Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The Rangers, who want the right to control their own website instead of adopting the league’s “homogenized ... cookie cutter” model, argue the addition of Drury and Gomez have “made the Rangers a strong contender ... creating enormous opportunities to increase traffic to the Rangers website, as well as to use the Rangers website to cultivate fan excitement, attract new fans, and enhance the Rangers business.”
The Rangers surely won’t need to draw on their new high-priced forwards in court. It looks like history may be on their side.
from On the Islanders Beat,
Because Meyer is in the final season of a deal that pays him $540,000, it’s possible he might be claimed by another team in need of defensive depth. The cost and term of Meyer’s deal would make him a bargain investment.
Once Meyer clears or is claimed off the Islanders’ roster, there’s a good chance free-agent defenseman Bryan Berard would be signed. It’s uncertain how quickly he would find his way into the lineup. The Isles scored on three of four power-play opportunities in their season-opening win Friday night in Buffalo.
from the CP via TSN,
The Anaheim Ducks assigned Bobby Ryan, the second overall pick in the 2005 NHL draft behind Sidney Crosby, to their AHL affiliate Portland on Saturday.
They also recalled right-winger Jason King and left-winger Drew Miller from the Pirates.
via Red Wings Corner,
Chicago coach Denis Savard said that Martin Havlat, who is out of tonight’s game against the Red Wings with an injured shoulder, isn’t skating, isn’t lifting weights. His only workout right now is the bicycle. Havlat’s status won’t be determined for another week.
I have also heard he is getting a 2nd opinion on his shoulder injury, and yes, it is the same shoulder he injured last season.
from the Courier-Post,
Tonight in Edmonton when the Flyers try to start the season 2-0 after Thursday’s 3-2 opening victory over Calgary, Pitkanen will face the Flyers for the first time in his career amid harsh criticism from the unlikeliest of sources: his former captain.
In a weekly column he is now writing for Montreal La Presse, former Flyers’ defenseman Eric Desjardins described Pitkanen as an immature player who refused help from his Flyers’ teammates.
“He has all the talent in the world, he’s strong as a horse and he’s as powerful a skater as Al Iafrate was, but he is also very immature,” Desjardins wrote.
from the Calgary Sun,
The numbers along Dion Phaneuf’s name on the stats sheet nearly light up.
In the season opener, the Calgary Flames defenceman fired three shots on goal, recorded five hits and collected a pair of assists—including one when Daymond Langkow deflected his powerplay point shot.
But the eye-popping digits from the 3-2 loss to Philadelphia Thursday night fall under the category of minutes played: 31:20.
“Yeah, we see the sheets,” Phaneuf said. “You play when you’re asked to play. When you get tapped to go, it’s your job to go out and do your job.
“Some nights it may be more and some nights it may be less, but when you’re asked to go, you go out and do your job.”
from Tom Gulitti of the Record,
The more I think about it, however, the more I believe that the Rangers don’t have enough to win the Cup. The additions of Gomez and Drury clearly make them a better team up the middle. The Blueshirts did nothing, though, to address their biggest weakness, which is their defense.
The hope is that rookie Marc Staal will develop enough over the regular season that he’ll be a top four defenseman by the playoffs. That’s a lot to ask of a 20-year-old.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Flyers took their lumps in the short term by plunging to the bottom of the NHL standings — something that also gave them a chance to draft James vanRiemsdyk second overall in June’s entry draft — and have reversed field nicely. Their opening-night roster featured five former first-round picks age 25 or under (Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Joffrey Lupul, Scott Hartnell and Coburn), plus two others on injured reserve (Upshall and R.J. Umberger), not to mention blue-chippers vanRiesmsdyk and Parent, plus the love-him-or-hate-him pest Steve Downie.
Sadly, the Leafs fall into the other category — of a team that perennially tries so hard to compete in the here-and-now that they are forever caught in between, with never enough assets to legitimately challenge for a championship, but never really bad enough to draft blue-chip youngsters or bold enough to trade “untouchable” core players.
read on & other NHL bits…
From Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun via the Winnipeg Sun,
Almost 10 years after the Maple Leafs moved back to the Eastern Conference to rejoin the Original Sixers in Montreal, the Detroit Red Wings remained trapped in a Western time-zone warp.
But that is bound to change, says Wings vice-president Jim Devellano.
“There’s little doubt that Las Vegas is coming in (during expansion), it’s about four years from now,” Devellano told the Detroit News. “And I truly believe Gary Bettman will move us East at that changing.”
From Lisa Dillman & Lonnie White at the LA Times,
“I think this city is waiting for us to do something special,” said Robitaille, who acknowledged the franchise had lost focus. “For a long time we didn’t pay attention to our neighbors in Hollywood.”
The first significant move to rectify that was a red-carpet affair and party for the team at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Thursday night, with TV and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who is a Kings season-ticket holder and potential future NHL owner in Las Vegas, serving as host.
more… (*link may require free registration)
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