Kukla's Korner Hockey
No official word from the Blues on the condition of Tkachuk.
I take pride in the fact that the building is full all the time,” Murray said. “You look at the development of the young players. Look at some of the guys and the (Olympic) recognition they’ve gotten recently. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my job. It’s a tough job to lose, but I’m appreciative. I don’t blame the players. It’s my job to get wins. I didn’t get enough of them.
-Ex Blues Coach Andy Murray. More on Murray from Dan Rosen of NHL.com.
from Jeff Gordon of Hockey Guy,
Blues management decided to move in a new direction for the second half of this season.
But that new direction should be the old direction, the path John Davidson and Co. originally embarked on after Dave Checketts bought the team.
The Blues should use the second half of this season to renew the organization’s commitment to player development. Under new coach Davis Payne — up from the Peoria Rivermen — the Blues should focus on getting the most from all the young talent on the depth chart.
ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that the club has named Davis Payne as Interim Head Coach. Payne becomes the 23rd coach in the history of the St. Louis Blues replacing Andy Murray, who was relieved of his duties.
“Davis is very knowledgeable of the players in our organization and we feel he is the best candidate to coach our team,” said Davidson. “He has nine winning seasons at the minor league level which includes an ECHL Championship in 2006.
“I would like to thank Andy Murray for the job he has done here the past four seasons,” continued Davidson. “He was an intergral part in turning the St. Louis Blues around. He is a true professional and I wish him the best of luck in the future.”
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The club fell to 0-3 on a four-game home stand and 5-13-3 at Scottrade Center, where they also surrendered a 3-0 lead to Edmonton in a 5-3 loss Dec. 11.
“We’ve been here before and they all hurt,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “I don’t qualify losses. This hurts just like every loss that we’ve had.”
Murray wore a bullish expression after the game, saying countless times in his postgame press conference that the Blues would only focus on gearing up for Chicago at home on Saturday. But the mood in the locker room was one of disbelief, as players wondered how it could happen again.
Rick Rypien and Cam Janssen battled tonight in the first period.
from Jeff Gordon of the Hockey Guy at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues fans are drooling about the prospect of dealing for free-agent-to-be Ilya Kovalchuk, who could demand maximum NHL dollars over a decade on his next deal. We’re talking nine digits here.
Can the Thrashers afford to play that? Can they afford NOT to pay that?
No team will give much to acquire Ilya without getting a contract extension in place, so he will control the process. Bigger markets like Philadelphia – where the Flyers need a big overhaul – may make more sense for Kovy.
More realistic targets are big Hurricanes center Eric Staal and/or winger Ray Whitney, since Carolina got old all at once and needs to start over from scratch. Staal, 25, is trying to reestablish his goal-scoring touch in time to earn a Team Canada role in the 2010 Olympics.
To make a move, the Hurricanes would want to shop from this group of players: David Backes, David Perron, T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller, Ian Cole, Alex Pietrangelo and Patrick Berglund.
more and I don’t understand why people think Staal is going to be moved., it just isn’t going to happen…
from Josh Cooper at the Morning Skate,
At today’s morning skate, Blues players confirmed the team had a closed-door meeting following their 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay. Sources have told the Post-Dispatch that in the meeting, general manager Larry Pleau laid into the club.
Defenseman Barret Jackman was not caught off guard, and in fact sensed something would be said sooner rather than later.
“Were not shocked that anything happened, closed door meetings or anything like that,” Jackman said. “It is something that has come to a boiling point and its everybody in our room that has to change things right now.”
Added forward Keith Tkachuk: “It had got to the point where something had to be said, and it was said, and now we move on.”
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
Perhaps it was only fitting that on a night when former St. Louis Blues star Brett Hull was honored, ex-Blues coach Mike Keenan found a way into the ceremony.
During a pause in Hull’s speech with the arena quiet, a fan in the lower bowl screamed “I hate Mike Keenan!”
That not only brought a smile to Hull’s face, it sparked an impromptu ovation from fans who remembered Keenan trading away fan favorites Brendan Shanahan and Curtis Joseph and feuding constantly with the Golden Brett.
“I saw Mike this summer and we have made amends,” Hull said. “I’m way too old, I’m too old to hold grudges. We had a great talk.
“I always said this—I hated him as a coach but he’s a really good human being. We had a great talk.”
continued and Brendan Shanahan comments on Keenan too…
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Will the Blues ever deploy another forward combination that thrills fans as Hull and Oates once did?
Will the Note ever find another rugged superstar capable of winning hearts as Shanahan did?
Will this team ever find a goaltender capable of single-handedly stealing big games with insane saves, as CuJo once did?
The new regime tried to add some sizzle by signing Paul Kariya, who used to be one of the NHL’s most dazzling performers. But injuries, advancing age and declining skill have relegated Kariya to this team’s supporting cast.
He is a private guy who generally avoids the media and public interaction. He seems likely to get through his three-year stint in St. Louis without leaving much of a mark.
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