Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Krista Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press,
Mike Ilitch has the most brand power of any owner in professional sports….
That’s according to the 2008 Turnkey Team Brand Index, a survey released Monday that uses scientific polling to pinpoint how teams and owners are perceived by local fans.
As the Red Wings’ owner, Ilitch came in at No. 1 among 122 professional sports owners, and his Wings ranked No. 4 among teams.
SportsBusiness Journal lists the Top 20 and Bottom 5 Teams. Hockey teams in the top 20 are the Wings, Penguins, Canadiens and Hurricanes. One NHL team is in the bottom 5, the NY Islanders.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
Ninth overall draft pick Josh Bailey could have returned quietly to Windsor as soon as he recovered from the lower body injury he suffered in training camp, and all concerned would have praised the skill he showed and the wisdom of the club to let him mature as captain of the Spitfires and a member of Team Canada at the World Junior Championships after Christmas in Ottawa.
But quite simply, the Islanders need a bright light like Bailey far more than he needs them. In the midst of their struggles in the third period to hold leads and sustain an aggressive attack, Bailey’s continued development has been one of the sources of evidence that management might be on the right track in building for the future, which can’t come soon enough for general manager Garth Snow and coach Scott Gordon.
from Dan Martin of the NY Post,
In spite of his problems staying on the ice, DiPietro doesn’t intend to change his playing style when he does return.
“I don’t think I will ever let that affect the way I play,” DiPietro said. “That might be part of the problem.”
He said that with somewhat of a rueful laugh, knowing his injury woes have kept the Isles wallowing near the bottom of the league, despite their recent success. He insists that won’t be for long and that they won’t end up regretting his epic contract.
“I’ve had a lot of bad luck, which [stinks],” DiPietro said. “But in the long run, it’s going to work out. There’s absolutely no question that my goal since signing that deal was to win here, and everyone here wants to win the Stanley Cup. I think we’re taking the right steps.”
from NYI Point Blank,
For the 2008-09 season the NHL salary cap is $56.7 million. A less-heralded fact is that teams must meet a minimum player payroll - the salary cap “floor” - of $40.7 million. While it is unclear to the penny how much the Islanders are currently above the floor, a league source estimated the figure at $2 million.
Since Mike Comrie (’08-09 salary: $4 million) began the season slowly and is now on Injured Reserve while the team gives his surgically-repaired hip more time to heal, the point may be moot. But for fans wondering if the Islanders could trade the No. 2 center for a prospect or a draft pick, the answer is clear.
Even if the Islanders wanted to move Comrie for a pick, they could not right now. In just about any major deal the Islanders make, they will need to bring back approximately equal (or more) dollars in salary than they unload.
The Canadiens lost to the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout.
from Chris Botta of NYI Point Blank,
Two games for Mottau. Laughable…
The Islanders, on the other hand, prefaced their comments with the poetry of “I know Mike Mottau and Mike Mottau is not a dirty player…” Please. As Don La Greca said so eloquently on our radio show, “What a bunch of garbage. He is now”!
Would you ever hear Arbour say that? Would you ever hear the Red Wings, Devils or Bob Gainey’s Canadiens testify for the character of a player who ran down one of their players? What NHL team would have gone away as quietly as the Islanders did last night? I’m the first to admit I’ve never fully grasped the enforcer concept, but I can also tell you I never saw what I saw in the final ten minutes in New Jersey last night.
added 7:16pm, from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat,
Devils defenseman Mike Mottau received two games from the NHL for his elbow to the head of Islanders center Frans Nielsen Friday night at the Prudential Center. Nielsen received 8-12 weeks on the injured list—a span of up to 36 games—from Mottau’s reckless action.
The uneven hand of NHL justice strikes again.
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
No one would have been surprised if Gordon threw the 6-8 Fritz on the ice at that point even though he had played just one second-period shift and a total of 2:30 in the game. But Gordon didn’t light the fuse to Fritz’s cannon then, and even after the Devils put the game out of reach at 5-2 with a five-on-three power play goal, the Islanders’ coach refused to fire his big gun in what he apparently regarded as a vain attempt for payback….
Why not use him when the game was out of hand to send a message to the Devils? “No, I don’t think that’s the right thing to do,” Gordon said. “You jeopardize your own players’ safety if you put a player out like that. It kind of gives the impression that you’re trying to create or do something. I didn’t want to put Mitch in that situation or the rest of the players on the team in that situation where the other team thinks this is what we’re going to do.
more with expanded comments from Bill Guerin regarding the league must get tougher when dealing with cheap shots…
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Islanders captain Bill Guerin called for Devils defenseman Mike Mottau to be suspended for his high hit on Frans Neilsen 3:22 into the third period of the Devils’ 5-2 victory over the Islanders tonight.
Neilson injured his right knee on the play and the Islanders are also worried that he has a head injury.
Guerin compared it to a hit that the Islanders Thomas Pock had on Ottawa’s Ryan Shannon earlier this season. Pock received a five-game suspension for that one.
“Mike Mottau’s not a dirty player, but that was a dirty hit,” Guerin said.
Given the league’s recent statement that it would like to cut back on hits to the head, it would not be surprising if Mottau received some supplementary discipline.
added 3:10pm, via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Devils defenseman Mike Mottau was suspended for two games by the NHL today for his hit on the Islanders Frans Neilsen in the third period of Friday night’s game.
“I don’t share your love for the Isles, Scotty. Not sure what you’re smoking. I think they are apt to lose five games in a row at a moment’s notice. I will run across press row naked at the Cup finals if the Islanders make the playoffs.”
—ESPN‘s Pierre LeBrun writing to colleague Scott Burnside
from NYI Point Blank,
When you’ve had your car torched because someone doesn’t like the color of your skin, you can deal with the occasional “Who the %$@# is Sudarshan Maharaj and what qualifies him to coach Rick DiPietro and Joey MacDonald”?
The Islanders goaltending consultant, Maharaj has heard it all but never complains, not even when a trio of racists in Sweden set his car on fire 20 years ago during his pro playing career. Born in Trinidad and raised there for the first six years of his life, Maharaj has refused to let anything distract his focus on making a name in the game of hockey.
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.
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