Kukla's Korner Hockey
In a trend both heartening and frustrating for the organization and its fans, the disparity in attendance between weekdays and weekends and holidays has become more glaring than ever.
Take this week. Tuesday, only 11,193 people bought tickets despite a promotion that discounted prices for women - and far fewer than that actually showed up during a winter storm.
This holiday weekend, though, games against Atlanta and San Jose are all but certain to be the eighth and ninth sellouts of the season, already three more than all of 2006-07.
Simon will be eligible to return to the Islanders’ line-up against the Tampa Bay Lightning next Thursday. He has been serving a 30-game suspension for stomping on the leg of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jarkko Ruutu.
“What I love most is playing hockey and when it gets taken away I realize how much I love it. Ted has always been a great help and a great supporter. My teammates were amazing. The whole organization kept checking in on me and seeing how I was doing and what I was up to. I really appreciated that,” Simon said after practice.
from the New York Times,
If Sillinger, 36, remains on the roster through this season, he will have lived in the same house for the longest stretch in roughly 10 years. That is an accomplishment in his career, which has earned him the nickname Suitcase Sillinger; he has been included in nine trades, including five around the deadline.
Just to be safe, his wife, Karla, and their sons Owen, 10; Lukas, 7; and Cole, 4; are once again bracing themselves.
“I’m not going to lie; the trade deadline is circled on our calendar like Easter or Christmas,” said Karla Sillinger, who met her husband while they were growing up in Regina, Saskatchewan. “But it’s not like I have the movers on speed dial.”
With the Feb. 26 trade deadline approaching, Comrie likely would be valuable in the trade market. Two NHL scouts at the Pittsburgh game marveled at his second goal and how he scored through a tiny opening. But Comrie said he has no desire to leave.
“This is an organization I want to be a part of,” said Comrie, who will be a free agent this summer. “We’ve got a great core group of guys. We’ve got an ownership that wants to win. They treat us extremely well. I feel we’ve got the best coaching staff in the league, and it’s a situation that I want to be a part of. I think we give ourselves a chance to win every night when we compete. We’ve had a few injuries, but you’ve still got to give yourself that chance.”
more on Comrie and the Islanders…
from Slap Shot at the NYT,
Anaheim Ducks General Manager Brian Burke said he asked the Islanders for a credential for Pat LaFontaine, a former Islander and Hall of Famer, so he could sit with him on Tuesday night when the Ducks played at Nassau Coliseum. But the Islanders would not grant him one. Burke said he reiterated his request as a personal favor and was again refused.
via the New York Islanders,
Center Mike Sillinger (hip injury) is expected to be out of the lineup for approximately three weeks. His spot in the lineup will likely be filled by Islanders prospect Frans Nielsen, recalled this morning from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.
Nielsen’s linemate Jeff Tambellini, the leading goal scorer in the American Hockey League with 29 goals, has also been recalled by the Islanders from Bridgeport.
from George Vescey of the New York Times,
Hardly a day goes by that Ted Nolan does not open the refrigerator door, just to stare at the shelves stocked with food.
“I’d wake up in the morning and the house would be cold,” Nolan recalled of his childhood, without running water, on an Indian reserve in Ontario.
“I’d take a piece of fried bread, a galette, and put it in my pocket and go to school,” he added.
The sense of being an outsider still drives Nolan, 49, the coach of the Islanders, whose mystique includes nine full seasons without a job in the National Hockey League, amid rumors that he was blackballed.
Without a whole lot of future to give up, and steadfastly opposed to dealing Kyle Okposo, the Islanders will have to set their sights lower. And who might be available for import is anyone’s guess because there are few teams that are dead in the water (aside from the L.A. Kings, who visit the Coliseum tonight). Florida’s Radek Dvorak has been mentioned, as have the Lightning’s Vinny Prospal, Chris Gratton and Jan Hlavac.
An intriguing question is what the Islanders could give up. Because teams that trade veterans often want youngsters, you could say Blake Comeau has played well enough to make his name marketable. Then again, he is just the type of guy the Islanders want to keep. Nolan likes him.
via the New York Islanders,
Chris Campoli, one of the Islanders’ top young defensemen, will have shoulder surgery on Thursday and will be out for the remainder of the 2007-08 season…
“It’s a tough break for Chris. He’s been such a good player and he’s shown a lot of heart this season while battling the injury,” said Islanders head coach Ted Nolan. “The good news is that he will be under the best medical care and he has so many good years ahead of him. With Chris out, an opportunity opens up for someone to take advantage of. Thankfully, we had depth at the start of the season with at least 9 quality NHL defensemen. You can never have enough of them.”
from Watchdog Blog at Newsday,
Spies in the TV and/or hockey worlds tell me that Jaromir Jagr was so mad about recent comments from NBC analyst Mike Milbury about him that he refused to sit for interviews with NBC producers sent out this week to gather interviews for Sunday’s Bruins-Rangers tilt.
NBC got several other prominent Blueshirts on tape, but not Jagr.
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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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