Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Before every game, more than a dozen Wild players, most young, some old(er), find a dark spot in the bottom of any arena for a game of soccer hackysack.
As the ball bobs off heads, feet and knees and arena pillars, piping and parapets, loud, laughing teammates are wearing T-shirts that say, “I’M COMMITTED” on the front and “OUR TIME IS NOW!” on the back.
There’s no doubt the Wild’s best chance of delivering the Stanley Cup to the “State of Hockey” in the organization's 16 years is now and begins Wednesday night against St. Louis Blues.
The Wild, as deep as it has ever been, had its best regular season in franchise history and scored more goal than every team in the West. It was only 6½ weeks ago that General Manager Chuck Fletcher put all his “chips in the middle of the table for this year” and freighted a haul of draft picks to Arizona for Martin Hanzal because “we are taking a swing” for the Cup.
Three players who don’t take part in the soccer warmup are elder statesmen Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. They have other means of prepping for games.
But the slogan, “Time is Now,” arguably best describes the Wild’s captain and his two lieutenants.
After a review, Blake Wheeler has his goal.
One more below...
Two minutes for roughing.
added 11:16pm, Washington release is below...
ST. LOUIS - The Blues have agreed to terms on a new five-year, $19.25 million contract extension with center Patrik Berglund.
Berglund's previous three-year deal was set to expire at the end of the season. If left unsigned, he would have become an unrestricted free agent.
Berglund has played in 60 games this season and ranks second on the team in goals (17) and is third in game-winning goals (3). He has netted 16 of those goals in his last 30 games.
Berglund has been with the Blues since being drafted by the club in the first round (No. 25 overall) in 2006. The Vasteras, Sweden-native is one of just 16 players to appear in at least nine seasons with the Blues. He has accumulated 286 points, including 145 goals and 141 assists, in 615 regular season games. Berglund has also posted 10 goals and 12 assists in 49 career playoff appearances.
As you can see, Jake Allen had a tough time picking up the puck.
Below is a video of the goal....
(Feb. 5, 2017) – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that forward Robby Fabbri (FAB-ree) is out for the remainder of the season after suffering an ACL injury to his left knee last night against Pittsburgh. Fabbri is expected to be ready for 2017 training camp. In addition, the club has recalled forwards Kenny Agostino (a-goh-STEE-noh) and Magnus Paajarvi (pay-YAR-vee) from their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.
Fabbri, 21, has dressed in 51 games for the Blues this season, posting 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) and 27 penalty minutes. Overall, the 5'10, 195-pound forward has accumulated 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) and 52 penalty minutes in 123 career NHL regular season games.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
Claude Julien spent every game of the 2014 Winter Games with Ken Hitchcock’s voice screeching in his ear. Accommodating such a racket may not sound like a pleasant way to experience an athletic pinnacle.
Julien welcomed the cacophony.
During the Olympics, Hitchcock served as Team Canada’s eye in the sky. As he watched, Hitchcock relayed his observations to Julien, who wore the earpiece. In turn, Julien relayed what Hitchcock spotted to head coach Mike Babcock.
“I heard a lot from him and learned a lot from him,” Julien recalled with a smile. “He sees everything. He doesn’t miss a thing out there. He sees every little thing that goes on. He’s got an unbelievable eye for the game.”
On Wednesday, such memories helped Julien get over the glum news that one of his acquaintances had been told to hit the bricks.
continue for more on Hitchcock plus other hockey topics like this...
Thomas Vanek will be one of the jewels on the rental market. Based on last year’s prices, however, it’s doubtful Detroit will be able to command a first-rounder in return. Even if the return is a second-round pick, GM Ken Holland should sprint toward making the deal.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
I reported on Insider Trading Thursday that there are a number of teams with interest in Kevin Shattenkirk. These clubs believe he can help as a rental, but they’re also suffering from sticker shock, with the rumoured open-market number for the pending unrestricted free agent floating around $7 million per on a seven or eight-year term.
I seemed to rankle a few on social media by acknowledging Shattenkirk is viewed by some with interest as a power-play specialist who isn't great at 5-on-5. On a contending team, he's seen as a second- pairing defenceman at best.
To be clear, this isn't my assessment of Shattenkirk's play. It’s the opinion of coaches and general managers who know his game, have an appreciation for his talent and have interest in what he might bring to their club. They also have reservations based on his perceived limitations and, obviously, the St Louis Blues’ asking price....
Sources say the asking price for Shattenkirk last summer was a young roster player and a first-round pick – a price too lofty for teams to pay for a player entering the final year of his contract. If a team steps up in the days ahead with interest in a trade and extension, St. Louis might attract a decent package. Based on the multiple teams I talked to who have interest, the term and top-end dollar will be a problem.
more plus the Canadiens are all in...
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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