Kukla's Korner Hockey
TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mike Smith is suffering from post-concussion syndrome but is expected to return to the ice within the next week. The original injury dates back several weeks, although Smith started to be concerned about symptoms after the team’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 30.
“We were hopeful that Mike’s symptoms would clear sooner and they haven’t, so were taking a conservative approach with him making sure he is 100 percent before he returns to the ice,” Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton said. “Although Mike would prefer to be skating and playing right now the appropriate course of action is to err on the safe side.”
via the Carolina Hurricanes,
RALEIGH, NC— Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired left wing Jussi Jokinen from Tampa Bay in exchange for Wade Brookbank, Josef Melichar and Carolina’s fourth-round draft pick in 2009. Jokinen will be available for the Hurricanes’ game tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, AZ.
“Jussi is a skilled, two-positional player that can be used in all situations,” said Rutherford. “He will add depth to our team at an important time of the season.”
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
General manager Brian Lawton scolded his players for failing to back up C Vinny Lecavalier on Tuesday after he fought Islanders tough guy Tim Jackman in defense of a teammate.
“I was extremely, extremely disappointed with our players,” Lawton said Wednesday. “Vinny did the most noble thing he could do in his position outside of scoring, which is stand up for the team, and the team didn’t respond for him. That was very hurtful, disappointing and upsetting.”
continued and I don’t think they will be very happy after the Bolts blew a 3 goal third period lead & losing in OT tonight to the Pens.
via Lightning Strikes,
The last we saw of Lightning goalie Mike Smith he was smashing a water bottle and overturning carts in the hallway leading to the locker room after he was pulled from Friday’s loss to the Flyers. It is unknown if that had any affect on Monday’s announcement Smith will not fly with the team for Tuesday’s game against the Islanders. Mike McKenna, signed Monday to an NHL contract, and Karri Ramo will be the goaltending duo.
added 6:35pm, via Bolts Report,
The team did not reveal until well after practice today that Mike Smith was injured and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. I tried to cram that information into the previous post.
Smith did not travel with the team today as he went to seek either some medical testing or a therapy of some type, according to general manager Brian Lawton, who did not rule out Smith joining the team in New York before tomorrow’s game and Rick Tocchet has not ruled anything out at this point.
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
Two reviews in Friday’s 6-1 loss to the Flyers, both taking apparent goals away from Tampa Bay, were several minutes long and contributed to a game that took almost three hours.
“It can be detrimental to the product when the game takes so long,” Lawton said, adding he would like to see reviews completed in 90 seconds.
“You just don’t want to see it open-ended. If it takes four or five minutes, it is not conclusive.”
Lawton was clear he was not complaining about either of Friday’s decisions and said the league’s operations staff “are the most honorable people I’ve ever met.”
more on the Bolts…
from Lightning Strikes,
Is it better to stick with Karri Ramo once he finishes serving his six-game AHL suspension for leaving the bench during an altercation last Friday, or perhaps sign Norfolk’s Mike McKenna to an NHL contract and bring him up? There is even talk the Lightning will explore trading for a backup or, more likely, grabbing a goalie off re-entry waivers.
The most appealing option for Tampa Bay would be to get someone off re-entry waivers because it would halve the salary obligation with the player’s previous team. A person of interest could be Curtis Sanford, recently demoted by the Canucks to AHL Manitoba. Sanford, 29, was 7-8-0 in 19 games for the Canucks with a 2.59 goals-against average, a .906 save percentage and a shutout. Don’t know if the Lightning would be interested, just thinking out loud.
via Lightning Strikes,
Lightning backup Olie Kolzig will have surgery on Saturday to repair a ruptured distal tendon in his left forearm. The surgery will be performed in Washington by orthopedist Ben Shaffer, a Capitals team physician who treated Kolzig when he played in Washington. Lightning head trainer Tommy Mulligan said Kolzig will be out three to four months.
from Damien Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
The Lightning captain, 28, returned home this weekend to play in the 57th All-Star Game commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Canadiens franchise. What’s it like for Lecavalier in a city that craves a French-Canadian superstar for whom to cheer and is buzzing with speculation the Canadiens could try to trade for him? Lecavalier tells us.
Do you understand the fascination among fans and media about having a French-Canadian centerpiece on the Canadiens?
The people, they want a French-Canadian, there’s no doubt about it. They talk about it every summer when free agency comes. Some people say there’s not enough on the team, and they try to get more. It’s part of the tradition. People are fascinated by it. They want a French-Canadian who can play there.
Transcript courtesy of the NHL
Q. Can you describe exactly how the discussions about a possible trade, whether to Montreal or anywhere else, have unfolded for you? Who told you, how those conversations have gone, and what your thoughts are about that?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: I can’t remember those three, four days. I remember we were in California. It was a pretty hectic couple of days. Usually there’s rumors, but this one seemed that it had a lot of legs on that one.
So, no, I was just getting a lot of calls from parents, from family and friends. But it was just all rumors until obviously talking a little bit about it with the team and everybody knows here. And what the League came up with was obviously that if something was to happen, they would come to me and ask me or come up with a list or something like that.
It’s basically what you guys know.
from Erik Erlendsson of Bolts Report,
“I’m proud of this team. The last three or four weeks, this team has faced a lot of adversity and they passed the test. They’ve done a great job,’’ Lightning interim coach Rick Tocchet said.
Not sure what it’s going to mean once games resume as any talk of getting into a playoff race still must be tempered, even with 19 of the final 35 games at home and Tampa Bay nine points out of the No. 8 spot right now. But you have to admit, being tied for 11th place and to be within single digits of a playoff spot is a long way removed from where this team was sitting around Thanksgiving, eh?
Do they have enough to even think of the playoffs? Should that topic even be broached?
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