Kukla's Korner Hockey
Getting to Atlanta early for the ASG?
If so, you may want to have a glass of wine on Thursday with Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Pat Lafontaine, Rob Ray, Bobby Clarke, Dave Schultz, Clark Gillies, Mike Richter, and Rod Gilbert.
Blueland Blog has all the details…
George Richards of On Frozen Pond speaks with Olli Jokinen,
“What are you going to say? The team hasn’t been playing well. My name is popping up again. I don’t think if we were in first place, my name would be out there in trade rumors. I’m pretty much used to it. It doesn’t really bother me. My agent called me and asked if I had heard it.
I haven’t been traded in 7 years. I never will be OK with it. I like this place. This is home. It’s not one of those things where you want to move. I don’t believe the grass is any greener on the other side. as a player you are always going to win. To me it’s the easy way out looking elsewhere for other teams or going somewhere and trying to win happiness or win championships. I want to win here and hopefully we make some moves here.”
from Pierre LeBrun of Sportsnet,
As many as 20 NHL teams have shown serious interest in the 22-year-old Swedish forward this season. He’s an unrestricted free agent in terms of his NHL rights because he went undrafted. He’s a late bloomer and has really come on in the past 12 months. He has 30 points in 36 games with Farjestads of the Swedish Elite League this season.
“He’s oozing skill, a great playmaker with lots of upside,” one NHL executive told Sportsnet.ca. “He won’t take the NHL by storm right away, but he’ll grow into a quality first- or second-line forward.”
Brunnstrom recently gave his agent, J.P. Barry of CAA Sports, a short list of five teams to begin negotiating with.
from STATS Blog,
With the young kids putting up the points, no team won more games or picked up more points than the Ducks during their month-long surge.
Team Leaders in Points, Dec. 18-Jan. 18
Team. . . . . . .W-L-OTL. . . Points
Ana. . . . . . . . .12-2-1. . . . . . .25
Pit. . . . . . . . . 10-3-1. . . . . . .21
Det. . . . . . . . .10-4-1. . . . . . .21
Atl. . . . . . . . . .9-6-2. . . . . . .20
The Red Wings come calling Wednesday on a 20-4-2 run dating to Nov. 27. It’s a big test—against a key conference rival—to see if the Ducks have ditched the Stanley Cup hangover and are nearly ready for playoff hockey.
more on the Ducks…
from On the Forecheck,
With apologies to one of the truly great pieces of American rhetoric… please place tongue firmly in cheek before reading….
I have a dream that one day this community will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “The Coolest Game on Earth.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, Calgary Flames fans and the fans of the former Atlanta Flames will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Nevada, a state sweltering with the heat of gambling, sweltering with the heat of explosive growth (just sweltering in the heat, period…), will be transformed into an oasis of NHL expansion.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
News: Big jump to first place comforting and vexing (Denver Post)
Views: Yes, that was the Colorado Avalanche in first place in the Northwest Division this morning.
That the Avs have been able to even hang in the Western Conference race with long-term injuries to Joe Sakic, Ryan Smyth and Paul Stastny qualifies as one of the feel-good stories of the season so far.
And go directly to the head of the class and collect a gold star if you predicted they would do it with Jose Theodore in goal.
It’s probably a stretch to suggest Theodore is actually worth his $5.3 million cap hit – after all he’s got a ton of making up to do – but there is little doubt Theodore is playing his best hockey in years.
many more News & Views…
from the Detroit News,
Henrik Zetterberg’s back problems are flaring up again.
Zetterberg missed practice Monday and his status for the next two games against Los Angeles and Anaheim—as well as this weekend’s All-Star Game—is not known.
Zetterberg said a hit in the third period of Saturday’s game at San Jose triggered this latest setback.
“It’s stiff and sore today, it’s a challenge,” Zetterberg said. “I felt the same way yesterday and decided to stay off today. After the game (Saturday) it got a little worse.
“I’d say it’s pretty questionable for tomorrow.”
continued and thanks to a KK member for the pointer. Also, if you were in the KK chat room yesterday, well, let’s say, I called it.
from Thrashers Blog,
But here we are, the Thrashers head to New York for a pair of games that they desperately need. Seems familiar doesn’t it? I asked Kari Lehtonen, who may or may not start on Tuesday, if he is looking to bury that awful performance in Game 3 in his first return to Madison Square Garden. He said it wasn’t something he thought about, but joked that he would if I kept asking about it. So I’ll leave Kari alone for now. But he did say the team was getting amped up for these two games and I sensed it. Ilya Kovalchuk also said it’s huge that this team finish strong for the break for a lot of the reasons mentioned above.
Plus, let’s not forget the revenge factor. The last time they were at the Garden, they got steamrolled out of the playoffs and were sick about the way they sent Scott Mellanby into retirement. Those memories don’t just disappear.
more on the Thrashers…
From Scott Morrison at CBC,
A big part of it will be what they are calling a creative shootout, where players will be asked to perform wild and crazy shootout techniques and will be judged by a panel of celebrities, including Wilkins and Glavine, as well as some retired NHL stars. The idea is similar to a slam-dunk contest in basketball and, if it is done well, should be fun.
Yes, it is hokey and it isn’t purebred hockey, but what the hell? The whole idea of the skills night is about entertainment and in recent years, well, it hasn’t been very entertaining. So give the league, which has been working closely with the players’ association, credit for trying.
more… covering the various changes to the game this year
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
It seems we say it every season, but making deals in the new NHL is nigh on impossible, with most deals getting done within a few days of the trade deadline. But a quick glance at deals since the end of the lockout reveals the prudent GMs—the ones whose teams get to play latest in the spring—are often the ones that get in and get out before the real frenzy of offers and counteroffers begins.
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