Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
The Predators had all the look of a Dead Franchise Walking, after a fire sale of several of its top players and a stormy ownership change in which a Canadian billionaire tried in vain to hijack the team to Hamilton.
One month and just four victories into the season, you could hear the “I told you so’s” from Tennessee to Timbuktu.
“Everybody had written us off,” Trotz, reached in St. Louis, was saying yesterday.
If they can pull it off in their last two games, the NHL’s coach of the year might just be a born-and-bred Manitoban who penned hockey’s version of the Music City Miracle.
from David Boclair of the Daily News Journal,
Barry Trotz employs a double-standard when it comes to his players.
It’s not exactly clear whether it has to do with a one’s draft position, his nationality or his unique physical abilities. It’s perfectly clear, though, that the Nashville Predators’ coach operates with a set of rules that are anything but uniform for those who wear the Predators’ uniform.
All of this came to light today when Trotz said he spoke to Jordin Tootoo about Tootoo’s antics following fights. Apparently Tootoo upset the Columbus Blue Jackets and their coach Ken Hitchcock when — not once, but twice — he raised his hands in celebration after he got the best of a Blue Jackets’ player in a fight.
Well, boo hoo.
continued & I am still shaking my head.
The Blue Jackets had lots to say about Nashville winger Jordin Tootoo, who took a run at defenseman Rostislav Klesla and had two fights in the third period, one with Jan Hejda and another with Jason Chimera….
Hitchcock had lots to say about Tootoo after the game. He even took a swipe at his good friend Barry Trotz, coach of the Predators. Here’s what he said: “That’s embarrassing. (Tootoo) is too good a player to do that stuff. I find it really embarrassing, but the (Predators) must allow it, so what the heck. I just don’t like the clown shows.”
Trotz, when asked about Tootoo taking a shift with 45 seconds left, said: “It wasn’t to send a message or anything. It was just to get him some ice time.” Apparently, this was delivered with a straight face.
from the Tennessean,
But here was Trotz, speaking with authority about the Predators’ playoff possibilities.
“We found out what the absolute mathematic probability of getting in is, based on the equations of all the teams playing each other,” Professor Trotz said after the Preds’ 2-1 shootout victory over Chicago. “It’s a lot higher than a lot of people thought.”
What gives? I guess when you’re coaching a team that entered the day with five losses in its previous six games, you’ll latch on to any sign of hope, even if it’s a bunch of statistical mumbo-jumbo authored by some schmuck in Saskatoon with a six-pack of Molson and a Ouija board.
Turns out, however, that the data is courtesy of Ken Roberts, who writes software for Interface Technologies in Raleigh, N.C.
from Chilling Out at the Tennessean,
But before anyone burns down the arena, runs the coaching staff out of town or demands a new general manager, it would be wise to remember the big picture. After what went on last summer, this team is probably exactly where it should be: a borderline playoff team, still alive with a couple weeks remaining.
Seriously, how many teams could survive the departure of Peter Forsberg, Paul Kariya, Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell and Tomas Vokoun, and still remain in contention for the poststeason well into March? The Predators didn’t have much of a choice when it came to losing those players, either, not with the budget slashing that went on during the former ownership.
via the Tennessean,
“We’re in a playoff hunt right now,’’ Trotz said. “We need good goaltending. It’s so disheartening on the bench when we let bad goals happen.’‘
“We’re up 1-0 to start the second period and I think we’re feeling pretty good,’’ Trotz said. “We come out of the locker room with confidence and then a feeble wrist shot from the blueline goes in. We need that save.’‘
from the AP via Yahoo,
The new owners of the Nashville Predators are close to final approval on a revised lease agreement for their arena that has Nashville taxpayers helping subsidize the team.
The Metro Sports Authority approved the new lease by a vote of 7-1 Tuesday, and the Metro Council is expected to vote on the lease April 1 with only a simple majority needed for approval.
The agreement has Nashville paying the team $3.8 million each year, even when the Predators don’t lose that much money. If the Sommet Center’s losses are less than $3.8 million, the other money could be spent on the arena itself.
From John Glennon at The Tennessean,
The Predators will reach the paid attendance average necessary to qualify for the National Hockey League’s full revenue-sharing plan this year, team officials said Monday.
That means the Predators will receive in the neighborhood of $12 million, money that will help them re-sign their own players and free agents as well.
continued… *the NHL minimum paid attendance average for revenue sharing is 13,125; the Predators have averaged 13,145 through this season’s home games, with just 5 remaining
Update 8:56pm ET: More from David Naylor in Tuesday’s Globe & Mail.
from the Tennessean,
Predators center David Legwand, who was arrested and charged with driving under intoxication and implied consent on Feb. 15, pleaded guilty Wednesday to reckless driving.
Legwand received a six months suspended sentence and six months probation — contingent on his attendance in alcohol safety school — and was fined $350. He lost his license for a year for refusing a Breathalyzer test at the time of his arrest.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
“For eight hours, we had to crawl under barbed wire while they’re throwing grenades and smoke bombs,” said Nichol, eyes lighting up following a 2-1 overtime win.
“We had to pull a Humvee a mile-and-a-half, we shot M16s and handguns, we flew in Black Hawk helicopters ... It was all about building teamwork and it was probably one of the hardest days of my life.”
“We were running through the woods and swamps and through holes and these night stalkers—who fly in at night and they never leave a man behind—are trying to grab one of our guys and they couldn’t,” said the 33-year-old Edmonton-born grinder.
“They said it was the first time in 25 years they couldn’t (capture) one of our guys. They were all pissed off. We had to stick together.”
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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