Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen via the National Post,
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has joined the chorus of team officials asking for more from the team’s top players.
“It’s obvious what we need,” Melnyk said Sunday. “The elite players have to start to play their best. Once they do that, I think we can be as competitive as ever. Hopefully that happens fairly quickly and we’re back to where we were at the start of the season.”
Melnyk, who spoke to general manager Bryan Murray Saturday night during the Senators’ 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, did not mention forwards Alex Kovalev and Jason Spezza by name, but they are clearly the leaders.
“It’s the whole group,” Melnyk said. “Some show up some nights and some don’t. It’s the elite players, that’s basically it, but I’m really pleased to see guys like [Mike] Fisher step up to the plate as well as he has.”
via the Twitter of Frank Seravalli,
Dan Carcillo was suspended for four games today by the NHL.
added 2:12pm, from Kevin Kurz of PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,
General manager Paul Holmgren issued the following statement on Sunday regarding the suspension:
“Decisions come down from the league…do I agree with them all? No. I certainly do not agree with this one. We do not have a lot of recourse in this situation. Dan will serve his suspension, and we will move on.”
from Corey Masisak of the Washington Times,
Boudreau wasn’t done. When asked about his team’s defensive play being underrated throughout this offensive explosion, it was Boudreau who went on the offensive.
“Just don’t go tell Mike Milbury that or Alan Muir that, because they keep saying we can’t play defensive hockey,” Boudreau said. “We’re good defensively, I believe. Sometimes if you’ve played the game before and you score four or five goals it is really hard to keep that [defensive] pressure on—you are so up for the game it is human nature to relax a little bit. But every week in the power rankings I read Alan Muir saying we can’t play defense, so it is interesting.”
And finally, since Boudreau was on a roll ... why not ask him about SI’s Jim Kelley, who wrote an article criticizing Alex Ovechkin this week?
“I heard about it and I heard it was so ridiculously ridiculous that I was hoping someone would have it or show it to me,” Boudreau said. “I would like to, not attack him but I’d like to at least have a chance at a rebuttal on all the things he said that weren’t true.”
more including Boudreau’s reaction to Carcillo’s action last night…
The HNIC version can be viewed below with Kevin Weekes providing the color…
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The real question here is whether the Flyers are any closer to winning a championship today than they were before Stevens was dismissed Friday. And the answer sure looks like a great big No.
The Pittsburgh Penguins still have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Marc-Andre Fleury. The Washington Capitals still have Alexander Ovechkin. The Flyers will be fighting for the right to be the third-best team in their conference until their young, up-and-coming nucleus actually performs according to expectations.
The group, led by Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, had its chance to become an elite team with the coach hand-chosen for their comfort and development. Stevens, one of the truly decent and honorable men you will find in this or any other sport, had worked with a lot of the current Flyers when they were mere Phantoms. He was a sound choice as coach after Hitchcock was deemed too mean and demanding for the sensitive buds and blossoms on the roster.
Well, those players now must cope with the fact that they got their guy fired.
more & watch below as Scott Hartnell and Chris Pronger react to last night’s lopsided loss to the Capitals…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Keith, 26, will earn an average of $7.913 million over the first four years, $7.55 million for the next two years, $5.5 million for another two, $4 million for two more, and then slightly more than $2 million for the final three. Total: 13 years/$72 million, for a cap hit of $5.54 million. If you’re still holding on to your calculator, it exceeds the 12-year/$62.8 million deal, in both gross dollars and cap hit, that career marksman Marian Hossa pocketed with the Hawks in July.
OK, it’s a good bet that neither Keith nor Hossa will reach full term on their deals. If Keith retires after 10 years, he’ll have earned just under $66 million. They’ve still paid out huge money for a guy who, though well-conditioned and both a solid citizen and performer, is by no means considered an elite NHL defenseman. OK, they like him, and most teams have a guy like that - someone hauling in A-list money for what most of the world perceives as something less than A-list talent.
But Keith, even if out in the free agent market July 1, 2010, would not have commanded a $72 million commitment from anyone.
more plus other hockey topics…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
• Desperate to make the playoffs, the Rangers are beating the bushes for a top-six forward.
While they’d prefer a centre, league sources told Sun Media yesterday that GM Glen Sather is so anxious for help up front, he’s looking at acquiring injured Canucks winger Pavol Demitra once he gets healthy….
• The talk is the Oilers are sniffing around to see if there’s any interest in D Sheldon Souray, who has three years left on a contract that carries an annual cap hit of $5.4 million. There are whispers Souray, 32, was offered as part of a package in a four-player deal with an Eastern Conference team.
• The word is Panthers GM Randy Sexton is ready to hit the panic button. He can’t afford to miss the playoffs and has called every team in the league looking to deal.
more hockey rumors…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Ever since Feb. 17, 1979, the day the great Bernie Parent was poked in the eye by a stick and thus forced into retirement, the Flyers have been blind to the necessity of having a big-time goaltender in order to actually win something.
Since the ‘97 choking situation of the sweep by Detroit in the Cup Final, the Flyers have trotted out Ron Hextall, Garth Snow, Sean Burke, John Vanbiesbrouck (the on-the-cheap free agent signing when both Mike Richter and Curtis Joseph were on the market during the summer of 1998), Brian Boucher, Roman Cechmanek, Robert Esche, Jeff Hackett, Antero Niittymaki, Marty Biron and now Ray Emery as their No. 1 netminders.
While, by the way, the East’s preeminent team, New Jersey, has had one No. 1 in Martin Brodeur and the West’s preeminent team, Detroit, has had three in Mike Vernon, Chris Osgood, Dom Hasek and Cujo.
more hockey talk from Larry…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The more I watch Vincent Lecavalier play this season, the more I start to wonder about his future with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
He doesn’t look happy to me. He’s not firing on all cylinders. His coach doesn’t seem to know how to use him. It’s just a bad fit right now. And the timing, well, let’s just say he’s in the first year of a massive lifetime deal that pays him $70 million over the first seven years.
more and other topics, some which were discussed on the HNIC Hotstove tonight…
Ron MacLean, Pierre LeBrun, Glenn Healy and Mike Milbury discuss numerous topics including Savard’s contract, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin contract talk, changing some of the names of the NHL Trophies and Brendan Shanahan’s job with the NHL
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