Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Bob McKenzie tweet,
Kyle Wellwood, ex of KHL, is signing a one year contract with STL. Will have to clear waivers.
added 2:06pm, from Dan O’Neill of the Morning Skate at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
“It’s someone in which we do have some interest, but we haven’t signed him or done anything like that yet,” Armstrong said. “I don’t know where that information came from, but we’re on our way to Anaheim now so we’re not going to be signing him today.”
It’s never a cinch to select the rosters for an All-Star game in any sport and, with a bizarre “fantasy draft” format for this year’s NHL midseason showcase and the game’s first six participants already selected via fan balloting, filling out this season’s All-Star pool of 42 has some added challenge to it, to say the least.
For starters, dividing things by conference is no longer a provision, as the remaining 36 All-Stars named today will go into said pool along with the elected top-six for a field of 42. With that in mind, and factoring in at least one representative for every member club, there will be notable omissions, no matter how this list is put together, or by whom.
Nevertheless, always one to face a challenge head-on, in keeping with my annual tradition (whether an All-Star game has been played or not), I’ve put together my own list of mid-season honorees, complete with a set of 12 rookies to be featured in the skills competition at All-Star Weekend, as the NHL Hockey Operations department will do later today.
(For clarity’s sake, I’ve already accounted for the fan selections.)
Deep breaths, everyone. Here goes nothing, with a few explanations afterwards…
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Mikhail Grabovski of the Leafs with the spin move in the shootout.
Am I the only one not really impressed with these?
By the way, Leafs won the game.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
SCP Worldwide’s seven-month search for a major investor in the Blues could be over by the end of January.
Blues owner Dave Checketts is in New York today pouring over the documents that will keep SCP in control of the club and him as the front man of the organization.
Checketts would not disclose the identity of the investors, but said there is “more than one group,” and he also said publicly for the first time that TowerBrook Capital Partners would not be divesting all of its interest in the Blues, as TCP indicated it would in May.
“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Checketts told the Post-Dispatch. “Our investor group is 95 percent assembled ... now during the next few weeks, we’ll work on league approvals and getting everything done and wrapped up. I said in Florida at the (NHL) Board of Governors meeting that I thought this would happen in the early part of the year, and I think that’s still true.”
via Darren Pang tweet,
Nashville has claimed Marek Svatos off waivers from St Louis.
Svatos was signed by the Blues yesterday as a UFA but had to clear waivers first.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed free agent forward Marek Svatos to a one-year contract.
Svatos, 28, has made 19 appearances with the Kontinental Hockey League’s (KHL) Omsk Avangard this season recording eight points including three goals and five assists. In 2009-10, the 5’10, 185-pound forward tallied seven goals and four assists for 11 points in 54 regular season games with the Colorado Avalanche as well as a goal and two penalty minutes in three playoff outings. For his career, Svatos has dressed in 316 NHL games, all with Colorado, accumulating 164 points including 96 goals and 68 assists.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
By scoring just one goal in back-to-back losses at home, the Blues slipped off the pace in the Western Conference race. They have a tough game tonight at Atlanta and lots of back-to-back challenges on the horizon.
“It’s a lot tougher to climb up in the standings than it is to fall down,” Backes said.
Without injured forward Perron, T.J. Oshie and Andy McDonald, the Blues couldn’t match the skill level of the Sharks and Canucks. Even with defensemen Erik Johnson, Roman Polak and Alex Pietrangelo back in action, this team is at a disadvantage against the elite teams.
“Maybe we have a little bit of work to do to get their level,” Backes observed.
To scrape out victories, the Blues must play hard and smart. They must play fast and tenaciously, pressuring opponents into mistakes and creating havoc around the net.
from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
And now, Erik Johnson? OK, we know that every team has injuries. It’s unavoidable. It’s part of the game, and all of that. But what kind of evil, wicked curse has fallen over the Blues? This is a new and different curse. A more virulent curse in some ways. This isn’t the Curse of Scotty Bowman, which kicks in during the postseason, preventing the Blues from winning the Stanley Cup. But what did this organization ever do to deserve this incredibly cruel run of injuries? There’s no crying in hockey, but at this point you can’t help but feel sorry for the Blues.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Alex Kovalev might not be singing the blues about Senators coach Cory Clouston the rest of the season.
While it’s a longshot because of the high risk for any team looking at Kovalev, league sources say there is one team — the banged-up St. Louis Blues — interested in acquiring the disgruntled Senators winger. But the Blues don’t have the cash to make a move right now….
Sources say there is an investor ready to put more money into the Blues. That won’t happen until Jan. 1 for tax purposes, which means the club can’t afford to take on the remainder of Kovalev’s $5-million (all terms US) salary for now.
Depending on Senators’ on-ice fortunes in the next month, Murray will have to decide whether he’s going to be a buyer or seller at the Feb. 28 trade deadline.
If it’s the latter, Kovalev could be moved for a draft pick.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
The St. Louis Blues didn’t win Sunday with artistry or skating.
They had few perfect passes, and no perfect goals. They won ugly, choking out the Canucks by digging deep after losing five straight and finding inspiration from the back page of a local newspaper.
Pinned in their locker room was Sunday’s Vancouver Province. The back page blared:
“Time to abuse the blues; St. Louis is struggling and the Canucks are rolling - the perfect time to lay the smack down on a conference rival.”
Alex Steen, who had two goals, swears it made a difference.
“We were a little pissed off,” Steen said. “We have a reporter in Vancouver to thank for their nice title today in the paper. Let’s ‘abuse the Blues?’ It put a fire under us.
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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