Kukla's Korner Hockey
During the Hotstove on HNIC these topics were discussed: Pierre LeBrun reports the Blackhawks are looking at Sundin, but a lot of salary would have to be moved, either Martin Havlat or Nikolai Khabulin.
Mike Cammalleri is being shopped by Calgary according to Al Strachan.
Craig MacTavish is feeling the heat but will not be fired, too close to Kevin Lowe for that to happen.
from Tom Harringon of CBC Sports,
Five years ago, I began doing research for a possible documentary on Burke for Sports Journal, the current affairs program I hosted for seven years. My interest was peaked after reading about a Vancouver radio host who made a lewd, suggestive remark about the wife of then-Canucks star Todd Bertuzzi.
Burke was outraged. He revoked accreditation for the station’s hockey reporters and pulled the club’s advertising from the station. The host was fired.
I contacted a wide range of reporters who covered the team on a regular basis to find out what was behind Burke’s actions. Whether they worked for newspapers, radio or television stations, one after the other told stories of Burke’s interfering, often intimidating style….
A producer described being invited to lunch by Burke then facing a verbal attack in front of stunned patrons. A hockey columnist said Burke met with his publisher on several occasions, demanding they dismiss the writer because of the thrust of his columns.
Others recalled scenes of Burke chewing out a reporter in the hallway outside the Canucks dressing room, in front of colleagues, with language that would make Andrew Dice Clay blush.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
The news isn’t good from the Avalanche’s morning skate: Sakic won’t play tonight against Tampa Bay, and his status is now listed as “indefinite.” We could be in the throes of a sad end to No. 19’s brilliant career. One last “clean” in the weight room - one last clean that he said he wasn’t even going to do, but said he did anyway in a kind of “what the heck?” manner - has hijacked Sakic’s and the Avs’ season….
It’s not a good situation, and this, I believe, will sink this listing Avs team for good this year. This team just doesn’t believe in itself, doesn’t have enough passion and - from what I have witnessed - doesn’t have the close kind of chemistry of the last few teams….
Here’s the other news from the skate: Adam Foote has been placed on injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 22. Former DU defenseman Aaron MacKenzie has been recalled from Lake Erie and will be available tonight (although probably won’t be in the lineup).
Foote’s upper back (neck) is still bothering him, and this mysterious knee injury has also crept into the situation. Injuries like these are what can happen when a
stiff, no-talent, cheap-shot artist
forward like John Zeiler runs you from behind.
via Fluto Shinzawa of the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
“Every night we play in the league, when you read the clips before, it’s a ‘measuring game.’ It’s a ‘measuring-stick game,’ ” said Detroit’s Mike Babcock. “This is our 23d measuring-stick game for the other team. Every night is for us. It’s going to be fun for us.”
“I think,” Babcock continued, “when I watch all the teams in the league right now, the two teams that seem to be the most excited and all playing together are Boston and San Jose. Those are the two teams for me.”
# On the other side, Claude Julien said tonight’s game will be a good test for the Bruins. “Right now, I think it’s a great way to show that we are a good team, but also with the type of talent that team has on the other side, a puck-possession team, it’s going to be a good test for us,” Julien said.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
(Steve) Sullivan said he doesn’t want to raise expectations – for himself or for Predators fans – but he was clearly excited to be on the ice with teammates. After slipping a wrist shot past Pekka Rinne, he made sure to grab the puck afterward.
“I hadn’t shot on a goalie in a long time,” Sullivan said. “It was my first goal in two years, so I got the puck.”
Sullivan said he has no timetable about trying to return to full practice, but is simply going on a day-by-day basis. He’ll see how he feels waking up Sunday and decide on how much exercise to do that day.
“I’m not getting overly optimistic or anything,” Sullivan said. “What I was doing out here and what you need to do in an NHL game are two very different things….
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
Ninth overall draft pick Josh Bailey could have returned quietly to Windsor as soon as he recovered from the lower body injury he suffered in training camp, and all concerned would have praised the skill he showed and the wisdom of the club to let him mature as captain of the Spitfires and a member of Team Canada at the World Junior Championships after Christmas in Ottawa.
But quite simply, the Islanders need a bright light like Bailey far more than he needs them. In the midst of their struggles in the third period to hold leads and sustain an aggressive attack, Bailey’s continued development has been one of the sources of evidence that management might be on the right track in building for the future, which can’t come soon enough for general manager Garth Snow and coach Scott Gordon.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
Those calling, or hoping, for new general manager Brian Burke to ratchet up the Maple Leafs’ rebuilding process by dumping veterans for draft picks, might be wise to tone down their enthusiasm.
During his years in Vancouver, Burke and his staff were not exactly draft day geniuses.
We all know that the entry draft is a guessing game at the best of times; an educated guessing game but a crap shoot nonetheless. And twice during his time heading up the Canucks, Burke completely crapped out on draft day.
Toronto will officially introduce Burke today at 2pm ET and you can watch at the Leafs site.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
But if the Canucks are truly into outside-the-box thinking, as the new regime purports, than Roberto Luongo’s groin injury should be viewed as an opportunity for Vancouver’s head coach to break with convention and make an organizational statement.
That statement: “Cory Schneider is our No. 1 goaltender.”
While Luongo’s injury realized Vancouver’s worst fear, and while backup Curtis Sanford has played well in relief, this window provides a rare chance for the Canucks to either build up Schneider as a valuable trade asset or groom him as Luongo’s eventual replacement.
That means playing Schneider, a 22-year-old rookie and former first-round draft pick who has yet to log a single minute in an NHL crease, while Luongo mends his wounds. It means giving the kid a string of games to show he belongs in the NHL right now.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Brassard is winning 51.3 percent of his faceoffs, compared to 42.5 in 17 games last season. Hitchcock attributes Brassard’s success as one of this season’s top rookies to the fact he took the correct path to the NHL.
Brassard, 21, played four seasons of junior hockey. He spent most of last season in the AHL. This season, the coaching staff is putting him in position to succeed in the NHL.
When you look at which rookies are struggling this season and which are playing well, there’s a common theme. Rookies like Brassard, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Kris Versteeg and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mikhail Grabovski (the top rookie scorers) all spent considerable time in the AHL honing their skills.
It’s not only on the ice, it’s stuff like managing money, managing free time and playing professional hockey without the pressure that comes from being a highly hyped young NHL player.
from Five for Fighting,
We went down to the locker room and this was the scene: Guys like Krys Barch, Toby Petersen, Matt Niskanen, James Neal, Loui Eriksson… those were the ones remaining (wait, sorry, Sergei Zubov was in there, too). Now Marty Turco did come out, as did Darryl Sydor, but otherwise, most were cleared out by then.
Just don’t know what you can say at this point. There’s no building on positives with this group. They get behind and they fall apart. Coach Dave Tippett said this team needs its goaltender first and foremost: “Everybody has to do their part. Certain players we expect a lot more from, and it starts in goal with marty. Right now with our lineup, we just have to have good goaltending to give ourselves a chance.”
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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