Kukla's Korner Hockey
So I’m in the lobby of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel – NHL headquarters — when I see Gordie Howe walking toward me. He’s 81 at the time, but spry, and as he heads in my direction, he passes two women about his own age. He slows down enough to smile at them and maybe exchange a few words. And as he passed them, they both turned, looked back and started to giggle a little.
When Howe reached me, he looked over, tilted his head, grinned and said, “Still got it” in the most charming, innocent and non-salacious way possible.
-David Pollak of Working The Corners where you can read more on Gordie Howe.
Matinez won't return to the game, upper-body injury.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- Since Horachek took over, in the first 13 games, Phil Kessel has two goals and three assists and is minus-13. His linemates, James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak have combined for 10 points and a minus-21. The coaching change hasn’t exactly gotten Nazem Kadri going either: Four points in 13 games, and a minus-11.
- For the record, Kessel is being paid $10 million this season, which is more than any Leafs player in history. Too many people say he is being paid $8 million, which is his cap hit not his salary. The only non-playoff performers paid more than him this year: His friend, Ryan Suter, at $11 million and Suter’s teammate Zach Parise, also at $11 million.
- The only defencemen being paid more than Dion Phaneuf this season: Suter and his former teammate, Shea Weber
more Leafs and a few other hockey topics...
from Pat Pickens of the New York Times,
Like most sports, the N.H.L. has its own language — but it is clear to those who play the game, whether they are from Moose Jaw or Minneapolis, Moscow or Malmo.
Yet because so much of the sport is rooted in Canada, hockey talk tends to come off a little differently to those with an untrained ear.
It’s a game sometimes played in “barns” by “boys” wearing “sweaters.” An on-target shot might be “marked” or “labeled.” Members of a team’s top-two forward lines are skilled players who “pot” goals. Those with a ferocious shot are often called snipers. Others may set up goals by “dangling” — or skillfully maneuvering — around defensemen.
Forwards on third or fourth lines were once called enforcers or goons. Today, those players are more likely to be called checkers, muckers or grinders. They play with “jam.”
Jam has long been part of the hockey lexicon, but it reached the mainstream because Peter Laviolette used the term on HBO’s “24/7” leading up to the 2012 Winter Classic.
Here's another "thumb down", and I'm pointing this one at myself, and at my ongoing inability to understand the Tyler Myers trade rumours. I usually begin by wondering why the last-place Buffalo Sabres would want to move a 25-year-old former Calder Trophy-winning defenceman when he's one of the few players on the current roster who fits a rebuilding plan. There's an answer for that, of course. Myers hasn't come close to the level of play he showed in his rookie year.
Okay, then I'm left to wonder why there is such apparent interest in his services from teams that are trying to win the Stanley Cup. And that answer includes the theory that a change of scenery and a strong team around him will do Myers a world of good.
I wish I could say the Sabres would be nuts to deal him, or that his new team would be nuts to acquire him--all I can say is it'll be one or the other if Myers finds himself in a new uniform by March 2.
-Dave Hodge of TSN where you can read another "thumb down" to all involoved with Evander Kane.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Of the four Canadian teams in the West, obviously only the Oilers stack up as sellers at the March deadline. The Jets, Flames and Canucks all fit into that category known as “The Careful Buyer.” None are at the point where they’ll give up young prospects to win right now, but all three can spot a position (or two) on their team that needs shoring up for a playoff run.
In Edmonton, UFA defenceman Jeff Petry will be dealt. Pittsburgh is very interested, among others. Petry is the quintessential defenceman who plays above his grade on a poor team in Edmonton, but would look much better getting less minutes/responsibilities on a better D-corps.
Also up for auction will be UFA goalie Viktor Fasth, though the market for backups is never strong at the deadline. And what about Derek Roy as a depth centreman for a playoff run? Many people believed Roy was done when he arrived in Edmonton around New Year’s, but he’s got four goals and nine points in 16 games. He has made the Oilers better, there is no question about it.
read on for more hockey topics including the Vancouver Canuks, Evander Kane and the LA Kings...
