Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon at Fox Sports,
With their playoff hopes dashed, Lombardi may have to get a head start on retooling the team. Aside from pondering a coaching change, he must explore whether to trade veterans to contenders willing to spend draft picks and prospects.
Rob Blake and Nagy are due to become unrestricted free agents this summer and Blake is apparently willing to finish this season with a contender.
Lombardi will have some cap room to play with after the season, but he must decide what to do about his coaching staff and the poor results this season.
from James Duthie of TSN,
Sources tell TSN the NHL will introduce an NBA Slam-Dunk Contest style shootout at this year’s All-Star Skills Competition in Atlanta.
Players will be asked to perform the craziest trick-shots they can come up with. Between the leg shots, spin-a-ramas, over the shoulder lacrosse moves, it’s all fair game. A panel of celebrities, still to be announced, will judge the shooters on their originality.
The shootout will feature three players from each conference. They will be allowed to start from anywhere on the ice, even behind the net they are shooting on.
My money is on Datsyuk or Ovechkin!
From Mike Harrington at Sabres Edge,
Lots of news from the Sabres camp Wednesday around Teppo Numminen and Jocelyn Thibault—two guys who haven’t seen the ice much this season outside of practice.
The latest on Numminen is that he’s been told he has to wait six months after his heart surgery—or the middle of March—before Sabres doctors clear him for full contact. And while it still smells like the Sabres are trying to shirk their way out of paying any of his $2.6 million salary, I reached Numminen at his home today and he said, “doctors talk to doctors” when asked what has changed in the last week since he gave a glowing post-practice report after a return from the Cleveland Clinic. The heart is fine but no one, he says, is confident the scar in his chest cavity is sufficiently healed for him to play.
continued… with updates on Thibault as well
Kevin Allen was just on WDFN in Detroit…. Both the Ducks and Sharks have a real interest in Mats Sundin and Marian Hossa. We know the Sundin situation, but according to Kevin, negotiations with Hossa and the Thrashers are not going well. The Wings would be interested in both, but are not willing to give up young players like Hudler or Filppula. Kevin feels both players will end up in the West but did mention Boston and Pittsburgh are also looking for scoring forwards and Hossa has a relationship with Chara.
Kevin also mentioned some dmen will be available and said Foote could be moved if Columbus is not in the playoff hunt. Also mentioned Fedorov and feels Sergei would be a great fit with the Wings.
At the end of the conversation Kevin was asked about Modano and mentioned he would be a perfect fit for the Wings. Ah, we can dream, can’t we.
added 9:25pm, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Told that people in Toronto need no encouragement to talk about trades, real or imagined, and that the favourite topic in the Centre of the Hockey Universe (the sarcasm font is on here, e-mailers) is the imaginary trade of Leafs captain Mats Sundin to the Ducks for about half of Burke’s current roster and his first-round draft picks for the next decade, the GM laughs.
“I haven’t talked to [Leafs GM] John Ferguson about Mats Sundin once,” he said. “We have a legitimate No. 1 centre, and that’s Ryan Getzlaf.”
more from Burke regarding the lack of trades…
added 9:29pm, from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Any look ahead to the Western Conference playoffs should consider the probability that two key performers could be currently residing in the East.
It’s starting to look likely that Toronto’s Mats Sundin and Atlanta’s Marian Hossa will be the hottest rental properties among forwards as the Feb. 26 trade deadline draws near.
from Blueland Blog,
The NHL won’t officially announce the Western Conference All-Star team until noon tomorrow and the East won’t be unveiled until Friday, but it’s pretty safe to assume that Ovechkin, Kovalchuk and Thornton will all be here for the big game. It’s not like that’s a surprise though, right?
more with billboard proof!
From the CP via TSN,
Retired National Hockey League star Sergio Momesso is reeling after the theft of some of his most prized hockey mementoes.
Montreal police say Momesso’s house in nearby Kirkland was robbed Saturday evening.
They say the stolen items include include three hockey jerseys from his playing days as well as a diamond-encrusted Stanley Cup ring from the Montreal Canadiens’ 1986 cup win.
Momesso, 42, played left wing for five teams during a 13-year NHL career.
Update: Habs Inside/Out noted this story yesterday actually, and also provided contact info for anyone who might come across the items for sale somewhere. His Canadiens, Canucks and St. Louis Blues (signed by Brett Hull) jerseys were also stolen.
TORONTO (Jan. 9, 2008) - The remainder of the Western Conference All-Star Team will be announced on Thursday, January 10 and the Eastern Conference All-Stars on Friday, January 11—at 12 noon ET on both days.
The 56th NHL All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 27 at Philips Arena in Atlanta (6 p.m., ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio).
from the AP via the Florida Times-Union,
A loss Tuesday at home against Pittsburgh was the Panthers’ fifth in sixth games. They’ve lost four in a row at home. They look - and sound - like a team headed in the wrong direction.
“I don’t think there’s any spark around here right now,” said captain Olli Jokinen, the Panthers’ all-time scoring leader. “I’m running out of answers. Maybe you should go ask somebody you haven’t asked yet, because I don’t know what to say, seriously. It’s embarrassing.”
from Ryan Dixon of the Hockey News,
The combination of league parity and the NHL’s current playoff seeding system could lead to a nightmare scenario for the league – and one really angry team.
Through Jan. 8, the Carolina Hurricanes held down third spot in the East by virtue of leading the Southeast Division with 48 points. The New York Rangers, having played two less games than the Canes, occupied the ninth position (which comes with no playoff privileges) with 45 points. Not exactly an insurmountable deficit.
I understand the NHL wants to reward division winners with a high seed, but how could the league stand by and do nothing if a team that didn’t make the playoffs had more points than a squad that did?
Wild day at the rink, even beyond the wardrobe racks full of `Dancing With The Stars’ attire for tonight’s show. (Seriously, those fit on people?)
—C Kris Beech is on waivers. The Blue Jackets will find out tomorrow if he’s cleared and on his way to Syracuse. Stay tuned.
more on Columbus…
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.
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