Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
1. Someday, I'm going to force enough red wine down Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis' throat that he'll have no choice but to reveal which teams made serious offers for Ryan Kesler at this deadline. It's one of those situations where everyone asks because you'd be a bad GM not to. But the real interest is in who went beyond an initial call. The Pittsburgh Penguins' lust is barely concealed. But in conversations over the past few days, it became clear that a number of serious Stanley Cup contenders thought some of the teams that concerned them most were making a pitch.
2. There is serious doubt the Canucks would keep Kesler in the Western Conference. But it's impossible to think there were no attempts. Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman denied any interest via email, writing "I have tried my best to convey that we will not be active but no one seems to want to listen. But I asked because some of his conference rivals clearly believed they were in. As one exec said, "How could he not ask about having Jonathan Toews and Kesler as his top two centres?"
3. Same thing with the Los Angeles Kings. I don't think it's possible now after the Sam Gagner trade fell apart due to salary-cap considerations. But if they were willing to add Gagner, it's inconceivable to think they were unwilling to add Kesler with a cap hit just $200,000 higher....
via Bob McKenzie tweets,
On waivers today: Trevor Smith (TOR), Jake Dowell (MIN), Corey Potter (EDM), Joe Corvo and Cory Conacher (OTT), Derek Smith (CGY) plus.
Scott Gomez and Scot Clemmensen (FLA) also on waivers
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Mike Cammalleri, Marian Gaborik and Ales Hemsky, all pending UFA wingers, remained on the trade block, a departure in some ways from the last few years when many of the rentals went days before the deadline.
Remember Brenden Morrow, Jarome Iginla and Jaromir Jagr all moved before the actual deadline day a year ago.
There's a pretty simple answer to it all. As one NHL GM of a contender told ESPN.com Monday night, the prices needed to go down before he would consider any of those rentals.
Is this the year the buyers keep their sanity?
Who knows, all it takes is one of those rentals to move Tuesday and the domino effect might take place.
continued with more topics like Kesler, Ehrhoff, Edler and Callahan...
(Home Team in Caps)
Columbus 2, TORONTO 1
DALLAS 3, Buffalo 2
MINNESOTA 3, Calgary 2
LOS ANGELES 2, Montreal 1
DIAMOND IN THE RUFF
Stars Lindy Ruff earned his 600th win as an NHL coach with a 3-2 victory over the Sabres, a team he coached for 15 seasons. Ruff improved his record to 600-454-172 in 1,226 regular-season games; 571 of those victories came behind the Buffalo bench.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ruff is the fourth in League history to play in at least 650 regular-season games and win 600 regular-season games as a coach.
from Andy Clayton of the New York Daily News,
When Martin Brodeur starts in goal for the Devils Tuesday night at the Prudential Center, it will be the 1,250th time he’s stood between the pipes for New Jersey in the regular season. Sources say, it’s likely it will also be the last time.
With Wednesday’s NHL trading deadline looming, a source told the Daily News the Devils and Minnesota have agreed upon a deal that would send the lifelong Devil and future Hall of Famer to the Wild. The deal is pending the approval of Brodeur, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, and, according to the source, wanted one last home game with Devils.
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
It's amazing what stringing together a few wins can do to your playoff position.
With another win -- that's now five straight -- on Monday night, the Minnesota Wild are starting to pad their lead over teams outside the playoff bubble. Their win over the Calgary Flames, a team that continues to play hard for coach Bob Hartley, gave the Wild a nine-point edge on Winnipeg and Vancouver in the Western wild card race.
If GM Chuck Fletcher was on the fence about adding a significant piece at the deadline, his team is certainly helping make the case that they deserve a shot.
read on for Burnside on the Stars and Strang and LeBrun on the Kings...
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers,
It's only been two games since the Olympic break, and Gaborik should be afforded some "up-to-speed" time coming back from two substantial injuries. But not once has Gaborik and his skill set appeared to be a fit with the Blue Jackets' collection for forwards.
The Blue Jackets are 8-10-2 with him in the lineup this season. They're 22-15-3 when he doesn't play.
To be clear: Gaborik seems to genuinely like Columbus and he has used the word "love" to describe how he feels about his teammates. He's not the most charismatic guy in the room, but seems genuinely liked by teammates.
But here's where I think this is going ...
The Blue Jackets have no doubt taken or initiated calls on Gaborik in the weeks leading up to the deadline. The possible return is probably rather underwhelming for a player who has been hurt most of the season and is an unrestricted free agent. So, instead of a paltry return, why not keep Gaborik and see if something, finally, might click with him in the lineup.
more plus Columbus needs and trade options...
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The Sabres may be ready to move forward without Pat LaFontaine, but are you prepared to move along with them? I would imagine a growing number of fans still need a few answers before investing any more time, money and energy in a franchise that continues to insult their intelligence.
Let’s get to the point: Ted Black saying there was no discord between Pat LaFontaine and the front office was absurd. Obviously, there were major problems at the top. Rather than acknowledge their existence, Black made a lame, embarrassing attempt to con the public into thinking it was an amicable divorce.
Does he really think people are that stupid?
The rhetoric was laughable when stacked against mounting evidence of an irreparable rift between LaFontaine and owner Terry Pegula. Next we’ll hear Black suggest a few ice cubes sank the Titanic and firecrackers ended World War II. It appears we’re back to the same old routine with Pegula and his flunkies in fantasyland.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
In the last 30 days, Zdeno Chara played in five NHL games and four Olympic matches, carried his country’s flag, and traveled to and from Sochi, Russia. The punishing workload is showing up in the captain’s legs.
Since returning from the Olympics, Chara’s top-end speed has flagged. In Buffalo last Wednesday night, Matt D’Agostini blew past Chara in overtime to score the winning breakaway goal. The Rangers, quick to stretch out the Bruins, slipped behind Chara several times Sunday night.
It is imperative for the Bruins to acquire defensive reinforcements before Wednesday’s trade deadline. They need an experienced left-shot defenseman to assume some of Dennis Seidenberg’s responsibilities in the playoffs.
But the Bruins also must distribute some of Chara’s minutes before the playoffs begin.
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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