Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,
Tim Murray needs Steven Stamkos. He thought he needed Mike Babcock too but that ended up with the Detroit coach simply leveraging Buffalo on his way to Toronto. The Babcock affair comes to mind with all the chatter on Canadian sports giant TSN in recent days after the Dion Phaneuf trade opened a lot of cap space for the Leafs.
Suddenly, the thinking is that Stamkos may actually find it more palatable to sign in Buffalo come free agency if he doesn’t stay in Tampa Bay, than to head home to Toronto.
Something tells me this is going to end up the same way. If Stamkos doesn’t work out an extension with the Lightning, it seems hard to imagine any team trading for him as a rental and then losing him anyway come July 1. If not Tampa, it has to be Toronto.
The Sabres certainly have more to offer Stamkos. They’re far closer to winning than the Leafs are and already have core pieces in place. How would Stamkos look alongside Jack Eichel or Sam Reinhart, for instance? You want more money than the $10.5 million per year that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are making? No problem. Terry Pegula can easily come through with $11-12 million a year, even with the need to pay Rasmus Ristolainen now and Eichel and Reinhart in a couple of years.
continue plus more hockey topics...
from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,
The lack of depth scoring, the lackluster efforts in home games, the sluggish starts of late — all those quibbling concerns that have troubled the Blackhawks recently looked awfully minor late in the second period Saturday night when Marian Hossa lay crumpled on the ice in the corner, writhing in pain.
A Hampus Lindholm hip check sent Hossa tumbling into the boards, where his left leg appeared to get jammed. Hossa was slow to get up, and was putting little, if any, weight on the leg as he was helped off the ice and back to the dressing room. He did not return.
“We’ll probably know more [Sunday],” Joel Quenneville said after the Hawks lost 3-2 in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks, their third loss in as many home games. “We don’t think it’s serious, but he could miss some time.”
When asked if Hossa could be out weeks, Quenneville said, “Could be stretching it on weeks. Not that long.”...
Quenneville called the Lindholm check “on the borderline.”
“Not much you can say about those hip checks,” Jonathan Toews said. “I think they’re always risky. A guy takes a hit low like that, if your skate gets caught in a rut or can’t quite give out the way you want it to, something’s got to give there. More often than not, it doesn’t end well.”
read on for more on the game
watch the hit below and also the game recap...
Have fun today folks!
Just over four minutes of hghlights from the NHL games played on Saturday.
From the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch:
Perhaps, it’s the calm before the storm.
The NHL trade deadline is set for Feb. 29 at 3 p.m. EST and while it will be tough to see a deal bigger than former Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf being moved to the Senators in a blockbuster Tuesday, there’s still a sense among league executives it’ll be busy enough between now and the cutoff date.
The issue right now is the market is flooded with forwards and that needs to sort itself out because nobody is sure just who will move and who won’t. Naturally, the biggest question mark is Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos, but the betting money is he won’t be going anywhere.
After his name, people are eyeing the likes of Carolina’s Eric Staal, Winnipeg’s Andrew Ladd, Boston’s Loui Eriksson, Arizona’s Mikkel Boedker, Columbus’ Scott Hartnell, Kyle Okposo of the Islanders and Tampa holdout Jonathan Drouin.
“Right now, there’s a lot of forwards out there,” said a league executive.
Sooner or later, someone has to move to set the market.
From the New York Post's Larry Brooks:
So, no, I don’t believe that there is the slightest correlation between [Steven] Stamkos’ looming availability this summer and Toronto’s excise of Dion Phaneuf’s $7 million cap hit that runs through 2020-21 via last week’s stunning trade with Ottawa.
The deal does indeed create oodles of projected space for the Leafs down the line, albeit with a skeleton roster, following the 2017-18 season. And who might become available as a 27-year-old free agent on July 1, 2018?
Why, none other than John Tavares.
It is more than two years down the line, and the steps that might take the Mississauga native — for whom Greater Toronto has lusted since ever before this other No. 91’s junior career commenced in Oshawa a decade ago — from here to there cannot be plotted at this early date.
But the Islanders have work to do here with not only Tavares, working on the fourth year of a club-friendly six-year deal worth $5.5 million per season, but with their entire team in making the transition from Long Island to Brooklyn.
Maybe it will change upon this summer’s transfer of ownership, but the franchise thus far has attempted to straddle the two locales, in essence refusing to acknowledge the reality of where the team plays and to whom it belongs.
Elliotte Friedman talks about possible replacements for Mike Yeo, when Winnipeg and Toronto will get outdoor games, and contract talks between Andrew Ladd and the Winnipeg Jets.
added below, press release from the Minnesota Wild on the hiring of John Torchetti....
Ron & Don guarantee the Vancouver Canucks will make the playoffs, breakdown the Dion Phaneuf trade and Connor McDavid scoring goals.
added 7:46pm, from Michael Russo of the StarTribune,
Since General Manager Chuck Fletcher’s public vote of confidence for Yeo and his plea for players to play “the right way” 13 times in an eight-minute interview last weekend, the Wild has lost four in a row heading into this week’s western Canadian swing.
Angry owner Craig Leipold sat in his suite all game with only Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Pellegrom daring to come near him.
The restless scene in the GM’s booth was even more fascinating. The fuming reactions after every chance and mistake were hard to misread. During the first five minutes of the second intermission, Fletcher talked to assistant GM Brent Flahr animatedly about the game, then Fletcher sat in his seat and stared at the ice with his hand on his chin for five minutes.
added 8:13pm, Minnesota Wild statement below...
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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