Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the CP,
If noted New York Rangers agitator Sean Avery made disparaging remarks toward Jason Blake the last time they faced off, the Toronto forward never heard them.
A Toronto radio report following the teams’ previous meeting last month in Canada said a pre-game scuffle between Avery and Leafs counterpart Darcy Tucker was fuelled by a comment that Avery made toward Blake regarding his current battle with leukemia.
FAN 590 reporter Howard Berger had claimed Avery made “cancer-related remarks” to Blake, citing an unidentified Rangers player. Blake was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease in October but has continued to play while being treated.
via the Toronto Sun,
The Rangers will not let bygones be bygones, however. The team is refusing to admit FAN 590 reporter Howard Berger into the MSG press box tonight despite the fact Berger issued an on-air apology for reporting that Avery allegedly had verbally chided Blake about his fight with cancer.
“As far as what happened or what was said, it was blown out of proportion,” forward Scott Gomez said. “Talk to Blakey or Tucks about it.”
from Sam Weinman at the Journal News,
Athletes in general are an idiosyncratic lot, but hockey players might be right at the head of the pack. While a typical NHL game occupies 2 1/2 hours of an evening, players’ game-day routines begin when they wake up and carry through until they turn out the lights for the night. Along the way, they all will follow the same general principles that include a morning skate, a hearty pregame meal around noon, and the ensuing nap that is as much a part of an NHL player’s life as it is your typical kindergartner’s. But every player adds his own accents, with habits they’ve been refining since before they ever earned a paycheck.
from On the Rangers Beat at Newsday,
About 14 hours after a lackluster 4-0 loss to the Hurricanes, the Rangers just finished a long, arduous skate that finished with almost a half-hour of tongue-dragging circling—-without pucks—-around the nets placed just short of the blue lines, a skate that several players called the “toughest” here that they could remember.
After 45 minutes of drills, round and round they went, first the defensemen in white, the first and second lines in blue and the third and fourth lines in red, with goaltenders tagging along, taking turns signaled by a whistle.
from the CP,
...Avery denied making the comments and his lawyers served libel notices against the Fan and the Toronto Star over the matter. Berger voiced the 46-second retraction that aired Monday.
“It was my intention only to report accurately on what transpired during the pre-game warmup,” said Berger. “Based on Mr. Avery’s clear statement that he made no such remarks, my information and therefore my reporting does not appear to have been accurate.
“I truly regret reporting that Mr. Avery made any such comments. I apologize to Mr. Avery for having done so. And I hereby retract my comments about what transpired during the pre-game warmup on Nov. 10, 2007.”
update 8:22pm, Avery was just interviewed on MSG, said he is not done with this subject. He doesn’t feel any better than he did before the statement read by Berger today and said the media cannot hide behind a pen and get away with it. He plans to continue his fight on this topic.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
You pessimists who frequent The Rangers Despair Society can dispatch your crying towels to the laundry pile; the Blueshirts are on the move, up, up, and UP.
A victory on Monday night against Carolina at The Garden SHOULD, if accomplished, establish New York as “la creme de la creme” of the East.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
So what if Toronto makes Mats Sundin available as a rental? What if Tampa Bay GM Jay Feaster believes the only way out of the mess he’s made of the Lightning is to place all-world Vincent Lecavalier on the auction block? What if Atlanta can’t sign Marian Hossa to an extension and looks to move the winger, or Columbus drops out of the playoff picture and dangles Sergei Fedorov as a lend-lease operation, or Rob Blake is willing to waive his no-trade out of LA?...
The Rangers are loaded with young affordable assets. The trick now is to identify whom the organization can afford to trade - and whom it can’t - when a championship-caliber veteran becomes available prior to the Feb. 26 deadline.
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 William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The FAN590 in Toronto will retract, on air, its report alleging that New York Ranger Sean Avery had ridiculed Toronto Maple Leaf Jason Blake’s fight with cancer during a trash-talking session at the Air Canada Centre on Nov. 10.
In addition to strongly denying the report, Avery also served the radio station with a notice of libel. The Fan’s Howard Berger had quoted a Ranger source saying Avery had alluded to Blake’s chronic leukemia during an exchange at centre ice before the start of the game.
From On the Rangers Beat,
Avery—-already sidelined once this season with a shoulder separation——will not only miss the Islanders game, but several more after arthroscopic surgery to clean out his left wrist tomorrow at 5:30 p.m.
Avery—-who reinjured the wrist against Tampa when hit by a shot—- practiced without shooting today, but was waiting for resuslts of a CAT scan on the wrist, which has bothered him since the start of the season. He said afterward that the decision had been made and didn’t know how long he would be sidelined. Avery said he had been playing with a fracture, and was worsened during a fight five games after he returned—-we’re thinking with Darcy Tucker in Toronto.
“Hopefully, it’ll only be a week or two,” he said. “But I don’t live in a reality world.”
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