Kukla's Korner Hockey
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From WCBS News Radio:
Ever had to eat tickets to a sporting event which took place while you were on vacation? Get this. New Jersey Nets season ticket holders can get in on the “Snowbird Exchange Program.”
[NJ Nets Press Release]: As cold weather takes hold of the Metropolitan area, the Nets and the Florida Panthers have launched the first-ever Snowbird Ticket Exchange Plan in which south Florida-bound Nets season ticket holders can exchange their unused game tickets for Florida Panthers hockey game tickets at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.
More on this from the Associated Press.
From the CP via TSN:
The reason for the rivalry remains unknown, however team mates on both sides believe it has something to do with sharing the same nationality. Older brother Andrei [Kostitsyn] would not discuss the feud but did state that [Mikhail] Grabovski “…talks too much in the Russian newspapers about me and my brother.”
While both players were born in Belarussia, Grabovski believes that Kostitsyn’s heritage should be questioned. “I think he is not Belarussian now, he is French because I never fight with Belarussian guys.”
Canadiens heavyweight Georges Laraque thought the prospect of the two flyweights throwing down would be hilarious.
“I think it would look really funny,” Laraque said of the potential tilt between the pair who are both generously listed at 5’11”.
read on for the full story
from Jessica Bliss of the Tennessean,
For at least a month prior to the NHL All-Star break, Predators goaltenders Dan Ellis and Pekka Rinne were engaged in a fight for the team’s No. 1 netminder position.
Now, as the team heads into the most important stretch of the season, Rinne — the previously named backup — has won out. The rookie has started all four games since the All-Star break, and Coach Barry Trotz said as long as Rinne is performing at a high level he would get the nod in the net.
Sound like a familiar storyline? It should.
This is the third time in the last four seasons that the Predators have looked to their No. 2 goalie to lead them in the push to the post-season.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
There will be a plenty of interest in winger Chris Neil and defenceman Filip Kuba, who are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.
While Neil’s rugged style will appeal to a number of teams, Kuba has been the Senators’ top blueliner.
Sun Media has confirmed that the 31-year-old Kuba would have to approve any deal because he has a no-trade clause that he waived to come to Ottawa from the Lightning….
Ottawa will also get calls about the availibility of winger Antoine Vermette and defenceman Christoph Schubert, who have both been inconsistent this season.
Murray said he will consider trades for prospects and draft picks at the deadline.
“I was looking at our draft (record) from the last four or five years and they haven’t been great, but I feel good about last year. We have a chance to get a player or two out of each draft and that’s about all,” said Murray.
from Jack McCaffery of the Delco Times,
Until there is a more fundamental reason to arm himself with padding and stand before rubber hockey bullets, Marty Biron will try to provide the Flyers with the only service a goaltender can: A last resort.
It wasn’t supposed to come to that already —- and it may not have reached that point yet. But it has been heading that way at slapshot speed for a 31-year-old goalie with dwindling chances that he will still be one of Flyers consequence come age 32.
Highly compensated now but with no contract beyond the end of this season, Biron slowly but clearly has been sliding from the Flyers’ long-term plans —- that despite his gymnastics last spring, which helped open access to the NHL’s Final Four.
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
Those close to Mike Keenan are likely the only ones who know exactly how the Calgary Flames head coach felt when general manager Darryl Sutter stepped in to lean on his players after a second straight loss on the road this week.
Steaming mad is a pretty good bet.
After the media was shuffled out and the doors closed Tuesday night for the discussion, Keenan chose to leave without speaking.
Maybe he didn’t want to say anything that would land him in the same sort of hot water his team was in.
But a day after the 3-1 loss to the Stars in Dallas, Keenan suggested he welcomes the occasional locker-room visit from his boss.
“It’s not an issue,” said Keenan. “You know you’re getting an honest message from Darryl. I’ve worked with him for a long time. I embrace his input and the group learns from it. He brings a different voice and a different perspective—he’s watching the game from above as opposed to ice level….”
Hradek, Melrose and Barnaby talk Panthers, Senators, Rangers and Penguins.
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
If the Blue Jackets are solidly among the Western Conference’s top eight clubs, and the No. 1 pick can be used to acquire a player whom Howson believes can carry them deep into the playoffs, he might budge.
“Those (first-round picks) are very difficult for me to give up,” Howson said. “But if the deal is right”
The Blue Jackets won’t take on any long term, big-money contracts such as Ottawa’s Jason Spezza, Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lacavalier or the New York Rangers’ Scott Gomez.
They’re willing to spend the money, Howson said, but they must keep payroll space available to keep their cadre of future stars. Steve Mason, Derick Brassard, Jake Voracek, Kris Russell, Nikita Filatov, etc., will need new contracts within the next few seasons.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The team is tight. Confidence is seeping out of the room in the manner of a balloon slowly leaking air. Frustration is mounting.
What’s more, there is a sense of widespread belief within the room that the team’s creativity is being stifled by a system whose tenants are becoming more conservative than Sean Hannity. The Rangers appear to be consumed with not making mistakes rather than attempting to force the opposition into making mistakes of its own. They seem obsessed with limiting scoring chances against, as opposed to generating chances themselves.
They seem, that is, to be following the game plan.
If Renney thought his players were inattentive during the first half hour of practice, the head coach had every right to put his team through the punishing bag skate. The Rangers would be better off, however, if Renney actually exerted his authority during games by enforcing accountability by benching repeat offenders.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org