Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
“Feb. 16, 1984: I was walking to the Saddledome with a costume that still smelled like glue in a garbage bag,” said Kelba, who’d played Ralph the Dog at McMahon Stadium for four years before convincing the Flames to give the NHL’s first mascot a shot….
Hired for $50 a game by the skeptical Flames, Kelba knew he didn’t have much time to make an impression before he’d be tossed out the door with the $4,000 costume he made.
“They didn’t think it was going to work, so they didn’t even introduce me as their mascot,” said Kelba, now 48.
“I sat down, and within a minute, some guy leaned over and said, ‘Go to hell.’ I immediately thought, ‘This is going to be tougher than I thought.’ He was tolerated or hated at best.”
from Rob Parent of the Delco Times,
Real hockey men are paid to feel, play, manage and coach as if all 82 games are vital. But what would the Flyers’ front office men say to the thought of trading Danny Briere?
If timing is everything, they’d rightfully say the time is all wrong to think about taking Briere and his huge contract and asking him if he’d mind them waving it across such trade routes as phone lines, e-mail addresses and bars during the general managers meetings.
Briere is a youthful 31 who has had a belly tear for much of the season. He might be over it soon, which would be welcome news for a Flyers team that has been suffering from viral strains of up and chuck lately. Once free of such bugs, this will be a team that shapes up well for the stretch drive, even as it continues to develop into what at some point will be a bit of a financial headache for upper management.
from Mark Hermann of Newsday,
A couple of words about tanking a season: It works. Lemieux saved the franchise as a superstar player and again as principal owner. In the latter capacity, he pulled the old bait and switch with Kansas City, making believe he was going to move the franchise so he could get Pittsburgh officials to build a new arena. Who knows where the Penguins would be had they not been bad enough to land Mario?
Ineptitude paid off again early this decade when the Penguins finished last for four straight seasons (one place ahead of the Stirling-Bylsma Islanders in 2005-06). That enabled them to draft Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, which transformed them into the NHL’s glamour team.
All of this is encouraging for the Islanders as they endure a rough year in last place. This is not to say they are tanking or that they should. There is no Lemieux or Crosby in the 2009 draft. But there is hope. The Penguins are living proof of what can happen if you play your cards right, as long as you have a bad hand.
Just be cautious and patient. The Penguins finished last in both Lemieux’s and Crosby’s rookie seasons.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Tomas Kaberle isn’t likely to go anywhere.
While Kaberle has provided the Leafs with a list of 10 teams he’d prefer to be dealt to in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause, Leafs GM Brian Burke sounds as if he’d rather keep the skilled, puck-moving defenceman….
“Two keys,” Burke wrote in an email. “One, Kaberle wants to stay. He could not be clearer. Two, (it’s) hard to believe I will get what I need to move this guy. (He’s a) quality person, great stats, good salary.
“I did not ask him to waive no-trade. (His) agent suggested looking at this vehicle because it allows him and Tomas to retain some level of control over where he goes. If we miss the playoffs, he has no control over where he goes.”
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
Got your playoff tickets ordered yet?
(See, the media isn’t always negative!)
Don’t lie, yee citizens of Sens Nation. I know you are doing the math.
“Let’s see, if we go 21-6, and Sabres go .500…and the Panthers trade Boumeester…and all the Hurricanes get mono…and the Rangers…umm…forfeit…hey we’re in! And the way the Habbies are goin’, Heck, we might get home ice advantage still!”
Brad Richards hurt his hand or shoulder after going into the boards during the 2nd period of the Dallas/Columbus game. Columbus TV team reports Richards was in severe pain in the locker room and doctors were examining him.
update 8:33pm, Report is Richards will not return- out with upper-body injury.
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
Defenseman Derek Morris, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, says he would like to return to the Coyotes.
The length of a proposed deal is the sticking point right now between the Morris camp and General Manager Don Maloney.
“Obviously, they don’t know where they’re at financially, with the ownership groups and such, so a one-year deal is where it’s at right now, and obviously I’m looking for more than a one-year deal , being 30 years old, so we’re kind of stuck at that right now,” Morris said. “If the right thing comes up for the team, the right situation, then I would hope he (Maloney) would do it.”
Morris, who is making $3.95 million this season, emphasized that his family loves the area and stays in town during the summer.
Almost six minutes of the best goals, hits and saves from the past week in the NHL.
via Paul Branecky of CarolinaHurricanes.com,
It appears that Justin Williams’ recent bad luck with injuries has struck again.
The Hurricanes winger, who missed the team’s first 25 games with a ruptured Achilles tendon, is expected to miss at least a month after a slap shot broke a bone in his hand last night in Buffalo. A decision will be made on whether to perform surgery in the coming days.
“He walked on that bus last night and he looked about as low as a man can,” said Coach Paul Maurice of Williams. “The especially painful part is that over the last three or four games, his speed was coming back. He was skating last night and he was really moving, and I think he really felt that finally something positive [was happening]. To have that happen is going to be very difficult for him.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Don Waddell’s phone rang Sunday afternoon in Anaheim. It was Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey, asking his Atlanta counterpart if he could meet with Habs executive Pierre Gauthier later that evening at the Thrashers-Ducks game.
The Canadiens were stepping up their efforts to acquire a defenseman and they wanted to further pursue Mathieu Schneider, a veteran slated for unrestricted free agency July 1.
Waddell didn’t waste his opportunity. For starters, there was always the chance the Canadiens, under tremendous pressure to act with the team in freefall, could opt for a different player if they couldn’t come to terms with Atlanta. The clock was ticking and Waddell feared the Canadiens had another deal in the works for another defenseman.
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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