Kukla's Korner Hockey
It’s Martin Luther King Day here in the States, so we have two early games to kick-off the NHL action today.
from Mark Zwolinksi of the Toronto Star,
Being the absolute last selection has now become a badge of honour for the 22-year-old, but not one he uses as inspiration to prove the 29 other teams wrong.
“No, I wasn’t discouraged at all, I just said to myself keep working at it, and never lose your dream to play in the NHL,” said (Patric) Hornqvist.
Hornqvist paid his dues, coming over to North America and spending time in the AHL.
With his goal last Friday in a 1-0 win over Calgary, he now has six goals in his last six games. Since Dec. 14 he has 13 goals and six assists in 16 games – the most in the league since that date.
Overall, the Predators are obviously happy with his success, but they also point to the fact the organization prides itself on bringing players up when they are ready, and not simply to search for lightning in a bottle.
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
The Panthers haven’t been to the playoffs since 2000, a postseason drought that could tie an NHL record if the team fails to advance once more this season.
Some might think that pressure weighs heavily on the players and coaches.
“Listen, we have nothing to lose here,’’ defenseman Keith Ballard said. “No one expects us to be in the playoffs because we haven’t been in the playoffs in forever. I haven’t been there, a lot of guys in this room haven’t been there. Let’s just leave it out there. We don’t need to be in the playoffs today or tomorrow. We just need to be there after Game 82.”
Coach Pete DeBoer said the current crop of Panthers shouldn’t have to be completely linked to the failures of the past.
from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Daily Times,
You’ll be hearing all about this tomorrow, but tonight Richards had a bit of a blow up with the local writers following a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals in D.C.
The crux of the disagreement was surrounding some quotes by (Mike) Richards in the Jan. 25 edition of the Hockey News in which he is quoted as saying the Philadelphia Media makes things up when times are bad.
The exchange grew heated, so much so that at one point, coach Peter Laviolette had to get between Richards and one reporter (not yours truly) to prevent things from really going awry.
Before I express my opinion on the subject, I’m going to provide a transcription of the interview for all to read so you can begin to formulate your own opinions on the subject.
“Now you see it everywhere around the league. It’s not that big a deal. I think the hard-core, established media, we were kind of leery at first. We were kind of like, ‘Oh, my goodness, what’s going on here? Are these guys going to take our jobs?’ But three, four years into the experiment, we all coexist. They do their thing; I do my thing.
“We’ve kind of become friends with them. They link to my stuff. I link to their stuff. They sometimes use a level of snarkiness and opinion that I can’t get into my stuff as a reporter. I read their stuff and I enjoy it.”
-Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post talking about hockey bloggers or to the point, the bloggers following the Washington Capitals. More for an in-depth look at those bloggers by Tim Leone of the Patriot-News at Pennlive.
added 4:02pm, I switched out video which now includes the Datsyuk and Bertuzzi goals in the shootout.
from the Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area,
The Phoenix Coyotes have launched a new advertising campaign on Valley Metro buses aimed at attracting fans now that the football season is over and before spring training baseball starts.
“We have ads on 85 city buses. They went up in January,” said Coyotes spokesman Rob Crean.
The Coyotes hope to see an attendance boost with the team playing well and with the Arizona Cardinals’ season over and the future of the football team uncertain. The hockey team also hopes to attract some baseball fans, visiting the Valley for spring training, to hockey games.
via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News,
When I asked general manager Ken Holland if he wanted to comment about the controversial shootout goal in Dallas Saturday, he politely declined.
But between the first and second periods Sunday, he cornered an NHL official at the end of the press box and let his feelings be known very clearly. It was an animated, in-your-face, mostly one-sided discussion. Holland was talking and the NHL guy was listening.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Is Ilya Kovalchuk, who has 323 goals but is minus-86 in his Atlanta career, a better trade rental than Marian Hossa was in 2008 when Pittsburgh got him and got to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final? I don’t think so. I may be in the minority, but I think Hossa is a better player (he actually can check) and, in his prime all he fetched was centre Erik Christensen, winger Colby Armstrong, suspect draft pick Angelo Esposito and a 2008 first-round draft pick -stocking stuffers really, although Hossa was 29, and Kovalchuk is only 26, so maybe he’d be worth more.
I still think the Boston Bruins are the short-term destination, although they don’t have long-term cap room, because Marc Savard and Kovalchuk have a history from Atlanta, and the Bruins can give up Blake Wheeler, their first-round pick (not the one they got from Toronto for Phil Kessel) and, say, centre Joe Colborne, who is a sophomore at University of Denver.
more plus Western and Eastern Conference notes…
via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Milan Hejduk out 2-4 weeks after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee.
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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