Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
From the ‘A’ to Zug, everyone was pulling for Tim Stapleton last night.
The Maple Leafs. The Marlies. His family in suburban Chicago. An aunt and uncle from New York who drove to Uniondale.
The Leafs farm team’s leading scorer received his big break Wednesday when an upper body injury shelved centre John Mitchell. And one night later, Stapleton delivered the 5-4 shootout winner against the Islanders.
“To have that kind of finish in my first NHL game is definitely something I’ll remember,” said Stapleton, who was moved from centre to right wing on a line with Dominic Moore and Jason Blake. “A lot of good things happened playing with those guys , but I was a minus-2 and that’s the part of my game I’m trying to work on.”
continued and watch his shootout goal below…
Brendan Witt of the Islanders received 5 minutes for an elbow plus a 10 and game misconduct for the hit on Niklas Hagman of the Leafs.
Hagman did not return to the game which was won by Toronto 5-4 in a shootout.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
Toronto general manager Brian Burke has repeatedly said he’d have to be blown away by an offer in order to trade the smooth-skating Kaberle before Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline.
He defined that further today.
“It would be a minimum of a first-round pick, a guy that can play on our team right now and a top prospect,” said Burke in a conference call with reporters.
Burke said he wouldn’t divulge the entire details but he would be looking for a return similar to what he gave up to acquire Chris Pronger in 2006 when he was Anaheim’s GM.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
What will Burke do? The guessing game has begun. The trade focus—and the following information—comes from NHL executives polled, those not connected to the Leafs, speaking about those who may be available.
Listed is the likelihood (by percentage) of certain Leafs being traded before the March 4 trade deadline:
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Sundin was tapped on the shoulder to take the third and final shot of the shootout and didn’t disappoint his teammates. He lifted a backhand over the right shoulder of Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala to ice a 3-2 victory for the Canucks, their eighth in their past nine games.
It was a nice ending for the former Leafs captain, who tussled with his emotions in his first game in Toronto since he decided to continue his NHL career with the Canucks two months ago.
A few hours before his game-winning heroics, Sundin was feted with video tribute on his days with the Leafs that was shown on the scoreboard during the first television timeout. As the capacity crowd of 19,504 rose to their feet to applaud Sundin for at least 90 seconds, it became evident his eyes were watering as his emotions rose to the surface.
read on and below is an interview Elliotte Friedman of HNIC did with Sundin after the game.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Maple Leafs aren’t certain they want to deal veteran defenseman Tomas Kaberle, but he has agreed to waive his no-trade cluase and earlier this week provided Toronto GM Brian Burke with a list of 10 cities where he will agree to play.
According to two sources with direct knowledge of the list, Boston is among Kaberle’s 10 teams.
‘‘Kaberle is not going anywhere,’’ Burke wrote by email this morning, neither confirming nor denying that Boston is on the 30-year-old defenseman’s list, ‘‘unless someone blows me away.’‘
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
The most outrageous moment of the night belonged to Jason Williams in the shootout. He pretended to fan on a shot to open up the legs of rookie goalie Justin Pogge. The puck slid between the wickets and in the net. Williams says he has used the risky move before.
“It was a great trick shot,” Nash said. “I wonder how he practices that one, but we’ll take it.”
more on the Blue Jackets SO victory of the Leafs…
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Ultimately, I expect any initial round of boos Sundin will hear Saturday night quickly will be drowned out by cheers of fans who are well within their right to appreciate the 13 years of loyal, classy service he provided to the team.
But I don’t fault any Leafs fan for tossing raspberries and profanity-riddled verbal bon mots Sundin’s way. They’ve got the right to do anything they want to do, just as Sundin, the great libertarian, did less than a year ago.
And if they choose to jeer him, they’ll be looking out for their own interests first – precisely what Sundin’s last lesson taught them.
“I don’t want Justin Pogge to be what Carey Price is today, a shell of himself…”
-Leafs coach Ron Wilson this morning. Wilson did go on to say Price will get out of his slump. You can listen to the whole Wilson interview at Fan590 in Toronto. The Pogge talk starts around the 2:30 mark.
from Damien Cox of the Spin at the Toronto Star, T
he Leafs, it’s needless to say, have only one untouchable on their roster, and that’s Luke Schenn. Otherwise, any player could be had, with different trade values assigned to them all.
The four players believed to be most in play, however, are rearguards Pavel Kubina and Tomas Kaberle, and forwards Nik Antropov and Dominic Moore. Kubina and Kaberle both have no-trade clauses and time on their contracts beyond this season, while Antropov and Moore are both pending unrestricted free agents.
Interestingly, the approach on all four is likely to be very different.
For Kaberle, don’t listen too closely to what Burke is saying publicly. He’s trying to set a market.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org