Kukla's Korner Hockey
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk thinks Canada could support more NHL teams. Speaking at a press conference in regards to the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, Melnyk shared his thoughts, citing Winnipeg as an example.
“I’m a big fan of the province of Manitoba… and I know there are some really great fans there. The problem is; what do you do?” Melnyk said. “Do you build a 15,000 seat stadium and fill it, which is a success, or do you build a 20,000 (seat) stadium that has 10,000 people?
“It’s a shame to see Quebec City have to move and then go on to Colorado and if you recall, that was one of the reasons I was really upset when I heard the Senators may leave Ottawa.”
“I think there’s more room.”
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The Ottawa Senators are aiming to make some NHL history tonight when they play the Toronto Maple Leafs.
A victory, whether in overtime or a shootout at Scotiabank Place, would improve the Senators red hot start to 13-1 for 26 points and give them the highest point total after 14 games in league history. The 2005-06 Detroit Red Wings set the best mark at 12-1-1 and the Buffalo Sabres matched the 25 points in 14 games last season when they began the year at 12-1-1.
Update 10:39pm ET: (Alanah) And the Sens do make history—a 5-1 score over the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight, setting a new NHL record for the highest point total ever after 14 games.
from the Ottawa Sun,
“I would feel real good leaving next year and see them win the Stanley Cup,” he said, sarcastically.
So, with that in mind, Redden admitted to Sun Media he would consider taking a pay cut from his current $6.5 million salary to stay….
Redden has no idea how much he’s willing to leave on the table to stay and be a part of what is going on here. He’ll have to talk to Meehan about that, he said. But that should be encouragement enough for Senators GM Bryan Murray to be proactive—as he has been so far—to keep Redden.
Update 12:42pm ET: (Alanah) Some Senators/Redden salary cap math from Mike Chen a few days ago.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
If you had your choice between a broken-down, unreliable Forsberg and a rejuvenated Sundin playing his best hockey in years, which one would you want? In fact, any team that is considering picking up Forsberg at this point must also consider making a pitch for Sundin. The Leafs are still in the playoff picture only because they’ve played more games than anyone else in the Eastern Conference, but it’s not likely to last.
There’s no way Leafs GM John Ferguson would be willing to make a trade for the long-term future with his immediate future in so much doubt. That’s why until the Leafs either fire him or give him a long-term extension, the team’s board of directors should be the ones mandating personnel moves. This is one they should make for the good of the franchise.
From Ken Warren at The Ottawa Citizen,
On Thursday night against the Atlanta Thrashers, Ottawa Senators right-winger Chris Neil crossed the fine line he skates as a member of the NHL’s agitator/enforcer class.
It wasn’t the first time, it won’t be the last and, even though Neil was widely criticized for showing off to the crowd while fighting the Thrashers’ Eric Boulton in the second period and for taking a double minor penalty late in the third period, during which Atlanta scored twice—he says he won’t change how he plays the game.
“I’m here, I’m a motivator,” said Neil, taking issue with observers who claimed his WWE-style antics in waving to the crowd during the fight had no place in the game and served to inspire the Thrashers. “I get the fans going and that’s part of my job. That’s a trait I do (during) fights at home games. I don’t do it on the road. It’s for our fans. We don’t sell tickets on the road. We sell them at home.”
The Ottawa Senators have indicated they will make a significant announcement this morning and sources tell TSN centre Jason Spezza has been signed a multi-year contract extension. More details to follow.
update 11:38am, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Jason Spezza has a new seven-year contract extension worth $49 million with the Ottawa Senators.
Spezza will get $8 million in each of the first five years of the contract and $5 million and $4 million, respectively, in the final two years. The cap hit will be $7 million per year for the Senators.
Ottawa Senators star Jason Spezza missed practice Wednesday, and might miss Thursday night’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers because of a slight groin pull.
He sat out practice after suffering the injury during Tuesday’s skate. He has one goal and 12 assists in 10 games, the second-highest points total on the team.
“It happened yesterday [Tuesday] and right now it doesn’t feel that good,” Spezza told reporters Wednesday. “We’re just going to kind of take it day by day.”
Meanwhile, veteran forward Dean McAmmond declared himself fit to play. He has missed all 10 games this season while recovering from a concussion and shoulder injury suffered when Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie ran into him in pre-season.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
While Neil was chirping at winger Dany Heatley for a hook during a 1-on-1 drill and then winger Brian McGrattan near the end of the workout, Emery was screaming expletives at winger Patrick Eaves for getting a shot up high early in practice.
Once Emery took that shot to the mask and chewed out Eaves for it, nobody dared shoot high the rest of practice because there’s no question that Emery is one of the club’s toughest customers.
From Allen Panzeri at the Ottawa Citizen,
Ottawa Senators coach John Paddock never would have predicted that his team would zip through the first 10 games with a 9-1 record.
He won’t predict the pattern is going to continue, either. The Senators are not going to finish 72-10. The National Hockey League is just too good for any team to do that. However, if it did, if it continued to play at this opening level for the next 72 regular-season games, Paddock would be a happy man. After all, that’s the goal of any hockey team: to win every game it plays.
“If you’re not trying to be 82-0. “you’re not trying,” Paddock said yesterday. “Dany Heatley’s paid to score goals, yes, but, really, he’s paid to win, and so are all the players. That’s their job.”
from the Ottawa Sun,
“It’s funny, you don’t play for a week, and you watch a couple of games, on TSN, and how they love Detroit ... and Detroit has the best line in the league right now,” Paddock said, a reference to the Red Wings’ combination of Henrik Zetterberg-Tomas Holstrom-Pavel Datsyuk and comments apparently made by hockey analyst Pierre McGuire. “That’s what everybody’s saying and it’s only because, well not only because ... they’re good players ... but we haven’t played in a week. Everybody has forgotten about (Jason Spezza-Daniel Alfredsson-Dany Heatley) because you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind. We haven’t played. Now Detroit has the best line in the league….”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org