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25 Teams In The Playoff Picture

from Craig Simpson of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

I don’t think there has ever been a time in modern-day NHL history when as late as Feb. 10 the last place team (15th) in the Western Conference was a mere six points out of a playoff spot.

The Western Conference playoff race is as crowded as the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby with about as much drama set to unfold as the storied thoroughbred race.

With just three weeks left until the trade deadline, there has never been a more difficult time to predict which teams will be buyers, and which will be sellers. Even the ninth and 10th place teams in the Eastern Conference are within two points of eighth, so in total, 25 of the 30 teams in the NHL are within six points of going to the post-season.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What If…

via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

At this point, it doesn’t appear the Devils intend to send Martin Brodeur down to Lowell for a rehab game before he comes back to play in the NHL, but wouldn’t it be interesting if they did for Lowell’s Feb. 20 home game against the Hartford Wolfpack?

The Dallas Stars assigned Avery to Hartford (with the Rangers’ permission) today. It’s unclear how long Avery will stay there before the Stars put him back through re-entry waivers. It would be kind of funny if Avery and Brodeur were to face each other in the AHL, though. I would imagine that the Devils—if they ever decided to have Brodeur play in an AHL tune-up game—would be sure to avoid having him face Avery.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+brodeur, sean+avery

Sharks Keep An Eye On The Bruins

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Based on scouting, the slight edge has to go to the San Jose Sharks for Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Bruins.

It comes down to time zones.

When the Sharks arrive for games at HP Pavilion, the televisions in their locker room are already blaring out the games going on back East. If the Bruins are playing that night, the Sharks will gravitate toward that television.

“Obviously we like to keep an eye on the Western teams,” Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle told NHL.com, “but we watch the Bruins over most Eastern teams.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Franzen In A Cast

via Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Update from Tuesday’s morning skate in Nashville: Wings forward Johan Franzen will miss at least the next three games because of bruised tendons in his right hand. Coach Mike Babcock said Franzen might be ready to play Sunday against Colorado.

A hand specialist put Franzen in a cast. He was injured early in Saturday’s game against Edmonton when he was hit by a shot.

Ty Conklin will start in goal tonight against the Predators and there are no lineup changes.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Report- Jagr Talking To Oilers

from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,

A source close to Czech hockey ace Jaromir Jagr says that Jagr is close to finalizing negotiations with the Edmonton Oilers, reports Euro-hockey expert Peter Adler.

The source would not say when Jagr would report to Edmonton, how much he would be paid, or how long he would sign for. Jagr is now playing with Omsk in the financially-troubled Kontinental Hockey League.

continued and one question?, how about waivers?

update 2:23pm, From David Staples at The Cult of Hockey,

Oilers hockey ops boss Kevin Lowe is indicating that Czech hockey ace Jaromir Jagr, 37, isn’t coming to Edmonton—at least not this season, reports Euro-hockey expert Peter Adler.

“Jaromir is under contract in the KHL,” Lowe told Adler.

Jagr has also told Czech national team coach Vladimir Ruzicka he will be playing for the Czech team at the world championships in May.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jaromir+jagr

Calling Out The Players

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

All across the league, coaches are using embarrassment as a form of motivation. Benching or outright banishing to the press box is usually the first step. If that’s been done or is not an option (as in the case of Toskala or in another case, half the Edmonton Oilers roster) public chastising is your typical Plan B.

Edmonton’s Craig MacTavish has done it countless times. Mike Keenan could lay claim to inventing it had he not learned if from Scott Bowman. Montreal’s Guy Carbonneau has done it repeatedly this season. John Tortorella was famous for it back in Tampa and would surely be doing it again if a general manger with a losing team had the courage to hire him.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Visnovsky Done For The Season

via TSN,

Less than a week after being placed on the injured list, Edmonton Oilers defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky’s season is over due to an upcoming surgery on his injured labrum.

The 32-year old will have surgery on his injured right labrum on Thursday. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Robert Balyk in Edmonton.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lubomir+visnovsky

Could Balsillie Buy The Coyotes?

from Cassie Campbell of Blogs and Columns at CBC,

So, the big question: could Balsillie be the new owner of the Phoenix Coyotes?

He has the money and he definitely has the passion for the game of hockey. With that combination shouldn’t the NHL want him on board? I believe so.

It all will depend on the NHL’s flexibility to allow a new owner to help the franchise as it is in Phoenix, BUT if the team continues to struggle financially, there should be a clause in the contract that after a certain number of years, the team can move to a more suitable market.

I completely understand why the NHL doesn’t want to give up on a franchise in Phoenix - they don’t want to disappoint fans or make it seem that when a franchise struggles the quick solution is movement. But when all is said and done, and the city of Glendale continues to be unable to support a hockey franchise, new options are inevitable.

NHLPA boss, Paul Kelly, supports moving a franchise from a struggling U.S. market back to Canada, which therefore means the players do, too.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jim+balsillie

Wings Of The Past Get A Surprise

from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,

As he worked his way through the packaging, Marcel Pronovost couldn’t remember being this curious about a gift since he was a child.

When he reached the bottom and opened another tiny box, he felt like a kid again too.

Staring back at him was a glittering version of the 2008 Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup ring with his name on one side with four extra diamonds symbolizing the quartet of cups he won with Detroit in the 1950s.

“My reaction was instantly to flashback to those teams,” said the 78-year-old Pronovost, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1978 after a 21-year playing career and five cups with the Wings and Toronto.

Pronovost was one of 20 to 30 retired Red Wings to receive a gift last week.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Malkin Talking

from Puck Daddy,

...We caught up with Malkin after Sunday’s game to discuss his growth as a player and a leader; the Pittsburgh Penguins’ playoff hopes; his $1,000 bounty for a victory; the brutality of Flyers fans; his reconciliation and all-star prop comedy with Alex Ovechkin; and, perhaps most interestingly, why he doesn’t understand why teammate Sidney Crosby is labeled as “some kind of ‘mama’s boy.’”

PD: We’re doing this interview in Russian, which must be a nice change from your English-language interviews after games that some fans find amusing. How is your English coming along, and do you feel any pressure to learn it quickly?

MALKIN: To be honest with you, I don’t feel any pressure. And the team is trying to help me out and try not to schedule too many [English language] interviews with me. I myself try to be on the sidelines and try to give interviews without being stressed and just trying to be comfortable. And once again, thanks to the team, they are helping me a lot. And it’s not like there are 100 TV cameras in the locker room after the game surrounding me. I am taking it slow, but there is still visible progress.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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