Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tracey Myers of Five for Fighting,
...right now, it’s hard to see positives with the Stars. So let’s talk about today, shall we?
1, Five straight losses. So much for February being their hot month. So much for home ice being so advantageous. The Stars had a great opportunity to keep pace in the Western Conference and they squandered it.
2, Top guys are gassed. The Stars’ top players have given all they’ve got, according to coach Dave Tippett, and they may be running out of steam. Stephane Robidas? Mike Ribeiro? Jere Lehtinen? A ton of minutes, a ton of work, and that wears you out after a while, which brings me to our next topic…
added 8:40am, from Jennifer Floyd Engel of the Star-Telegram,
Put a fork in the Stars. They are done, or they are going to be really soon if they keep this gutless nonsense up.
This is not an overreaction to Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh or about how this fifth consecutive loss has precipitated an ugly free-fall from contention but rather because what I know for sure is a team that does not stand together does not stand a chance.
And watching how this Stars team failed to rally to Steve Ott’s defense on Saturday certainly raises some troubling questions about this Stars team.
via Chris Iorfida of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
Pittsburgh, Carolina, Buffalo, Montreal, Florida, Boston and New Jersey all told Hockey Night in Canada they weren’t the teams looking to acquire Bill Guerin, who was scratched before Saturday’s game and didn’t practise with the New York Islanders on Sunday.
The contending teams in the East not on that list are Washington, the New York Rangers and Philadelphia.
from Shawn Lavigne of the XM204 Blog,
I have enormous respect for Don Cherry but there are weeks when I watch ‘Coaches Corner’ where I just scratch my head in bewilderment at some of the stupid comments he makes. Last night on his ‘hockey pulpit’ he talked about the theatrics of Alexander Ovechkin and the ‘boring Europeans’ on the Detroit Red Wings and after 25 years of this anti-European garbage spewing from his mouth it motivated me to share my thoughts.
As broadcasters most of the information that we comment on is our opinion but unfortunately in Canada when it comes to Cherry it is suppose to be taken as religion with his anti-european cult of followers. Trust me I’ve been in sports radio and television for 15 years and heard it all from callers and hosts who bow down to the Great Wall of Cherry.
added 5:51pm, from Nate of Welcome to the Show,
Cherry is entitled to his opinion, of course, but it raises a good question: do we have to listen to it? Specifically, for those of us in the U.S., should NHL Network subject us to this garbage on a league-owned network?
Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with Hockey Night in Canada when I had the chance to watch for four years in Michigan. I wish Jim Hughson could follow me around and describe my every move for a day.
And there’s room for criticism on NHL properties; you’ll see it on NHL.com and hear it on NHL Live and On the Fly. But Cherry’s xenophobic, misguided and frankly wrong comments have no place on a league-owned network.
from TSN/ The Sports Network,
Edmonton Oilers forward Ethan Moreau is back at home the day after suffering a scary eye injury against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
Moreau was hit in his right eye by the stick of the Wild’s Antti Miettinen late in the third period. After leaving the ice, Moreau was immediately taken to Royal Alexandria Hospital in Edmonton.
While the real extent of the injury is not yet known, surgery was not required on Saturday night. Doctors will continue to monitor the eye through the week to see if that changes.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
But to make room for Briere’s exorbitant salary, the Flyers were forced to demote promising right wing Claude Giroux ($473,000 cap hit) and depth defenseman Lasse Kukkonen ($875,000) to the Phantoms.
This just 24 hours after seeing center Glen Metropolit (two years, $2 million) and defenseman Ossi Vaananen (one year, $1 million) claimed off waivers by the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks, respectively.
“It’s very disappointing,” Flyers left wing Scottie Upshall said. “We had two key guys lost due to the business side of hockey.
“You try to act like it has no effect on the dressing room, but it definitely does. You’re losing two of your buddies, your teammates, and you’re not getting anything in return. We’re excited about getting Danny back, there’s no question about that. But the new CBA was put in place for that reason, and we’re on the side where we had to make moves.”
