Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
In the surest sign yet that the Islanders might be close to shutting down goaltender Rick DiPietro for the season after just five starts, general manager Garth Snow said the team has held exploratory talks with the agent for former Isles goaltender Wade Dubielewicz, who recently was bought out of his contract with Ak Bars Kazan of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League….
Told that Dubielewicz is talking to at least three NHL teams with goaltender problems, Snow said, “I guess we’re one of the three. We have to see what happens with Rick first before we do anything.”
from Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times,
How much for Vinny?
And come to think of it, how much for a franchise’s credibility?
This is what the front office cowboys of the Lightning need to realize: It is impossible to lose one without sacrificing the other. Think of it as a two-for-one deal. If the team trades away Vinny Lecavalier, it is also trading away one of the last reasons to believe in it.
It is as simple as this. Fans trust Vinny Lecavalier a great deal, and they don’t trust the new ownership at all.
Around here, Lecavalier is not only the face of a franchise, he is the faith. In the chaos of a season, he is the reason to keep watching. He is the reason to think things might eventually get good again.
I will be passing on the future Vinny stories that are sure to come, but will keep KK readers informed if any news actually comes out of all this talk.
‘‘We’ll stick up (for Malkin), like you would for any teammate. They’re intense, physical games and as long as that’s the way they stay, that’s safe. But if there’s deliberate intent to hurt someone, you kind of step outside the line a bit, you have to make sure you stick up for your teammate.’‘
-Sidney Crosby speaking about the game tomorrow against the Washington Capitals. More from the CP via TSN.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The talent that surprised several opponents earlier this season is no longer getting the job done, according to head coach Ron Wilson. His team heads into its match against the Nashville Predators Tuesday night on a three-game slide and has dropped seven of nine outings.
“I know where our talent level is, and when you’re not blessed with a lot of talent there will be inconsistencies,” Wilson said.
read more and that story was in the morning edition of the Globe and Mail.
This afternoon, Don Cherry was on Fan590 and did not think much of Wilson’s words.
This feud has been going on since the moment Wilson was hired by the Leafs. I wonder what the next chapter will bring?
from Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,
Montreal reporters have started following the Lightning closely because Lecavalier is akin to a hockey god there.
Funny thing about that, though.
“Zero people have called me from Montreal to ask about this,” Lawton said from the West Coast, where the Lightning are on a road trip. “I don’t mean one; I mean zero.”
Still, Lawton was quoted in another local media outlet Tuesday that no player is untouchable – including, presumably, Vinny. Lawton says that was taken out of context, so I asked him directly: In his opinion, will Vinny Lecavalier be a member of the Lightning at the end of this season?
“In my opinion, yes,” he said. “I don’t want to be coy and play games here, so I’ll just say yes.”
added 7:08pm, from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
The Lightning are backtracking now, saying that if Lecavalier leaves, it will be his call. But agents don’t make special trips across the country because they want to see Tampa play the Kings. Clearly, Kent Hughes, who represents the captain, felt an immediate need for a face-to-face meeting. The Koules/Barrie era is one of almost total mismanagement, and alienating your franchise player isn’t exactly a great idea. Wherever this goes from here, a level of trust is gone.
from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle,
Threatened with the possibility of getting dumped on a last-place team if he didn’t comply, Boyle waived his no-trade clause to come to San Jose, but he felt betrayed because he had agreed to a $40 million contract extension to stay in Tampa earlier in the year. So pardon Boyle if he doesn’t have the fondest of feelings for his former club, which he will face tonight at HP Pavilion.
“It was pretty ugly, to be honest,” Boyle said. “I’d just signed there for six years, they told me a lot of things, and then a lot of stuff was done behind my back.”
Said teammate Jeremy Roenick: “The wrist thing and the way that team treated Dan left a bad taste in his mouth. The spat he had with the owners - I think he really wants to win the Cup and shove somebody’s nose in it.”
from the Atlanta Thrashers,
The Atlanta Thrashers have acquired defenseman Brett Skinner from the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Junior Lessard, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.
via the Anaheim Ducks,
Todd Marchant will be out 2 weeks with a fractured finger on his left hand. Doctors tried to place a pin in the hand yesterday, but due to the nature of the injury it was not feasible.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
Five days after the Islanders returned home from their Western Conference road trip and there’s still no update on the condition of goaltender Rick DiPietro’s surgically repaired knee. There’s a good reason for that.
Indications are that DiPietro is traveling to visit specialists who might be able to determine why the knee still is swelling and hasn’t responded well to the latest surgery performed on Halloween.
From George Johnson of the Calgary Herald (via the Vancouver Sun):
For the first time in a meteoric rise to the front lines of NHL defenceman, though, Dion Phaneuf’s timing has betrayed him.
His minutes may be up. But his plus-minus is lagging, badly, and his goal and hits total are way down. After being feted a Norris Trophy finalist nod and first all-star team selection last year, he wasn’t even an addition for the Jan. 25th All-Star Game at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
That couldn’t help but sting. During a half-season of astounding maturation for the Calgary Flames as a group, Phaneuf’s individual struggles have become a staple of Calgary Flames’ chat rooms. He’s on pace for six goals this season. He notched 20 a year ago. A minus-8 is second-worst on the team.
Inquiring minds want to know why.
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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