Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Foster of the LA Times,
The Ducks find themselves doing a salary-cap tap dance again.
Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere returned to Montreal because of a personal situation unrelated to hockey and will not rejoin the team until Sunday when the Ducks play at Carolina. That left the Ducks needing a backup goaltender for Friday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Honda Center.
Team officials had to move money, and bodies, around. Defenseman Brett Festerling will be sent back to Iowa today to make space under the cap to recall goaltender David Leneveu.
The NHL would have allowed a player exemption for the Ducks, who are at the 23-man limit. But the team is currently only about $400,000 under the NHL’s $56.7-million salary cap. The NHL minimum salary is $475,000.
With a quarter of the season gone, who is the favourite to win the Stanley Cup?
Bob McKenzie: “I’ll go with the Detroit Red Wings. Stanley Cup hangover? What Stanley Cup hangover? We’re seeing that at the quarter point of the season that the Wings are just as effective as they were during the Stanley Cup playoffs, so I pick them to win the Cup. Why? Because we know they’ve done it before, as recently as last spring.”
John Tortorella: “I like the San Jose Sharks. I said it at the beginning of the year, and I like the pick more after the first quarter.
more questions and answers from the TSN experts…
From the CP via TSN:
Armand (Bep) Guidolin, who at 16 became the youngest player to skate in an NHL game and later went on to coach Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr, has died. He was 82. Guidolin died Monday at a Barrie hospital, according to his family.
Guidolin, who was born in Thorold, Ont., made his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins on Nov. 12, 1942, at the age of 16 years 11 months, becoming the league’s youngest player ever. The Bruins desperately needed his help to fill holes left by players who were serving in the Second World War.
He went on to play nine seasons in the NHL, recording 107 goals and 171 assists in 519 games with Boston, Detroit and Chicago.
From Eric McErlain at The Sporting News:
But then the wheels came off the bus after the lockout. With the team crashing through the standings and dealing many of its most popular players at the trade deadline, the Blues dropped from sixth overall in league attendance (18,560) to 27th (14,213) before cratering in dead last (12,520) for the 2006-07 season.
With the arrival of new management under Team President John Davidson, the Blues rebounded last season to 13th overall (17,610) through the use of some innovative marketing—particularly free food nights and a nifty television spot where individual players made their pitch to woo back the thousands of fans who had suddenly disappeared. Toss in the signing of free agent winger Paul Kariya, and the Blues had given the locals a reason to care again.
The improvement has continued into this season, with the team now ranked eighth overall (18,961) and ahead of two Canadian franchises, Vancouver and Edmonton.
The comparison to the Canadian clubs might be inadvertently misleading, as Vancouver and Edmonton have attendance numbers at 101.1% capacity and 98.5% capacity respectively, whereas the Blues are at 90.3% capacity. (And if you look at it another way and resort the data to look at the capacity percentage, St. Louis falls to 20th in the league.)
But regardless, that doesn’t change the fact that St. Louis fans are returning to their rink in ever-increasing numbers after a few bad years, which is great news.
from Lightning Strikes,
Lightning coach Rick Tocchet was adamant this morning that he wants to see better intensity and grit from his players, especially in the form of going to the net, or playing time will be lost and benchings may occur. Tocchet originally spoke about the power play and how he might start changing personnel, but later said his edict was for the entire team.
“This is for everybody,” Tocchet said. “If the results aren’t there, there has to be a time for the coach, I don’t care who it is, you’re not going to play. I don’t know if we’re at that time yet, but it’s getting close. We’re going to have to get a little bit of urgency. We thought we had taken some baby steps, but then Jersey happened.”
from Ted Leonsis at Ted’s Take,
We are humbled as the Caps are now ranked as a Top 10 team in the NHL in paid admissions with only Minnesota, Buffalo, Detroit and Philadelphia ahead of us for US -based teams. We are up in paid admissions more than 27 percent year over year. Only Chicago is growing faster than us.
From Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
With a quarter of the season and Barry Melrose gone—Barry, we hardly knew ye, at least this go-around—it is time to look at the players who, point for point and dollar for dollar, have had the most profound impact since joining new teams in 2008-09.
1. Dan Boyle, Sharks defenseman, $6.67 million
The Sharks are getting their money’s worth out of a defenseman who signed a six-year deal with Tampa Bay (Melrose’s old team) last February but was traded to the Sharks on July 4. Like the estimable work of Brian Campbell in Chicago—Campbell had a trade-deadline spell with the Sharks last season—Boyle has come in to run the power play, move the puck and make the glut of high-end San Jose forwards better.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
While there are some eastern conference teams that are seriously interested in Shanahan, they would have to make deals or clear cap space or get permission from ownership to increase the budget and the truth of the matter is those things are not easily done in today’s game.
So while Shanahan realizes he may have no other choice at some point but to play in the West if he wants to play, he has not yet exhausted all his Eastern Conference possibilities and if it means waiting an extra day or week or whatever to get the right fit closer to home, that apparently is the route he is going to take.
read on and some Sundin talk too…
New York (November 26, 2008) – Determined that recognition of their heroes’ latest Stanley Cup triumph continues long after the presentation of the chalice, the parade through Detroit and the banner-raising on opening night, the fans of Hockeytown have stormed the cyber ballot box.
Four members of the defending champion Red Wings are among the leaders at their respective positions in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports that will select the starting lineups for the 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal.
via Mike Knobler of the AJC,
(Ian)White called Kovalchuk “selfish” for going after him and taking a double-minor that could have hurt Atlanta. Kovalchuk said he was just finishing what White started.
White’s version: “I finished my check off. Clean hit. And then he took a run at me on the far blue [line]. So I followed him up the ice, I was saying something to him, and he stopped, and I wasn’t expecting that, obviously. I was protecting myself. That’s the ugly part of the game. He’ll get what’s coming to him.”
Kovalchuk: “Whatever he wants to say. The score on the board, we win. We get two points [in the standings]. We’ve got three games [left] against them, so if he’s got something he wants to say, I’m always ready to answer.”
Watch the fight below…
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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