Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Sundin is going to keep people waiting for his decision on whether he’ll re-sign with the Leafs, go somewhere else or simply retire and get ready for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Many NHL insiders believe after what’s been a taxing season full of disappointment, Sundin might decide to hang up his sweater and walk away, comfortable in the fact he’s had a tremendous career.
Given all the bluster about not wanting to be dealt at the trade deadline, it would seem unlikely that Sundin would sign elsewhere unless Detroit D Nicklas Lidstrom and fellow Swede does a full-court press to get him to sign with the Red Wings.
more NHL talk…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Nicklas Lidstrom is going to win his sixth Norris trophy, but Sergei Gonchar may finish in the top three. The Penguins defenceman has been maligned for years for his play away from the puck, but this year he’s been very good. He might deserve more praise than Zdeno Chara in Boston, or Brian Campbell before he was traded from Buffalo to San Jose. “He matches up against the other team’s best players every night. I think his game has gone to another level there,” said Penguins GM Ray Shero
more and other NHL topics…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
This afternoon, Jaromir Jagr will play the 420th regular-season game of his career here at the Igloo. The Post wanted to know if he expects to be his last.
“Are the Penguins moving?” a grinning Jagr responded following practice yesterday, before the Rangers departed for the opener of a back-to-back, home-and-home series against the division leaders they trail by six points while holding a game in hand.
“Should I wave to the fans?” Jagr asked. “Maybe I’ll wave . . . after I score.”
Jagr was as coy in talking about his plans as he has been since telling The Post on March 9: “I have a pretty good idea what I’m going to do next year and I’ve known for three or four weeks, but I’m not going to say anything.”
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
You would think Afinogenov would have evolved into a leader by now, but that hasn’t happened. He makes you long for Pierre Turgeon. He’ll make $3.5 million and become an unrestricted free agent after next season for a team looking to get younger (see: cheaper). Gee, maybe they placed their bets on the wrong guy.
Why keep him? Well, he sells jerseys.
If the Sabres think he’s a source of entertainment, they’re kidding themselves and insulting the intelligence of their fans. The only people he entertains are youngsters who are enamored with his style and can’t see his flaws. Anyone with an ounce of hockey sense can see he needs a change in scenery.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Almost three years into their new deal, NHL players really have little to worry about. The game’s gross revenues, to which their wallets and paychecks are directly linked, have averaged approximately $2.2 billion per annum since the end of the lockout - levels consistent with where they stood in the year leading up to the 2004-05 shutdown.
During a recent league marketing meeting in Denver, optimism abounded that a short-term target of $3 billion is attainable.
continued plus other NHL bits…
from Randy Youngman of the OC Register,
Next up is Dallas, the team right behind the Ducks in the Pacific and a possible first-round playoff opponent.
“Now Sunday is huge,” Ducks winger Teemu Selanne said after Friday night’s disappointing loss. “We would pretty much clinch fourth place (in the West) by winning that game.”
But is it going to be difficult keeping their competitive edge now that the division title is out of reach?
“Maybe a little bit,” Selanne said. “We know how good a team we have here . . . so it kind of hard to motivate yourself for anything other than that (first place). But our biggest challenge now is to find momentum going into the playoffs.”
Coach Randy Carlyle said Friday night he doesn’t think there will be a letdown after watching their division title hopes evaporate.
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
The 39-year old Taylor, who has missed the entire season after undergoing offseason hip surgery, has recently been practicing with team. Lightning coach John Tortorella had talked with Taylor about returning for one contest at home
“I’m not coming back” Taylor said during a question-and-answer session with fans before Saturday night’s game against Carolina. “I want to remember the good times. I want to remember playing hockey. I don’t want Torts to send me out to play two shifts and I’ll stand around.”
via Habs Inside/Out,
An update on the health of Canadiens captain Saku Koivu from The Gazette’s Pat Hickey:
Koivu is not playing tonight, having taken a shot off the foot last night in Buffalo. X-rays have not yet been taken, but are expected to be done tomorrow back in Montreal. Koivu says there’s a possibility he’s suffered a break, but he won’t know until tests are done.
Habs assistant coach Kirk Muller was on the HNIC pre-game show and mentioned Saku had gone back to Montreal today and did say they had no update on the injury.
P.J. Stock during the HNIC pre-game also mentioned the talk is Koivu does have a broken foot, but nothing official yet.
The NHL has been supplying the media with a daily breakdown of the playoff races for the last few weeks and insteading of posting it here, just go to Habs Inside/Out and check it out.
It basically tells you everything you want to know except which teams will win the games.
from Stan Fischler at Game On,
In case you were wondering how the magnificent set wound up on television, it’s a simple story. The fellow who designed this fantastic set, Rick Benej, actually builds each one by hand. He started his table hockey-building business in 1982.
For the past 26 years, Benej has been crafting a game which has so passionately caught the media’s fancy that he has been profiled in no less a publication as The New Yorker Magazine, not to mention Esquire, The Wall Street Journal and the Schenectady Gazette, just to name a few good reads. And all because his game, Table Hockey.com, is so close to the real thing that sometimes you can’t tell the difference between Madison Square Garden ice and the shiny 31 inch by 48 inch surface of Benej’s game.
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.
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