Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Milbury at Blogs and Colums at CBC,
The twins are terrific players but they lack the leadership and explosiveness to be considered amongst the very elite of the game. The Canucks need a face that’s not behind a mask: a leader and an offensive powerhouse. And this is why, dollars aside, that Mats Sundin makes great sense for the Canucks and why you have to applaud Mike Gillis for his bold offer to Sundin. And if it isn’t Sundin, will it be Marian Gaborik? This is a big hole to fill and it will be a challenge to complete the task. Until they do, contender status is beyond reach.
more on Vancouver…
from Iain MacIntrye of the Vancouver Sun,
Winger Kyle Wellwood has been given a few days off. He cleared waivers this morning and is back in Vancouver waiting for the Canucks to find him a place to play in the minors….
The Canucks are trying to find another minor-league team with room for Wellwood, although Vancouver will be paying his NHL salary of $998,000 US.
Bieksa is eligible to come off the injured list today will likely play Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks. He strained his knee early in the Canucks’ victory in Calgary one week ago.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Are the Canucks that fiery team who started off the season guns blazing, or are they the team critics warned fans about back in July, the one that won’t have enough skill to compete? It’s a plate-half-full, half-empty question, and the answer depends entirely on how hungry you are.
“We had basically been on a high since the first preseason game. We started getting loose. We were too loose [Monday],” Henrik Sedin said. “After that loss, everyone seems hungrier, refocused, re-energized. We aren’t as loose any more.
“Thursday’s is a big game for us and we are going to show if we can come back from a big loss like that.”
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
When healthy, the Canucks have a top-5 defense. In goal, they have “The Captain,” Luongo, who figures to be better than he was last season.
I wanted to hate the Canucks because I don’t like it when ownership does goofy things that set their franchise backward, especially in a hockey-crazy place like Vancouver. Luckily, the new GM has inherited a pretty good group from the old GM.
I like the Canucks (much more than I thought I would).
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
While his teammates flew to Washington on Sunday to continue a six-game road trip, Kevin Bieksa flew back to Vancouver to have his injured left knee further evaluated.
The Canucks defenceman will have an MRI [magnetic resonance image] on Sunday to assess how long he’ll be sidelined following a first-period collision Saturday with Wayne Primeau..
from Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
Geez, tough marker. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault appeared reluctant to give the Flames much credit for their one clear decision — Jarome Iginla’s left-hand flooring of Willie Mitchell in the first period.
“They have a great leader obviously in Jarome and he was a man on a mission tonight,” said Vigneault after his team’s 4-3 overtime triumph on Pavol Demitra’s heroics. “But you know Willie was a man on a mission too — he did a great job defensively against him and he stood up toe to toe. If Jarome’s sweater doesn’t rip, I don’t think he wins that one.”
continued for more reaction to the OT win by Calgary and watch the Iginal/Mitchell battle below…
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
...Even Flames President Ken King has said that Bertuzzi, having paid his penalty (an indefinite suspension that amounted to 20 NHL games, approximately $500,000 in lost salary, plus assault charges that yielded a year’s probation with community service and no criminal record), deserves a second chance. Despite polls that indicate a split opinion in that regard, King maintains that fans in Calgary are willing to give it to the notorious forward.
Funny, but I can’t help but wonder who speaks for Steve Moore.
Moore can’t say much on his own. The matter, more than four years removed from the terrible event, has still not made its way into court. Because of that, there is a moratorium regarding public comments on the case in Canada.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
He can’t wear a ‘C’ on his jersey, but Roberto Luongo doesn’t see how the league could stop him from putting one on his mask.
League rules prohibit a goalie from being a captain, and during games the NHL will not recognize Luongo, the first netminder to captain a team since 1948, in the role.
Because of the rule, the NHL also does not permit a goalie to wear a ‘C’ on his jersey. But Luongo said he has given some thought to painting one on his mask
“It could mean anything, it could be C for Canucks,” Luongo said..
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
Vancouver Canuck general manager Mike Gillis vowed Sunday to let players determine the market and said he won’t set limits on how many new players could make the National Hockey League team or how many veterans—who are on one-way contracts—might need to shed.
“I think the timing is right this year for that approach,” Gillis said. “We were determined to change the makeup of the team as best we could. You have to allow players to compete if you want competitive behaviour. You have to give players the opportunity.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Province,
As he looked back Thursday, Naslund admitted he wasn’t overly happy here last season and that the Todd Bertuzzi incident weighed heavily on him, given he and his former linemate are close and it was he who was, in a small way, part of the reason the whole thing took place. After all, it was Naslund who was originally nailed by Steve Moore in Denver….
“It still bothers me what Todd has had to go through over this and the way it’s dragged on and on over the years,” said Naslund.
“I still keep in close contact with him and it’s been tough on him. It’s taken its toll. There’s no question he was standing up for me and for his teammates when it happened, and it all went too far. All of the circumstances around it went the wrong way and got out of hand. It’s been a long road and he’s been through a lot. I feel bad for him and the way it’s worked out for everyone involved.”
more from Naslund as he talks about his days in Vancouver…
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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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