Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
Despite an NHL-imposed gag order to cease and desist from public comments, Toronto Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke painted the rival Vancouver Canucks as whiners and tattletales yesterday.
Burke, the former Canucks GM who is returning to his former haunt for the first time since assuming leadership of the Maple Leafs in November, admitted yesterday that he erred in allowing a team-produced video – in which he floats inaccurate trade rumours about Vancouver players – to appear on the club’s website. But Burke also insinuated the Canucks are responsible for the brouhaha, and that the whole incident could have been settled privately had Vancouver GM Mike Gillis called him and not the NHL head office.
“All the commentary on this has come out of Vancouver,” Burke said on the eve of a showdown between the teams at GM Place tonight. “Not a word out of Toronto.”
from Tim Wharnsby of CBC,
The feud between the general managers of the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs hasn’t filtered down to the dressing rooms yet.
But the scene at GM Place will be intense if Canucks general manager Mike Gillis and his Leafs counterpart Brian Burke catch a glimpse of each other prior to game time on Saturday.
The two men don’t like each other and their relationship only soured further when Gillis twice filed tampering charges against the Leafs in the past six months.
from Jason Botchford of the White Towel,
Pavol Demitra has hit another road block on his way to recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.
Suffering pain and unable to get his range of motion back, Demitra had a shoulder arthroscopy this week.The Canucks said it was not to repair another tear. Demitra had two tears repaired on his rotator cuff in May. Then, the prognosis was he would be out four-to-six months.
He is now out indefinitely, the team said.
a bit more...
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
The three-year, $7.5-million contract he signed with the Canucks was $1 million a year more than what Detroit offered. Vancouver didn’t mind, even if Samuelsson’s high-water mark was 45 points. The Canucks believed they had a 60- to 70-point player who had been hidden batting eighth in Detroit’s lineup.
So far, it looks like they’re right.
“It’s up to you to say, but this is what I wanted when I came here,” says Samuelsson, who has so far artfully used the extra two minutes a game he’s getting in Vancouver to double his points-per-game from 0.5 to one. “I wanted a fair chance to prove I can be a big part of an offence.”
But investing in Samuelsson was based on more than potential point totals. His experience stands out in the Canucks dressing room like a funny joke on Jay Leno. Even the multimillion-dollar facelift couldn’t take care of the playoff skeletons in GM Place. Maybe Samuelsson can. He is one of the few Canucks who has actually won a big game. Or three.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
The agent for Ryan Kesler has laid the factual foundation for a contract extension. He hasn’t drawn any conclusions or drawn a line in the sand after two discussions with management, but he did suggest that the ball is now in the court of the Vancouver Canucks.
“Ryan is a warrior,” Kurt Overhardt said Thursday of his client who is earning $1.75 million US in the final year of his deal.
“I know he’s looking forward to the club acknowledging his value by stepping up and signing him to a contract extension. Ryan and his family would be honoured to remain in Vancouver for several more seasons.”...
According to Overhardt, the Canucks won 48.28 per cent of their games (12-13-4) when the Sedins had more ice time than Kesler.
They won 74.36 per cent of their games (26-10-3) when the twins had less time than Kesler.
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun via the National Post,
Toronto general manager Brian Burke says he sees no need to clear the air with Vancouver counterpart Mike Gillis over tampering allegations when the Canucks meet the Maple Leafs on Saturday at General Motors Place.
In fact, Burke isn’t even sure whether he and Gillis will speak at all this weekend.
“I know there was a lot of yapping going on in Vancouver the last little while, but you noticed none from Toronto,” Burke said in a phone interview Thursday when asked about the apparent bad blood between the two organizations. “I’m certainly not going to pour any gasoline on a fire that as far as I’m concerned doesn’t exist. When other organizations talk or complain about the Leafs, I ignore it by and large.”
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews was crunched with an open-ice hit from Willie Mitchell in the third period and didn’t return. Defenseman Brent Seabrook also left the game with an injury as the Canucks won 3-2 at the United Center.
Coach Joel Quenneville said after the game both players would be evaluated Thursday.
Kyle Wellwood with a goal? Nope, final horn beat him last night.
friom Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via the Vancouver Sun,
In Alain Vigneault’s eyes, there is only one positive to Daniel Sedin being on the shelf with a broken foot.
“Now, when I see (the twin) Hank in this environment I know it’s him, and when I see Danny on crutches, well, I know who he is … first time since I’ve been here (four years) that I can say that,” chuckled the Vancouver Canucks’ head coach, who makes no bones about the fact he still can’t tell Daniel from Henrik, unless they’ve got numbers on their jerseys.
“Any time I crossed one of them I’d always say ‘How’s it going, Danny?’ I had a 50-50 chance. They would say yes or no. On the ice, when I’m looking at them (in practice), I’ve always said ‘which one are you?’ They’ll turn around to show me a number,” said Vigneault.
“Once again, we didn’t play close to 60 minutes tonight. We haven’t played 40 minutes this season and we’re lucky to be 2-4. It’s inexcusable. We’ve got to start grinding it out and playing with a little edge.
“We have a good lineup and a skillful lineup and it’s like we played too defensive in the first 40 minutes. We almost played scared. We can’t be doing that. We have to press and go on the offence.”
-Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks. More on the Vancouver loss to Calgary last night from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province.
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