Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
“It feels like coming home,’’ the big Swede admitted last night, after pulling into his house, where he hadn’t been since last fall. “Toronto still feels like home to me.’‘
He admits to an escalating sense of the “jitters,” as curious as anyone else how the crowd will respond this evening, insisting that it won’t make a difference. “I don’t know if there will be jeers or cheers, probably both.”
But for those who do boo, Sundin wants to make one thing absolutely clear: “I was never a traitor to the Leaf franchise. I was proud of being a Leaf. There are so many memories that I will treasure forever – all the ups and downs, the friends I made, the fans who always treated me well.’‘
No regrets, he says, although there is a hint of poignancy in that declaration.
via Empty Netters,
Philadelphia’s Paul Holmgren is one of eight current general managers to have actually played for the team he manages. The others are Bob Gainey (Canadiens), Ken Holland (Red Wings), Brett Hull (Stars), Glen Sather (Rangers), Garth Snow (Islanders), Dale Tallon (Blackhawks) and Doug Wilson (Sharks).
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
On the same night Brian Salcido of Hermosa Beach made his NHL debut as a member of the Ducks’ defense corps, veteran defenseman Chris Pronger played his 1,000th NHL game.
Salcido, promoted from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Thursday, was teased by teammates about being 999 games behind Pronger on the longevity list. Salcido, a fifth-round choice by the Ducks in the 2005 entry draft, didn’t mind the jokes.
“A thousand seems like so many games,” he said by telephone from Detroit after the Ducks’ 5-2 loss to the Red Wings.
“This is my first one here. I’m just hoping for my second one right now.”...
“This has been a dream of mine,” said Salcido, who left home at 15 to play at Shattuck St. Mary’s prep school and played three years at Colorado College.
“I was definitely thinking of my dad and my mom taking me to the rink when I was young. This was special for us as a family.”
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
With the NHL trade deadline rapidly approaching, there will be more and more deals that involve players exchanged for future draft picks, which has always left me wondering:
What is a draft pick worth, anyway?
To get a general idea, I decided to go through ten drafts, from 1995 through 2004 (leaving time for the 2004 picks to establish their NHL career) and assigned a numerical value to each of the players selected, using the following guidelines, with some examples:
10 - Generational (Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin )
9 - Elite Player (Ilya Kovalchuk, Dany Heatley )
continued with more NHL talk…
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Smyth has a no-trade clause, and made it clear today he does not want to leave Colorado anytime soon.
“It’s a little mind-boggling, obviously,” Smyth said this morning from the Verizon Center, where the Avs play the Washington Capitals tonight. “I’ve got three years left on my deal, and I really like it here. Obviously we’re not doing as well as we should be this year. We’ve lost a few key players who could really help us, but by no means are we out of this playoff race.”
via the New York Islanders,
The Islanders have acquired forward Dean McAmmond and a first-round draft selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the Ottawa Senators, in exchange for forward Mike Comrie and defenseman Chris Campoli.
added 4:51pm, The first the Islanders received was acquired by Ottawa from San Jose, so it will be a very low pick in the first round.
from Lightning Strikes,
Tocchet said it is getting closer to a time the team must decide whether to shut down goaltender Mike Smith (concussion). Tocchet said the discussion likely will happen sooner rather than later. At issue: is it worth the risk to bring Smith back considering Tampa Bay is out of the playoff race, or is it better to let him fully heal and be ready for next season? Also a consideration: it might be good for Smith to get a few games under his belt heading into the offseason to get things moving in the right direction. It is a difficult equation.
more including Recchi not happy with being a healthy scratch tonight…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
As the NHL trade deadline creeps ever closer, here’s something to keep in mind: the only team without a first-round draft choice to dangle as trade bait is the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks surrendered a first-rounder in the trade with Tampa to land Dan Boyle, but then the Lightning flipped the pick to the Ottawa Senators in the Andrej Meszaros trade. That makes the Sens the only team with two first-rounders heading into the ‘09 draft. No team has more picks in 2009 than the Los Angeles Kings, however – 14 in all and multiple choices in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. Nashville isn’t far behind, with 12 picks in the draft.
The rebuilding Leafs, meanwhile have just five. They’re missing a second-rounder and a fourth-rounder, the second-rounder surrendered to the New York Islanders for the right to move up two places in last year’s draft and select Luke Schenn; the fourth-rounder sent to San Jose two years ago to complete the Vesa Toskala deal.
many more NHL topics, including Kovalev, Sundin and possible trade targets…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The Lightning leads the NHL in roster moves, with 43 different players having suited up for game action this season. Injuries have played a role in the inflation of that number, but it’s not the only factor.
There was also the furor over whether the team was shopping Lecavalier. There was a lot of discussion of semantics, but the bottom line is that there was some discussion about Lecavalier’s availability, and the Montreal Canadiens were believed to be the team most interested in the talented center’s services.
Any team that doesn’t at least engage in blue-sky discussions about any player on their roster is selling themselves short, but the way the situation was handled did little to dispel the notion that Lightning owners were cash-strapped and looking to get out from under Lecavalier’s new 11-year deal worth $85 million. It appears Lecavalier will remain with the Lightning, as will St. Louis and Malone.
from Adam Brady at AnaheimDucks.com,
Meanwhile, from the Incredibly Awkward Department, Chris Pronger will be playing his 1,000th game tonight and may become the first player in NHL history to be soundly booed when the achievement is recognized tonight. The Red Wings have indicated they will pay tribute to the milestone during the first TV timeout.
more on the Ducks…
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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