Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
TSN has learned that Carolina Hurricanes’ general manager Jim Rutherford was formally offered the dual position as president and GM of the Leafs in August of 2007, at which time John Ferguson Jr. was still in place as the GM of the team.
Sources close to the MLSE board told TSN that the Leafs went through a prolonged dialogue with Rutherford that started in August of 2007 when the Leafs requested and were granted permission from Carolina owner Peter Karmanos to talk to Rutherford, the Toronto-area native.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
The dilemma, of course, is the whopping Blake contract they are shackled with. The veteran forward is in just the second-year of a five-year, $20-million US contract, a deal that will end when Blake is 38.
Blake does not have one of those irritating no-trade clauses in his pact like the famed Muskoka Five sported last season. But as one Eastern Conference general manager said last night: “That ridiculous salary makes it a no-trade contract. So does his age. And so does his reputation.”
If the saga continues to decay, don’t be surprised if the Leafs ship Blake down to the minors. According to sources, it’s a concept that theoretically has been kicked around behind closed doors.
Press release from the NHL:
Montreal Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos has been suspended for three games, without pay, as a result of being assessed a game misconduct during NHL game #197 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 8, the National Hockey League announced today.
“While it is my determination that Kostopoulos did not deliver a check to an unsuspecting opponent, his actions caused injuries,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Kostopoulos is considered a repeat offender. Accordingly, he forfeits $32,926.83 based on the number of games in the season (82), rather than the number of days (186). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
added 7:35pm, from Habs Inside/Out,
A statement from Kostopoulos released by the Canadiens:
“First and foremost, I sincerely regret the injuries suffered by Mike Van Ryn. This is an unfortunate turn of events. I was just trying to get in on the forecheck and get the puck. I didn’t anticipate him turning and couldn’t stop.
“I was trying to finish my check and obviously it did not end up well. I never intend on injuring another player. I feel bad. I hope he is going to be all right and resume playing as quickly as possible.”
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
It figures to be an interesting goaltending match-up Tuesday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs open their western Canadian trip in Calgary to play the Flames. Not only do the Flames’ Miikka Kiprusoff and the Leafs’ Vesa Toskala both hail from Finland, they were both groomed in the San Jose Sharks’ organization and both traded away so that Evgeni Nabokov would be that organization’s clear-cut No. 1 netminder.
Kiprusoff and Toskala are considered among the NHL’s goaltending elite, but their numbers don’t reflect that at the moment…
from Damien Cox at his Spin Blog at the Toronto Star,
Unless you want to change the rules, there’s not much that could have been changed about the hit on Mike Van Ryn on Saturday night.
Van Ryn was doing his job, trying to make the toughest, most courageous play in the game, which is hustling back to get the puck in your own zone knowing you’re going to get drilled into the end boards.
Don’t tell me about the “tough guys” of the games, the guys who scrap. Tell me about the Van Ryns who make that play night after night. Those are the tough guys. Those are the players you need more of to make a tough hockey team.
So Van Ryn was making the right play. So too was Tom Kostopoulos, a 29-year-old winger from Mississauga who isn’t in the league to be fancy and score but to skate hard, finish his check and be a grinding forward.
In case you missed the hit, you can see it here...
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
A 6-3 Toronto victory, during which the home side outplayed Les Glorieux by a hefty margin, was marred in the first period when Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn was sent to hospital with a concussion, broken nose and broken left hand after he was smashed from behind into the boards by Canadiens forward Tom Kostopoulos. Later in the period, Leafs rookie defenceman Luke Schenn went hard into the boards when he was tripped by Andrei Kostitsyn.
Van Ryn, who was knocked out on the play, will be out for at least a month. Schenn was not hurt.
read on a and a video of the Kostopoulos hit on Van Ryn below
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
Guy Carbonneau didn’t hold back when he was asked about the Canadiens’ 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.
“It was the most embarrassing game I’ve ever been associated with,” said the coach whose team has back-to-back games for the first time this season.
There was plenty of room for embarrassment here.
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
Wilson is a modernist, in the way he applies technology and statistical analysis to the game of hockey, and he is a traditionalist, in the way he believes his players ought to feel a special responsibility donning the uniform.
He does not suffer fools, he is expansive in conversation, he is confident of being the smartest guy in most rooms (or at very least, dressing rooms), he has won more than 500 games in a sport where anyone resembling an egghead is met with a degree of suspicion, he has taken one team to the Stanley Cup final and been fired three times.
And Wilson talks in a way the Toronto sports crowd is still trying to process.
from Bill Clement at NBC Sports,
Toronto is off to a surprisingly good start. Who would have figured the Leafs to get 14 of their first 26 possible points? Who would have figured that in the first week of November they would be eighth in the Eastern Conference standings after finishing 12th last season? Not many people, maybe not anyone.
Toronto coming out of the gate this impressively raises the very interesting question of can the Maple Leafs keep it up? Can they exceed expectations and most importantly to their faithful, can they end their playoff drought?
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
“We always have concerns, but to me team toughness is more important than anything,” Fletcher said. “Would we entertain getting a tough guy at some stage? Sure, but only if he could fit in and play some hockey too.
“But we’re not out there pounding the pavement or making telephone calls to see if anything’s available,” Fletcher added. “I think we can handle ourselves.”
Fletcher reiterated that it is quiet on the trade front but he is open to deal for some offence, likely giving up one of the club’s inactive defenceman, probably Ian White, who hasn’t played a regular season game as of yet, or Carlo Colaiacovo, who has been a healthy scratch for five games in a row.
more on the Leafs who are not interested in Shanahan…
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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