Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Habs Inside/Out,
Captain Saku Koivu, who has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain since early December, will return to the Canadiens lineup for tonight’s game against the Devils in New Jersey.
Coach Guy Carbonneau confirmed Koivu’s return but said he hadn’t decided which player would sit. The choice is between veteran Steve Bégin or rookie Gregory Stewart.
from Joe LaPointe of the New York Times,
Gretzky has spent the last several weeks seeking new investors for a team expected to lose at least $30 million this season. “Yeah, I’ve talked to a few guys,” he said this week. “More or less introductions to meeting with the league and meeting with Mr. Moyes.”
In some ways, his current franchise manifests some of the problems that used to plague the W.H.A. About 20 employees were laid off last month. There have been recent reports, particularly in The Globe and Mail of Toronto, of N.H.L. concern and involvement in the Coyotes’ business decisions.
But team and league officials said speculation about bankruptcy or a move to another city is false. Without prompting, Gretzky said: ``You ask me my gut feeling — is this team going to be here in September? Absolutely.”
added 5:04pm, Just notified this link requires registration, I am working on it.
The commissioner joins The Game Plan to discuss a variety of topics involving the NHL including the state of the league in spite of the fact that certain teams are in serious financial trouble, the possibility of re-location and the future of fighting in the game.
Listen here, about 17 minutes long.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Lightning coach Rick Tocchet got into a good discussion today about rookie Steven Stamkos and the program he is undertaking to improve his game. Tocchet said he doesn’t want Stamkos just watching the games when he is scratched. He wants him noticing tendencies and the plays and strategy. He wants him writing stuff down in a notebook so that the next day when he has a 15- to 20-minute “classroom session” with assistant Wes Walz, he has a basis of knowledge.
“He doesn’t just go up there and sit there and look at the ice girls or anything,” Tocchet said. “He’s watching the game.”
from Chris Nichols of Sportsnet,
The Philadelphia Daily News reports that Danny Briere is headed back to the doctor after barely practicing at the pregame skate this morning. He will not play tonight against Atlanta.
In what coach John Stevens did not hesitate to call a setback, Briere was not re-activated and was on his way for another re-evaluation because his groin and his abdomen are sore again.
“Clearly, it’s a setback” Stevens said. “If you can add a player of his calibre you want to do that, but at the same time, if he’s not healthy, he’s not healthy and we have to get ready to play a game with the guys that are healthy.
“He’s going to get re-evaluated again and see where it goes from there, but clearly he’s sore where we hoped that he wouldn’t be and he’s not ready to go.”
update 5:27pm, from TSN,
The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Wednesday that Daniel Briere will undergo an exploratory surgical procedure on his groin area, and will miss at least two weeks of action.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
TSN conducted a flash survey of NHL general managers to get a sense where they currently stand on the issue - and it’s clear that change will not come easily.
Asked if they favoured “stiffer punishment” for any player who fights, only two of the 18 executives who responded to the survey said yes. And of those two, neither said they would be in favor of automatically ejecting any player who fights in an NHL game.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
So when it comes to the topic of the day — what to do about fighting in hockey — the general manager of the Stanley Cup defending champions will admit two things: Personally, he’s not opposed to two equally matched players dropping the gloves and pitching knuckles in the heat of a moment. (Fans enjoy it, he said.) But it’s time.
Time for the NHL to open its mind and ask tough questions because things have changed. They changed the moment 21-year-old Senior A defenceman Don Sanderson died as a result of a hockey fight. Even before that tragic incident, there were shifts and nagging trends that caught the eye.
Update 1:58pm ET (alanah): From Jeff Marek at CBC,
One side has been labeled “dinosaurs” and the other, “pansies”.
Both labels are inaccurate and do nothing more than shut down debate and polarize opinion even further. When I start to hear name-calling I tend to feel the debate has run its course don’t you? Which is probably where we’re at once again with the fighting discussion.
*original post time was 8:15am ET
from Ryan Dixon of the Hockey News,
Tear it down. Blow ’em up. Cut it to the wood.
All of the above are popular refrains of the disenfranchised fan who believes the best path to glory for their favorite franchise is through a handful of can’t-miss, top-of-the-class draft picks.
But the more you look around the league, the more you realize the folly of this sentiment. High picks are to NHL GMs what miracle diets are to the lumpy couch potato; sure, they can give you an immediate jolt, but if you want sustainable results, you have to hit the gym.
In the case of NHL GMs, you need your scouts to scour gyms, arenas and any other place you’d expect to find a burgeoning hockey player who has yet to be spotted or has, at the very least, been underrated.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
So Davidson is in an interesting spot. Some experts expected Legace to become available before the trade deadline, should the Blues’ front office decide to sell.
Right now, though, Legace ranks well down the list of available goaltenders.
Davidson could go the other way and add a netminder, since a LOT of them are available. Old friend Curtis Sanford and former Penguin Dany Sabourin are just two of the veterans who hit the waiver wire recently. Senators goaltender Martin Gerber, currently scraping off rust in the AHL, is also available.
It shouldn’t come to that, since Legace and Mason are capable of doing more. And this would be a good time for both men to prove it.
from Terence Moore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
The issues are many for the Thrashers, but the solutions are few. Despite three straight victories after Tuesday night’s 4-2 slaying of an impressive Montreal bunch at Philips Arena, the Thrashers still need many things just to become decent after this weekend’s All-Star break.
They need to rise further from the bottom of the NHL in defense. They need to do more than flash signs here and there that they actually can score. They need to have Ilya Kovalchuk continue to resemble other true stars around the league, and that is, he must continue to lead on the ice as well as in the locker room. They need to keep more fans from becoming allergic to their turnstiles, with Philips Arena less than half full again despite having the historically popular Canadiens in town.
Mostly, they need to acquire more talent, period, especially with the trade deadline barely six weeks away.
Somewhat hockey related, since WDFN did a much better job of covering the Wings than the flagship station…
On a personal note, I know the guys who suddenly lost their jobs and it hurts and it hurts too when it was done, on Inauguration Day, to limit the press coverage…
from Mike O’Hara Sports,
It’s what I didn’t hear on radio today that has me steamed. It’s what I didn’t hear from Rush Limbaugh snaking through his personal slime pit, and the termination of sports-station WDFN as we have come to know, love and hate it.
First, the important stuff.
Uh, sit down, Rush. You’re not important. You were the whoopee cushion of the coverage of President Obama’s inauguration – an unpleasant, misplaced noise.
WDFN-1130 – best known, affectionately to Detroit sports fans as “The Fan” – has been emasculated by Clear Channel Communications, the parent company.
Clear Channel has cut all of the local programming and replaced it with syndicated mush.
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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