Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Mike Brophy at Sportsnet.ca:
I’ll be watching all 30 teams because that is what I am paid to do, but I’ll tell you one thing, there is no more intriguing team heading into the final third of the season than the New Jersey Devils. So, with apologies to the other 29 teams, the Devils are the team I’ll be watching with particular interest. I think old Lou Lamoriello has positioned his team to take a serious run at winning its fourth Cup in 15 years.
No disrespect to the Boston Bruins, who currently lead the Eastern Conference and are eight points ahead of the Devils, but New Jersey is peaking at the right time of year and I find it difficult to visualize any team in the East beating them in a seven-game playoff series.
How much do I like the Devils’ chances? Let me count the ways.
from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,
Expected then to be back in 10 to 14 weeks, Gaborik, said he believes he’s ahead of schedule but said his return would depend on his upcoming workouts.
“I feel really good,” he said, adding that training at nearly 8,000 feet of elevation, skating, swimming and working out in Vail “definitely helps.”
He called Vail “the best place to rehab,” but said his skating has been limited to hitting the ice without pads and equipment.
That changes Thursday, when he will begin zeroing in on getting back into the lineup. The Wild have made the target date between March 10 and March 20.
“I’m going to come back and skate with gear on and progress, and when that time will come, I’m definitely looking forward to it,” he said.
more and Marian talks about his future too…
From Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings:
This was tucked into the bottom of the Kings’ ``road report’’ yesterday, a quote from Terry Murray about Wednesday’s trade deadline…
MURRAY: ``We’re trying to put something together here to get a foundation in place with young players. This is the group I expect us to have on Thursday.’‘
Of course, the flip side of this is that Dean Lombardi makes the trades, not Murray, but obviously they communicate quite a bit.
Hammond also notes that Tom Preissing has been placed on waivers.
From the RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune:
But still, this is a deal the Hawks have to press for. San Jose is looking at him, too, yet another reason the Hawks must make this happen.
The Hawks brought up Jack Skille for obvious trade showcasing and they also have some depth at young defensemen that should interest the Ducks, who apparently realized the window’s closed, they got their ring, time to reload.
The Hawks have made it clear that winning the Cup is why they’re here. From Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough on down, the object of the exercise is to win the Cup. NOW.
[Chris] Pronger would get this team closer than anyone might’ve believed. And whoa, look who’s coming into the United Center for a game Tuesday.
NEW YORK (March 2, 2009)—Atlanta Thrashers left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green and St. Louis Blues goaltender Chris Mason have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the month of February.
From Jim Hughson at CBC.ca:
Here’s the difference between Hockeytown and a hockey town. The Montreal Canadiens leave Alex Kovalev at home for two games to rest and get his head together and it’s front-page news. President Obama’s visit to Canada paled in comparison.
The Detroit Red Wings take goaltender Chris Osgood out of the lineup for a week to rest and get his head together and it’s greeted with a yawn and so what.
Goaltending is the biggest obstacle between the Red Wings and another Cup and if he was in Montreal, you can bet GM Ken Holland would be vilified for refusing to address the obvious deficiency. Yet, in Detroit, he gets a free pass.
What will the reaction be if the Wings repeat the collapse of 2006 when they lost in the first round to Edmonton because they couldn’t get a save?
read on for comment on other issues & teams
After missing 50 games due to injury, Marty returned to the Devils’ lineup this past week recording three wins, including two shutouts to garner First Star of the Week honors. The three wins give him 547 for his 16-year NHL career, four behind all-time leader Patrick Roy who retired with 551.
Here is a transcript of his Q&A session with the media today, courtesy of the NHL.
Q. Is it possible that this injury, the silver lining could be that you’ll be fresher down the stretch and in the playoffs as you’ve ever been in your career?
MARTIN BRODEUR: Well, I hope so. I think you have to take every positive you can from an injury. Sometimes it’s hard to have them. But definitely not playing as many games, you know, we’ll see what that translates into, what kind of success in the playoffs.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
As I write this, Islanders general manager Garth Snow has a little more than 26 hours to put together a deal for Guerin before the NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday). If the original team Snow was dealing with Saturday night backs out, then he has to find another one to take Guerin. If he doesn’t, the Islanders will get their leading goal scorer back for the final 19 games of the season.
via TSN Ice Chips,
The Stars placed exiled forward Sean Avery on waivers Monday. The team that claims him, likely the Rangers, would split the remainder of his four-year, $15.5 million contract with the Stars. If no team makes a claim, Dallas would likely return him to the minors.
I heard Bob McKenzie on one of the numerous radio shows today and he said the Rangers would have to clear some cap space in order to put Avery on their roster.
Update 3:30pm ET: More at TSN—
The New York Rangers may well have cleared the way to allow Sean Avery to make his return to the Big Apple by assigning forward Mark Bell to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL on Monday.
Avery was placed on waivers by the Dallas Stars’ earlier in the day, with all signs pointing towards the Rangers willing to pick up the controversial forward for his second tour of duty in New York. By sending Bell to the AHL, the team has freed up some space under the salary cap.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
The longer Ryan Smyth remains a Colorado Avalanche before Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline, the more plausible a case you can make for a trade to Vancouver. (Smyth has a no-trade clause, but hands up if you think “Captain Canada” would reject a back north).
Facing empty seats and a recession, Avalanche GM Francois Giguere needs to slash payroll, and Smyth is a huge ticket over the next three years: $16.5-million (all currency U.S.) with an annual cap hit of $6.25-million (read more on the Denver Post’s excellent Avs blog.
If Giguere requires pure return value for Smyth the Player, than there is no fit with the Canucks. But if Giguere just has to rid himself of Smyth the Contract, than Vancouver becomes a believable destination. (Smyth was traded from Edmonton exactly two years ago Wednesday. Since that deadline deal, the grass has not been greener.)
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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