Kukla's Korner Hockey
per TSN for a couple of draft picks (4th an 7th)
Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s Tweet:
Martin Skoula to New Jersey is confirmed. Done.
added 11:20am: Leafs get a 2010 5th round pick in return.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
If Brian Burke was worried about the embarrassment of finishing dead last in the NHL and giving the first pick in this summer’s draft to the Boston Bruins, he’s not showing it.
The Maple Leafs president/GM dumped one of his best forwards, Alexei Ponikarovsky, on Tuesday night in a deal that might help the Leafs down the road, but certainly not right away. He picked up a prospect, local boy Luca Caputi, in the deal, along with a veteran defenceman Martin Skoula.
Skoula might help in the short term, but it’s more likely he’ll be flipped by Wednesday’s trade deadline. Moreover, underachieving winger Lee Stempniak, another veteran, may also be moved for a draft pick, further weakening the Toronto roster.
So, clearly, Burke has already accepted the reality that the Phil Kessel deal with the Bruins will prove to be more costly than originally imagined. Leaf fans might as well accept it, too.
from Jonas Siegel of 640am,
It’s not happening.
That’s at least the latest impression from Kaberle who reiterated Sunday his much-repeated stance of remaining in blue and white beyond the March 3rd trade deadline.
“I hope so,” Kaberle said of staying with the Leafs through March 3rd. “Nothing changed on my side so we’ll see.”
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Believe it or not, Burke, broom in hand, is trying to do the same type of housecleaning with his NHL squad that he admirably completed with Team USA.
Once the final horn has sounded and the medals — whatever colour they might be — are dangling around the necks of his American players, Burke and his right-hand man, Dave Nonis, will turn their attention to resuming their facelift of a Toronto franchise that has not hoisted a Stanley Cup since 1967. With the NHL’s roster freeze lifted at the conclusion of the Olympics Sunday, Burke has vowed to be “busy” as the clock clicks down to the league’s March 3 trade deadline.
Burke wants to bring the average age of his Leafs down while bringing its intensity up. He wants to change the culture both inside the dressing room and out on the ice.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
There is nothing small in Brian Burke’s world. He does not use small words. He does not say the pressure on Team Canada at the Olympics is intense; he says it is “glacial, unremitting, unrelenting.” He does not say that he prefers his NHL teams—over the last 18 years he has been the G.M. in Hartford, Vancouver, Anaheim and now Toronto—to be tough or even robust; they must have the “proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence.” In macho throwdowns, Burke’s thesaurus is bigger than your thesaurus.
He does not make small trades. While other G.M.‘s tinker, swapping second-round draft choices for third-line rent-a-centers, Burke swings deals that bring 24-year-old franchise defenseman Dion Phaneuf and $7 million goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère to the Maple Leafs.
Burke does not have spats. He has epic Shakespearean feuds. In 2007, when Edmonton G.M. Kevin Lowe extended an offer sheet to winger Dustin Penner, a restricted free agent on Burke’s Stanley Cup—champion team in Anaheim, Burke lambasted the move and said, “If I had run my team into the sewer like [Lowe did], I wouldn’t throw a grenade at the other 29 teams.”
And now Burke’s grief matches the enormity of everything else in his life. On snow-slicked U.S. Highway 35 in Indiana, his 21-year-old son, Brendan, student manager of the top-ranked Miami (Ohio) hockey team, died in a car accident on Friday, Feb. 5.
read on (recommended)...
Sources tell TSN Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski was taken into custody on Friday night following an altercation in a Vancouver bar.
Grabovski, an injured member of the Belarussian team was later released.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
The National Hockey League is aware of the incident, however the League will not pursue anything or take any action until such time all information is in and completed by Vancouver police.
Canadian hockey hero Paul Henderson has revealed he is battling cancer.
Henderson made his illness public on CBC-TV’s Connect with Mark Kelley on Thursday.
Henderson, 67, from Lucknow, Ont., is perhaps most famous for scoring the series-clinching goal in Game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series between the Canadian and Soviet Union hockey teams.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Not saying it’s going to happen, but one interesting rumor making the rounds would have the Toronto Maple Leafs trading defenseman and leading scorer Tomas Kaberle to the Vancouver Canucks for prospect Cody Hodgson, who has finally overcome his back problems and is playing well for the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario League.
from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,
Leafs general manager Brian Burke thanked the thousands of people, some of whom he has never met, for the support they showed for him and his family in the very difficult days following the death of his son, Brendan, in a traffic accident last week.
“The NHL family is at its best in a time of loss, and I’ll be thankful for that forever,” Burke said in St. Louis where the Leafs were playing. He was addressing the media for the first time since his son passed away from injuries suffered when his vehicle went out of control on snowy roads in Wayne County, Indiana.
“What was amazing too was letters, even from people I never met, wishing us well and showing their support.”
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