Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Some people believe Lecavalier is untradeable because of the contract. I disagree. He remains one of the better centers in the world when he’s on his game and in the right environment.
Maybe we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves because perhaps none of this trade talk will ever come to pass. But if it does, it’s fun to wonder which teams will call, no? How about the Los Angeles Kings? I think GM Dean Lombardi has the green light to add a major piece this season. Anyone fancy a Lecavalier-Anze Kopitar 1-2 punch at center?
And what of the New York Rangers. Marian Gaborik is flying in the Big Apple. Imagine if he had a bona-fide No. 1 center? Imagine a reunion with coach John Tortorella?
more on Lecavalier…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Publicly, the NHL’s position – on the rare occasions when commissioner Gary Bettman will discuss the NHLPA’s trials and tribulations – is that the league believes a strong union is good for business.
Deep down, it is hard to imagine they truly believe that. Otherwise, would they have not have discouraged Sens owner Eugene Melnyk from filing a complaint that seems like a sure-fire loser, given that Heatley – whatever you may think about him asking for a trade after negotiating a no-movement clause - did not technically breach his contract….
In some ways, the NHL has inadvertently done the players a favour by heading down this path. Just in case the players association required further evidence of the need for strong leadership heading into the next CBA talks, this pre-emptive shot across the union’s bow can only reinforce that belief.
And the NHLPA does have one card to play – the option of extending the CBA to 2012, or for an extra year beyond the original six-year term, to prepare for the battle that lies ahead.
That extension, you’d think, is as good as done…
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Completely unprovoked, Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau spent Tuesday morning lobbying for defenseman Mike Green to make the Canadian Olympic team.
“If I’m Stevie Yzerman, I’m looking at him as one of your top pair,” Boudreau said.
According to people that follow the Capitals closely, it’s the first time Boudreau has publicly made a pitch on Green’s behalf. It’s also an about face from last spring, when after the playoffs were over Boudreau admitted his disappointment in Green’s overall effort through 14 postseason games.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond,
In case you haven’t heard, the Fort Lauderdale law firm RRA isn’t having a very good week.
One of its founders is accused of bilking hundreds of millions of dollars from the firm and from clients. He flew to Morocco (apparently to avoid extradition) but returned to Lauderdale yesterday.
So what does this have to do with hockey?
Well, RRA is a huge sponsor of South Florida sports teams including the Dolphins, Heat and of course, the Panthers.
Word is the team is trying to separate itself from the scandal. I’m also hearing the law firm hasn’t paid off the team for its signage and sponsorships since it’s so early in the season. And now, with the firm’s funds down to about $500,000, that’s a check that isn’t coming.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
“Actually Ozzie’s been much better,” Holland says. “His attitude, his work habits, his conditioning. He’s challenging shooters more. Really he’s in a different place than he was at the same time a year ago.”
Bottom line: Holland, who spends on skaters and not goalies, has no plans (or cap space) to tweak his goaltending.
more on the Wings and some Kessel talk plus Kari Lehtonen may be available when he recovers from back surgery…
Many of you know I don’t watch movies, but I think this is
(it is Brendan Leonard) narrating a video of the Wings/Blackhawks Winter Classic from last season.
Good video about the atmosphere at Wrigley and please tell me if I am correct about Cusack.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The New York Rangers-Vancouver Canucks brouhaha in the third period of Tuesday night’s game has players from both teams on the NHL’s discipline docket.
Rangers forward Dane Byers was assessed an instigator penalty in a fight with Vancouver’s Tanner Glass in the final five minutes of the game (18:50 of the third period) and that calls for an automatic one-game suspension and a $10,000 fine for Rangers coach John Tortorella.
from Dmitry Chesnokov at the Examiner,
I decided to ask Semin’s agent, Mark Gandler, a few questions about his client’s contract negotiations. “Yes, we started the process and have exchanged ideas,” - Gandler told me today. He did admit that it was “impossible to predict” if a contract will be signed before the Olympic break, as the negotiations are at a “very preliminary” stage right now. But Gandler did say that “it’s clear that the Capitals want to see Alexander in their line-up.”
I asked Gandler if there was a possibility Semin would be traded at the deadline if both sides cannot find a compromise by March. “You don’t trade one of your best players from a play-off team to another play-off team. It is self defeating,” - Semin’s agent replied.
And finally, a lot of fans believe that Semin might give a “discount” to the Capitals. I wondered if this could become an issue in the negotiations. Gandler’s reply was firm: “I don’t believe in discounts.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com,
At the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Team Canada trainers were draining his aching right knee of fluid and shooting the leg full of painkiller so he could get his skates on, never mind race up and down the ice. He wanted to play, so he did, but it was agony, at times, after his knee was scoped three weeks before the tournament.
“I played two pre-tournament games in Montreal and Minnesota and had no swelling. I told Wayne (Gretzky, Olympic team boss)I was fine, then the first tournament game it got sore against Sweden. Then, against Germany, the knee became really painful and it just progressed,” said Yzerman.
“I don’t know if I willed myself to play, but I said, ‘Oh, boy, I’ve made this commitment. I can’t bail out now. I knew I had to work through it as best I could.”
read on plus Dave Gross of Camwest News Service takes a look at Stevie too…
“He’s a great player. I was lucky enough to play with him in World Juniors. He’s got a lot of skill. He’s a dangerous player out there.”
“He’s making a strong case for the Olympic team. He deserves all the credit he gets.”
-Sidney Crosby on Corey Perry. More at Ducks Blog from Curtis Zupke.
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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