Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kevin Dupont at MSNBC,
The night of Dec. 18, a stroke before midnight, the NHL went into its traditional holiday roster freeze. Until the opening minute of Dec. 28, at 12:01 a.m., the entire league was issued a No Trade Clause. It happens every season, allowing players nine days not to worry about getting the telephone call that could tip their lives upside down when they’re only two bites into their holiday ham.
In the “old” NHL days, there was no bigger prospect of facing the buzzkill of, say, waking up on Christmas morn as a proud member of the Canadiens, and going to bed as a Winnipeg Jet. Boy, talk about indigestion. Not to mention wind chill.
Truth is, these days it seems the league’s roster freeze begins at the start of October and doesn’t thaw until what is now the end-of-February trading deadline (Feb. 26 this season).
from Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
Players knew they had played poorly and didn’t seem surprised the video session was called. It was the third time the coaches went this route, one player said.
“Just trying to learn from our mistakes, that’s all,” Sharks captain Patrick Marleau said.
Sharks forward Jeremy Roenick acknowledged it wasn’t always a quiet meeting, but stopped short of saying whether players or coaches were the ones ratcheting up the volume.
from the CP via TSN,
“It’s a challenging job and I’ve enjoyed it,” said Keenan. “Even though we had a very hard and difficult beginning in terms of working with the group and assimilating the group, I still wanted to come to the rink badly every day.
“I think the fire’s really burning right now. I’m looking forward to hopefully many more years of this yet because I’ve got that passion back again and it feels good.”
The good vibes are no doubt fuelled by the fact that Keenan’s team is among the hottest in the NHL, having recently become only the third squad in history to sweep a six-game road trip.
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
Former Chicago Blackhawks players and Hockey Hall of Fame members Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita have rejoined the Chicago Blackhawks family and have been named as official Blackhawks ambassadors. Hull and Mikita will represent the Blackhawks at events at the United Center and throughout the Chicagoland area.
continued with response from both Hull and Mikita.
Hurricanes forward Craig Adams has been suspended two games for hitting Toronto Maple Leafs forward Alex Steen over the head with his stick in Tuesday’s 3-2 Carolina victory.
Adams had a phone hearing with NHL Vice President Colin Campbell Wednesday morning, with the suspension being handed down a short time later.
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via Yahoo,
The Montreal Canadiens have more than Alex Ovechkin to keep an eye on Thursday night when they visit the Washington Capitals.
Unheralded defenceman Mike Green is blossoming into an offensive force on the back end for the Caps. He was tied with Montreal’s Andrei Markov for the NHL lead in goals by defencemen at eight apiece before other games Wednesday night, a surprising piece of trivia even for the most ardent hockey fans.
“My buddies, that’s about it,” Green said with a laugh when asked who might know the answer to that question.
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled goaltender Karri Ramo and defenseman Jay Leach from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced. Leach has been recalled on an emergency basis.
continued... You know Tampa cannot be happy with the current goaltending situation…
Fan590 radio in Toronto reporting Chris Simon gets 30 game suspension.
added 11:38am, from the NHL…
New York Islanders forward Chris Simon has been suspended for 30 games, without pay, for deliberately kicking Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jarkko Ruutu at 14:06 of the third period of NHL Game #472 on December 15, 2007. Simon will be eligible to return to NHL play in two months (February 21, 2008 vs. Tampa Bay).
“Several factors were considered in imposing the longest suspension in NHL history for an on-ice incident,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “While it was fortunate there was no serious injury to Mr. Ruutu as a result of Simon’s action, the deliberate act of kicking an opponent with an exposed skate blade, especially where the opponent is in a vulnerable position, is and always has been a repugnant and totally unacceptable act in the game of hockey.
from the Philadelphia Daily News,
Right now, the Flyers are a middle-of-the-pack team in the Eastern Conference, and maybe that’s all they are destined to be.
Still, constantly riding the roller coaster is never a strong position from which to operate.
“That’s a good question,” coach John Stevens said of the take-and-give nature of his team. “We’ve talked about building an identity all year. We started the year with a 6-1 start and since then, we’ve been a .500 or sub-.500 hockey team.
“It’s tough to make ground in this league the way it is and as tight as it is. Coming into today, all we did was give ourselves a chance to compete for a playoff spot. Now it’s up to us what we do from here.”
from the Calgary Herald,
The man entrusted with keeping Nash on the path to greatness is notorious taskmaster Ken Hitchcock. The veteran skipper draws a parallel between his prodigy and Flames star Jarome Iginla.
“The thing that Jarome figured out pretty early in his career,” said Hitchcock, “is that his personality, his play and his determination had an impact on everybody. His fight (with Ole-Kristian Tollefsen) turned around the (Dec. 1 Blue Jackets-Flames) game in Calgary. When he gets after people and gets nasty and determined, I think it influences everyone on the bench.
“Rick has shown that. Where Rick is still on the learning curve is when someone goes after him like a (Chris) Pronger or a (Zdeno) Chara, he’s got to learn to play through, which is very difficult to do…”
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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