Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John McGourty at NHL.com,
“When we’re in the offensive zone, he goes right to his ‘office,’ which is the front of the net. I think that Ryan Smyth in Edmonton and Holmstrom are the two best players in the NHL in front of the net, tipping pucks, bothering the goalie and setting a screen.
“Every day at practice, Holmstrom spends 5-to-10 minutes in front of the net, just tipping pucks as guys are shooting. He’s done that ever since he got to Detroit over 10 years ago. Rarely does a puck come in that he doesn’t get a stick on it. The other thing he does is he has an unbelievable ability to screen a goalie. He’s not afraid to get hit with the puck or take a crosscheck. He sacrifices his body.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Toronto GM John Ferguson believes the log-jam will break and it will break sooner than later.
“I do still think you’re going to see some movement. A fair bit of movement,” Ferguson said. “There are a number of top guys on defined seller teams that just haven’t fallen yet. But I think that’ll come, and I think it’ll come soon. I think you’ll see trades coming on the weekend. Teams prefer not to get jammed right up to Tuesday.”
The issue, for all teams, is risk versus reward.
Vincent Lecavalier particpiated in an NHL tele-conference today… Vince leads Tampa Bay and sits second in overall National Hockey League scoring with 81 points, trailing Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby who is first with 95. Vince’s 39 goals place him first in the race for the Maurice Richard Trophy as the National Hockey League’s top goal scorer this season.
Q. I was looking at your stats earlier in the season, and you had a bit of a rough patch in November, but ever since then you’ve been red hot. Any reason for that?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: I don’t know, I think I started playing with Marty St. Louis and Prospal, and just playing with Marty St. Louis, it just kind of makes things so much easier. I mean, he’s such a determined player and he’s very demanding of his line mates and his teammates, and I think I started getting a little more consistent. We’ve really been pushing each other, and it’s been working very well.
Q. You have 39 goals right now, career?high. What do you think is the number it’s going to take to lead the league in goal scoring this year?
VINCENT LECAVALIER: (Laughing) I don’t know. I mean, there’s some guys like Selanne, like Marty St. Louis, they’re obviously scoring a lot of goals. There’s still 20 games left, and I’m sure some guys will go on hot streaks. But I just want to finish strong. We’ve got 21 games left and I want to finish strong. You know, if it happens, it happens. It would be great, but my main goal is obviously for Tampa to win and to be ?? to win our division.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
The Buzz: The GMs want the league to consider providing on-ice officials with a direct line to the “war room” in Toronto and give them access to video replays.
The BACKHAND:...In the immoral words of Clarence Campbell, stupefy, stupefy, stupefy, err, we mean simplify, simplify, simplify. Nothing looks dumber than a referee on hold with Ernestine while some faceless guy back at corporate makes a call that should be made at the point of origin, the goal judge (remember him?). Look, your call is very important to us, make it where it matters most, in house.
from the Calgary Sun,
Count Eric Godard as one player happy the NHL finally appears ready to tweak its instigator rule.
The Calgary Flames policeman, however, would like to see the league take a giant step further.
In fact, he’d like to see the penalty erased from the rulebooks, using the recent hit on teammate David Moss as an example.
Guest Submission by KK member Joe Pelletier
The NHL Trade Deadline is February 27th. For every trade there will be countless rumours, most unsubstantiated. With the internet and the unfortunate popularity of trade deadline websites, it only is getting worse.
So bad, that I have tuned it all out. Yes, even Spector, who is the only rumour site I recommend, is off my reading list until the off season. Spector’s site is great in that he only deals with mainstream reported and verifiable rumours, unlike so many other sites, but the overkill has gotten to me.
A big reason why I’m losing interest is the fact that trade deadline deals for rental players rarely provide the desired results.
from the Hockey Rodent at Fox Sports,
Contention… or rather… perception that your team is a contender makes a general manager do strange things. Trust me. Blues GM Larry Pleau and his boss John Davidson are buying drinks for… and are stroking the egos of… several intoxicated peers this week, urging them to recognize how KT or Guerin are just the ticket to those elusive Cup finals.
Of course, this technique only sells pending free agents. Lengthy contracts are the CBA equivalent of cooties, witness the immobility of Darius Kasparaitis, a defenseman who would otherwise be very attractive on the barter market this week. His deal runs another two seasons.
from Doug Ward at NHL.com,
If you were listening in for the first time, it took about five seconds of hearing Kelly’s call to realize he was the real deal. Young Dan Kelly says the first thing that grabbed you when you listed to his dad was the voice.
“First and foremost,” Kelly says of his father, “he had an engine — meaning a voice — that set him apart. The raw power of his voice was perfect for hockey. It’s a game of excitement and he could convey that, just with his voice. And he was very passionate about his job.”
Kelly had a way of making his listeners feel like they were at a game, sitting next to an old friend who happened to love hockey more than anything else. Because he cared so much about the games, we did too. Hockey was just better when Dan Kelly was calling the action.
The NHL General Managers are on their way back to join their respective teams.
The meetings were uneventful but I am sure the trade action will soon pick up.
KK will be keeping you posted as usual and don’t forget the KK Forums, they are there for your use.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The phrase is invoked with such reverence, one might utter names of ancient civilizations or antiquities.
“The Original Six.”
Genuflect if you will.
But as the NHL moves forward, trying with varying degrees of success to find its foothold in America and the sporting world, the question is where these historic franchises fit into the future.
Many hockey observers believe these franchises are a catalyst component of the league’s long-term health and success—as they go, so, too, does the NHL.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org