. I start in the ocean. I’m happy, I’m content. I have eight of everything. Next thing I know, I’m in a net, then a boat, then a glass window in a fish shop, next to a cod. And the next thing I know I’m in a plastic bag, then in a car, and then — then I get stuffed down someone’s pants.”
via the Anaheim Ducks,
The Anaheim Ducks announced today that Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke will remain with the team through at least the 2008-09 season, which is the last under his current four-year contract. Negotiations between the club and Burke on a contract extension will continue.
“I work for the best owners in sports,” said Burke. “After meeting with Mike (Chief Executive Officer Michael Schulman) this morning, we’ve decided to end all unnecessary media speculation and commit to working together for at least one more year while continuing to discuss my long-term future with the Ducks.”
“Brian Burke is the best general manager in the NHL and we always expected him to return,” said Ducks Owner Henry Samueli. “Our goal is to sign him to a long-term agreement beyond next season.”
“I met with Brian this morning to discuss his future,” said Schulman. “We agreed to move forward, as planned, under his existing contract while working toward a contract extension.”
added 6:30pm, link to Ducks website now available….
from Eric Francis at Best of Seven,
Several players were furious but couldn’t say anything for obvious reasons.
Team members watching from the press box also lost their minds.
Miikka Kiprusoff bit his tongue.
Even the San Jose Sharks players were so surprised by the minor league move, they side-stepped the controversy altogether.
One day after Mike Keenan scuttled any chance of a comeback in Game 7 by pulling Miikka Kiprusoff late in the second period of a 4-2 game, the debate rages on over Captain Hook’s panic move.
From Greg Beacham at the AP (via USA Today):
When Roenick postponed retirement for another Stanley Cup run, he also gave up alcohol for the year. Roenick doesn’t have a drinking problem, yet the 38-year-old forward partly credits his teetotaling for his remarkable resurgence this season, capped by a spectacular Game 7 that sent the Sharks onward to face the Dallas Stars in the second round.
“I think that has a lot to do with it - clean living and making sure that my body is fresh, that there’s no toxins in it,” said Roenick, who had two goals and two assists. “A healthy mind will create a healthy body, and the San Jose Sharks have allowed me to have a healthy mind. I haven’t felt this good in maybe 10 or 15 years, since I was a kid. I feel like I did when I played in Chicago, before Philly and Phoenix, way back when.”
Today’s NHL media conference call brought together Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Nicklas Backstrom from Washington. Earlier today all three were named as finalists for the Calder Trophy Award for the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.
Here is a transcript from that Q&A session.
Q. For Patrick and Jonathan, going after the same award, how do the two of you feel about that?
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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