Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
Canes center Eric Staal will miss some games because of an upper-body injury suffered Sunday against the San Jose Sharks, general manager Jim Rutherford said today.
Staal has played in 349 consecutive regular-season games, but that streak will end, Rutherford said. He has missed just one game in his career, late in his rookie season.
The Lightning/Flyers game was moved to 5:00pm ET today due to the Phillies hosting game 5 of the World Series later tonight.
from Paul Branecky of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
Rutherford indicated he would like to make changes to his team, but acknowledged that would be difficult given the early stage of the season. Teams looking to add players take on a bigger financial responsibility now than they would at the trade deadline, and many don’t have substantial cap space following recent off-season signings.
One direction Rutherford may take is giving more responsibility to the team’s talented young players in Albany, such as Drayson Bowman and Zach Boychuk, who have hovered around a point-per-game pace in their first full professional season at the AHL level.
“If we can move certain players, then we can start to transition into the team that we felt we would transition into next year,” said Rutherford. “We do have a lot of good young players now, and I’m not sure that they’re 100 percent ready to play here, but if we’re not going to win with a veteran team then we may as well transition sooner rather than later.”
via Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
But the losing and the Phil Kessel speculation is clearly grating on Wilson.
“Phil hasn’t played in six months,” Wilson said after Saturday night’s loss in Montreal, when innocently asked a legitimate question about Kessel’s status. “I know everybody is going to think he’s going to score six goals on the first night. I don’t expect that, if he does play on Tuesday. We’ve just got to remember that he hasn’t played in six months. He hasn’t even had an exhibition game or anything under his belt, so we’ll be very patient when he does play.”
Wilson knows that no one expects Kessel to be much help for the first month, much less that he would have a Darryl Sittler night in his debut as a Leaf. But the coach is on edge.
So, what’s really bugging him?
How about the fact his general manager, Brian Burke, made way too much noise about the Maple Leafs being a playoff team. But then the season started, and now it’s Wilson who has to stand in front of the microphones every day and answer for a roster that Burke oversold.
from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
These are self-examining, soul-searching times for the St. Louis Blues. A strong finish in 2008-09 and a grand beginning to the present campaign have given way to a 10-game stutter step.
Since going to Sweden and sweeping two games against a Stanley Cup finalist from last season — the Detroit Red Wings — a sour Note is 3-6-1 overall and 1-5 in its own building.
To make matters worse, the Blues have gone two games in succession without scoring, six straight periods without seeing a red light. With three more off days before the schedule resumes against Calgary at Scottrade Center on Thursday, there will be extensive appraisal of these figures, in the media and in the team’s practices.
“We are very pleased to welcome Alex to the global team at IMG,” said David Abrutyn, IMG’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Global Consulting. “He is clearly one of the world’s greatest athletes and one of the NHL’s brightest stars. His electrifying play and charismatic personality will make him one of the most sought after athletes for companies and brands to grow their business. We are looking forward to working with Alex and his family, the Capitals and the NHL to build the Ovechkin brand and the game of hockey around the world.”
“As one of the most exciting players the game of hockey has seen, Alex has captured the imagination of fans around the globe and he is well on his way to establishing himself as one of the world’s great sports icons,” said Brad Pelletier, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of IMG Canada. “The excitement and personality he brings to the game is not only great for hockey, but also for his personal brand, which we look forward to working with him to grow around the world.”
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
If Kiprusoff isn’t the team’s most valuable player for the opening month, it’s Rene Bourque.
Sniping five goals and 15 points over the first dozen games, the Lac La Biche product has easily been the Flames’ most dominant forward so far this season. He’s driving pucks to the net, throwing his weight around, and is a constant threat to score with a man-advantage or while shorthanded….
Iginla and Jokinen were expected to be a dynamic duo in their first full season together on the top line.
Now, they’re not even together.
Split up after failing to find chemistry as a tandem, and struggling to fit into Brent Sutter’s system as individuals, they haven’t shown signs of being the team’s best players.
“I’m skating awesome, but I’m not fast, I’m still on the same speed, everybody’s speed (is) better.
“I feel I’m flying, but it looks like maybe the same.”
-Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings. More on the Wings from Ansar Khan of Mlive.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
I don’t begrudge these guys a penny. Yeah, I’ll make fun of how much they make and how much they are stealing money at times, but jealousy over anything they or anybody else makes in life plays zero part in any criticism I have of them professionally. The only thing that weirds me out sometimes is how we all care so much sometimes about what these guys do. It’s a game and these guys are absolutely getting rich playing it, and so are the guys coaching and general managing it.
All because of what some guys on a frozen pond thought up one day a hundred years ago, probably dressed in heavy, sodden woollen pants and socks and living in a tiny hovel heated only by the available chopped-by-their-labor firewood not charred irreparably to that point.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
If you put the daily turmoil of the Philadelphia Flyers into the Toronto media market, there might be no resources available to cover other teams in town.
But the Flyers not only make headlines, they win a few games, sitting 6-4-1 heading into tonight’s game after an eventful month:
* A flap about a clique of Flyers who allegedly lived the high life off the ice caused captain Mike Richards to try and organize a media boycott.
* There’s another team medical controversy, this one regarding Simon Gagne’s groin. The Flyers’ doctors have advised him there are two small hernias that need surgery, but Gagne went home to Quebec for a second opinion and found two surgeons who disputed the Philly staff’s recommendation.
Gagne is now scheduled to visit an abdominal specialist today at nearby Hahnemann University Hospital for a final opinion.
“He’ll see Dr. (William) Meyers and we’ll put an end to this,” a frustrated general manager Paul Holmgren told reporters on the weekend.
more plus other hockey topics…
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