Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
At this point, Lundqvist, Washington winger Alex Ovechkin and Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf are the three select Group IIs yet unsigned to extensions. The Rangers cannot formally begin talks with Lundqvist until the calendar turns to 2008, and when it does, they will. And when they do, they will have no choice but to accede to their 25-year-old franchise goaltender’s demands. They won’t even be able to protect Lundqvist from receiving an offer sheet by filing against him for arbitration, because they did that last summer, even though they didn’t go through with the process.
What is Lundqvist, who can become an unrestricted free agent after next season, worth to the Rangers? He’s worth pretty much any dollar amount he and agent Don Meehan request.
from the New York Times (Sunday edition),
...“In a way, I want to make our sport cooler,” Mr. Avery said of his high-profile exploits.
The fans at Madison Square Garden don’t need to be sold. Earlier that Monday, the muscular Mr. Avery, dressed in a black V-neck while recovering from wrist surgery, had made a surprise appearance in the raucous upper ring of the arena known as the “blue seats” during a game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“Do I really need two security guards?” he asked the Rangers publicist leading the expedition.
“Hey, you’re a rock star,” the publicist said. Minutes later, a sea of fans in blue jerseys had swallowed Mr. Avery, chanting his name.
from The Record,
It’s clear that Jagr is missing the chemistry he had with Michael Nylander. For two seasons, Nylander brought out the best in Jagr because their styles complemented each other….
It’s time to give Gomez or Drury another try with Jagr, who hasn’t scored a goal in five games, and stick with it until they figure out how to make it work.
Brendan Shanahan speaking to Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
“The referees seem to be letting a little more go in the way of physical battles in the corners and in front of the net,” he noted. “So it is tough to score goals.”
These weren’t gripes. “Look, every night is a tough game,” he said. “If you’re off just a little, you won’t win. That’s why you can’t press in tight situations. Detroit is so experienced that they have patience to play their style no matter what the score is. When you get away from that, teams capitalize.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“Physically, I feel great, but I understand that it’s all about the numbers and always has been about the numbers,” Jagr, who is pointless and minus-seven in the last three games, told The Post following yesterday’s practice. “I’m trying my best.
“I give 100 percent every game. I don’t know what to say about why it’s not working for me. If I had the answers, I would use them.
“Things have changed with the way the team is and the way the game is played, but I have never made an excuse for myself, and I am not making any excuses for myself now. I’m just saying the way it is.”
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
The Missing Link was sitting among the spectators in the Madison Square Garden stands, that’s where he was…while his mates skated in a state of despair, disgust, disappointment and disillusion.
And there was absolutely nothing The Missing Link, alias Sean Avery, could do about it.
For more than a month, The Maven has been chirping that Avery, not Henny Lundqvist, not Jaromir Jagr, not Brendan Shanahan, was the Rangers’ most valuable player. Most folks disagreed.
Now, every day in every way, it is apparent that The Missing Link is missed BIG-TIME.
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.
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.
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