Kukla's Korner Hockey
These kinds of articles are so superb that you can only begin at the beginning, and this one from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Dan O'Neill is a helluva read:
The way Scotty Bowman sees it, three components turned the St. Louis Blues into Stanley Cup finalists during their first three seasons. One was goaltender Glenn Hall. One was a trade to acquire Red Berenson and Barclay Plager.
And one was Al Arbour.
“He was the toughest competitor, most courageous player I ever coached,” Bowman said. “He was the guy all the young players looked up to.”
Alger Arbour now leans on every bit of that resilience and fortitude. He is being treated for Parkinson’s disease and dementia near his home in Sarasota, Fla. He has difficulty with balance, with recollection and with words. He is in hospice care. The prognosis is dire.
But you can count on one thing. Arbour will battle, as he did as a defenseman for the Blues, as he did throughout a career in which he has been with teams that won the Stanley Cup eight times, representing four cities. The fact one of those locations isn’t St. Louis is a pockmark on a franchise that is without a championship 48 seasons into its existence.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch offers his usual amount of rumors in a Sunday column discussing scoops from around the league, but on an evening that even the New York Times profiled Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, Garrioch's most interesting tidbit involves the "TankGate" situation. According to Garrioch, the league is pretty peeved by the Sabres and Coyotes' rather blatant attempts to finish lowest in the league:
“It’s embarrassing,” a league executive said.
The battle for No. 1 pick Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters has been one that teams have been watching all season. For the most part, the Sabres have been sitting in last place, but once the Coyotes cleared the deck at the trade deadline they’ve really gone downhill.
“You can’t blame the teams involved because there is a reward for failure and that’s the highest odds in the lottery,” said the executive. “Maybe you need to change the lottery to give all the teams that miss the playoffs an even chance at the No. 1 pick, or not weight it so much. Who knows?”
The league did change the lottery that gives the team that finishes last only a 20% chance at the No. 1 pick so there has been a major move. Now, they can’t fall below No. 2 so if they don’t win it’s not that big a loss. Perhaps, the league needs to take a second look.
Garrioch continues with a cornucopia of rumors...
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- The Leafs don’t care to share their wish list for a future head coach but here’s a decent guess of where they’re heading: 1. Mike Babcock; 2. Todd McLellan; 3. Bruce Boudreau; 4. Dave Tippett; 5. Ken Hitchcock; 6. Peter DeBoer; 7. Paul MacLean. Not necessarily on the list, for some reason: Dan Bylsma.
- Amazing how stuff turns out: Dallas GM Jim Nill wanted to sign Vinny Lecavalier before he ended up signing in Philadelphia. Now the Flyers want Vinny out, badly. Had Nill signed him, he never would have traded for Tyler Seguin.
- This is easy: Now that Chris Pronger is eligible for Hall of Fame voting, he’s a sure-thing for first-ballot induction this year. The Class of 2015 will include Pronger, Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov and if the Hall finally gets it right it will add the surprisingly forgotten Sergei Makarov.
Topics discussed tonight by Don Cherry and Ron MacLean include....
Don Cherry was not happy with the refs in the first period of Toronto/Ottawa.
Next up was Cherry pointing out to young players to make sure you keep your stick on the ice, using the LA Kings as an example.
Cherry tells us why Scott Hartnell wears #43.
Up next was the play of "Jimmy Slater" of the Winnipeg Jets then Steve Ott was pointed out as being a momentum changer.
Then Don Cherry talked about the Leafs bringing in a college guy instead a top player from the Marlies.
Cherry closed with some OHL Cup talk.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
While the spotlight entering the final two weeks of the NHL regular season is focused squarely on the enticing playoff races in both conferences, there are a handful of general managers and coaches who are primed for a blindfold and last cigarette.
And the reading of the last rites, of course.
Indeed, there is no shortage of men who are playing out the string over the next 14 days, all the while knowing that their tenure with their respective teams is coming to an inevitable end.
Whether it be the Leafs, Sharks, Flyers, Bruins, Devils, Sabres, Blues, etc., there are axes being sharpened throughout the league, poised to come down as part of various housecleanings going on from coast to coast.
And, according to one Eastern Conference executive, the catalyst for many of the ensuing moves could be Mike Babcock.
continued with a look at teams who could use Mike Babcock's services...
Watch the incident below...
Paqueette was helped off the ice and no update yet on the injury.
added 5:13pm, Video of the injury is below...
No penalty on the play...
Kris Letang just can’t catch a break this season after a big check from Shane Doan caused the Penguins defender to fall awkwardly tail-bone first into the boards.
Blake Comeau may get a call from the Department of Player Safety after a careless check from behind on Andrew Campbell in the first period on Saturday.
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.
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