Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Tampa Bay Lightning have sent goaltender Mike Smith to AHL Norfolk on a conditioning assignment today, as announced by the team.
Smith has been recovering from a knee injury and has missed the last fifteen games.
With Dwayne Roloson and Dan Ellis already on Tampa Bay’s active roster, Smith has been assumed by many to be the odd-man out eventually, though nothing has been made certain to this point.
Today’s move, at the very least, buys general manager Steve Yzerman some time to continue to consider all options.
Smith, acquired by Tampa Bay in February of 2008 in the deal that saw forward Brad Richards head to Dallas, is in the final season of a two-year contract that carries a cap hit of $2.2-million.
Let’s get right to it this week, as we’re a day late in delivering the latest installment of our look at the top minor league affiliates of the NHL’s Southeast Division clubs:
Click for individual box scores
Tuesday, 1/11/11: Charlotte Checkers 2, Norfolk Admirals 1
Charlotte goal-scorers: Oskar Osala (9), Nicolas Blanchard (3)
Norfolk goal-scorers: Marc-Antoine Pouliot (10)
Charlotte goaltenders (saves/shots): Justin Pogge (33/34)
Norfolk goaltenders (saves/shots): Cedrick Desjardins (37/39)
Three stars of the game: 1 – Justin Pogge, CHA; 2 – Cedrick Desjardins, NOR; 3 – Oskar Osala, CHA
from Doug Smith of the Toronto Star,
The son talks and it’s the father’s voice, a message delivered by a youngster that could have easily been the mantra of a now-elder-statesman dad.
Seth Jones may be an elite hockey player — a big, talented 16-year-old seen as a surefire NHL prospect — but when he talks, he espouses the same philosophy that carried his dad, former Raptor Popeye Jones, through an 11-year NBA career built more on guile than athleticism.
“He just tells me to think the game, that’s always been really helpful to me,” the younger Jones says in a telephone conversation from Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he’s in USA Hockey’s Under-17 developmental program.
Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011 vs. Chicago Wolves
Time: 8 p.m. at Van Andel Arena (doors open at 7 p.m.).
Jimmy Howard Bobblehead Giveaway: 3,000 fans will receive a Griffins Jimmy Howard bobblehead.
Visit GriffinsHockey for more information.
from Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star,
It’s a week after Canada left, and Buffalo is only now feeling safe enough to begin unboarding the windows and crawling out of the basement.
That’s the impression left in an out-of-left-field attack on Canadian honour by a columnist at the Buffalo News.
In purple tones, the piece – entitled “Disillusioned by Northern Neighbours” – paints Canadian fans as bunch of boozed-up hooligans who streamed over the border like the Visigoths advancing on Rome.
Among the damning criticisms: we don’t wait to turn right on red; we say “eh”; we like to take a drink; the Rogers Centre is ugly; we tip only two bucks on a $25 bar tab; someone punched someone else at a game.
Oh, Buffalo. We rescued your tournament from local apathy and crushing irrelevance and this is the thanks we get?
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
It’s become increasingly apparent that the competition for the 2011 Entry Draft will not just be a two-horse race to the finish line.
Unlike last year, when forwards Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin dominated the headlines leading up to the opening round in Los Angeles, there seems to be a significantly larger pool to choose from for the top spot when the teams convene at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on June 24-25.
At least, that’s what NHL Central Scouting Director E.J. McGuire believes is reflected with the release of Monday’s mid-term rankings.
“I would say at this point, with the number of viewings our scouts have had, as many as eight players could be taken first,” McGuire told NHL.com. “The depth goes right through this draft. A cynic or somebody who’s characterizing this as a non-Sidney Crosby draft year only needs to know that whoever emerges in April at No. 5 on our list (Central Scouting’s final rankings), and in St. Paul as the No. 5 pick, could eventually be a better NHL player than No. 1. That said, this isn’t a Crosby draft year.”
With another episode of The Bolts Beat is on tap for this evening, we’ll be sure to discuss a roller coaster-type week for the Tampa Bay Lightning and several other recent issues league wide.
For now, though, a look at this past week’s AHL action for the five Southeast Division affiliates.
Click for individual box scores
Tuesday, 1/4/11: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5, Charlotte Checkers 2
Charlotte goal-scorers: Jacob Micflikier (16), Michal Jordan (1)
Charlotte goaltenders (saves/shots): Justin Pogge (23/27), Mike Murphy (1/1)
Three stars of the game: 1 – Eric Tangradi, WBS; 2 – Jacob Micflikier, CHA; 3 – Dustin Jeffrey, WBS
Tuesday, 1/4/11: Rochester Americans 4, Lake Erie Monsters 3
Rochester goal-scorers: Clay Wilson (7), Michal Repik (7), Scott Timmins (9), Jordan Knackstedt (9)
Rochester goaltenders (saves/shots): Jacob Markstrom (27/30)
Three stars of the game: 1 – Jordan Knackstedt, RCH; 2 – Michal Repik, RCH; 3 – Clay Wilson, RCH
Part of the talk surrounding the celebration by Team Russia after winning the gold medal at the World Juniors tournament in Buffalo was actually the media coverage of the story (or non-story, depending on who you ask).
Contrary to those who think this was all about making a big deal out of nothing, local news outlets didn’t overdo the drinking and partying of the Russian kids after their epic win, because that wasn’t even the main point of the story.
A group of unruly people got kicked off of an airplane. If it were a bunch of kids coming back from a binge at Fallsview casino, or some drunken businessmen stumbling out of town after a conference at the Hyatt Regency, it still would’ve gotten top billing on local newscasts.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Ex-Whaler goalie and longtime broadcaster Greg Millen, now 53, believes that US college scholarship opportunities will be drying up for Canadian players.
In Millen’s view, because the US is developing top talent from nontraditional hockey areas (e.g. California, Texas), more of those kids will snag American scholarships. Ergo, more Yanks, fewer Canadians.
The good news, said Millen: better homegrown talent available for Canadian universities, in turn providing a boost to that system.
Millen could prove prescient, but according to Paul Kelly, head of Newton-based College Hockey Inc., there is no indication at the moment that Division 1 US colleges have sated their desire to stock rosters with the best Canadian boys.
more plust other hockey notes…
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• This is impossible but true: Leafs defenceman Brett Lebda was minus-3 in Toronto’s stunning 9-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday night. Other minus players included captain Dion Phaneuf and Francois Beauchemin.
• No surprise that the Russian juniors were kicked off their flight Thursday. I happened to be in the bar at the Adams Mark hotel in downtown Buffalo post-game Wednesday night and the young Russians were not exactly being asked to show their ID. I left just before 1:30 a.m. But most of the Russians, still wearing their jerseys, were in the bar, loudly chanting “Beat Canada” in between chugs of something that wasn’t necessarily legal for teenagers.
• I can’t watch the New Jersey Devils play anymore, even every second game, because it hurts my stomach to watch Martin Brodeur play this poorly.
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com