Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Slap Shot at the NY Times,
The frenzy leading up to the trading deadline can be likened to the run on liquor stores in the days before New Year’s Eve. Enough Champagne? Better load up. The wine you brought to the party last year disappointed? Better get a more expensive vintage.
There will be buyers (teams with legitimate or grandiose chances at long playoff runs) and sellers (no date this year, they’ll be home alone to watch the ball drop)....
Marian Hossa to Detroit for Valtteri Filppula, Brendan Smith and a first-round pick. Atlanta GM Don Waddell simply doesn’t want to lose Hossa for nothing. Filppula has flashed lots of promise, and Brendan Smith is a hard-nosed defense prospect with offensive skill, but Wings GM Ken Holland is under pressure to get back in the finals.
read on for more trades…
from the CP via TSN,
For a team that has been motivated by its absence from last year’s playoffs, Brind’Amour’s injury gives Carolina - which earlier in the week dealt away two key components of its 2006 Cup run and is missing nine other key players with concussions, illnesses and other ailments - another obstacle to overcome.
“There’s no question (that) in the locker room and on the ice, he’s going to be missed,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “From leadership, to the example in the weight room, on the ice, as a person, as a player, he’ll be missed.”
The injury to the two-time defending Selke Trophy winner and notorious workout warrior - he’s perhaps best known for his lengthy post-game sessions with the weights - creates a hole in the middle of the Hurricanes’ most productive line of late.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
All of which suggests a lot of sleepless nights for the 15-20 general managers whose teams sit in that great mud puddle in the middle of the NHL standings. These GMs must examine and weigh their short-term needs (making the playoffs and moving up in the standings to secure a more favorable matchup) against the long view (getting assets for players who may walk away as free agents and trading players they have no intention of re-signing for draft picks and/or prospects).
To put a new riff on an old saying, an NHL GM can’t win a Stanley Cup in February, but he can sure put his job in jeopardy depending on what he does, or doesn’t do.
Here’s a look at six GMs who could well determine their future and the future of their teams, at next week’s meetings in Naples, Fla….
From Jim Gintonio of The Arizona Republic,
Two things fans know about Shane Doan: The Coyotes’ captain had a slow start, and then he cranked up his offense to the point where he was the third-leading scorer in the NHL during January.
What was not known: He did it with a broken hand.
Doan just smiled when asked about the injury, which is healed.
“He plays the same way all the time,” coach Wayne Gretzky said. “He played hard at the beginning of the year; he just wasn’t scoring any goals.”
from Scott Cullen at TSN,
Slumping Jaromir Jagr could be available, the Devils are ready to make moves and the Leafs’ Tomas Kaberle is generating interest.
Rumors, you want them, you got them, go get them...
From Tom Hoffarth at the LA Daily News,
On last season’s version of “The Apprentice: Los Angeles” reality show, Heidi Androl - aka “The Hottie” - made it all the way to the final six contestants before the inevitable: Donald Trump fired her.
A few months later, Luc Robitaille hired her. And the Kings, immersed in their own reality show disguised as the 2007-08 NHL season, may have trumped every local TV station in the process.
More than just an apprentice reporter for the team’s “Kings Vision” element to their official Web site, Androl has become part of a forward-thinking element to TV sportscasting, something that has forced other professional teams to reconsider how they get their message across directly to their fans. In turn, it will alter the big-picture thinking of local news organizations.
more… about both the success of Androl as well as the Kings publicity efforts this season.
Video below shows some of Androl’s work on a recent trip to Vancouver:
from Lightning Strikes,
Here is coach John Tortorella after the game:
“As I’ve always said, everybody always talks about the three guys,’’ he said of Vinny Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Dan Boyle. “But there is no one more important to our team than Danny Boyle. He is our transition key.’‘
Perhaps Boyle, who wants to make the Tampa Bay area, perhaps even St. Petersburg, his long-term home, takes a little less to stay, though he already did that in his current contract of three-years, $10-million. Much could depend on what the Lightning wants to be. Does it want to compete next season under would-be owner Oren Koules, or does it want to take some steps back now to take more forward later. The answer to that riddle may be the key to getting a new contract done.
from the Detroit News,
“I didn’t feel comfortable, for sure, on the ice,” Hasek said. “Once I feel better, I’ll get back on the ice. Hopefully, I’ll be back on the ice next week, but I’m not sure.”
from Jeff Gordon at Fox Sports,
These are exciting times in the NHL. Right now, the league is blessed with a LOT of young skill and this season is producing many individual breakouts. At every turn, an emerging player is making a difference for a playoff-contending team and franchises committed to prospect development are getting nice payoffs….
Alexander Radulov, Predators: During his last nine games he has scored 10 goals and added four assists. This is not a fluke; the 21-year-old right wing was a dominant scorer in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the AHL (briefly) before working his way in the Nashville lineup.
Barry Melrose and E.J. Hradek give their views on possible trades…
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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