Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Corey Masisak of the Washington Times,
His prowess on offense - and on the power play in particular - could be a big positive for his chances to make the team. Canada struggled to generate offense at the Turin Olympics in 2006, scoring only 15 goals in six games (including three shutout losses) en route to a national panic-inducing seventh-place finish.
The biggest question about Green seems to center on trust. Can Team Canada, with gold-or-bust expectations, trust Green not to have a defensive lapse or a turnover at a critical point in what could be the most pressure-packed tournament in the history of the sport?
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Andrei Markov will be back in the lineup sooner rather than later.
That’s the impression you get from talking to the veteran Canadiens defenceman.
Markov suffered torn leg tendons when it was sliced by Carey Price’s skate in a freak accident during the NHL season opener on Oct. 1 in Toronto. The original prognosis said Markov would be out of action until February.
But he has been skating with his teammates for the better part of a week.
“I feel pretty good, I’m skating with the team and I need a little more time,” Markov said.
There’s no pain in the leg but “it feels different.” The main obstacle to his return appears to be conditioning.
“I feel like I’m starting training camp, so I have to take it step by step.” Markov, who said he’s in daily contact with doctors, has a date in mind for his return, but he’s not willing to share it. But nobody should be surprised if Markov is back before the New Year.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
The Stars are a team in transition, and this is just 30 games into the transition. Yes, there are moves that can be made, and might be made. But the bottom line is new general manager Joe Nieuwendyk has a budget of $45 million for this season, and there’s no indication that will change, even if Tom Hicks does sell the Rangers.
So then you have to ask yourself – if you were the GM – would you try to roll the dice on a big move in attempt to possibly go after the Stanley Cup this year, or do you stay patient and allow your young players to get more experience?
It’s not an easy decision, and it probably weighs on Nieuwendyk all the time.
The Stars’ problem is they have some key players at important points in their careers.
from Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic (Thursday edition),
This us-against-the-world business doesn’t fly forever. An NHL team can only diet on rejection and revenge for so long before its true identity surfaces.
Guess what? The Coyotes are morphing into a darn good hockey team.
They have won five in a row and sit just four points out of second in the Western Conference with a big game in Los Angeles tonight. They have a goalie who treats the crease like a high-security vault and a unit that has killed 19 straight penalties.
The offense continues to struggle, but it speaks volumes that the team is finding ways to win without it.
“That’s what’s most exciting,” Shane Doan said. “We’ve won five in a row and we haven’t scored a goal on the power play? Our offense hasn’t done anything. It’s only a matter of time.”
from Rachanee Srisavasdi of the OC Register,
A federal judge this afternoon set aside the guilty plea of Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry Samueli and dismissed the criminal charges against him….
“I am going to set aside your guilty plea and I am going to dismiss your information against you,” Carney (U.S. District Judge) told Samueli. “I have looked at the plea agreement. I have listened to your testimony and you didn’t make a false material statement.”
Samueli responded: “You have restored my faith in the criminal justice system. ... Thank you your Honor.”
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Following today’s ruling in U.S. District Court, Anaheim Ducks Owners Henry and Susan Samueli issued the statement below:
“We are relieved and thankful for Judge Carney’s decision. Though the past two years have been difficult, we remained steadfast in our confidence in the justice system. We want to thank all those who have stood behind us through the entire process, specifically our fans, partners, hockey personnel, and our great staff at H & S Ventures, the Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center.
“Moving forward, we are excited to continue our organizational efforts to better the Orange County community.”
Henry and Susan Samueli purchased the club on June 20, 2005. The Ducks became the first California-based club to win the Stanley Cup (2007) and have qualified for the playoffs in four consecutive seasons. The club has won more playoff games since 2005-06 (34) than any other team in the NHL with the exception of Detroit (43 wins).
Call us old-fashioned, but we thought the game was better when each team had its own salary cap: it was called a budget.
-Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated. More from Michael plus additional hockey topics…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
There are windows in a long NHL season that provide you with a nice barometer of what a team may be all about.
I think we have that this week with the Buffalo Sabres. Three home dates and three contenders in town in New Jersey, Washington and Chicago.
To me, at the end of that three-game set, we might know a little more about this Sabres team, which wants to belong with those elite squads.
Problem is, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was having none of my theory when I put it to him Tuesday after practice. He didn’t see any difference from these games this week than any others on the schedule.
“You point to a game on the calendar that’s going to be easy for me and we’ll skip these games,” said Ruff. “There are no easy games. This league is so tight, the parity is so good, if you don’t put the work in and go the little bit extra, you’re not going to win. It’s as simple as that. It really is that close.”
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Let’s be honest; hockey is a results-oriented sport and when athletes are paid a lot of money and aren’t pulling the weight it’s hard to hide (especially when you are being paid the really big bucks).
As a result, the likes of Ottawa’s Jason Spezza ($8 million), the Rangers’ Chris Drury ($8.04 million) and Montreal’s Scott Gomez ($8 million) are often the focal point of conversations about some disappointing aspect of their team’s season….
There are players, however, who are enjoying excellent great bounce-back years and are taking steps toward re-establishing themselves as players of note, including:
Brad Richards, Dallas Stars: Richards was one of the NHL’s best centres when he helped the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2004—winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player in the playoffs along the way. In the wake of that success his game slipped to the point where the Lightning traded him to the Stars. Despite playing better defensively last season, Richards’ production dipped to 16 goals and 48 points in 56 games. This season Richards has nine goals and 35 points in 28 games as of Wednesday, good for eighth in league scoring…
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
Of course, a lot has changed in the last three weeks, where the Leafs have picked up 14 of a possible 20 points. So much so that general manager Brian Burke, whose self-imposed holiday trade freeze begins Wednesday, is having difficulty deciding what to do with the team’s many soon-to-be free agents.
Does he shop them around for draft picks? Does he try to sign them to new contracts? Or does he simply allow their current deals to expire?
“Obviously, the answer I give you Wednesday is different than after our 0-8 start,” said Burke. “So we’re in the process of finishing that evaluation, which of those guys we would like to extend and which we are going to cut loose at the deadline. And then the second thing will be what is a reasonable price for extending a certain player. If the price tag is not reasonable, then we’ll unload him at the deadline.”
from Spector at FoxSports,
Whether or not you choose to believe the speculation there are three significant factors preventing Lecavalier from being dealt this season; his “no-movement” clause, his expensive contract, and the NHL salary cap.
It’s widely believed last season Lecavalier was close to being dealt but a disagreement between the club’s owners prevented such a move. Regardless, it was easier to move him last season as he didn’t have a movement clause.
Sure, his whopping 11-year, $70 million-plus contract with a movement clause would start this season but Lecavalier was a hot commodity last season and the Bolts ownership could have moved him without his permission to any club they wished.
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