Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Boclair of the Nashville City Newspaper,
Minnesota comes to town Saturday for its only visit of this abbreviated season, its first with Suter as a member of its roster. The Predators need to welcome him back in the same warm, classy manner that they have others.
Some of the nicest moments of the last month and a half were the first-period video tributes to Steve Sullivan and Jordin Tootoo when they came back to town with Phoenix and Detroit, respectively. The fans’ response and the players’ reaction were heartfelt.
Anything less for Suter would be disingenuous, not to mention petty.
After all, the franchise has seized upon any opportunity to celebrate the fact that Weber has a contract that will keep him here for the remainder of his career. Conveniently overlooked is that the deal originated as an offer sheet he signed with another franchise.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The Predators have made their second waiver claim in as many days, adding forward Zach Boychuk — a former first-round pick — on waivers from Pittsburgh.
The move comes one day the Predators picked up forward Bobby Butler on waivers from New Jersey. Butler has 39 points in 108 NHL games.
“The bottom line is that it’s just not working with our current group and we have to make some changes,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “Butler can score. He has proven he can score at the NHL level. He can score like dynamite in the minors.
“Boychuk has scored really good in the minors. Can it translate to the NHL? We’ve had good success with (acquiring) younger players and developing them. We’ll find out.”
Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have acquired right winger Brian McGrattan from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Joe Piskula. The Flames have assigned McGrattan to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League.
McGrattan has played two games with the Nashville Predators and six games with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) this season. This will be McGrattan’s second time suiting up for the Flames after playing for Calgary during the 2009-10 season where he had one goal and three assists along with 86 penalty minutes in 34 games and was a +3.
NEW YORK (February 20, 2013) -- Nashville Predators forward Rich Clune has been fined $1,452.70, the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for boarding Colorado Avalanche forward Aaron Palushaj in NHL Game No. 221 in Colorado on Monday, February 18, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 12:32 of the first period. Clune was assessed a minor penalty for boarding.
As a first-time offender, the maximum Clune could be fined was the lesser of $10,000 or one-half of his daily salary.
Today against the Predators, Matt Duchene with a controversial goal.
added 5:15pm, Added another video below, reverse angle, slow-mo, etc...
from John Manasso of Fox Sports Tennessee,
A finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman in each of the last two seasons (and signatory to -- oh, by the way -- a 14-year, $110-million contract last July), Weber has failed to earn a point in any of the Predators’ first nine games -- by far the longest drought of his career to start a season.
In spite of Weber’s lack of production -- his 19 goals last season tied him for the most in the league by a defenseman and his 49 points ranked him sixth among rearguards -- the Predators have managed a credible 4-2-3 start, good enough for sixth in the Western Conference.
Yet on Wednesday when asked by FOXSportsTennessee.com if the Preds could continue to win without production from the owner of one of the league’s hardest slapshots, general manager David Poile preferred not to dwell on such a dire hypothetical.
“I’d rather answer that he’s going to produce,” he said, referencing Weber’s slow start to last season. “…So I know that’s going to happen. Again, the way he bombs the puck -- he missed the net a few times -- being a little bit more accurate, he can beat goaltenders. They can’t contain the shot. There’s a rebound. It’s going to be there.”
from Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck,
First, Hornqvist took a Shea Weber shot off his right thigh, which left him hobbling off to the bench for repairs. Signs were hopeful at that time, as he made it back out for another shift, but a Ducks player then fell into Hornqvist's left leg in the corner of the Anaheim zone, causing that knee to buckle at an unnatural angle.
From there, Hornqvist had to be helped off the ice, and didn't return.
Just getting you prepared for the puck dropping on Saturday...
The Chicago Blackhawks put up 101 points last season, good enough to be one of 10 teams in the NHL to crack the century mark. It didn't matter because, for the second straight season since winning the Stanley Cup, they were knocked off in the first round of the playoffs. The good thing for the Blackhawks is unlike in 2010-11, the season after a summer of being crushed by salary-cap constraints, they feel they know exactly what went wrong last season.
1. Will the goaltending duo of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery be good enough?
Crawford won 30 games last season, but it was a struggle as he allowed three or more goals in 27 of his 57 appearances in the regular season and in five of his six appearances in the playoffs. Instead of building on a strong finish to the 2010-11 season, he went backward with a 2.72 goals-against average, .903 save percentage and zero shutouts in 57 appearances.
Emery wasn't any better with a 2.81 GAA and .900 save percentage in 34 appearances. Crawford was supposed to cement himself as the clear-cut No. 1 in Chicago, but he hasn't done that yet. It appears he'll be given another chance this season to become that guy.
2. Is Patrick Kane going to mature and have a bounce-back season?
from Josh Cooper of The Tennessean,
It resembled game night at Bridgestone Arena, in miniature.
Several hundred Nashville Predators season ticket holders and staff, led by team mascot Gnash, marched rowdily into Franklin’s A-Game Sportsplex as 11-year-old hockey players looked up in wonder.
Coach Barry Trotz and his staff jumped behind the bench. The Ice Girls danced. Music blared. There were cheers. The event was billed as a “Smashmob,” a play on the team’s “Smashville” brand.
While the goal was to give kids a unique hockey experience, a closer look showed the Predators trying to help out their sponsors and business partners as the NHL lockout rolled into its second month.
The season ticket holders were lured under the guise of a pizza party. Hunt Brothers Pizza, a team sponsor, supplied the food. After the game, Trotz and some players took questions in a fake media scrum in front of a banner prominently featuring Xfinity, also a sponsor.
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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