Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP,
A key meeting set for Wednesday which many hoped would lead to a new IIHF/NHL player transfer agreement has been postponed.
Just why exactly seems up for debate. The IIHF sent out a letter to federations Tuesday advising them that the meeting, to be held at its Swiss headquarters, needed to be re-scheduled because the NHLPA, going through turbulent times, could not send a representative.
But the union issued a statement giving a different reason.
“The NHLPA was fully prepared to take part in the IIHF meetings but informed the NHL in advance of the meetings that we would not be consenting to a new transfer agreement until we had an opportunity to complete our analysis of potential agreement structures,” the statement said. “The NHL and the NHLPA agreed that it was appropriate to defer the meetings for a short period of time until the NHLPA analysis is complete.”
I take a mini-tour with the hockey bloggers, looking at the playoff races in my NHL.com blog today.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
“I think we’re a different team now than we were in past years,” Muckler said. “A lot of people like to talk about the different preparation this year, going through adversity at the start of the year, which we never had before. They were really bad times, no question. We didn’t seem to have any chemistry on our club.
“But it all came together when we ran into injuries. When (Jason) Spezza, (Antoine) Vermette, and (Mike) Fisher went down, people who weren’t getting a lot of ice time were getting a lot of ice time, and we found out we had more depth in the organization than we thought we had. And I think it proved to the coaches that they could go to these people and put them in crucial situations and see the same results.
from the Toronto Star,
The rink is tiny and the team’s win total minuscule, but the game – hockey – is big on the Isle of Wight, of all places.
Make that a most peculiar brand of hockey.
They love their Wightlink Raiders in Ryde, the main city on the island in the English Channel, despite their franchise in the 12-team English Premier League having won only three of 43 league games this season. Plus, they play in a 1,200-seat arena with one of the smallest ice surfaces in pro hockey, or anywhere for that matter.
from the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres have made it all but official: They will have no playoff tickets left to sell to the general public this season.
A whopping 98.5 percent of season-ticket holders have put down a deposit for their playoff tickets, while 90 percent already have renewed for next year — more than six months before the start of next season.
from the St. Petersburg Times,
Karri Ramo said he has no indication about when, or if, he will play for the Lightning this season.
But considering what coach John Tortorella had to say, the goaltender, called up Monday from AHL Springfield, better keep his game face ready.
“He is part of the equation,” Tortorella said. “He’s not here to see his teammates so he knows them better during camp next year. We’re going to make decisions accordingly. Do I want someone to take the ball and run with this and be consistent? That’s what we need.”
from the Courier Post,
If you believe what Marty Biron and his agent, Gilles Lupien, have been doing and saying lately, it won’t be long before the 29-year-old goaltender signs a long-term contract that will keep him with the Flyers for the next three or four years.
After Monday’s rare practice at the Wachovia Center, necessitated by the latest team picture day in club history, Biron unzipped a pouch and revealed his new Flyers mask, glistening in orange and black with images of the Rocky statue, the Philadelphia skyline and the Liberty Bell.
from the Pioneer Press,
At the start of the season, Backstrom’s biography merely warranted “In The System” small-print status in the media guide, not the extensive spreads established players receive.
That’s changed. Backstrom has had an 18-8-5 run as a starter for the Wild and suddenly ranks No. 2 in the NHL with a 2.16 goals-against average.
At season’s end, he can become a free agent, and the team he’s expected to start against tonight in St. Paul — Wayne Gretzky’s Phoenix Coyotes — could be big in offseason bidding. Backstrom, 29, has shut out the Coyotes, who need a goalie, twice in two starts this season.
That’s not to say Backstrom is going anywhere. He said he enjoys Minnesota and wants to re-sign with the Wild. But if he finishes the season at his current pace, he’ll have several nice offers with which the Wild will have to compete.
from the Calgary Sun,
Expect Iginla to give what he can on the ice—he’s certainly been their best player the last two games—but you can’t help but wonder if the time has come for him to raise his voice in the dressing room.
You know the idea: Provide a fire-and-brimstone speech, break sticks or scream and yell to ignite his team, which has a mere four-point edge on Colorado for eighth spot in the Western Conference chase.
Fans may think such a development isn’t in Iginla’s repertoire but he insists—even if he’s not planning to do it in the next couple of days—it could happen at some time.
“It’s not out of character,” Iginla insisted yesterday.
“The funny thing is, I’m not the quietest guy. I don’t walk around and just whisper at guys. We’re not scared to tell people things.”
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Senators coach Bryan Murray yesterday accused Pittsburgh Penguins superstar centre and NHL poster boy Sidney Crosby of swearing at him during the first period of Ottawa’s 4-3 shootout loss on Sunday.
Murray said that’s conduct unbecoming of an NHL superstar.
“He’s one of those young people, and rightly so, that the league is really promoting as the example of the new NHL,” said Murray. “When he turns, and I’m sure he’s on camera quite often, using the language he does, I don’t think that’s something he should do. That’s all.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org