Kukla's Korner Hockey
One-time Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore and former Vancouver Canucks winger Todd Bertuzzi met in Toronto on Monday with a mediator in an effort to prevent a lawsuit from heading to court.
It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two since the infamous sucker punch during a March 8, 2004, game in Vancouver that ended Moore’s career.
Moore, 29, and his family filed a lawsuit seeking $38 million for loss of income and damages.
Bertuzzi, who now plays for the Calgary Flames, and Moore attended the meeting with their lawyers, as well as former Vancouver coach (now Hockey Night In Canada analyst) Marc Crawford and his representatives.
Moore’s lawsuit names Bertuzzi, the Canucks and former team owners Orca Bay, as defendants.
continued… but no details of the meeting have been released
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Unless someone pulls a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute, Mats Sundin will be, by the end of this week, either a Vancouver Canuck or a New York Ranger.
Sundin met with Rangers’ GM Glen Sather on the weekend, but sources say the Rangers have yet to formally indicate exactly how much they are prepared, or able (because of the salary cap), to pay Sundin. Once Sundin’s agent J.P. Barry gets that information, perhaps in the next 24 to 48 hours, Sundin is expected to make a final decision on where he will play….
In the meantime, Sundin is heading home to Sweden. He has completed his training in North America and plans to keep skating while in Sweden, spending Christmas there before joining his new NHL team immediately after that.
added 4:12pm, Bob McCown of Fan590 just reported he has been told Sundin has made his decision and he has chosen the New York Rangers. It will be announced later this week.
added 5:06pm, Link to Fan590 quoting Bob…
Update 6:12pm ET: (Alanah) TSN added to their story with this—
There had been speculation that Sundin had already made his decision and that he was about to sign with the Rangers, however Barry dismissed the rumours.
“No decision has been made,” Barry told TSN. “(It is) inaccurate speculation.”
‘It wasn’t feeling like it was supposed to be feeling, so I got off the ice. I didn’t want to make it worse and I’m going to stay off the ice until I’m 100 percent.’‘
‘Week-to-week? Tough to say. This is the first time I’ve dealt with a groin injury. Just when I thought I was ready to get back into it, my groin was telling me something else.”
‘‘I’m a competitor; I want to be in goal every day.’‘
-Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. More at TSN.
from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,
Roberto has been on his own schedule since the injury,” said Vigneault, not looking particularly upbeat. “He warms up, he practises, he takes what he can take and when he feels he’s had enough, he comes off. It was no different today.
“The timeline remains week-to-week. I can’t invent an answer for you. We originally said week-to-week. Some groins are quicker than others. That’s all I can say.”
Asked directly whether Luongo did tweak the muscle, Vigneault replied: “No, not to my knowledge. I mean, he’s been following a steady plan and the plan is for him to practise on Friday. Every day is steady improvement. Groins are tough areas for players, especially goaltenders so we’ll see how things progress.”
Based on Wednesday’s curious event, it now seems an almost certainty Luongo won’t be ready for this weekend’s back-to-back games against the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers.
All of the sudden, I am Colin Campbell! My inbox was flooded with emails this morning from Preds fans asking for a suspension for the hit Alexandre Burrows put on J.P. Dumont last night.
You folks can decide, Colin Campbell I am not!
added 5:26pm, from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The NHL will not bring disciplinary action against any Vancouver players for hits that took place in the Canucks’ 3-1 win over Nashville on Tuesday, according to Predators Coach Barry Trotz.
The Predators had been especially upset over Alexandre Burrows’ hit on J.P. Dumont, one in which Burrows appeared to both leave the ice and hit Dumont in the head with his arms.
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
Vancouver is a good team when goalie Roberto Luongo and his defencemen are healthy. But to win anything, they need more. And if it isn’t Sundin, it will have to be somebody else.
“The only problem is the idea that these things can be perfectly planned … that’s false,” Gillis said Monday from NHL meetings in Florida. “You can have theories about where you want to go and what you want to do, but things change daily. Something that isn’t available today might be available in January.
“Every team wants a big, dominant centre-ice man. Other than goalie, it’s probably the most coveted position in our league. In the event that Mats doesn’t end up here, we’ll be looking at other things.”
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
The Vancouver Canucks expect to speak with free-agent forward Mats Sundin this weekend, and they expect the former Toronto Maple Leafs captain will reach a decision on his NHL playing future in the next week….
...the biggest knock on Sundin joining the Canucks has been Vancouver’s extensive travel schedule. There was also the question whether the Canucks would be competitive in the Western Conference, as Sundin was expected only to consider teams that have a chance of winning the Stanley Cup.
But after next Saturday’s game against the Oilers, the Canucks will have played 19 of their 41 road games and have just two long trips remaining.
From Jason Botchford at The Province:
“A week ago we were talking about how great the room was, how great the leadership was, how great everything was,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Same players, same game on the ice.”
But much different results.
“When we were on that roll, we were finding ways to win at key moments. At 2-1 [Monday], we should have been able to shut it down and we didn’t. Is that making a defensive play? Is that making a save? I think it’s a combination of everything. Right now, we have to find a way to win.”
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
But if the Canucks are truly into outside-the-box thinking, as the new regime purports, than Roberto Luongo’s groin injury should be viewed as an opportunity for Vancouver’s head coach to break with convention and make an organizational statement.
That statement: “Cory Schneider is our No. 1 goaltender.”
While Luongo’s injury realized Vancouver’s worst fear, and while backup Curtis Sanford has played well in relief, this window provides a rare chance for the Canucks to either build up Schneider as a valuable trade asset or groom him as Luongo’s eventual replacement.
That means playing Schneider, a 22-year-old rookie and former first-round draft pick who has yet to log a single minute in an NHL crease, while Luongo mends his wounds. It means giving the kid a string of games to show he belongs in the NHL right now.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
You know the story—they’re too soft.
But these “soft” Swedes have had their most success during the past three seasons against the Calgary Flames, one of the West’s toughest teams who don’t actually swing battle maces, but some nights they can leave opponents feeling like they did.
In the past 18 games against Calgary, the Sedins have combined for 49 points (23 for Henrik and 26 for Daniel). They say bring it on. “We don’t get scared if people try to play us hard; we actually like it,” Henrik Sedin said. “The Flames try to hit us as much as they can, and that actually opens up room behind the defence. “We like that, we like it when teams play that way, because it seems to get us to play our best games. There’s always a lot of hitting, and they are always physical games.”
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