Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
My target: Ken Holland, the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. There are others and some of the unencumbered mentioned above have their appeal, but if you want the best man in hockey today, it’s Holland. Getting him won’t be easy or cheap, but it’s not exactly mission impossible either.
Start with a subtle overture. Sources have told me that Holland isn’t put off by the challenge of rescuing the most poorly run rich franchise in the National Hockey League. He’s not afraid of the demands of the legion of long-suffering fans or the oft-times hostile and over-abundant media.
A few nights ago, Fan590 radio in Toronto reported that the Leafs did contact Ilitch about 6 weeks ago for approval to talk with Holland and Jim Nill, their request was turned down.
via Blue Notes at Newsday,
Defenseman Marek Malik’s equipment was not in his practice locker and could be on the move.
“Right now it’s just an internal matter,” said Tom Renney. Asked if Malik would be at tonight’s game, Renney responded:.“That’s to be determined.” Asked if he was suspended, Renney declined to answer. Asked if he was still on the team, the answer was: “He’s a Ranger.”
For how long, who knows?
Renney wouldn’t confirm that the 6-foot-6 Malik, 32, an unrestricted free agent who has played just and the target of Garden boo-birds all season, was being traded. Malik was scratched for four of the last nine games.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The plans to open the 2008-09 NHL regular season on two European fronts are now finalized.
The league is apparently ready to formally announce this weekend at the NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta that, as expected, the Ottawa Senators will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in Stockholm and the New York Rangers will play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Prague.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Turris has enlisted Denver-based player agent Kurt Overhardt as a “family advisor” and said he hears “from a couple of guys in the organization quite a bit—text messages and that sort of thing. We’ve kept in contact and they’re letting me have a good time.”
But for how long?
Coyotes GM Don Maloney said last week that Turris “is right on schedule. He’s played well for Wisconsin, and it’s been a great experience for him playing against more mature players. He was one of the go-to players with Team Canada, the top center on the top line, so we’re really pleased with what he’s done to date.”
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
On a couple of levels — stylistic and strategic — the Avalanche at least temporarily has become what the organization used to belittle.
With Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth and Paul Stastny on the injured list, this is the way the Avalanche probably has to play to remain afloat.
The Avs are not only playing Columbus and Minnesota, they’re becoming Columbus and Minnesota.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Even before Dion Phaneuf slipped on a Calgary Flames sweater, the predictions were made.
Without even skating in an NHL game, belief was the talented defenceman had a future that included one or more Norris Trophy accolades.
Now, in the midst of his third season, is that a fair belief? Does Phaneuf’s destiny include being the NHL’s best defenceman?
“Oh yeah,” said Flames centre Craig Conroy without flinching. “You look at the guys who are the top defencemen in the league—(Nicklas) Lidstrom, (Chris) Pronger, (Scott) Niedermayer, (Brian) Rafalski, even, is up there. How many are young guys? How many young, young guys can you say that about?
from the LA Times,
“The key to having success is you need to have a couple of guys take less money in a cap system,” Schneider said before Wednesday’s game. “Nicky Lidstrom did it, Tomas Holmstrom did it, so did Kris Draper. They still got Zetterberg on his four-year deal where he’s making two and a half [million].
“It’d be awfully hard to do in a year or two when they’ve got to sign all those players again. Fortunately, they got some of their top players at a discounted rate.”
Ducks defenseman Sean O’Donnell put scouting among the key reasons why the Red Wings have been able to maintain their status as a chief Cup contender every season.
“I think for the last 10 years, that’s really been the model organization,” O’Donnell said.
more (reg. req.)
Sharks coach Ron Wilson via Working the Corners,
“What’s going to happen if you don’t win that game? Now we’re the underachieving team again. Last week we were rated #1 team in hockey . . . It’s all a bunch of …
“Geeze, you win a few games, you lose a few games — it’s part of life in sports. It’s where you are at the end of the year. They don’t hand out awards for where we are today, tomorrow — it’s only at the end of the year and what you do in the playoffs….”
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
I wasn’t surprised to see Lindy Ruff take the blame for the Sabres’ recent slide. Ruff is a leader and a stand-up guy. He did the noble thing by pointing the finger at himself, deflecting criticism from his soft, overrated players.
But Ruff was too hard on himself. He’s not the problem. He’s taking the bullet for the Sabres’ bumbling and dysfunctional management — for General Manager Darcy Regier, managing partner Larry Quinn, and most of all, for absentee owner Tom Golisano, who has been conspicuously unavailable during this troubling and turbulent period.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Win and you’re in.
After alternating goaltenders for the last nine games, Senators coach John Paddock is changing things up in the net.
With an eye toward picking a clear-cut No. 1 after the next 10-15 games, Paddock is looking for either Martin Gerber or Ray Emery to show they’re worthy of the job.
Crunch time is coming.
Paddock put a time frame on it yesterday.
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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