Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Prague Post,
“We’ve become a supermarket for the NHL, where they get top products at discount prices,” said Zbyněk Kusý, the national team’s general manager. “We are left begging NHL clubs to pay our players while letting them play for the national team in their free time.”
The national team’s head coach, Alois Hadamczik, is planning to leave late this month on a North American tour, hoping to lure some Czech NHL players in for the World Championship in May. The more NHL players on the national team, the stronger it will be, Hadamczik said.
“The days when NHL players merely boosted our team are gone. … Now, we must form the whole team with them in order to be competitive,” he said.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
After meeting with general manager Scott Howson in recent days, Foote has expressed his desire to sign a contract extension with the Blue Jackets rather than risk being traded at Tuesday’s NHL trade deadline.
“I want to be here,” Foote said. “That’s been made clear to Scotty by both me and my agent (Rick Curran). To my understanding, Scott Howson wants me to be here, too. So there we go.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Blueshirts are believed interested in bringing back St. Louis winger Martin Rucinsky for a fourth tour of duty on Broadway. Rangers would deal Marek Malik - whom St. Louis president John Davidson likes - but would need to get a defenseman back either while or before moving him.
Sharks and Thrashers have talked about a blockbuster in which Patrick Marleau and Matt Carle would go to Atlanta in exchange for a package featuring Marian Hossa and Bobby Holik .
read on for more, including Avery going the AO route, Boyle talks and some other rumors…
from the Buffalo News,
Regier said discussions remain open between the Sabres and Larry Kelly, Campbell’s Ottawa- based agent.
“We continue to communicate, have spoken over the last couple of days and I expect we will again over the next few days,” Regier said. “Money and terms have been discussed.”
Asked if he felt it’s still possible to work out a deal instead of trading Campbell, Regier said, “Too early to tell, believe it or not. We’ll just keep working on it. I am hopeful because that’s what I should be. I should be hopeful and hopefully it works out.”
From Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice,
Was there a sense of whether there’s going to be an active market at the trade deadline?
“No, I didn’t get a sense of that. I also saw statistics which were very interesting as far as the number of trades that transpired last year as compared to two, three, four, five years ago. (They were) very similar.
“But the trading deadline and (making) trades is always determined by who are buyers and who are sellers, but before you can be a buyer or a seller you have to have someone who has the potential of being out of the playoffs. And right now if you look at the points in each conference, you can see that if you go on a three-game winning streak or a four-game losing streak, you can find yourself on one side or the other. It think a lot will be determined very close to the trading deadline when those decisions have to be made with individual people with their free agency. Do I think there will be movement of players who are not free agents? Unless it’s a pretty big deal for both sides, I would be surprised at this point. It would have happened already.”
much more... of an interesting conversation with Lou Lamoriello Wednesday night, discussing everything from trade rumors to rule changes discussed at the GM meetings in Naples this week.
*with thanks to Steve for providing the heads-up on this interview
from STATS Blog,
Parity seems to be a byproduct of the new NHL. Nine of the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference are in first place or within five points of it. Only two teams in the East are more than 10 points out of first.
The division leaders in the Western Conference—Detroit, Minnesota and Dallas—have larger leads than their Eastern counterparts, but parity still figures in a tight playoff race. Take the runaway Red Wings and Pacific-leading Stars out of the equation, and the next 10 teams in the Western Conference standings are separated by just 10 points.
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
The word on the street from rival general managers around the league is that Lightning GM Jay Feaster is in a situation where he’s being told by potential team owner Oren Koules to find out what he could get for veteran forward Brad Richards. [...]
First, the team wants to have centre Vincent Lecavalier signed to a long-term contract this summer. They want him locked up and made him a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning for life. Secondly, you know that winger Martin St. Louis is also in for the long haul because his contract gets more affordable with each passing year.
Feaster also wants to sign defenceman Dan Boyle to a long-term contract, but the team also wants to get a No. 1 goaltender somewhere down the line. It’s going to be expensive to do all of that.
more… with ideas about potential destinations for Richards. (*apparently $7.8 million salary isn’t as limiting as I would’ve thought…)
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Flyers winger Simon Gagne is finished for the regular season and the playoffs.
That is the advice of concussion specialist James Kelly, who examined Gagne today in Denver.
The Flyers’ left wing has suffered three concussions in five months. General manager Paul Holmgren expressed “disappointment” but said the club would agree to shut Gagne down.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
How GMs handle of the pressure of the unknown between now and then will say a lot about the future of their respective teams, not just come playoff time but moving forward.
One GM told ESPN.com Wednesday there are always competing interests regarding whether to make a deal early and miss out on something better, or wait too long and miss out on something you really needed. He said the key is to know what you want to do and not stray from that.
from Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Mathieu Schneider of the Ducks will carry an interesting streak into Wednesday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche at Honda Center. The veteran defenseman has finished each of his past 26 games with a plus or even plus-minus mark.
Schneider’s streak is the longest active run in the NHL and only four games shy of the longest such streak in the league this season, established by defenseman Glen Wesley of the Carolina Hurricanes from Oct. 3-Dec. 8. While Wesley was plus-8 over that stretch, Schneider is plus-15 over his past 26 games.
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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.
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