Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Spector’s Blog at Fox Sports,
Malkin’s performance will likely merit him consideration for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player. I still believe Alexander Ovechkin will win it, but Malkin’s performance means it’s no longer a sure thing.
It also puts pressure upon the Penguins management to lock up Malkin a year before he becomes a restricted free agent as they did with Crosby last summer, but like Crosby it’s gonna cost them, probably in the neighborhood of $8.5 million per season.
from the Daily-Herald,
So, earlier this week, Savard pulled out the markers, pulled out the big sheets of paper and went to work—a la “A Beautiful Mind,” devouring every last detail.
“I wrote everything,” he said. “I put all the six teams—Vancouver, Nashville, Colorado, St. Louis, Columbus and us. There’s two spots open. Not that we can’t get the sixth (spot) if Minnesota falls apart or somebody else does.
“Realistically, though, there’s two spots open for those six teams. You look at everybody’s schedule … Colorado has to play Vancouver four times, Nashville’s on a six-game road trip, St. Louis has to go on a nine-game road trip … our schedule favors us.
“We have to win our games, no question, but we hope that Colorado or Vancouver—that one of them—sweeps those games and, if we win our games, we’ve got a shot.
from the Boston Herald,
Manny Fernandez skated for the first time since undergoing knee surgery Dec. 12. The goalie had struggled with the injury through November and December.
“It went really well,” Fernandez said. “It was just skates and gloves, shooting some pucks, doing laps. (Today) I’ll strap on some equipment and do the same stuff. We’ll take it a step at a time, every day get a little more stuff included. Next thing I know, I’ll be back on my knees again and going forward.”
GM Peter Chiarelli said recently he thought it was possible Fernandez could play in an NHL game before season’s end.
more on the Bruins…
Bloopers from “Inside the NHL”.
from the Rocky Mountain News,
Contrary to what you may have heard, this is not just a reunion weekend.
“I think a fan’s perspective is probably about recapturing the glory days, but for me, those are guys that know how to win, know what it takes,” said forward Andrew Brunette. “They’re very effective hockey players and real good additions to our hockey club.”
This is the most intriguing part of general manager Francois Giguere’s trade deadline splashes, but also the part that makes them susceptible to attack. It is easy, particularly from a distance, to dismiss the homecoming of Forsberg and Foote as a marketing maneuver. There’s no denying the Avs needed one.
from the Miami Herald,
‘‘I thought we made progress every season, but I can’t say that about this season. It’s been a major disappointment to date,’’ Panthers majority owner Alan Cohen told us—and that was before Friday’s defeat left Florida one of only three teams with more regulation home losses than wins. ``Not making the playoffs this year is simply unacceptable to management, to our fans, and it should be to our players.’‘
I have been discerning owner-speak for a few decades now, all the way back to Dolphins patriarch Joe Robbie, and I can testify that when an owner publicly calls his team’s season a ‘‘major disappointment’’ and states that not making the playoffs is ‘‘simply unacceptable,’’ that owner might have a beheading in mind.
from Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette,
The salary that follows Huet to the city of Watergate is $2.9 million this season (and UFA status in July). What remains is Price at $850,000 for three seasons and, pending RFA, Halak at $500,000. The Canadiens are getting two goaltenders for less than the price of one….
This is Bob Gainey’s beau risque. He is gambling that his young, very affordable goalies can hold the fort, freeing up money to re-sign RFAs such as Andrei Kostitsyn and allowing the Canadiens to go shopping for a UFA or two this summer. It’s all about the Benjamins -
from Scott Morrison at Sun Media,
Rather than guarantee a top-three spot, simply guarantee a playoff spot.
So, in this case, if the playoffs were to start now, put the Hurricanes in seventh or eighth spot depending on their standing. That way, you might punish only one team (if there is a non-playoff team with a better record), rather than five who are locked below them in the seedings just because.
It means a world of difference, too. If Pittsburgh was allowed to be third, the Penguins would meet the sixth-place team in the playoffs, not a four versus five matchup. That could be huge.
read on and more NHL bits…
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Reacting to criticisms from Bill Watters, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns the Leafs, has expunged from the Air Canada Centre all references to the Toronto broadcaster.
Advertisements promoting the Watters afternoon radio show on AM640 Toronto have been removed from the arena’s electronic display panel.
Posters publicizing the show have disappeared.
“We provided them with new material once we were told the Watters stuff had to come down,” Gord Harris, AM640’s program director, said yesterday.
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
Thoughts that have remained dormant for years have worked to the front of my brain this week. Wisps of memory have emerged, unbidden, and they’re telling me that we’ve all been played by Adam Foote, that he is not the leader of men that he purported to be, and not just because he quit the Blue Jackets….
Lesson No. 1: Foote said he put his Dublin house on the market last summer because he wanted to “downsize.” What he didn’t say was he was hunting for a smaller house in the greater Denver area.
Lesson No. 2: Foote professed shock that he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche—yet he rigged the game for just this outcome.
Here’s what we know:
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