Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Darren Dreger at TSN,
Sources tell TSN that the New York Islanders and veteran forward Chris Simon have agreed that time away from the team is needed to come to terms with his recent on-ice behavior and potentially, his playing future.
Islanders owner Charles Wang met Simon earlier today to discuss the direction best suited to provide Simon with the support he deserves.
Simon has been granted time away from the team to seek counselling, or any other method to help restore his career.
Updated 3:48pm ET: Confirmation from the Islanders:
Charles Wang: “The actions of Chris Simon on Saturday do not reflect what the New York Islanders stand for. They were reckless, potentially dangerous and against our team concept of grit, character and heart.
“We know Chris as a respected teammate and as a gracious man away from the playing surface and believe strongly that he has earned our continued support. The Islanders are going to provide some time for Chris away from the team and give him the counseling he needs and the compassion he deserves.”
Still awaiting suspension news from the league.
from On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Whatever reservoir of support Chris Simon might have had left among his teammates and within the Islanders organization has all but evaporated. His inexcusable attempt to injure Pittsburgh’s Jarkko Ruutu in the Isles’ 3-2 loss Saturday night was mind-boggling for its selfishness on any number of levels….
Even Brendan Witt, Simon’s closest friend on the team, couldn’t alibi for him. “You don’t get any momentum going when you’ve got to kill a five-minute penalty,” Witt said. “That hurt.”
But the one Simon hurt above all is Islanders coach Ted Nolan.
In case you missed the stomp by Simon, you can see the video here...
via the AP,
With the Islanders pressing for the tying goal, forward Chris Simon took a match penalty for trying to stomp on Jarkko Ruutu’s foot with just under six minutes left. New York had a few short-handed chances, including Mike Sillinger’s breakaway with 3:18 left, but the veteran forward missed put the puck over the net.
“It was a bad time for a penalty,” Nolan said. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t have the time to look at it and see the severity of it. We’ll look at it and probably make a comment on it (Sunday).”
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Last week, the New York Islanders hosted their fathers on a road trip through Atlanta, Florida and Tampa. Team captain Bill Guerin immediately informed the fathers of their curfew—no one was to be in the team hotel until after 1 a.m.
Defenseman Andy Sutton has been in the NHL a decade, but this is the first time he and his father, Nigel, have shared something like this.
“This is a huge thing. My dad is just like a kid in a candy story. He’s just so pumped. It’s a pretty special thing,” Sutton said.
more plus other NHL talk…
When forward Bill Guerin received the “C” on his new .Islanders jersey last summer, he embraced the opportunity to set the tone in the locker room. Praise for Guerin’s all-inclusive approach has been universal within the organization, but somewhere along the line, he has misplaced his former identity as “goal scorer.”
Guerin’s 14-game scoreless streak ended Wednesday with an assist on Trent Hunter’s tying power-play goal in what became a 4-3 shootout loss to Atlanta. But Guerin still hasn’t found the back of the net with his own shot since Nov. 1, and now he admits to feeling more pressure to lead where it counts most.
from On the Islanders Beat,
Because salaries are pro-rated against the cap on a daily basis, when they reach the mid-point of the season, the Islanders will have the ability to take on players whose contracts total up to $15 million at that point because half their salaries already will have been paid. So, cap room isn’t a problem.
But since the NHL isn’t a fantasy league, the trouble is finding someone who is ready to give up a goal scorer. That’s not likely to happen much before the Feb. 26 trade deadline. At a time when the Islanders have gone 12 straight games without scoring more than two goals (not counting the shootout goal against Ottawa), that’s why they must look within for help.
from the New York Times,
Wednesday’s game was a sort of dress rehearsal for Peng and Chang, veteran sports broadcasters based in New York. But today, when the Islanders face Atlanta, viewers who press the S.A.P. button on their remote controls will be able to hear Peng and Chang describe the action on Fox Sports Net.
The broadcast Wednesday, the second such dress rehearsal for Peng and Chang, apparently went so well that the Islanders have decided to take the next step in telecasting games in Mandarin.
By the end of the season, the Islanders hope to have at least one of their games telecast in China.
from the AP via CBS Sportsline,
As players from both teams entered the fray, Martinek said Hollweg threatened him and then reached for his face.
“He said he is going to take my stitches out. I think that was stupid,” said Martinek, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound defenseman.
Martinek added that no damage was done, but said he had never seen a player act in such a way.
“No, no. Never, never,” he said. “I think he could show a little bit of respect, but he didn’t. I cannot respect him.”
Hollweg contended that he was merely defending Orr, a 6-3, 222-pound forward, who has five career points and 239 penalty minutes in 114 NHL games. Simon and Witt had already double-teamed Orr before Martinek got near.
from the Good, the Bad and the Duthie,
The New York Islanders are clearly Devil-Worshippers. It’s like they took Jersey’s old trap and said “This is too exciting, let’s make it more defensive!” For 40 minutes, they spent more time in their own backyard than my dog. We ran a 30-second clip during our intermission of Ottawa with the puck in its own end. You never saw more than one Islander in the frame.
And sadly it works. The Isles have now scored 2 goals or less in 10 straight games. And they have 5 wins and 11 points to show for it.
Herein lies a major problem for hockey.
from Jonah Keri at ESPN Page 2,
Page 2 recently chatted with Sillinger about growing up in Saskatchewan, his early experiences as a pro and living the life of an NHL nomad.
Page 2: Since I’m a fellow Canadian and not far from your age, I have to start by asking you about growing up in Regina in the ‘70s. As a kid, was it all about games of shinny out on a pond or an outdoor rink somewhere, only without the constant falling down and embarrassment?
Mike Sillinger: Hockey was just something I loved to do. I can remember way back—the first team I played on was the Citations hockey club. I was 4 or 5. We had these bright orange jerseys, some real beauties. When I got older, I’d always do my homework right away after school so I could go outside and play….
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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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