Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Avery has looked lost lately. It isn’t that his hands have turned to stone around the net, or that he hasn’t been able to contribute to the breakout without first going backward with the puck, or that he hasn’t been able to cleanly receive passes.
It’s that Avery is not fulfilling the role he was born to play, the one in which he forechecks, grinds and cycles like crazy and antagonizes like he’s certifiable.
The prevailing wisdom was that Avery would become a better player if he left the extra-curricular activities behind. But that wisdom was actually ignorance in disguise. Avery needs to play with bravado, he needs to stoke emotions and he needs to skate on the edge.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
From the press box in Nationwide, Dispatch beat writer Aaron Portzline text-messaged general manager Scott Howson, who was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, scouting the world junior championship. Portzline asked whether the firing of Murray gave Jackets management pause to reflect on Hitchcock’s job safety. Portzline phrased the question differently, but that was the gist.
Howson’s answer: “The decision in St. Louis is not relevant in Columbus.”
The Blues aren’t running the Jackets, and vice versa. The Jackets will handle their own coach as they see fit. Understood.
But the question, in some form, will not go away—not when the team is losing at this rate. Would Hitchcock still have his job if he started the season 1-13? Is there anywhere else in the league where a coach can survive a 3-13-7 streak? Would anyone be shocked if Hitchcock got the boot tomorrow?
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
Even just going where he is told, Mathieu Schneider is creating another problem for the Vancouver Canucks. He also stands to collect a $250,000 US bonus payment on Jan. 15.
The 40-year-old defenceman, who cleared waivers Wednesday after leaving the National Hockey League team, reported Sunday to the Canucks’ minor-league affiliate in Winnipeg. The re-assignment of Schneider, whom the Canucks were unable to trade or place with another organization, puts the Manitoba Moose one veteran over the American Hockey League limit of five and coach Scott Arniel will have to sit out a player to make room for the defenceman.
But by reporting, Schneider continues to collect his NHL base salary of $1.55 million, which includes a $1 million signing bonus divided over four payments.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
The Oilers, no doubt stinging from a 2-1 loss to the Flames earlier in the evening, drowned their sorrows and brought in 2010 with the help of $8,248 worth of booze – including two $500 magnums of Dom Perignon and a $250 round of shooters.
The alcohol amounted to nearly half the total bill, which reached $16,796.39 once an 18 per cent tip was tacked on, according to a newspaper report confirmed by owner Maurizio Terrigno.
According Mr. Terrigno, the team – which has a payroll of $59,253,000 before certain cushions bring it down just below the National Hockey League’s salary cap of $56.8-million – refused to pay the full bill and forked over only $12,381.45.
Mr. Terrigno said the players argued they should pay for their “shooters” – small one-ounce shots of strong drink – by the bottle rather than the round.
The Maven calls them out…
I won’t mention the names, but how about the teams they are associated with?
Dallas, San Jose, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Florida.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
NHL leading scorer Joe Thornton, Jonathan Quick, John Tavares, the Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Ryan Miller, Marian Gaborik, Tomas Plekanec, Steve Sullivan’s comeback, Steve Yzerman’s Hall of Fame induction speech.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ...
The Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers, Alexei Kovalev (his four goals yesterday aside), Tim Thomas, Olli Jokinen, Phil Kessel, the KHL and the NHLPA executive.
more (link not working, trying to find the story again)
via the Chicago Blackhawks,
The Chicago Blackhawks announced today the hiring of veteran journalist Bob Verdi as Team Historian, a newly created position. In his role, Verdi will use his five decades of sports journalism for periodical feature stories on the team’s website and in its publications along with a variety of other roles.
“We are privileged to add such a true Chicago sports legend in Bob to our staff,” Blackhawks Senior Vice President of Business Operations Jay Blunk said. “As Team Historian, he will give our organization perspective and depth in a number of different roles, which includes contributing on chicagoblackhawks.com. His 40-plus years of sports journalism in Chicago will serve as a great link to our franchise’s rich history.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“We’ve changed out travel into the Island and Jersey where it’s not going to be 10 freakin’ (cq) limos flying in from all over the place and come in for the morning skate,” Tortorella said. “We’re leaving the night before, on a bus, and going to Long Island and Jersey as a team from now on.”
Interestingly, the Rangers are 5-2-1 over the last three seasons taking their limos to New Jersey and 8-3-1 in their last 12 taking their limos to Long Island.
This proclamation about travel was made after Tortorella said that the way the organization treats the players is, “sometimes too good.
“That’s part of the problem, that’s something in the short time I’ve been here, I think we take too good care of them sometimes. I’ll leave it at that.”
more on the Rangers…
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Kim Johnsson or Marek Zidlicky? Or both?
Owen Nolan or Eric Belanger? Derek Boogaard’s iron fists?
As the Wild works to make the playoffs this second half, General Manager Chuck Fletcher and his staff will be hard at work off the ice.
Over the next two months, the Wild faces some enormous decisions that will shape the future of the franchise.
Minnesota has nine potential unrestricted free agents (the five aforementioned players and Petr Sykora, Shane Hnidy, Andrew Ebbett and John Scott). It must determine which players to retain and then determine if it can afford to do so.
We also have the semi-finals of the WJC.
Canada vs. Switzerland at 5:00pm ET and Sweden vs. United States at 9:00pm ET. Both games are on the NHL Network in the USA and TSN/TSN2 will cover the games in Canada.
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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