Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The McDonald addition was enormous. It was just the latest in a series of strong moves, which included the acquisitions of forward Brad Boyes and goaltender Hannu Toivonen from the Bruins and the signing of collegiate free agent defenseman Steve Wagner.
These moves accomplished Davidson’s goals of getting younger while pushing into playoff contention. Meeting these goals simultaneously is tough, but this regime is making it happen.
Davidson and Pleau are positioned to make another move, too, since the Blues have top defensive prospects Wagner and Roman Polak at Peoria and seven healthy veterans on the St. Louis roster.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The holdup in the deal was Weight’s no-trade clause, which he waived reluctantly. Weight spent six seasons in St. Louis, re-signing with the club in 2006 after winning a Stanley Cup in Carolina.
When asked how the deal unfolded and why he waived his no-trade clause, Weight said: “I just don’t feel like I want to comment on that. It is what it is ... Over the last 15 years, I’ve developed a pretty good reputation and I’m an honest person. I have no need to leave this city throwing mud, you know. I’m not going to comment on how it went down. If somebody asks me, I’ll tell them ... and I guarantee my teammates and friends will know exactly what happen.”...
“There’s nothing more I wanted than to try and win here,” Weight said. “It was an exciting atmosphere at the beginning of the year. Sometimes things happen that aren’t in your control. Some things aren’t always as they seem.”
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
...the fact that the Ducks opted to trade McDonald, a centre, as opposed to a defenceman such as Sean O’Donnell or Shane Hnidy or Mathieu Schneider, did come as something of a surprise.
Some may look at the trade and decide that the Ducks aren’t as good now with Weight as they were with McDonald.
Fair enough, that is not an illogical face-value assessment, even though McDonald’s numbers are way down this season.
But in the grand scheme of things, this McDonald trade is precisely what the doctor ordered for the Ducks and will help the organization in ways you don’t immediately see.
Now, if you believed Corey Perry was going to be moved, or there was even some talk of him being moved, then you probably should not be reading this. Go back to the drama queen channel, you may find something you like there.
Doug Weight is on his way to the West coast as the Blues have traded the playmaker to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Andy McDonald.
Update 7:43pm ET: (edited at 7:54pm)
From the St. Louis Blues:
St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the team has acquired forward Andy McDonald from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Doug Weight, Michal Birner and a 7th round draft choice in 2008.
“We’re excited to add a top caliber forward to our hockey team,” said Davidson. “Doug is a true professional and we would like to thank him and his wife Allison for the time and dedication they have provided to the St. Louis Blues.”
Update 8:01pm ET:
From the Anaheim Ducks,
“Andy McDonald has been a great contributor for us over the last few seasons, and we thank him for the tremendous work ethic and character he brought to our club,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. “At the same time, we are pleased to add one of the most dynamic passers in the NHL today with Doug Weight. His production and leadership during his NHL and international career speak for themselves.”
*Credit to a post yesterday by Ericnut at HF Boards, for apparently putting this deal online 24 hours before anyone else. Nice job.
from the News-Democrat,
“To me, the work ethic of our penalty-killing players is not matched by the work ethic of our power-play players,” Murray said. “The power-play guys can say it’s easier to kill penalties, and it is. But we’re also paying some guys some pretty good dollars to make our power play work.”...
For the season, the Blues are successful on 13.3 percent of their power-play chances (17-for-128). And while the team’s overall play has improved since Murray’s arrival last December, the power-play remains a major concern.
“We’re not seeing enough goals on our power play,” Murray said. “We’re not seeing the extra work to battle for pucks, to come up with loose pucks, to make sure you outnumber your opponent around the puck.
“There were some guys trying to be difference-makers, but there weren’t enough of them.”
more on the Blues…
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Talking informally Tuesday about how good he feels, Legace said he’s not worried about remaining healthy the rest of the season but added he’ll have postseason surgery to put a “plug” in his right knee. That’s the same knee on which Legace had arthroscopic surgery last spring to repair cartilage.
“I have a defect in my bone and my cartilage,” Legace said. “We knew about (the defect) before we went into the surgery last year ... the consensus was that it wasn’t big enough that the plug was necessary.”
“So, we hoped it would be OK like it was last season, and it ended up that it got a little worse over the summer,” Legace said. “The cartilage probably wore away to the bone. If it wasn’t for these Don Joy braces, I don’t think I could play. But if I jam it too hard, it just swells right up.”
Davidson was caught off guard by Legace’s certainty that he’d need surgery.
“I would think that at the end of the season, he’d re-evaluate the situation and see if he needs surgery or not. As far as I know, I don’t think there’s anything in stone,” Davidson said.
From the CP via TSN,
Murray employs a tough style that is ‘‘demanding not demeaning’’ and puts a lot of responsibility on the players. After arriving in St. Louis, he found a group of men that felt as if they had let down Mike Kitchen, the man Murray replaced behind the bench.
The Blues have gone a combined 43-28-10 since - including 16-10-1 so far this season. His message to the players has been simple.
‘‘Basically we just tried to sell a belief system that if we played hard every night and competed that we would have an opportunity to be successful,’’ said Murray. ‘‘Losing is misery ... I think the players were just fed up with the way they were feeling here.’‘
From Jeremy Rutherford at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
“He’s a young guy, and he’s big,” Blues President John Davidson said. “He has good work habits, and he’s a good person. We expect him to be a really good goalkeeper, and he is. He’s a pup, but there’s a future there.”
It was less than eight years ago that Toivonen chose hockey over soccer, a difficult decision that changed his life for good.
“I was like 15 or 16, and there were two camps at the same time,” Toivonen said. “There was a soccer camp, the top select camp in my area, and there was a (Finnish) national team camp for hockey.
“The hockey guys basically laid it out to me. They said, ‘If you go to soccer, catch you later.’ I just decided to go to hockey. I thought I had a better chance making it as a hockey player where I was from ... because of the money and support that was being put into hockey. I don’t think I ever played a soccer game after that.”
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP,
Only one division in the NHL can boast having every single team over the .500 mark. Surprisingly, it’s the Central.
Widely considered the weakest of the league’s six divisions over the last few years, where Detroit has captured six straight titles, the Central has some spine this season.
The Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets are vastly improved while the Nashville Predators have not tumbled badly as many had predicted.
“They’re all good teams,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock told The Canadian Press this week.
from the CP,
The Blues, who play the Flames on Tuesday and the Oilers on Friday, are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and playing some of the best hockey in the league right now.
“We, as a team, feel we can play with anybody,” Blues president John Davidson told The Canadian Press on Monday. “And we should feel that way. Last year we were just hoping to survive and stay in the hunt as long as we could. This year it’s different.”
The 15-8-1 Blues sit fourth in the tightly contested Western Conference, making a major statement two months into the season after missing the playoffs two straight years.
“And we’re going to be around for a long time,” said Davidson. “We’ve got eight players 24 and younger. So we’re going in the right direction. We feel good about the way we play the game, we feel good about the way we’re committed. Our team is well prepared.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com