Kukla's Korner

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Monday Morning Hockey Talk

All from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Here are 15 observations through the first round of the NHL playoffs:

1. Nathan MacKinnon might have a wrist-shot as rippingly accurate as his Colorado Avalanche boss, Joe Sakic, and that’s saying something. Now, if he can come anywhere near Sakic’s record eight overtime winners (seven more to go), he’ll be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

2. The New York Rangers had no qualms about giving up centre Brandon Dubinsky in the Rick Nash trade package, feeling they had Derek Stepan and Brad Richards in the middle, but I don’t know if I’d trade the Columbus Blue Jackets’ heart-and-soul player, who is getting points and bugging Sidney Crosby on every shift, straight up for Nash right now. Nash plays like the swooping Peter Mahovlich (without the four Cups) but he does not appear to be a leader.

continued

Then this..

- If you’re Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, do you consider using one of those get-out-of-jail buyouts that don’t count against the cap on Mike Richards, who’s looked better the last two playoff games but had a miserable regular season? Has the speed of the game ramped up too much for Richards or is this a write-off season? He’s only 29. He’ll have $26 million over six years left on his contract after the playoffs. I guess if Tampa can buy out one-time face-of-the-franchise Vincent Lecavalier, the Kings might have to consider it for Richards.

more

Followed by some Ovechkin talk.

“Alexander Ovechkin is a great, great hockey player. The criticism of him is very unfair,” Capitals president Dick Patrick said. “How can we be unhappy with what Alexander Ovechkin has accomplished in the National Hockey League?”

There’s the rub. Nobody debates Ovie’s talent.

The question is what has he accomplished for the team with seven years and $70 million left on his contract? No Cups. Not even close.

You can blame McPhee for not surrounding Ovie with the requisite supporting cast to get closer (they badly need to upgrade the defence, need more consistent goaltending and more top nine forwards), but to let Ovie skate away from criticism — he does have the ‘C’ on his chest — is patently wrong.

read on

One more...

- The Twitterverse is an interesting species. You dare to say you would have voted Varlamov, Rask and Bishop 1-2-3 for the Vezina with Carey Price not in there, and you get tweets asking if you hate Canada, Quebec or just the Montreal Canadiens?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

OlderThanChelios's avatar

3. Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury won a Stanley Cup in 2009, but you still find yourself holding your breath when he’s in net. What do the Penguins do with a very likable goalie, one year from unrestricted-free-agent status, making $5.75 million, who routinely is much better in regular season than the playoffs?

You trade him to the Red Wings for Jimmy Howard, straight up.

The Wings get a useable guy for one year while Mrazek works his way from back-up next October to starter next spring in the playoffs.

And the Pens get a guy who’s as good in the playoffs as he is in the regular season. smile

Come on, Kenny, give Shero a call. This is your chance to prove you really are the best GM in hockey.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/28/14 at 09:40 AM ET

Avatar

You trade him to the Red Wings for Jimmy Howard, straight up.

Jesus, you’re kidding right?

Posted by Garth on 04/28/14 at 10:12 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Jesus, you’re kidding right?

Posted by Garth

Well, since I gave a legitimate reason for saying that, no, I’m not kidding. But thanks for making your usual random comment. They’re always sooo helpful.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/28/14 at 11:06 AM ET

Avatar

Well, since I gave a legitimate reason for saying that, no, I’m not kidding.

You think that trading a goalie who had an off-year for a goalie that the Pens may well seriously be considering buying out is a “legitimate” way for Ken Holland to prove he is the best GM in hockey?

My “random comment” was made because I genuinely thought there was a real chance you were being sarcastic, in which case it would have been pointless to rebuke it.

Posted by Garth on 04/28/14 at 11:17 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

You think that trading a goalie who had an off-year for a goalie that the Pens may well seriously be considering buying out is a “legitimate” way for Ken Holland to prove he is the best GM in hockey?

If you believe that Howard simply had an “off year,” then I guess you might think that trade suggestion was a silly one. I don’t believe that. I think this past season was exactly what we can expect from Howard for the remainder of his contract. So, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/28/14 at 11:27 AM ET

Avatar

I think this past season was exactly what we can expect from Howard for the remainder of his contract.

I’m not saying that you’re wrong about that and I am not a fan of his contract at all, but even if you’re right, I don’t get how you think it would be a good decision to not bother getting something in return that would actually benefit the Wings.

If it were leaked that Ken Holland were open to trading Jimmy Howard, I would bet there would be much better offers than Fleury.

There have got to be a handful of teams without an NHL goalie that would be willing to give up something of value to get one.  Washington, the Isles, Buffalo in the east, Calgary, Vancouver and potentially St Louis in the West.

Hell, even looking at Pittsburgh, Howard is worth more than just a straight-up deal for Fleury.

Posted by Garth on 04/28/14 at 12:03 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I don’t get how you think it would be a good decision to not bother getting something in return that would actually benefit the Wings.

Well, if you read what I posted, you’ll see that the whole point of the trade that I suggested was to get a “useable” goalie (with one year left on his contract) while getting rid of four years of Howard’s contract – a contract that, IMO, holds back the development of Mrazek.

Trading Howard for something “more” than Fleury would only work if the Wings could get the kind of goalie on a one or two year contract who would be the #1 for much of next season while Mrazek wases into that role. Maybe Gustavsson would take that kind of deal. If so, then the Wings should obviously get as much as they can for Howard.

So, feel free to offer your own suggestion, Garth. That would be far more helpful (and interesting) than simply posting your usual snarky response to everyone else’s ideas.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/28/14 at 12:45 PM ET

SK77's avatar

I don’t know, you could like, keep Howard for another year and then trade him for a useful asset if Mrazek proves he’s ready for the #1 role.

Or you could trade Howard for an even worse goalie, force Mrazek into the #1 role with no backup plan, and give a competing team a better asset in goal and to trade with.

Tough call.

Posted by SK77 on 04/28/14 at 12:55 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...give a competing team a better asset in goal and to trade with.

Posted by SK77

That would be true if you believe Howard is better than Fleury. Personally, I don’t. You obviously feel differently about that. In the highly unlikely event that the Howard-for-Fleury trade ever happens, I guess we’ll find out who was right.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/28/14 at 01:10 PM ET

Avatar

Well, it really depends who the Wings want, but if we’re talking serious scenarios about trading jimmy Howard then I would say the most obvious trade partner is Vancouver.  Detroit has shown interest in the past regarding Alex Edler and Vancouver is completely without an NHL starter.  I don’t think it would necessarily be far fetched to propose that Howard and Edler could be cornerstones of some type of deal.  The Isles also have

As for goalies, Jaro Halak, Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller, even Bryzgalov have numbers comparable to Fleury’s with the added benefit of not costing anything but cap space, rather than having to give up any assets to get them.

Posted by Garth on 04/28/14 at 02:35 PM ET

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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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