Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Columbus Dispatch,
“I don’t want to call him the poster child,” Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said, “but he’s in a position where we need more from him. After a while, after 35 or 40 games, it’s up to the player. It’s up to them to do more.”
Vyborny, 33, has had around 20 goals and 40 assists in each of the past three seasons, including a career-tying high 22 goals in 2005-06 and a career-high 48 assists last season.
That’s why his three goals and 13 assists in 48 games heading into a game tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks are so befuddling.
from the NY Daily News,
The Rangers have locked up their franchise goaltender for the foreseeable future.
Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers have agreed upon a contract that will keep the 25-year-old netminder between the Garden’s pipes well past his 30th birthday.
While the length and value of the deal - believed to be for six years at more than $6.5 million per - have been set, there is language in the contract that is still being hashed out. So the Rangers are not expected to make a formal announcement until tomorrow at the earliest.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
When NBC makes a decision on its future with the NHL, the other pieces related to U.S. television will fall into place.
NBC has a window of about two months to say yes or no to next season. And its decision could determine whether ESPN will return as a carrier of NHL games.
Will NBC renew for 2008-09?
The case for NBC renewal is to maintain a relationship with the NHL and keep hockey on the network as a lead-up to coverage of the Winter Olympics hockey tournament in 2010.
The argument against includes low ratings. NBC’s numbers at this point last season weren’t good.
from Thrashers Blog,
Your Thrashers GM did say that the prices for rental players is sky high right now, one of the reasons you aren’t seeing many trades. It’s also why he thinks we’ll see more trades like the one between Carolina and Ottawa where both teams try to address their weaknesses. But as for trading UFA’s, Waddell said this: “If I’m a team that’s trading a UFA, where last year you’re happy getting a first and third round pick, now you’re saying that’s not good enough.”
more on Atlanta…
via Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
Former Windsor Spitfires captain Adam Graves is a wonderful person and deserves every accolade he receives, but aren’t the New York Rangers getting a little carried away when the recent announcement that they plan to retire the No. 9 sweater worn by Graves sometime during the 2008-09 season? Sure, he was a 50-goal scorer, a Stanley Cup winner and a stand-up guy in the community, but sweater retirements should be rare occurrences and left for players headed to the Hall of Fame - like Andy Bathgate, another Ranger who wore No. 9, won a Hart Trophy with them and is already enshrined in the Hall.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
What if the NHL started from scratch?
What if every player’s contract was shredded and we started all over?
What if the NHL restocked all 30 teams through a league-wide draft in which every player was available?
What would the first round look like?
Well, I’m going to play the part. I’ll be all 30 general managers. Once I take a player, I have to react, but as another organization, considering history and market. Money is not a factor.
from the St. Petersburg Times,
So rather than proximity to the playoffs determining whether Tampa Bay will be a buyer or seller, Campbell spoke generally of “reconfiguring your team to give it the best chance to win as soon as possible.”
And while he said, “There is no plan today to give up on the season” and “we could be buyers,” he acknowledged this scenario:
“So you sit back and say, ‘We could make the playoffs because of the maturity of our team, but maybe we’re not ready to go to the Eastern Conference or Stanley Cup finals.’ So you know what? Maybe we take a half-step back for this year, but it makes us that much stronger for next year.”
Players on a team fighting for their playoff lives said they can’t worry about what is happening in the front offices.
more on Tampa Bay…
from the CP via the Hockey News,
“The guys are just starting to really believe that we’re a good hockey team,” said Kolzig. “It took a little while. After so many years of losing, especially with young guys, you have to learn how to win.”
And the fans have noticed. While the Caps remain 27th in the league with an average home attendance of 14,431, they’re up 19 per cent in the New Year to 16,033 and over the last three games drew 17,205, 18,204 and 17,873.
more on Washington…
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
The NHL trade deadline is two weeks away and as the deadline draws near, there will be more and more talk. While the talk won’t necessarily result in a lot of blockbuster deals, there will surely be movement as some teams gear up for the playoffs while others set their sights for the future.
Here is a breakdown of upcoming free agents, prospects and other players that may be among those discussed in trade talks.
continue on for a look at the Eastern Conference…
added 4:03pm, You can look at the West too…
from the Buffalo News,
Defenseman Brian Campbell reiterated today that he hopes the Buffalo Sabres do not move him before the NHL trade deadline and, in fact, said he’s still hopeful of working out a new contract with the team.
Asked after the team’s pregame skate in Scotiabank Place if he expects to be with the Sabres next year, Campbell’s answer was, “That’s what I fully expect.”
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.
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