Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I have no intention of trading Adam Foote if we’re in a playoff race,” Howson said. “But I must do what is best for the franchise.”
What constitutes a “playoff race” in Howson’s eyes? He says there is no magic number of points behind or ahead of the final playoff spot when making such a call. Also, he won’t put a hard date on when to make a decision.
The trading deadline is Feb. 26.
Howson spelled out a four-point criteria he will use in determining whether the Jackets are a contender:
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
What’s happening to the Oilers isn’t bad management, it’s mostly bad luck, but it does illustrate the risks that come with signing young players to contracts based largely on what they are projected to do and the way injuries can rip apart a team….
All of this makes things difficult for Lowe, but fascinating for those who look at the Oilers without a rooting interest.
Will he accept his apparent fate and allow his team to go slowly into its goodnight, much the way he did last season, or will he become a buyer at the trade deadline like he did two seasons ago when the moves made paid off with a stunning run to the Stanley Cup final?
via the Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Ducks center Samuel Pahlsson, who hasn’t played since Dec. 22 because of abdominal inflammation, is “an option” for Thursday night’s game against the New York Rangers, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said, but Pahlsson’s return appears more likely to come Friday night against the New Jersey Devils….
Barring a last-minute injury, illness or other unexpected occurrence, Pahlsson is not likely to play against the Rangers. Most likely, Carlyle does not want to put Pahlsson back in the lineup and test him immediately with a back-to-back challenge, given Friday’s assignment across the Hudson River in New Jersey.
from the Province,
The Canucks are 10th in the Western Conference with 59 points, but just five points back of division-leading Minnesota. They are also just two points up on Columbus and four ahead of St. Louis and Edmonton.
What does this all mean?
If you calculate that it’s going to take 95 points to secure a playoff position, then the Canucks will need to go on an 18-10 run the rest of the way. Daunting, but doable, according to captain Markus Naslund.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
On the day Bruce Boudreau finally became an NHL coach, he wondered if that was what it was like to win the lottery.
After coaching for more than 15 years in places like Muskegon, Miss., Fort Wayne and Lowell, Boudreau’s numbers finally came in at 6:45 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.
“He kept saying, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ But he was smiling,” Boudreau’s wife, Crystal, said.
Within 30 minutes, Boudreau was out the door and headed toward Washington.
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
The good thing about the NHL draft lottery is that even the last-place team has a less than 50-50 chance of securing the first overall pick, thereby dissuading the temptation for a team to tank it late in the season.
The bad thing about the NHL draft lottery is that there is such a big odds difference between finishing last and finishing second last that it behooves a non-playoff team to tank it discreetly.
from David Amber at ESPN,
The NHL’s most explosive scorer has Capitals fans thinking playoff hockey.
In this week’s Facing Off, Alexander Ovechkin tells us why The Great One’s single-season record of 92 goals may be tough to break, how he compares to Sidney Crosby and what it’s like to be the NHL’s first $100 million man….
Q: Who is the best player in the league right now?
A: There are so many good players, that’s hard to say. [Pause] I think maybe the best player is Roberto Luongo. He is really tough to beat.
Q: Really? Luongo? What about you?
A: I’m a good player, too [laughs].
Q:The single-season NHL record is 92 goals. Is 93 possible?
A: It’s hard because times have changed. The goalies have changed, and if you see how goalies played in the 1970s and 1980s, it was pretty funny actually [laughs].
Fan590 radio in Toronto had a reporter/friend of Forsberg’s on yesterday. He said Forsberg wants to play in a city that he feels he is comfortable in and sign only for this season. He would basically showcase himself to other teams for next year, showing he is in playing shape.
Of course, he could do exactly what he is doing now, wait until next February to play, unless the NHL steps in with some type of ruling.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
With the NHL general managers meetings later this month in Naples, Florida, expected to have considerable impact on the activity at this year’s trade deadline - and the quality of the players that might be available - we’ve compiled a list of the ten most compelling players potentially available on or before February 26….
1. San Jose Sharks captain Patrick Marleau’s future remains in questions, too. The Sharks are on the hunt for an offensive defenceman. Can the Wilsons afford another playoff disappointment? Not likely, so the sense is that Doug Wilson will pull out all the stops.
read on for the rest…
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette, .
..But the biggest free-agent bust is Sheldon Souray, whose season appears to be over because of a recurring shoulder injury.
Souray is a magnificent physical specimen, but he has also proved brittle in a career that has been marked by injuries.
He missed the entire 2002-03 NHL season with a wrist injury and has played more than 70 games only twice in his nine-season NHL career.
That should have set off a warning bell for Edmonton general manager Kevin Lowe, but he was blinded by the fact Souray played 81 games last season for the Canadiens and had a career-high 26 goals and 68 points. He set an NHL record for defenceman when he scored 19 of those goals on the best power play in the league.
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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