During today’s Flyers/Devils game, Simon Gagne took a shot off his open right hand. He went off the ice in obvious pain and has not returned.
added 2:05pm, Gagne back on the bench.
from RDS (translated),
Bill Guerin is expected to be traded to the Capitals Sunday, but a problem remains. La formation de Washington a de la difficulté à libérer de l’espace sur sa masse salariale. The formation of Washington is struggling to free up space on its payroll.
Ce dossier est en attente jusqu’à ce que les Capitals trouvent une solution. This file is pending until the Capitals found a solution.
added 12:32pm, from On the Islanders Beat,
The Washington Capitals or Montreal Canadiens may be the top candidates for where Islanders captain Bill Guerin winds up.
Montreal has the salary cap space for the remaining $1 million on Guerin’s contract. Three weeks ago, Washington was capped out.
But since then, the Capitals have placed forward Chris Clark on the long-term injured list, and and sent defenseman Karl Aldner to AHL Hershey, thus clearing about $3 million in cap space.
added 12:51pm, Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider says Guerin not headed to D.C.
added 3:22pm, from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
So, we’re all free to speculate a little longer as this situation drags on today. As I previously reported, Buffalo and Carolina have ample room under the salary cap, and Montreal and the Rangers are a close fit. Washington cleared cap space to pursue a defenseman (Brendan Witt, anyone?), so, it’s possible other capped-out teams, such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh could do the same. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake the answer comes today.
more on the Islanders…
added 3:24pm, via Darren Dreger of TSN,
...sources say the Islanders forward now knows who the team is and Guerin and Islanders’ general manager Garth Snow are both waiting for that team to make its final decision to close the deal.
The identity of this mystery team is being concealed in fear the trade will fall apart.
added 7:49pm, via Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
An Islanders official just informed me the team plans no announcements tonight. Nor is there a timeline in which to expect a future announcement. In other words, everything is “status limbo.”
If I get more later, I’ll post it here first.
added 8:35pm, via Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources close to Guerin say he is frustrated by the ongoing uncertainty and has done nothing to complicate, or stall the trade from going through.
Guerin and Islanders’ general manager Garth Snow are continuing to wait for New York’s trading partner to sign off on the deal.
The identity of this mystery team is being concealed for fear the trade will fall apart, although speculation continues to point at the Washington Capitals.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Yes, it would be nice having a dependable, shutdown goalie like Tim Thomas, Steve Mason or Niklas Backstrom.
But it is what it is. That said, the Flyers’ goalie situation isn’t such a bad thing.
The competition should keep both goalies extra sharp and focused as the team jockeys for a playoff position. Biron and Niittymaki are playing for the right to be the playoff goalie. They are both unrestricted free agents after the season, so they are also playing for new contracts.
I am sure Spector will be busy following all the latest trade talk.
He normally updates numerous times a day at this time of year, so make sure to check often.
from John Vogl of Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,
“I want to play, definitely,” Afinogenov told The News on Saturday. “I want to help the team, but if they’re not using me, it’s probably no point for me to be here.
“Anything can happen. We’ll see. If they don’t want to use me here, they’re probably going to move me. I don’t know what’s going to happen right now.”
Afinogenov missed his 24th straight game when the Sabres lost, 2-0, to the New York Islanders. Most of those absences were due to a groin strain, and Afinogenov is still on the injured reserve list. The right winger, though, said he’s been ready to return since the middle of February.
“I was injured, but now I’m healthy,” Afinogenov said after a hard skate in Nassau Coliseum. “It’s like 10 days now. The doctors cleared me to play and stuff, but I’m not in the lineup. That’s why it’s frustrating for me, definitely.”
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
General Manager Doug Risebrough made it clear this weekend that, in his mind, Marian Gaborik will be the biggest acquisition the Wild makes by Wednesday’s trade deadline.
Risebrough said Gaborik, who has played six games all season, is right on schedule in his rehabilitation from left hip surgery. Even if it means the pending unrestricted free agent walks away this summer for nothing, Risebrough said he probably won’t trade Gaborik.
“[Gaborik’s] further along than we thought he was going to be,” Risebrough said. “So, I don’t know what that means other than I know it’s going to be a big shot in the arm for us when he comes back.
“And that’s one consideration when you ask, ‘How comfortable are you [with this team]?’ I’m planning on [Gaborik returning].”
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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