Kukla's Korner Hockey
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail,
Cliff Fletcher confirmed on Monday the Toronto Maple Leafs offered their head coach’s job to someone but did not identify him.
However, the only coach the Leafs spoke to recently was former San Jose Sharks head coach Ron Wilson. The Leafs recently asked for permission to talk to Wilson.
“We’re in negotiations,” Fletcher said before leaving an NHL GMs’ meeting to catch a plane.
He said they have spoken to only one coach about the job.
Update 4:48pm ET: Some thoughts on Fletcher’s future from Kevin McGran in the Toronto Star,
In an apparent about-face from what had been the Leafs stance since he replaced John Ferguson, it seems Fletcher is in the job for the long haul.
“Am I interested in keeping it? No, but I’m prepared to continue as long as necessary until they issues is resolved favourably for our board,” said Fletcher. “I’m committed to doing whatever I can to get the Maple Leafs going in the right direction and I’ll continue to do so.”
From the CP via TSN,
Whether he gets recognized with the award or not, it’s been quite a ride. Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall first played with Zetterberg as a teenager in Sweden and never thought he’d see him blossom into the player he is now.
“Back then I didn’t think too much about it,” Kronwall said Monday before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup. “When I was 17 and he was 18, it was all about the Sedin twins. Hank was kind of the second-line winger on that team and didn’t get a lot of attention.”
There’s no question in Kronwall’s mind that Zetterberg is among the “top dogs” in Swedish hockey now.
From David Pollack at the ‘Working the Corners’ blog,
The drumbeat isn’t quieting down when it comes to those Patrick Marleau trade rumors.
In fact, the pace is picking up.
So let me add this to the mix: An NHL source — not connected with either team — advises that the Sharks and Columbus are indeed close to a deal. San Jose would send Marleau and another player (unspecified) to the Blue Jackets for their first-round draft pick — 6th overall in the NHL entry draft later this month — and right wing Nikolai Zherdev.
read on for Pollack’s analysis of the rumor
Most seem convinced that the Wings will take the series tonight, including Paul, Bill and Steve (I’m the lone holdout at KK believing Pittsburgh might still have some fight left). But how about everyone else?
Do the Red Wings win it all tonight, or can the Penguins take it back to Pittsburgh for another shot on home ice?
From the Tampa Bay Lightning,
The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed defenseman Alexandre Picard and signed defenseman Kevin Quick, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced. Picard, acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on February 25, signed a multi-year, one-way deal, while Quick received a multi-year, two-way contract.
“Picard played very well for us following his acquisition last season and both ownership groups established re-signing him as a priority this off-season,” Feaster said.
From Terry Frei at ESPN,
In prime time, this could have been an effective infomercial for the NHL and the sport in the United States on NBC, from Game 3 and beyond.
It still can be—if the Penguins stop looking for conspiracy theories, cease being so paranoid about the officiating and can overcome what in some cases seems to be a curious lack of focus, as in Malkin’s case (in the series with the Cup on the line). Maybe, even if it ends Monday night, if the Penguins stop looking like a team that can’t yet handle the ultimate pressures, this still can go down as a great series. If they extend it, it truly can be…
A dream series.
From Scott Burnside at ESPN,
“When you’re young, you tend to take things too personal, and it’s really not. You tend to exaggerate things,” Osgood told ESPN.com on the eve of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals, with Detroit holding a 3-1 series lead over Pittsburgh. “People write stuff, all people have different jobs when you’re in the finals and in the playoffs.
“You just have to have fun with it. I enjoy talking to the media more and talking to people, getting to know more people. Just have more fun with it because it’s not personal. Just everybody’s doing their job. It’s fun. ... It’s when I get on the ice, it’s just my time.”
The 35-year-old native of Peace River, Alberta, is not the same goaltender he was 10 years ago, when he helped Detroit win a Stanley Cup but carried a rather sizable chip on his shoulder. But who among us can claim to be the same person now as a decade ago?
From James Duthie at TSN,
So instead of repeating the ultra-obvious, the “he needs to have another great game tonight” stuff, I set out to discover 10 things you don’t know about Sidney Crosby.
No. 1: One of his nicknames in the dressing room is “Creature,” a nod to his freakish lower body. It is huge. Gigantic. Hugantic. His caboose would make J-Lo jealous. His thighs are bigger than my torso. All his pants have to be custom made. And the scary part is, his upper body is starting to catch up.
Q. It’s a different game, because this is a clinching game. How much does the message change to your players on a night when the Cup could be won?
COACH MICHEL THERRIEN: Obviously I’m not here to lie. It’s an important game. But for us, all our focus has to be on tonight’s game. We can’t look at what’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s a Game 7 for us. And we’ve got to make sure we’re going to leave everything on the ice.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail hockey blog,
Funny moment at the day-of-game skate – funny if you’re a print reporter, less so if you’re a broadcaster:
A handful of TV crews had staked out Tomas Holmstrom’s locker, by the entrance to the Detroit Red Wings’ dressing room in the hopes he would definitively declare his status for tonight’s fifth game of the Stanley Cup final. I was standing in the corner, near to the training room, in the vague hopes of getting one question asked to Nicklas Lidstrom before the pack descended. Holmstrom came by, surveyed the crowd, decided he didn’t want to chance it and said, at the top of his voice: “I’M PLAYING TONIGHT. SEE YOU TONIGHT.” Then, he turned and made his way out the back exit. I felt especially badly for Ryan Rishaug of TSN, because he too was hovering nearby, but Holmstrom came and went so quickly, they didn’t get any tape of him making his announcement.
It was a zoo, even by Stanley Cup final standards this morning – everybody anticipating a Detroit win, so that they could a jump on their post-game stories, which are next-to-impossible on a tight deadline on a championship night.
Update 1:30pm ET: Shawn O’Roarke at NHL.com also shares some thoughts on today’s atmosphere.
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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