Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
• There’s a lot of action in the Sunshine State. Florida GM Jacques Martin is scouring the NHL, looking for a centre, but the asking price is usually D Jay Bouwmeester and the Panthers haven’t given up hope they can re-sign him.
• The talk is the Blackhawks will have a revolt in their room if they decide to move G Nikolai Khabibulin. But they’ve been discussing that possibility because the club wants to clear off his $6.75-million salary to bring in Capitals C Michael Nylander. There were whispers the ‘Hawks had a deal done to send Khabibulin to the Devils, but decided to hold off because G Cristobal Huet has been less than spectacular.
read on for more hockey trade and signing talk…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
• Take it for what it’s worth, but you might want to know that Len Barrie, pres ident of the Lightning, has been telling people in the industry that Mats Sundin will be playing for Tampa Bay when and if No. 13 resumes his career.
Yeah, right. As if.
• Wonder how the NHL’s general managers feel about Brian Burke announcing his candidacy for one of their jobs - and by Thanksgiving, no less! - after being granted accelerated free agency two weeks ago by Sixth Avenue?
If the Ducks’ ownership wished to release Burke from his contract that originally ran through the season, that was mighty magnanimous of them, but it doesn’t mean Gary Bettman or the NHL was obligated to allow Burke to seek employment at this time.
more hockey talk…
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Total cheap shot by (John) Zeiler. (Adam) Foote is going to play a puck with Zeiler chasing, and Zeiler throws his right arm and shoves Foote’s head into the boards from behind.
Lappy just challenged Zeiler to drop them and fight, and Zeiler wants no part of it!
(After a few minutes)…They’ve tossed Zeiler from the game, giving him 5 for boarding and a game-misconduct. Probably a smart thing by the referees, although it’s not going to make Lappy happy wanting his pound of flesh in revenge.
Zeiler can definitely count on a suspension by the NHL for this - probably something very severe I bet. The NHL has been taking a lot of heat for the amount of head shots and hits from behind - and now Zeiler lays one of the dirtier hits of this or any other season on Foote.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Georges Laraque, itching to shed his gloves and teach the 20-year-old a lesson, was tapped to trail Lucic and goad him into a fight. On their first shift together, Laraque tapped Lucic on the leg with his stick, then got in his face, asking the Bruin to drop his gloves. Lucic didn’t bite. For the rest of the period, Laraque was talking to Lucic, no doubt questioning his courage in the most explicit of ways.
Lucic continued to decline, prompting the Montreal fans to boo the forward and chant his name. But Lucic had someone more important to answer to than Laraque.
“There was no way it was going to happen,” said coach Claude Julien, who had, before the game, forbidden Lucic from fighting Laraque. “[Shawn] Thornton was there, ready for Georges. Nothing happened. My tough guy was ready for their tough guy. Simple as that. I told him not to fight. It was me.”
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
I’m not talking about blowing up the ship so much as throwing a few broken chairs overboard. The Sabres aren’t desperate for an overhaul. They merely need to rid themselves of persistent problems that either A) can’t be fixed; B) no longer work in their long-term plans or C) need a change in scenery.
Afinogenov is all of the above. Ruff started pushing Afinogenov toward the door by benching him Friday, a year too late, and it’s time for General Manager Darcy Regier to close the door behind him….
Connolly should be gone, too. He has played less than 30 percent of the games since signing a three-year, $8.7 million contract. Enough is enough. Maybe another team would claim him off waivers once he’s healthy, saving the Sabres a few bucks.
Could the Sabres build a package for struggling Florida defenseman Jay Bouwmeester on the condition he signs a long-term deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent?
from Terence Moore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
The Thrashers have no identity. Not good, because all significant teams have an identity. When Martin Brodeur is healthy in goal, the New Jersey Devils project themselves as a steel wall on defense. The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals are whatever their stars (Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, respectively) want them to be on offense at that moment.
Oh, and the Detroit Red Wings are just the NHL’s Big Red Machine.
The Thrashers? Well, they do wear those red sweaters for games against Southeast Division foes. It’s a start, I guess.
Tonight, Patrick Roy is standing on the podium in Montreal accepting the great honor of witnessing his number being retired by the Canadiens. We’ll add his acceptance speech to this post later (assuming it becomes available) as well as a couple more photos. A special night for Habs fans, without a doubt.
*image is a screenshot from the CBC broadcast of Roy at the podium tonight
Tonight was also a special night in Toronto where Wendel Clark also saw his number retired. I thought I’d include a few images from that ceremony on this same post. You’ll find them below.
from Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank,
Two games for Mottau. Laughable…
The Islanders, on the other hand, prefaced their comments with the poetry of “I know Mike Mottau and Mike Mottau is not a dirty player…” Please. As Don La Greca said so eloquently on our radio show, “What a bunch of garbage. He is now”!
Would you ever hear Arbour say that? Would you ever hear the Red Wings, Devils or Bob Gainey’s Canadiens testify for the character of a player who ran down one of their players? What NHL team would have gone away as quietly as the Islanders did last night? I’m the first to admit I’ve never fully grasped the enforcer concept, but I can also tell you I never saw what I saw in the final ten minutes in New Jersey last night.
added 7:16pm, from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
Devils defenseman Mike Mottau received two games from the NHL for his elbow to the head of Islanders center Frans Nielsen Friday night at the Prudential Center. Nielsen received 8-12 weeks on the injured list—a span of up to 36 games—from Mottau’s reckless action.
The uneven hand of NHL justice strikes again.
Earlier today, Forechecker pointed to an interview that Sharkspage posted with Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis. I wanted to reference the interview here on the main KK Hockey feed as well, just in case anyone missed the earlier post. It’s really a fascinating read for anyone interested in the issues of technology and media as it pertains to the NHL.
Leonsis provides a great deal of detail about how the league does—and will—utilize technology to support its business model. In his words:
“We lifted up [our business enterprise], put the internet underneath, and then slammed it back down so it is the powerplant the pretty much drives everything that we do.”
Read the rest here.
On Nov. 22, 2003, the Canadiens and Oilers braved sub-zero temperatures for an outdoor hockey extravaganza. Here’s a look back at this historic event!
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org