Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Washington Capitals,
The Washington Capitals filed a complaint in U.S. District Court Wednesday against Alexander Semin’s agent, Mark Gandler, Gandler’s firm, International Sports Advisors Company, Inc. and Semin as part of the team’s efforts to compel all parties to allow the forward to return to Washington and honor his contract with the Capitals. Washington Capitals vice president and general manager George McPhee made the following statement: “We have done everything we could to avoid this step, but we felt we had no choice but to now seek a legal remedy. This filing seeks to compel Alexander Semin’s agent and the Russian hockey team Lada Togliatti to return Alex to the Washington Capitals. We made a commitment to Alex when we signed him to a valid three-year contract in 2003, and he should not be playing hockey for another team. His new agent has told us that Alex is under a military obligation in Russia; however Alex is playing professional hockey. “We look forward to the resolution of this process so that we can welcome Alex back to the Capitals this season.”
Barry Melrose weekly articles on ESPN have a theme to them, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I suggest he change Ugly to Mullet, people would pick up on that quickly. This week's good, bad and mullet follows.
Players (Legace) and teams (Detroit) are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. As new rules are helping some players, they are also exposing franchises with poor special teams. Pittsburgh continues to be the most disappointing in this department. Many people thought the Penguins would have one of the best power plays in the league. The reality has been that they have one of the worst. Just Tuesday night, the Penguins couldn't convert on a chunk of 5-on-3 time.
via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (reg. req.),
For the last six games, Thrashers coach Bob Hartley has had nothing but kind words for his two rookie goalies, Adam Berkhoel and Michael Garnett. As he has done for the last few games, Hartley refused to name a starter until after tomorrow’s skate. Part of his reasoning for that is that his goalie is likely to be Steve Shields. The Thrashers have agreed in principle to a deal with Shields and while the contract needs to be approved by the league, he will likely start in net tomorrow against Pittsburgh.
from John Buccigross of ESPN,
The biggest thing I came away with from the Wings-Blue Jackets game was how impressive the Red Wings looked. You can put the Wings back among the Western Conference elite. In fact, from what I've seen and considering their experience, I put the Wings as the favorite in the West. Mike Babcock has really tightened this team defensively. Sprinkle in creators up front and the beautiful-to-watch Nicklas Lidstrom and Mathieu Schneider on the back end, and the Wings are flying. They will probably deal for another defenseman, but overall, I think the Wings could get to the Stanley Cup with Manny Legace or whoever else in net.
from the CP via Slam,
Jaromir Jagr is having fun again. The New York Rangers winger has 10 goals in the first 10 games of the NHL season and, after four years in which he appeared to be in decline, his 15 points put him in a tie for the league scoring lead with red-hot Toronto defenceman Bryan McCabe heading into Wednesday's games. Better still, he has led a Rangers team that many thought would finish at or near dead last in the Eastern Conference to a respectable 4-3-3 record.
Finally, I have been calling for this since the season started. Follow the lead of the NFL on this one Bettman, you will be praised. from TSN,
Sources say at least a couple of NHL head coaches have recently been fined unspecified amounts by the league for making critical remarks about the game, the new rules and/or officiating. Some other club team personnel - coaches and general managers - have reportedly been given written warnings from the league and put on notice that they too could be fined if criticism continues. There is speculation that one of the coaches who has been initially targeted for a fine is Toronto's Pat Quinn, who was not thrilled with the new rules or their application, and bluntly said so, after Saturday's loss to Philadelphia.
from the Globe and Mail,
Want to know who should be most upset about the style of play in the new National Hockey League? How about the sportswriters who sit high above the ice with the unenviable task of writing game stories and columns on deadline? There was a time, not long ago, when covering NHL games on a nightly basis was a relatively stress-free job.
My personal thoughts on Fleury is he wants another shot at the NHL. The new NHL would favor a player like Theo, but would a team agree to sign him? from George Johnson of ESPN,
Admittedly, Theo Fleury didn't know much about Belfast, Northern Ireland, before he arrived. "I knew the Titanic was built there,'' he said, "but I wasn't really worried since I was flying over and not taking a boat.'' He's certainly hit a few icebergs along the way, and at times seemed in peril of being sucked underneath the surface of the water by an icy current, never to be seen again. But move over Molly Brown, he's still afloat, still the Unsinkable Theo Fleury. "It's good. Everything's good,'' he said from his new house, still full of unpacked boxes, in Belfast. "Not so different from home. Except the TV. There is no TV. Not unless you're mesmerized by watching Tony Blair give speeches.''
from the News & Observer,
Expected to lead, Rod Brind'Amour has done that. Expected to log more ice time than any other player and take on the opposition's best players every night, Brind'Amour has done that. Expected to chip in here or there with a goal or two, Brind'Amour has done far more. At age 35, the Carolina Hurricanes' captain is enjoying an offensive resurgence as welcome as it was, perhaps, unexpected. After carving out a late-career role as a defensive specialist, he trails only Eric Staal among Canes scorers with five goals and four assists in eight games.
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