Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
...And that brings us to Campbell, who is one of several players who personified the Sabres’ direction in the post-lockout NHL. His price tag increased again Friday when he was named an All-Star for the second straight season. A few days ago, Campbell said that he’s finished talking about money.
Presumably, that meant with the Sabres, too.
It’s why General Manager Darcy Regier needs to find out what he can get, while he can get it, and minimize the damage. Chicago and Phoenix are two teams loaded with prospects and looking to make the playoffs. Dallas is anxious to make a bold move. Vancouver needs a player or two who can push them toward the top.
Once the Sabres’ brain trust gets past the idea that Campbell is gone, once they embrace another couple years of retooling, moving Afinogenov becomes easier. He’s a pretty player during the regular season, pretty darned ugly in the playoffs with 10 goals and 23 points in 49 career games.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The NHL routinely uses the American Hockey League as a test site for potential rules changes, and there is an interesting one getting a look-see this season.
It calls for all power plays to start with a faceoff in the defensive zone of the team that is killing the penalty. Previously, the location of the faceoff was determined by where play was blown dead and could have been anywhere on the ice.
The obvious intention of the change is to give the power play a head start on applying pressure that could lead to a goal.
“It’s to create offense, certainly,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. “That’s what it’s for. Everything is about creating offense.”
Assistant GM Chuck Fletcher, who serves as GM of the Baby Penguins, has given the rule an unqualified endorsement and clearly would like to see it adopted by the NHL.
more on the Pens…
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks are the only teams in the NHL operating this season without a captain. Minnesota and Buffalo alternate their captains month by month.
The consensus among the Blues is in favor of the rotating alternates, although some voiced the need for a traditional captain.
“I think it’s working,” Jackman said. “We have a lot of guys in the room that could be identified as captains. Not having one, I think, has made us rely on everyone coming together and leading as a group.”
via Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Wondering what Avalanche veterans Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth are thinking as they wait out their injuries and won’t be playing again until at least March?
Could it have Sakic pondering retirement — or have him more determined not to go out this way?
Problem is, the Avalanche’s policy is that injured players are not available to the media, and it’s a prohibition the players are told to honor, too.
It’s not a savvy move for a franchise attempting to remain in the forefront of the Denver sports market.
from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,
It’s safe to say the players from Canadian teams—Roberto Luongo, Andrei Markov, Daniel Alfredsson, Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf—likely received most of their votes from this side of the border.
But should we just assume the seven starters from American teams received most of their support from U.S. voters?
Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier and New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur remain close to the hearts of many Canadians, and both play for teams with unremarkable fan bases. Sidney Crosby undoubtedly received plenty of backing from fans in Pittsburgh (and elsewhere in the U.S.), but the young phenom also has plenty of supporters in Canada. Surely this country’s voters placed many marks beside his name.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
What will the Flames do when Dion Phaneuf remains unsigned long enough to extract either an offer or an offer sheet in the 10-year, $90M neighborhood coming off his Entry Level contract?
How much money will the Penguins have to pay Evgeni Malkin to keep him from becoming a Group II free agent when his current contract expires?
What will the Blackhawks do when Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane both come up for extensions two summers from now?
And what kind of a league is it, and what kind of a system is it, exactly, under which the NHL operates, where an immense and dramatically increasing percentage of the players’ overall take goes to athletes who have been in the league for three seasons as opposed to those who have played for 10 or 15 years?
from the Toronto Sun,
Turning the Maple Leafs into Stanley Cup winners would take all of Scott Bowman’s Hall of Fame acumen.
But the 74-year-old is not dismissing the chance that something can still be worked out after preliminary talks to bring him aboard as a senior advisor to John Ferguson last summer failed to click….
Asked by MacLean if he’d revisit a Toronto offer one day, Bowman basically said he would be willing to discuss it. It would be hard to leave the Red Wings, but he would cross that bridge if he came to it.
Sources tell TSN Ottawa Senators forward Dany Heatley suffered a separated shoulder in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Detroit and will be out of action for 4-6 weeks.
Heatley missed most of the third period when he crashed hard into the end boards with Red Wings winger Dallas Drake. Heatley was slouched over when he left the ice and was favouring his shoulder. He didn’t return to the game.
added 12:37pm, from the Ottawa Citizen,
The Ottawa Senators will be without the services of Dany Heatley for six weeks after the all-star sniper dislocated his shoulder Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
Speaking with reporters following an optional team skate Sunday morning, Heatley said he was disappointed to miss the time but glad to have plenty of healing and rest time before the playoffs begin.
“It’s frustrating, kind of an unlucky play, but that’s hockey, so (you) just rehab as best you can and try to get back as fast as you can,” he said.
via Working the Corners at the Mercury News,
I nosed around a little this morning and found this out : The Sharks did have conversations at one point with Cujo’s agent. But that was as they were getting ready to place backup Dimitri Patzold on waivers in order to send him to the minors and bring up Thomas Greiss. Once Patzold cleared waivers and the Sharks knew their goalie stable was still full, the talks ended. Had the Sharks lost Patzold to another team, those Cujo conversations might still be ongoing.
Coach Ron Wilson even joked about the Cujo rumors in talking with reporters — including the Toronto media entourage — at this morning’s skate.
“If Cujo comes and wants to sit on the bench for 40 games, he can come,” Wilson said, expressing further confidence in Evgeni Nabokov’s ability to carry a heavy load. “I don’t think that’s what he wants.”
added 6:14pm, from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN both the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers have made last minute inquiries into Curtis Joseph’s plan to return to the NHL.
New York’s Henrik Lundqvist allowed six goals on 18 shots in a 6-2 Rangers loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.
Lundqvist has struggled of late going 2-5-2 in his last nine games after impressively recording six shutouts in his first 29 games.
Toronto’s interest may speak to the uncertainty of Vesa Toskala’s health, or the potential of a Raycroft trade that would make room for Joseph’s veteran presence.
from the New York Times,
N.H.L. executives and officials of the International Ice Hockey Federation will meet Wednesday in New York for talks on a new agreement governing international player transfers….
The I.I.H.F. delegation will be led by the federation president, René Fasel, who will arrive from Sunday’s European Club Championship final in St. Petersburg, Russia, between Sparta Prague and Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Fasel said that if a new agreement could not be negotiated, “chaos” could ensue when the current deal expired at the end of the season. He said N.H.L. teams would be free to raid European rosters throughout the year while paying nothing for the signings.
read on and a feature on Caps dman Mike Green.
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.
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