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Sign Or Trade Pitkanen

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

In today’s escalating salary wars, Pitkanen could be a $5-million defenceman. “We really haven’t started into negotiations,” said his agent Larry Kelly, who says he’s been a moving target, tough to track down with other things going on.

Does Lowe want to go to $5 million for another defenceman? He’s already paying Souray a cap hit of $5.4 million, but he was an unrestricted free-agent and price was of little concern to get him last summer. Lowe’s going to have to bump up Gilbert a good deal.

If he gives Pitkanen $5 million, then that’s considerably more than his best three best forwards Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner.

If you were Lowe would you be talking to Rutherford about, say, winger Erik Cole and a prospect? Would you be calling Dean Lombardi in L.A. and inquiring about Alex Frolov or Mike Cammalleri, if he gets back from his bruised ribs?

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joni+pitkanen

Line Of The Week

Don Waddell during the coaches roundtable at the ASG…

DON WADDELL: No, we’re always looking for new avenues to get our word out. We’re in a market and we compete with a lot of things in this marketplace. The only thing that bothers me about media is when you deal with all the speculations of the rumors, you know. Let’s deal with facts. We spend probably half our time, and I know these guys do, coaches, and I know the GM’s answering calls about these fake trade rumors that these guys in Ottawa make up. Not John (paddock), but…

THE MODERATOR: I thought John made a few of them up himself.

DON WADDELL: But that’s what happens in the world. We’re in that world where somebody blogs something, and we dealt with a big issue last week. Somebody blogs something, it becomes the Bible, and then you have to deal with it. You spend a whole day putting out all the fires of where there is no truth. That’s the frustrating part

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Even The Losers Have A Chance

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Sixth Avenue wanted to create a system in which all 30 franchises would somehow have an equal chance at winning; er, at not losing in regulation. And so the bar has been lowered. Essentially everybody is in it, but at the cost of quality. The NHL is now about the pursuit of mediocrity, not excellence. Do you see who’s on defense for the division-leading Devils New Jersey Devils?

read on

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Penguins Go Shopping

Colby Armstrong, Max Talbot, Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin got together and did a commercial...

*my thanks to the KK reader who dropped this link on me earlier today

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Some Work Needed

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

ATLANTA – There are some wrinkles that need to be worked out for the NHL’s skills competition.

The event was revamped for this year’s all-star game, which led to some confusion for the spectators and media. At first, no one was sure if the contest started and then it was a little difficult sorting out who was winning in the fastest-skater event.

A new addition was the obstacle course, where players from each team tried to score on a tiny net after shooting the puck over a ramp, hit a target in the net from the blueline and then the goaltenders had to try and score on the net at the opposite end of the ice.

This one needs work. The most interesting part was watching the goalies try and score. Yep, as exciting as it sounds.

continued

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

Waiting For The African-American Star

from Time,

Bottom line: hockey needs a transcendent African-American star, a Tiger Woods, to market the game to a black audience. “If you had somebody of that caliber who was African-American, then, yeah, I think that would break the barrier,” says James Jemison, a black hockey fan from Atlanta. Iginla is great, but as a Canadian who grew up in hockey-mad Alberta, his backstory isn’t that surprising.

How long might we have to wait for such a player? “I’d say 10-15 years,” says veteran San Jose Sharks forward Mike Grier, an African-American from the Boston area.

more

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Not Much Going On With ESPN

from the LA Times,

Scott Gomez of the Rangers and the East All-Stars acknowledged the appeal of international play but wondered if the NHL should solve problems at home before venturing to Europe.

“There are some cities that maybe we can do more as a league,” he said. “I think the main thing about the league is that the product on the ice is just outstanding. The speed is at a new level. It doesn’t do justice on TV. That’s the first thing we have to do, get the game better on TV.”

Bettman seemed to diminish speculation the NHL might return to ESPN in even a limited presence. He said the league has a “cordial and cooperative relationship” with ESPN, which ended their association by declining an option for 2005-06. He added, “We talk about things all the time but nothing more specific than that.”

read on (reg. req.)... Some of the topics have been covered today, but I thought pointing out the ESPN situation was important.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Mature Kovy

from Ray Glier of the New York Times,

This season, Kovalchuk, 24, is considered a leading candidate to be the league’s most valuable player. He has evolved into a more complete player, and he has carried the Thrashers into playoff contention after an 0-6 start. He is second in the league in goals (37) and fourth in points (63).

“This is my sixth year now; you learn the game more, the coach trusts you in situations more,” Kovalchuk said. “It’s a good feeling for me, because I want to be in the situations to help us win.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

ASG Memories: 1983 New York

1983 All-Star Game – February 8, 1983, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY: Wayne Gretzky set an All-Star record with four goals in the third period.

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Happy Birthday to Wayne today, on his 47th birthday.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all+star+game, phoenix+coyotes, wayne+gretzky

Can Hockey Grow In Atlanta

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

The hockey community reads All-Star weekend like a barometer for the game’s local importance. And as might be expected of a city with just five ice rinks in the metropolitan area, a stopover by the game’s preeminent players hardly ranks with, say, an SEC championship football game.

“We just haven’t been able to get the excitement of hockey introduced to the fans,” said Schmidt, who has been in his seat in Section 310 for every game the Thrashers have played, save one in 2001 after he had a kidney removed. And he watched that game on television.

“If Chipper Jones gets a hangnail, it’s front page news,” he said. “We need to get a little more excitement going. And to be honest with you, I don’t know how to do it.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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