Kukla's Korner Hockey
The New Jersey Devils have bolstered their defence for the stretch run, acquiring defenceman Bryce Salvador from the St. Louis Blues.
continued… *Cam Janssen going the other way, to the Blues
fom the NY Post,
Lamoriello is believed shopping for a Top Two defenseman and a top center, or at least at Top Six forward. The rumors about Barret Jackman, Jay McKee, Rob Blake, Brian Campbell, Pitkanen and John Liles have been long in place, and up front, Robert Lang, Martin Havlat, Brad Richards, Ladislav Nagy and Olli Jokinen as well.
A couple of new names joined the list yesterday, notably Chicago center Jason Williams, injured most of this season but nearly a point-per-game man and an upcoming unrestricted. Atlanta’s Alexei Zhitnik was mentioned speculatively as a possible rental target.
more and some Ranger talk too…
Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne, Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff and New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur have been named the NHL’s ‘Three Stars’ for the week ending February 24.
from the NY Post,
When Blues defenseman Barret Jackman goes on the league-wide market today, it will be a signal that the Devils couldn’t come up with a satisfactory package to land the 2003 Rookie of the Year, an upcoming unrestricted who doesn’t turn 27 until March 5.
The asking price will be a first-rounder, a star prospect and a valuable veteran, and that would probably be too much for Lamoriello. Instead, the Devils’ GM would more likely turn to Jay McKee from the Blues’ backline by tomorrow’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
For all the grumbling around here about the Sabres losing Chris Drury and Daniel Briere — who, me? — the Devils endured much the same last summer with center Scott Gomez and defenseman Brian Rafalski.
No matter, the Devils entered the weekend a point from the Eastern Conference lead, tied with Montreal and Pittsburgh, with a retooled lineup and rookie coach Brent Sutter. Out with the old, in with the new, back in contention.
“What you do, in a sense, is structure your own market,” Lamoriello said recently by telephone. “I’ve always said we have a five-year plan that changes every day.” Some concept.
more and some trade talk too…
From Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice,
Was there a sense of whether there’s going to be an active market at the trade deadline?
“No, I didn’t get a sense of that. I also saw statistics which were very interesting as far as the number of trades that transpired last year as compared to two, three, four, five years ago. (They were) very similar.
“But the trading deadline and (making) trades is always determined by who are buyers and who are sellers, but before you can be a buyer or a seller you have to have someone who has the potential of being out of the playoffs. And right now if you look at the points in each conference, you can see that if you go on a three-game winning streak or a four-game losing streak, you can find yourself on one side or the other. It think a lot will be determined very close to the trading deadline when those decisions have to be made with individual people with their free agency. Do I think there will be movement of players who are not free agents? Unless it’s a pretty big deal for both sides, I would be surprised at this point. It would have happened already.”
much more... of an interesting conversation with Lou Lamoriello Wednesday night, discussing everything from trade rumors to rule changes discussed at the GM meetings in Naples this week.
*with thanks to Steve for providing the heads-up on this interview
from the NY Post,
Opposing scouts, who may be shopping for trade-deadline bargains, claim Gionta’s struggle this season is the result of the loss of the tip-bait Brian Rafalski used to send his way. It doesn’t explain last season, and Gionta doesn’t clutch that crutch.
Gionta offers no remedy, just the desire to help the Devils any way he can, even if goals are scarce.
“Even when I was scoring, it was doing things I could do to help the team win,” Gionta said. “When the team’s not winning you feel more pressure.”
He said he doesn’t feel he’s been helping enough.
from the NY Post,
Lamoriello confirmed that he will be a buyer, not a seller in this annual garage sale, but would not reveal his preferred positions to upgrade. Still, the Devils obviously have yet to fill the No. 1 center hole left by Scott Gomez’s departure.
One source suggests that Chicago’s Robert Lang may be Lamoriello’s rental quarry, unless, of course, he can pry Martin Havlat from the Hawks, although Havlat would not be a rental. Others who may be considered include Ladislav Nagy of the Kings, Olli Jokinen and Jozef Stumpel of the Panthers, Mats Sundin of Toronto, Marian Hossa of Atlanta, and the Tampa stars, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards. No-trade clauses cloud the picture, but Lang may be the one.
Lamoriello is surely intent on adding a Top Four defenseman, too.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
With the Penguins returning to Prudential Center tonight, the challenge for New Jersey’s coach is to demonstrate that he not only has complete control of his hockey club and the support of his captain, but that the men skating for him are behind him all the way.
The confrontation between coach and captain on the bench during the second period of Saturday night’s victory over Los Angeles certainly didn’t hurt the Devs short-term, but what effect it has long-term bears watching.
Sutter was correct—as a coach—in berating Langenbrunner for missing his assignment in a game New Jersey HAD to win
from Fire & Ice,
The Kings will be without defenseman Rob Blake tonight. He returned to Los Angeles because of a stress fracture in his ankle/foot and is expected to miss two weeks.
more on the Kings/Devils matchup…
added 2:25pm, More on Blake at Inside the Kings…
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org