Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Frank Seravalli of TSN.Which forward will the Minnesota Wild acquire this month?
Which forward will the Minnesota Wild acquire this month?
Ryan Suter described the Wild as “fragile” after Thursday night’s meltdown at Madison Square Garden. They have blown a lead in five of their last six games and are playing like a team begging for a trade.
“That’s not up to us,” Zach Parise told reporters post-game. “You can’t plan on that. You can’t assume that’s going to happen, because what if it doesn’t? Then we’re just going to quit? We have to play better as a group, and as the group that’s here right now.”
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has been trying to make something happen. Fletcher has sniffed around for a forward for a couple months now, starting with Ryan Johansen when he was available from Columbus.
Who will it be? Loui Eriksson would be a nice fit, though the Bruins still want to re-sign him.
Keep an eye on former Golden Gopher Kyle Okposo, who has a very reasonable cap hit as a pending UFA. The playoff-bound Islanders aren’t interested in trading him, but Okposo said this week there hasn’t been much dialogue between his agent and GM Garth Snow on an extension.
four more NHL topics...
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
So that’s 50 out of 1,000 games with the Leafs, and given that only four coaches all time — Al Arbour, Billy Reay, Lindy Ruff and Barry Trotz — have ever coached 1,000 games with one team, it’s hard to imagine at this point No. 2,000 will come in Toronto.
If it did, it would come 66 games into the 2028-29 season, when Babcock will be 65 years old. He wasn’t quite willing to project that far into the future when asked if he’s got another 1,000 games in him.
“Well, I’ve got this year and seven more, and then I’m gonna stay for two more after that because the team’s going to be that good,” he said.
He said it without irony, without a smile, almost enough to make you believe him. If you’re a Leafs fan, it seems a safe bet that if Babcock’s still around after another nine years, the team will have ended it’s Stanley Cup drought.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
The faithful came to see Connor McDavid at the Canadian Tire Centre.
They exited the building wondering if maybe the Senators should try to win the lottery because the dream of making the playoffs is far from reality.
While the Edmonton Oilers’ young star didn’t disappoint with a pair of assists in his second game back after missing 37 games with a broken clavicle, the Senators embarrassed themselves with their fifth loss in six games — a disgraceful 7-2 defeat Thursday night in front of 18,564.
And, that resulted in a 10-minute players only closed-door meeting and though they look like they’re coming apart at the seams the message was not to let that happen.
“Stick together,” said winger Zack Smith. “We’re still confident in this group. The main focus right now is not to feel sorry for ourselves.
“Yeah, we got some bad bounces, but you have to work (to achieve better results), especially when you get in a rut like this. You have to work that much harder to get out. The main thing is to stick together. This is a good test when you go through something like this.”
Game highlights are below...
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
Of all the losses during this lousy stretch and this lousy calendar year of Wild hockey, this was in my mind the most awful tonight.
This team is just a wreck, and the players have no answers, their under-siege coach has no answers and their GM apparently has no answers because he has so far declined interview requests from the beat writers during this road trip.
In the meantime, the Wild has lost nine of 10 games and 12 of 15 this year and tonight coughed up a 2-0 lead here at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers.
The Wild tried to make it like this was the exact same thing that occurred a couple nights ago against the Islanders, but in that game, the Wild had a 1-0 lead and a season-high 20 shots in a period in the first 20 minutes before caving.
Watch the game highlights below...
Catch up on the all the action in 5 1/2 minutes.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Of the 12 names that were added to the NHL’s concussion lawsuit yesterday, the one that stands out the most is that of Paul Stewart, the first American in history to make it to the NHL as both a player and a referee. According the lawsuit, one of the more gregarious and easy-going personalities in the game, Stewart now suffers from depressive and anxiety disorders, anger, impulse and temper control issues and a loss of memory.
And more importantly, Stewart also has had a brain tumor. Last April, Stewart had a golf-ball sized benign tumor removed from his brain at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He had spent much of the previous three seasons in Russia as a judicial and discipline consultant to the KHL. “When I got home from Russia, I promise you, things were not pleasant,” says Stewart, who turns 62 next month. “At first I thought it was because I was gone so long. I’m better since the surgery, but every day I really have to work at it.”
from Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Herald,
Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman broke his silence Thursday, issuing a public apology to linesman Don Henderson and saying he is “disappointed” with the 20-game suspension he was handed by the NHL after his ugly collision with the official last week.
Reading from notes, Wideman addressed the media after practising with his Flames teammates at the Saddledome, his first skate since the incident.
With the NHLPA currently appealing the suspension on his behalf, the 32-year-old did not answer questions.
“Firstly, I want to apologize to Donnie Henderson,” Wideman said. “I feel awful about what happened. Hopefully, he’s recovering and he’s going to be back on the ice soon, but I feel really bad about the whole situation. The last seven days have been tough.
“Never in my career have I ever disrespected or done anything like this to an official. I think I’ve prided myself on having a great working relationship with the officials, and I hope to continue that when I get out there. But again, I just want to apologize to Donnie. I feel awful about what happened.
continue for more from Wideman...
added 3:37pm, Watch Wideman's statement below via Sportsnet.
from Ian Mendes of TSN,
With the Feb. 29 NHL trade deadline fast approaching, Cowen's name has been mentioned more than anyone on the Senators as a player who may be shipped off by general manager Bryan Murray. The defenceman admitted that being a healthy scratch Thursday could make a trade this month a reality.
“I'm aware of it, obviously, so if it happens, it happens. I'm not playing today, so obviously it makes it more realistic,” Cowen told TSN.ca. “I don't know, so we'll see.”
Cowen has tried his best to ignore any of the external talk surrounding his play. He says he hasn't read a single article or listened to the talk radio rumours about his future in Ottawa.
“I don't have to block it out because I don't listen to or read that stuff. If it's happening, I'm not paying attention to it,” he said.
While he hasn't paid attention to any of the rumours, Cowen was asked directly on Thursday about the theory that perhaps he needs a fresh start in a different city. There are many Senators fans who believe the ninth-overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft will never develop into an elite shutdown defenceman in this market because of the constant negativity swirling around him.
So would a fresh start with a new team be beneficial to Cowen?
“Maybe, I don't know. My job is to stay here and be as good as I can be for Ottawa,” Cowen said. “Who knows if they're right or wrong, because I don't know either. I've never been traded in my life, so we'll see.”
NEW YORK (Feb. 4, 2016) – Winnipeg Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.
NHL Rule 64 is designed to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties.
Burmistrov was issued a Warning following an incident flagged by NHL Hockey Operations during NHL Game No. 131 against Los Angeles on Oct. 27. His second Citation, which triggered the $2,000 fine, was issued for an incident at 7:45 of the third period during NHL Game No. 737 against Arizona on Jan. 26. Burmistrov drew a tripping penalty to Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone on the play.
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