Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Just when you think he has gone under the waves for good, weighted by the fat contracts he doled out for defencemen, his free-agent forays or tangled in the twine of three controversial goaltender moves, his team gets hot or his boss tosses him a life preserver.
Such fluctuations make it hard to judge Ferguson’s impact, other than the Leafs have had two close calls with making the playoffs. Is this season already a write-off as one broadsheet columnist boldly claimed, or is this modest December indicative of a better second half?
from the Chicago Tribune,
The Hawks have a 1-6 record and just three power-play goals in 30 chances this month….
“We get in there for some reason and, myself included, we all make the first pass way too complicated,” said veteran center Robert Lang, who has three power-play goals this season. “We have to go back to basics. Get guys in front of the net and put pucks on the net and good things happen. If you look for too major of a change it never really works. Just get the pucks on net and get the ugly goals.”
from the Ottawa Sun,
“I had little conflicts with Bryan Murray all last year,” Schaefer said before last night’s game against his former team. “Once John got fired and (Murray) became the GM, I pretty much knew I was going to be moved.
“At the end of year meeting, (Murray) told me he expected me to come back (this season) and have a good year. Two days later, he called me in Vancouver and told me I had been traded to Boston. I just chuckled and said thanks.
“I think it’s a business and any time you tell someone one thing and something better comes along, you do it. There’s no hard feelings against (Murray).
“At the same time, I’m probably not going to go and bake cupcakes with him at Christmas, either.”
The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired defenseman Jim Vandermeer from the Chicago Blackhawks.
On the Flyers homepage, no details yet.
added 10:47pm, via the Chicago Blackhawks,
Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the Blackhawks have obtained left wing Ben Eager from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Jim Vandermeer. “We wanted a high energy player for our fourth line and Ben Eager is that kind of player,” Tallon said. “He is just 23 years old, he can skate and heis a very gritty player.”
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The Vancouver Canucks’ general manager has put another twist to the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore debacle, suggesting in court documents released today that Moore was not specifically targeted for revenge by then-Canucks coach Marc Crawford.
In an Aug. 23 depostion, Vancouver Canucks general manger Dave Nonis told lawyers: “I have heard that Crawford pointed to a number of players and said that they must—‘... they got to pay the price tonight.’
from the Atlanta Business Chronicle,
A new revenue-sharing system helps those teams, with Atlanta receiving about $6 million in each of the first two years of the new collective bargaining agreement.
But fast forward three years later and that hard team cap on salaries is accelerating upwards and teams like Atlanta are not keeping pace at the top end of the team payroll spectrum.
Paul Kelly is the NHLPA’s third executive director in three years and he visited Atlanta on Monday (coincidentally to meet with the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning; teams prefer to meet on the road, he said, where there are fewer distractions).
With the NHL having won its hard salary cap the hard way, Kelly’s job very much is to drive revenues to keep players’ salaries moving up.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Atlanta Thrashers—7pm ET
The Lightning’s Vincent Lecavalier, who leads the NHL with 51 points this season, and the Thrashers’ Ilya Kovalchuk, who leads the league with 26 goals, will go head-to-head for the fifth time this season and the 35th time in their careers when the Lightning play the Thrashers tonight in Atlanta.
Lecavalier has scored 39 points (17-22—39) and Kovalchuk 36 (20-16—36) in their 34 previous meetings, with Tampa Bay and Lecavalier winning 18 times, Kovalchuk and Atlanta 14 times, and two games ending in a tie. They’ve met four times already this season with each player winning twice; Lecavalier (3-6—9) has more points but Kovalchuk (5-2—7) has more goals.
via On Frozen Pond,
Rumors have it that Montreal is shopping Michael Ryder, and I would think the Panthers have an interest with Ville Peltonen out a substantial—six/eight weeks—bit of time with his broken foot. Ryder has scored 30 goals the past two seasons, but is struggling so much this season he’s been a healthy scratch. Ryder has three goals and seven assists this season.
He hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 16 at Buffalo and hasn’t so much as recorded a point since getting two helpers against Boston on Nov. 17. Change of scenery—and some sunshine—might be what Ryder needs.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
Detroit general manager Ken Holland and his general staff – Jim Devellano, Scotty Bowman, Steve Yzerman – can’t get enough credit. Their head coach, Mike Babcock, is first-rate and their development team – have you noticed Henny Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, et al. – are top of the heap.
And how about the genius move in signing Chris Osgood? At 35, he’s playing as well as he ever did in 14 years of big league goaltending!
many more NHL bits, some of them covered on KK in the past week…
from On Frozen Blog,
Leonsis emphasized that embracing new media is for the league merely an extension of the relationship its fans have already cultivated, passionately. “All of our fans are wired. They spend most of their time on broadband. They have their mobile devices.”
“People have underestimated the importance of search. They’ve underestimated the influence of Facebook. Facebook has a $15 billion valuation — more than every NHL and NBA team combined. What did they do? They brought a big audience of young Web-savvy customers. We have to look at our business in the same vein.”
So what’s ahead? For starters, the owner contends, increasing acceptance of bloggers and the blogosphere. Additionally, individual blogs that are likely to surpass The Hockey News in popularity and influence. Their quality, he said, “is better than the copy you see in the newspaper.” Then next up comes a very new age role for NHL players.
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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