Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Sun-Sentinel,
The Panthers had their first opportunity to test the NHL’s new Reebok uniforms during Friday’s practice. They drew mixed reviews….
Some players, like forward Ville Peltonen, did not notice a difference. Others complained that the jerseys limited their range of motion.
But defenseman Steve Montador pointed out a lesser-known feature of the new uniforms.
“I think initially there could be some different types of fights because there is less to grab on to,” said Montador, who has been in eight fights this season. “It could cause a little bit of a learning curve to grab onto and prevent a knockout punch from coming your way.”
more on the Panthers, inlcuding attendance talk…
fro the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
As for salary cap space, projections are that the cap for 2007-08 will rise from $44 million to anywhere from $47.8 million to as much as $50.27 million, depending on final league revenues. Assuming the number ends up somewhere in the middle — around $49 million — that means the Bruins might be able to spend as much as $7 million above their current payroll on new players, if they so desire.
Whether or not they will depends on many factors. Owner Jeremy Jacobs almost certainly will first consider what mileage he got out of a roster that was right up against the cap lid this season before he decides to do it again next winter, at an even higher cost. Attendance hasn’t been great, with only four sellouts, although the crowds haven’t been exactly embarrassing, averaging close to 15,000 in the 17,565-capacity TD Banknorth Garden.
from the OC Register,
There must still be bad blood between the Nashville Predators and Ducks, who would be the top two seeds in the Western Conference if the Stanley Cup playoffs began today.
No, not because Nashville coach Barry Trotz accused the Ducks of taking “cheap shots” in the closing minutes of the Predators’ 3-0 victory on Feb. 3 in Nashville and promised his players would have “long memories.”
fromJim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Calgary GM Darryl Sutter didn’t have to agonize over signing Jarome Iginla before Tuesday’s deadline, like the Oilers did over Ryan Smyth here, but he knows the day of reckoning isn’t that far off. Jarome
Iginla has one year at $7 million US left. He has virtually no chance of getting that same number over five years in a new deal before he’s an unrestricted free agent. Three years, maybe.
read on for more NHL talk…
from Larry Felser of the Buffalo News,
The NHL’s problem is that it can’t - or won’t - shake its “duh!” culture. While pro football goes to extremes to protect its stars, the NHL goes to extremes to coddle its cement heads. Neil went unpunished after the Drury late hit because the NHL doesn’t have a rule against late hits. In the era before helmets were mandatory, not so long ago, the players policed themselves because they respected one another and seldom would do anything that might threaten a career. Now hockey remains in an era where head-hunting is encouraged.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
There’s speculation the clock is ticking on Blue Jackets president and GM Doug MacLean because his club is going to miss the playoffs ... again. Just wondering? Would the Jackets bring in former Flyers GM Bobby Clarke to take over from MacLean? Clarke is close friends with former Philadelphia and current Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock. The reason Clarke stepped down from his post with the Flyers was because he didn’t want to give in to owner Ed Snider’s demands to fire Hitchcock.
much more of the talk around the NHL…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Good to know that it was the same old, same old coming out of Edmonton.
Another great guy became just another greedy bum on the way out the door, this at least according to the Edmonton management and media - or is that redundant?
Really, does anyone honestly believe Ryan Smyth left the Oilers over $100,000 a year? Why would Kevin Lowe - who, like Paul Coffey and Mark Messier before him, forced his way out of Edmonton in order to make more money elsewhere - feel the need to spread that fantasy tale?
more around the NHL bits…
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province:
Every year, it seems the trade deadline produces some big stories. Fans get excited. The media gets excited. But this is one of those stories that gets lost in all that wheeling and dealing. This is one of those stories that reminds you people are getting traded, not—what’s that word again? ah yes—assets.
“It’s great to be in the playoffs but that human side is overlooked,” said Smolinski, who was visibly moved as he talked about his situation on Saturday. “I guess it comes with the territory. I’m not the only one who’s had a trying time. But there’s still that side to it.
“It’s a chaos of emotions. You’re not too far away but your family needs that support system and it was very hard, very hard on my wife.”
“A lot of questions hit you,” Smolinski says of his reaction to the trade. “The first five or six hours, you throw your arms up in the air. It’s pretty emotional for the family. I had to take the kids to dinner and explain what’s going on.
“It’s tough, but there’s not much else you can do. The kids still have their routine. You just want to make sure when you talk to them, it counts.”
from the Chicago Tribune,
Although he’s downplaying it now, Havlat likely will feel differently Sunday when he takes the ice and sees former teammates across from him. Havlat spent his first five years in the NHL in Ottawa.
Martin Lapointe vividly remembers the first time he faced the Detroit Red Wings after signing as a free agent with the Boston Bruins in 2001-02.
“It was a weird feeling,” Lapointe said. “I felt like I was on the wrong side. You spend so many years there and have such great memories, you never think you are going to leave.”
from the AP via the Centre Daily Times,
“He’s a big dude,” winger Nils Ekman said of the 6-foot-3, 243-pound Laraque. “When you see him without hockey equipment on, you can see he’s just huge.”
Forward Erik Christensen said, “I really started to appreciate how big he was when I shook his hand and my hand disappeared into his.”...
“If I didn’t enjoy it,” Laraque said, “I wouldn’t do it. So yes, I enjoy it.”
“It looks like this will be dynasty for years to come, and for a veteran to be a part of it and do my role of looking after them, it’s just an honor.”
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.
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