Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
• The word is Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is shopping C Daniel Briere and his huge contract. While Briere has extended his rehab assignment from a groin injury with AHL’s Phantoms through tonight, Holmgren has been trying to find room for his $6.5-million (all terms US) cap hit. Since finding somebody to take Briere, who has missed 29 of the club’s last 30 games, is going to be nearly impossible because he has five years left on his deal, the club will likely have to move D Randy Jones and RW Joffrey Lupul to make room for Briere.
• Pat Quinn is considered the top candidate to replace Therrien, TSN analyst Pierre McGuire shouldn’t be ruled out as a possible replacement.
more of the rumor talk
from Ian Mendes of Sportsnet,
Jason Spezza has been a lightning rod for criticism in Ottawa this season, but Senators general manager Bryan Murray has no intention of trading his superstar centre.
“I don’t know that you’d ever not trade anyone, but Jason is not on the trading block,” Murray told Sportsnet prior to Saturday’s home game against the Montreal Canadiens. “He is a guy that you should be able to build a hockey team around.”...
“He’s a good player on this hockey club. I don’t know how you acquire another guy like this if you trade him away,” continued Murray. “My intent is not to do that. I think the core here is a good core. We just have to help them a little bit in a couple areas.”
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
The main difference in his game this season, Staal said, is a growing comfort level.
“I’m not the type of person who gets nervous,” said Staal, whose low-key public demeanor brightens considerably away from the media, teammates said. “Sure, in my first game and my first playoff game, but otherwise I stay loose. When the anthem starts, I focus on the game.”
Don’t consider him laid-back, though. Staal is pushing to get better “in everything, from bringing the puck up ice to getting better shots,” he said. “There’s no doubt that the more I play, I have more confidence, I’m seeing the ice better and I’m learning a lot just by watching other players. And I worked hard over the summer to get stronger.”
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Officially, the Sharks still aren’t saying exactly what injury has sidelined Rob Blake after he blocked a shot against Calgary only to have the puck roll up the shaft of his stick and strike him in the chin.
“I won’t go into the test results, but it was better than we thought,” Coach Todd McLellan said.
But Blake did meet with reporters this morning and some of the damage is pretty obvious: a walnut-sized swelling on his lower left jaw and a wiring mechanism in place that limits its mobility.
Unofficially, another player identified Blake’s problem as a fracture.
Blake was able to talk — his jaw, he said, would be wired shut only a couple hours each day — but he wouldn’t spell out the precise damage, saying that they still wanted to do more tests.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have plucked Wade Dubielewicz off the waiver wire. Columbus, without Pascal Leclaire, was the other NHL team that really wanted the goalie.
added 12:55pm, from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
Shortly after Wade Dubielewicz came off the ice at the Islanders’ pre-game skate this morning at the Coliseum, he received a telephone call from general manager Garth Snow informing him that he had been claimed on waivers by Columbus.
“I thought he was joking at first, but he wasn’t,” Dubielewicz said. “He was disappointed, and I’m disappointed.”
Dubielewicz quickly packed his gear and headed out to catch a flight to Vancouver to meet the Blue Jackets.
added 1:08pm, from Puck-rakers,
Blue Jackets assistant general manager Chris MacFarland said the move does not indicate that Pascal Leclaire will miss the rest of the season because of his ankle injury. That determination is still being made.
“We needed a goaltender,” MacFarland said. “We needed an insurance policy. We’ve gone the last two weeks with the bare minimum.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
That is all that separates the Sharks and Red Wings before the clash of the titans Saturday night in San Jose.
“We’ve been looking at the standings all season long, knowing that they’ve been atop our conference and they’ve been the team to beat this year,” Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom told ESPN.com Friday. “It’s a game we’re looking forward to playing. It’s a bit of a measuring stick for our team to go up against the top team.”
That was Lidstrom’s understated way of saying: We want to kick some butt Saturday night.
Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff updated the status of defenseman Andrej Sekera following Saturday’s morning skate.
The blueliner will be out at least two weeks after sustaining an ankle injury Wednesday night in Chicago. Sekera took a hit from Blackhawks’ winger Dustin Byfulgien in the second period of Buffalo’s 4-1 loss and did not return.
“We’ll just evaluate it [after] at least a couple of weeks. Maybe longer,” Ruff said.
Sekera has 13 points (1+12) in 43 games for the Sabres this season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired goaltender Mathieu Garon from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for goaltender Dany Sabourin, forward Ryan Stone and a fourth round draft pick in the 2011 Entry Draft, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
From complaints about his goal output (four in 43 games) to concerns about his defensive play (minus-eight), Phaneuf no longer enjoys untouchable status when it comes to criticism from fans and media types. The all-star snub undoubtedly came as a shock to the Edmonton native. After all, Phaneuf already has two trips to the winter extravaganza on his resume.
He leads the league in ice time with an average of 27:41. He has 24 assists to bring his point total to 28.
“I think on the positive side—minutes played, points and penalty killing—those are all things he’s right at the top of the league at or at least close in, ” Sutter said. “I think most of the talk from people is very selective. Meaning, they only look at goals.
“I didn’t know that’s how you evaluate defenceman—by goals. But apparently some people do.”
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
For some reason, perhaps because they’ve yet to make the playoffs, the Jackets rarely get the benefit of doubt. Heck, they don’t even get the clear calls. Remember Rick Nash’s high stick in Minnesota? Manny Malhotra’s kick-in in Dallas?
Last night, there could have been a hooking call on Madden, a slashing call on Clarkson and a no-goal call from Toronto—all on the same play, the one that ultimately decided the game.
Where’s the balance?
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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