FLEURY SETS FRANCHISE MARK IN PENGUINS WIN
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 21 shots he faced to record his eighth shutout of the season and Sidney Crosby (2-1—3) and Chris Kunitz (0-3—3) led the offense with three points each in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-0 win over the Calgary Flames. The Penguins improved to 30-14-8 (68 points) this season to leapfrog the idle New York Islanders (33-17-1, 67 points) for sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division standings. The Penguins have won nine consecutive games against the Flames, their longest active winning streak against any team.
* Fleury, who also blanked Edmonton in his previous start on Feb.4, earned shutouts in back-to-back games for the second time this season (also Oct. 30 vs. LAK and Nov. 1 vs. BUF). His League-leading eighth shutout set a franchise record for most in a season, a mark previously held by Tom Barrasso (7) during the 1997-98 campaign. Fleury is also the Penguins all-time leader in wins (313) and shutouts (36).
from Mark Whicker of the LA Daily News,
Clearly, Buffalo would demand silver and gold for Myers. It would gravely pain Bob Murray, the general manager, to give up Vatanen and Nick Ritchie, the power forward who was last year’s No. 1 draft choice. Centers Rickard Rakell and William Karlsson would be candidates too, as would incipient free agent Matt Beleskey.
But there comes a time to stop postponing the future. Especially when Myers would still be part of that future.
The Ducks won the Cup in 2007 They have won two playoff series since. Their two essential players, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, are right in the sweet spot, both turning 30 in May.///
So Lombardi would be wildly disinclined to trade Justin Williams, the Conn Smythe winner. But Williams becomes a free agent this summer, as does Jarret Stoll. Given that Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson are tomorrow’s offense, and that everyone else either makes too much money or isn’t that trade-valuable, what else do you do?
The other scenario, hatched in Toronto, has the Kings getting Maple Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf for Richards in a big salary swap. Phaneuf played for Darryl Sutter in Calgary. Nothing else about it makes sense.
Give the Kings a week of wins and you can see another Stanley Cup coming to shore. But you’d rather be the team that trades because it wants to, not because it must.
from Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star,
The World Cup of Hockey could be the kind of best-on-best tourney that fans eat up. Speaking of leverage, it also gives the NHL an alternative and way of wresting away control from the Olympics. Hockey is considered one of the jewels of the Games, but it disrupts the regular season, and most importantly, at least from the NHL’s point of view, it does not add to its bottom line. That’s basically what Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, said on Sportsnet’s Hockey Central @ Noon on Thursday.
“I do think that the success that we are going to have with the World Cup does bear on the equation of future Olympic participation, it has too,” said Daly. “Because I think the tournament that we’re designing jointly with the Player’s Association is going to be fantastic and in my opinion, the best hockey tournament with the highest level of hockey talent that’s ever existed in the world.”
“There are exciting opportunities to promote the sports around that tournament, and obviously there are some financial rewards, that will come out of that tournament, and some of those things are not available through the Olympic vehicle,” he added....
Even without official confirmation, most sportsmediaoutlets in the U.S. welcomed the reports of ESPN’s potential return to professional hockey. For all the criticism it receives, there is no doubt having the U.S. behemoth have some stake in hockey is good for the sport south of the border.
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
For sale: One left-winger with a bad shoulder and a bad attitude. Line forms to the left.
What do you mean you want to exchange pesos for dollars? And no, we don’t take rubles.
Kane’s agent Craig Oster let the first bit of air out of the tire Friday evening, admitting there had been talks about potential trades over the past few seasons. Other sources later confirmed the information.
While the news Kane had asked to be moved was no shocker, the timing of this leak piles on to a soap opera that opened this week with the player playing 20 minutes in Calgary and ended Friday with Kane electing to have shoulder surgery.
In between, Kane broke the team dress code at a meeting in Vancouver and then had his clothes thrown into a tub of water by veteran teammate Dustin Byfuglien. A healthy scratch and three days of screaming headlines and Kane had enough.
When, according to his agent, surgery was again offered as a solution to a previous shoulder injury, Kane said yes and ended his season.
Kane, according to his agent, had been offered surgery prior to the season. The fact he only opted to go forward with the operation after Tuesday’s doings is impossible to ignore.
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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