Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Off the ice, the Wild’s top priority is working on a contract extension for Backstrom, 30, an All-Star goalie who can become a free agent this summer.
“Negotiations are going on,” Leipold said. “We like Nick Backstrom. He’s a great goalie in this league. We want to have him here. He wants to be here. Hopefully we’re going to work it out. That’s really all I know. I would hope that we could get Backstrom signed, and I’d be surprised if we didn’t.”
Backstrom said Friday, “Nothing’s going on. Time will tell.”...
And yes, Leipold still maintains he has high hopes that the Wild can re-sign Gaborik rather than trading him by the March 4 deadline.
“Our only intention was re-signing Gaborik. It is still our only intention,” Leipold said. “Unfortunately the injury caused everything to shut down. It’s our hope that we’ll still re-sign him. I think he’d like to play here. We’re not done yet.”
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that Paul Kariya will have surgery on his right hip on Tuesday, Feb. 10. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Marc Philippon in Colorado. Dr. Philippon performed surgery on Kariya’s left hip on Jan. 5.
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Although the Devils had announced that there would be no morning skate today, I suspected Brodeur might be at Prudential Center today and stopped by on the way home from the airport. Brodeur was among a handful players who skated and worked hard during the 40 minutes he was on the ice….
Brodeur looked sharp as he was peppered with shots from all angles byt head coach Brent Sutter, assistant coaches John MacLean and Tommy Albelin, and left wing Jay Pandolfo, who will be a healthy scratch again tonight. No one held anything back and Brodeur showed no signs of rust or problems with his left arm. Many of the shots were aimed at his glove side and he threw up his left arm without hesitation or limitation to snag pucks out of the air.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Boogaard was especially displeased by his own union chief, Paul Kelly, being quoted in a Canadian Press story, saying: “If it’s a staged fight between two superheavyweights that perhaps arranged it a day before the game, I’m not so sure those are the fights that we need to continue to have in the sport. And if they’re the most dangerous fights, we ought to take a good, hard look at those. ......
Boogaard took exception, especially since he pays his union dues.
“It bothers me a lot,” he said Thursday, adding Kelly’s comments are “kind of comical. He should try and do it then and see how the sales for everything goes. It’s goal scorers and the fighters who really push and drive the revenues, I think. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I mean [Marian Gaborik’s] jersey is No. 1 [in Wild sales] and I’m up there, too. I’m pretty sure it’s like that for every other team.”
San Jose public television station KTEH recently featured San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton as part of a series of local profiles called This is Us. The program features Bay Area figures including surfing pioner Jack O’Neill, Gilroy boxer Roberto Guerrero, San Jose Opera’s Irene Dalis, botanist Joel Goldsmith among several others.
This is US labels Joe Thornton “the best professional athlete in the Bay Area” and calls him a potential lock for the Hockey Hall of Fame. They speak with Thornton about growing up playing the game with his brothers, and note that above all the one intangible he brings to the game for San Jose is leadership.
continued and watch the 7 minute video there.
In the blue and white corner this Saturday is Mikael Grabovski, a five-foot-11, 179-pound non-brawler who was a Habs’ prospect and is currently the most hated man in the Bell Centre.
In the bleu, blanc et rouge corner stands Sergei Kostitsyn, brother of Andrei and, at five-foot-11, 196 pounds, carrying a weight advantage over his Toronto opponent.
The two had to be restrained from fighting by the officials in January as both shoved at linesmen in what was interpreted as an attempt to get at each other.
Grabovski was the more aggressive of the two against a striped shirt, earning himself a three-game suspension. He left the ice to a chorus of boos, plastic cups and foul hand signals.
This week, the pair hyped up their possible battle as best they could.
“I think he is not Belarusian now, he is French, because I never fight with Belarusian guys,” said Grabovski, of Kostitsyn. “I don’t know why he wants to fight with me.
Update 3:22pm ET (alanah): From Mike Zeisberger via Sun Media—
For his part, [Guy] Carbonneau told Montreal reporters this week that he will not shackle Kostitsyn from participating in extracurricular activities in the event they arise during tonight’s Leafs-Habs meeting at the Bell Centre.
“I think it’s just great,” Carbonneau said, flashing a grin when asked about the feud between the two Belarusians. “You need emotion to play. For me and Peter Statsny, it wasn’t love.”
via the Carolina Hurricanes,
RALEIGH, NC— Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired left wing Jussi Jokinen from Tampa Bay in exchange for Wade Brookbank, Josef Melichar and Carolina’s fourth-round draft pick in 2009. Jokinen will be available for the Hurricanes’ game tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, AZ.
“Jussi is a skilled, two-positional player that can be used in all situations,” said Rutherford. “He will add depth to our team at an important time of the season.”
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog,
The NHL does not make a big deal about this stuff, so he sort of snuck on there this morning.
That means the suspended winger has completed his anger management therapy and is cleared to resume his NHL season. The Stars own his rights, so he has to go back on their roster, where he will take up a roster spot and salary cap space.
However, Avery has already been placed on waivers by the Stars and will clear at 11 a.m. on Monday.
From Fluto Shinzawa of Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe:
Michael Ryder will not play today because of a facial fracture and is out indefinitely. Ryder was clipped by an Antoine Vermette high stick on Thursday. Ryder will be re-evaluated on Monday. Claude Julien said there is a possibility Ryder might require surgery, although Julien said the right wing’s eyesight is OK.
Update 1:38pm ET: From Bruins Insider at the Boston Herald—
“It’s a small fracture, so he’s out indefinitely. He’s going to be looked at again on Monday to see if he can play with a shield,” said coach Claude Julien.
The possibility of surgery cannot be ruled out, said Julien.
“It’s a shame,” said Julien. “When I say indefinitely, you hope it’s shorter rather than longer, but we’ll find out more here early in the week.”
From Richard Durrett at the Dallas Stars Blog:
Ott bangs the boards, fights for loose pucks, gets in front of the net and has shown a deft scoring touch too. He’s becoming more and more like a Brenden Morrow clone by the game. Ott had a goal and two assists on Friday, extending his career-long point streak to seven games (4 goals, 6 assists). He also has at least one point in nine of the last 11 games.
“If I can be a quarter of the player Brenden is, that’s great,” Ott said. “He’s a great leader and a team guy and I’d love to have him back in this dressing room. I’m just trying to play hard hockey and tha’ts something Brenden brings on a nightly basis and he’s a mentor to me so I want to keep playing that way.”
Ott has said for years that he was more than just a physical player. Now he’s proving it.
Also, Tom Cowlishaw has a piece on the “rejuvenation” of Mike Ribeiro in today’s Dallas News, as well
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