Kukla's Korner Hockey
While the Coyotes claim that Wayne Gretzky will be given more of a say in personnel matters, the team has yet to hire a new general manager to replace Mike Barnett. Finding a general manager with an independent voice, and not tied so closely to the Great One, is the only way to affect the dramatic change necessary.
Off-Season Game Plan looks at what should be an eventful summer in Phoenix.
In recent years, the Coyotes have made terrible player evaluations, while also surrendering quality players that were deemed to be too expensive, leaving a team that is consistently out of the playoff contention and doesn’t have a roster that figures to change that situation any time soon.
Masive changes have to happen, both in the front office and on the ice.
Mayor Stephen Mandel will soon announce a blue-ribbon committee to examine building a $400-million arena in downtown Edmonton.
The downtown arena, an idea talked about in Edmonton for years, would be built on the site of the downtown post office just north of city hall.
Mandel will name a panel next week that will be charged with examining the details, such as figuring out how to pay for the arena.
What? Edmonton still has a hockey team…?
(Just kidding, Oilers’ fans, honest!)
From The Hockey News,
The Hockey News.com has learned Washington Capitals star Alexander Semin has been kicked off the Russian national team, prompting Semin’s agent to refer to the fiasco as, “the most bizarre situation I’ve ever experienced in hockey, ever.”
Mark Gandler, who represents Semin, said the Russian team’s decision to remove Semin from the team because he arrived hours after the team’s first practice was unreasonable and far too harsh.
“I don’t understand it…there is no explanation for it,” Gandler said. “Alexander did nothing wrong, but even if he had, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.”
From the LA Times,
No one in the Ducks’ dressing room said, or at least was willing to say, if there was a clear view of Brad May’s punch to Wild defenseman Kim Johnsson late in the third period of Game 3 Tuesday that knocked Johnsson out of Game 4.
May drew a match penalty for intent to injure and could face a suspension by the league. Johnsson, who crumpled to the ice before leaving under his own power, suffered a head injury, according to Wild officials.
From the WSJ,
Sitting in $80 seats just behind the net at a recent Chicago Blackhawks hockey game, Anthony Molinaro and his girlfriend could see the sweat roll down the goalie’s face and hear the grunts of the skaters as they battled for the puck along the boards.
The seats were freebies, courtesy of owner Bill Wirtz, as part of a “fan appreciation” program. So was Mr. Molinaro, a 39-year-old community-college employee and lifelong fan, grateful? Not quite.
“He should be giving the seats away,” said Mr. Molinaro. “There’s no way I’d pay for them.”
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* Read more here from Eric McErlain
One of BCR’s favorite supporters to have around is the NHL’s Luke Richardson. Recently the Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman came out with a Sun Sports film crew to film a segment on the cats for cable tv. From years of checking people into the boards to now being a Big Cat supporter, Luke does it all.
From Randy Sportak at the Calgary Sun,
Down the road, Jarome Iginla can tell the tale of when he pulled a Babe Ruth—calling his shot and delivering at the biggest moment.
For now, though, the Calgary Flames captain just wants to chalk it up to a good break coming at the right time.
Yesterday morning, Iginla proclaimed he was on the verge of snapping a personal drought against the Wings.
Hours later, he scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period in a 3-2 victory over Detroit.
From Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press,
Pavel Datsyuk doesn’t use hair-care products, a teammate pointed out, while Henrik Zetterberg has rock star hair.
The two young Red Wings have markedly different personalities, and there are those around them who wonder at times how they communicate so well. Their chemistry, though, is indisputable: They became fast friends four years ago, have played well with one another, and now they’re as dominant a pairing as can be found in the NHL.
From the Dallas News,
Mike Modano’s frustration grows at the same rate as the Vancouver Canucks’ lead in this first-round series that appears to be almost over.
The Stars lost a 2-1 game to the Canucks on Tuesday to let Vancouver fly home with a 3-1 lead in the series.
The winning goal came off the stick of Trevor Linden, the second pick of the 1988 draft. That’s worth noting only because Modano, the first pick that year, didn’t register a single shot on goal in more than 24 minutes.
From NY Daily News,
“I think the mentality of the team right now is: We can’t let up at all,” winger Sean Avery said after the Rangers’ first home playoff win in 10 years. “We just want to come in (tonight) and just hammer them even harder.”
Then there was the moment of confirmation that the Thrashers had again lost their composure. Kovalchuk reacted to an Avery hit by challenging The Grate One to a fight and punching him with his gloved hands, getting both sent to the penalty box for the remaining 16:09 of regulation.
Here’s some video of Sean Avery and Ilya Kovalchuk, not being very friendly, from HockeyFights.com:
From Wayne Scanlan at CanWest News,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have an unusual pre-game theme song for a Stanley Cup hopeful -Mission Impossible.
The mission is starting to look just that, impossible, after a 2-1, seat-of-the-pants victory by the Ottawa Senators gave Ottawa a 3-1 lead Tuesday in their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Penguins.
This is usually the point when hockey types start invoking the “stranglehold” word into a playoff series, sometimes carelessly.
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 email@example.com