Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
The clutch weeks have just begun.
Which is why tonight’s melodrama also will indicate which goalie—Brodeur or Lundqvist—has more clutch-ability. That is, assuming that Renney opts for Henny.
In his past two games, Marty has allowed leads to dissipate—first to Montreal and then Pittsburgh—before the home fans. He needs a win for confidence to be restored.
more on the Rangers and Devils…
via Fire & Ice,
Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur has pulled out of the Sunday’s NHL’s All-Star Game in Atlanta to deal with family matters. Brodeur said he informed Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello of his decision about a week ago, but it was not announced by the NHL until today. Brodeur will be replaced by Boston goaltender Tim Thomas.
“It’s a tough decision,” Brodeur said. “I’ve got some stuff going on with the family back home, so it’s something I just wanted to make sure I was here to take care of. It’s definitely a tough one. It’s such a great weekend to miss. That’s why I waited so long. I tried to avoid making that decision, but I think it’s for the best.”
Brodeur would not divulge the details of his “family” stuff other than to say, “health-wise everybody is OK.”
From Rich Chere at the Star-Ledger,
John Madden said it is very unlikely he will be in the lineup tonight at the Prudential Center because of the risk involved with the skate cut on his right ankle.
“It’s just in a bad spot,” Madden said yesterday after missing a second straight day of practice. “There would definitely be contact with my ankle. Where the cut is, it keeps rubbing. Who knows what could happen?”
If the cut is reopened and with sweat inside his skate boot, Madden’s ankle could become infected and he would be lost for a much longer period of time. That’s a risk the Devils would rather not take.
...and more on the race in the Atlantic Division.
from Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
With the Devils’ Martin Brodeur, the Islanders’ Rick DiPietro and the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist all among the NHL’s elite, the debate over who’s the best hearkens back to the days of Willie, Mickey and the Duke.
via Fire & Ice,
NHL Executive VP Colin Campbell confirmed that Derian Hatcher will not be suspended or fined for alleagedly biting Travis Zajac’s left middle finger. Campbell said via e-mail that there was insufficient video evidence of the incident.
thanks to a KK member for the heads-up…
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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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