Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files,
Flyers right wing Arron Asham has accused Penguins forward Matt Cooke of biting him during a third period scrum. Asham told a small group of reporters following the Flyers’ 2-1 loss to the Penguins that while he was pulling Cooke off teammate Scott Hartnell, Cooke bit his finger.
Here is Asham’s account:
There was a scrum, I grabbed him. There were two guys on Harts and my glove got tangled in his mouth and he bit me, so I lost it.
It’s not bad, but he’s a gutless guy. I have no respect for him at all. I lined up against him and asked him to fight and he didn’t want to. If you go and bite someone … I just have no use for him.
from Kevin Kurz of PhiladelphiaFlyers.com,
What he wasn’t happy with were some of the calls that went against his club, including a high-sticking penalty on Simon Gagne, wiping out a Mike Richards goal that would have made it a 2-0 game in the first period.
“Going back and looking at that game, there are just too many penalties that never happened,” said the head coach. “On that play in particular, Simon Gagne didn’t high stick anybody. So, it turns around and goes the other way.
“Scott Hartnell did not, in my opinion, interfere with the goaltender (at 7:44 of the first period). I don’t know if it’s a reputation from the past, but you know we want to play tough, physical…we don’t need to go to the box. But, we’re still going there, and our players aren’t taking penalties.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• Columbus winger Raffi Torres, on pace for 25 goals, will be an unrestricted free agent July 1. Do the Blue Jackets buck up to keep him or deal him for, say, a second-round draft? Bet on the latter. There would easily be eight to 10 teams willing to give up a No. 2 for Torres, who may be an inconsistent offensive talent but has the ability to turn a game with a hit. Just ask Milan Michalek. who got steamrollered in 2006.
• Nobody—not even the Pittsburgh Penguins, who badly need wingers—bit on Petr Sykora on waivers because of the $750,000 left on his contract, but some team will take him if the Wild takes a warm body back. Best trade options: Calgary, Boston or Anaheim.
• Here’s something to keep in mind: Mario Lemieux, who swings a fair bit of clout in Pittsburgh as the Penguins owner/ icon, likes Carolina Hurricanes free-agent winger Ray Whitney. Lemieux also pushed for Marian Hossa a couple of years ago when they came out of left field to get him from the Atlanta Thrashers.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
In recent games, the Wild has faced off with Pittsburgh, Chicago and Los Angeles—three teams in various stages of development but all stacked with young, star-studded talent.
This is what the Wild wants to become. It’ll be a tedious task, however, because the Wild doesn’t have the luxury—so to speak—of following their blueprint.
“All three of those teams have been built through the draft with some great young talent,” Wild first-year GM Chuck Fletcher said. “The flip side of that: There were some tough years along the way to acquire those top picks.”
It’s too risky to assume already-patient Wild fans are willing to tolerate two or three years of painful losing to get blue-chip draft picks. Plus, the Wild wants to win now.
via Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Red Wings TV analyst Mickey Redmond said during Saturday’s telecast on Fox Sports Net that Lilja could return next week. This was news to Holland, who last spoke to Lilja on Tuesday and was told nothing had changed. Lilja also said Thursday in Minnesota that he was not close to returning.
“Nothing has changed,’’ Holland said. “I’m not aware of that (Redmond’s comment). He (Lilja) has good days and bad days. Nobody has said anything to me that he’s getting close.’‘
Redmond also mentioned Niklas Kronwall could return next week too.
“I don’t think of this as a step back. I made one mistake. You guys (in the media) can jump all over that if you want. I played well the rest of the way, so …”
-Columbus goaltender Steve Mason (via Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers) on the Eric Belanger goal he gave up last night, which could be considered a weak goal.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
• The Phoenix Coyotes are on the lookout for cheap offensive help; they can’t take on too much of a payroll bump. Ideally, they’re looking to make a dollar-for-dollar move. That’s not an easy thing to do in this market right now, although that’s exactly what Minnesota and Montreal pulled off in the Guillaume Latendresse-Benoit Pouliot deal (both players are earning the exact same salary).
• The New York Islanders continue to cast their fishing lines around the league in an attempt to move goalie Martin Biron ($1.4 million salary, UFA July 1). The Isles are pretty open to what they’d want in return: a draft pick, a defenseman or a left winger. Any one of those three apparently will do.
more talk, most of which has been covered on KK in the past few days…
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
There are so many of the Vancouver Canucks for Blackhawks fans to dislike - Willie Mitchell, Kevin Bieksa, Rick Rypien, the hair pulling Alex Burrows, even goalie Roberto Luongo.
But Ryan Kesler might now be at the top of their list.
Kesler called out Blackhawks winger Andrew Ladd after Saturday’s 5-1 win by the Canucks at GM Place during which Ladd got the best of Kesler in a first period fight.
Kesler was looking for revenge for what he said was a hit from behind from Ladd in last spring’s playoffs and wound up taking a punch to the face that opened a cut under his eye. Instead of trading punches with Ladd, Kesler’s only response was to wrestle Ladd to the ice.
“He’s a coward, he’ll always be a coward,” Kesler told reporters after the game. “At least he was man enough to hit me when I was looking this time.”
continue for a look at last night’s game and watch the quick fight below…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
• Bruins fans dreaming of a No. 1 pick in June’s amateur draft cheer a little more with each Maple Leafs loss. However, by the looks of the total ineptness in Carolina and Edmonton, the Hurricanes and Oilers will have the most ping-pong balls in the barrel come lottery time.
In Raleigh, just about everyone other than Staal and Cam Ward can be had for an offer. The Oilers, flat as the Alberta plains, will find a taker (Los Angeles or New Jersey) for defenseman Sheldon Souray, whose no-trade clause disappears anyway after this season.
• Ex-Boston College star Patrick Eaves, bought out by the Bruins as part of the deal that sent Ward back to Carolina last summer, keeps busy with third- and fourth-line duty with the Red Wings. His pace, in fact, is about in synch with Bruins winger Michael Ryder. Headed into the weekend, Ryder stood 12-8 -20 in 49 games while Eaves was 6-7 -13 in 38 games. Ryder: $4 million per year; Eaves: $500,000.
more hockey topics…
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.
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