Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: zbynek michalek
Among the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's weekly trade rumors and scoops:
There will be plenty of eyes on Florida after the Panthers waged their future with two draft picks at the deadline to get veteran winger Jaromir Jagr from New Jersey to try to make a push for the playoffs. Florida is about to come up short again and don't be surprised if former Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero lands in the organization in some capacity. He has a close relationship with Panthers' executive chairman.
You have to give the Coyotes credit because going into Saturday's action they had a legitimate shot of getting the best odds (20%) of winning the draft lottery. Because Coyotes GM Don Maloney did a teardown at the deadline by dealing the likes of forward Antoine Vermette (Chicago) along with defencemen Keith Yandle (Rangers) and Zbynek Michalek (St. Louis) and goalie Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota), Arizona is in a position to get a strong pick. On March 2, the Coyotes were four points ahead of the Sabres with 47. You have to wonder how much Arizona wants to improve next year because 2016 top prospect Austin Matthews, who is with the U.S. national team development program, is from the Coyotes' backyard and would be a huge get. Captain Shane Doan has always maintained he doesn't want to go anywhere but this could be a test of resolve.
Garrioch continues, discussing the possibility of Las Vegas being awarded an NHL team this year, the World Cup's "Young Guns" team, the Olympics and Todd McLellan...
Arizona Coyotes general manager Don Maloney made quite the headlines after he suggested that just about every player on his team save Oliver Ekman-Larsson might be pried away from his team via trade offers, so it's not that surprising that Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc took a very different tack while speaking with USA Today's Kevin Allen:
"I would love to see (coach) Dave Tippett's reaction if someone said, 'You focus on attempting to lose,'" Coyotes co-owner Anthony LeBlanc told USA TODAY Sports. "You would watch his head explode."
Players will be moved before the March 2 trade deadline, LeBlanc said, and those deals will be done to improve the team as quickly as possible, not to improve its draft status in what is considered a strong draft year.
"I don't think we need to go from the chassis up," LeBlanc said. "We have those really good solid pieces in the young talent we have on the team. … A complete rebuild is when you knock it down and begin again, and we don't need to do that. We just need to layer in some other pieces that fit better."
The Coyotes, 20-27-7 entering Tuesday, are on their way to their first losing season since 2008-09, though they had gone 4-2-2 since the All-Star break.
"We think this team is better than what our record is," LeBlanc said. "But we are on our way to our third consecutive year of missing the playoffs, and that is simply not good enough."
According to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, the Arizona Coyotes are preparing to "retool" in earnest, and that means something of a trade deadline sell-off:
Centre Antoine Vermette: A UFA on July 1, he likely won’t be re-signed which means he’ll be moved. Three teams looking to bulk up for a playoff run — Chicago, Montreal and Boston — would be interested in Vermette. He’ll cash in next summer with a contract of more than $6 million per season and could benefit from a long playoff run. The asking price will depend on how good a prospect the buyer is willing to give up.
Defenceman Keith Yandle: He has one year left before free agency, but he’ll be looking for a big raise from his $5.25-million cap hit. He has one year left at $5.75 million and plenty of teams are looking for help on the blueline. The Stars, Ducks, Wings and Canucks may have an interest in Yandle.
Expect UFA defenceman Zbynek Michalek and winger Martin Erat also to get moved before the deadline. There will be debate about captain Shane Doan, but he has one year left with a cap hit of $5.3 million and would have to approve any move. That doesn’t make sense, you have to keep some pieces in place and Doan is the face of the franchise.
Garrioch continues, and somehow, this doesn't surprise me:
The NHL approved those flashy jerseys Team (Nick) Foligno and Team (Jonathan) Toews will wear at next weekend’s all-star game in Columbus. The word is league officials have been surprised by what’s been a largely negative reaction to the look.
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
So when a trade executed at the NHL draft on Friday paved the way for his return, Michalek was just as eager as the Coyotes to reunite.
“That team’s really close to my heart; so is the city, and I know they have great fans,” Michalek said. “I’m really happy to be back, and hopefully I can continue playing the way I was when I was there.”
With three seasons left on his contract at $4 million per year, Michalek wants to be a factor in the Coyotes’ future. The team’s recent run to the Western Conference finals reaffirmed that.
“Nobody expected anything out of them again, and they proved everybody wrong,” said Michalek, who is in the midst of rehabbing his hip after a procedure in May but is expected to be ready for training camp.
“They’ve had that mentality for the last three, four years, and (General Manager Don Maloney) and (coach Dave Tippett) they’ve done such a good job putting a competitive team on the ice and playing good defensive hockey, good structured hockey, and it’s the mentality that I like, too.”
The NHL has decided that no suspension or fine will be handed to Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Zbynek Michalek for his hit on Washington’s Matt Hendricks on Sunday night.
Michalek was assessed a minor elbowing penalty for the hit just before the mid-way mark of the second period. Michalek made contact with Hendricks in the end boards behind the Pittsburgh net shortly after Hendricks played the puck.
The 29-year-old Czech defender has no previous suspension history in the NHL.
via Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Penguins defensemen Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek will be returning to Pittsburgh for further evaluation of medical issues.
That means defensemen Robert Bortuzzo and Alexandre Picard, both of whom were recalled from Wilkes-Barre this afternoon, figure to be in the Penguins’ lineup against the New York Rangers tonight.
Letang has a broken nose and might be suffering other problems after taking a blindside hit in the face from Montreal’s Max Pacioretty Saturday.
There is no word on the nature of Michalek’s problem, although he recently missed 10 games because of a broken finger and did leave the Montreal game early.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Michalek, 26, led the NHL last season with 271 blocked shots, yet he played in all 82 games. In four seasons, he’s missed only seven games, all at the start of the 2007-08 season, with a broken hand. Michalek also is the average ice-time leader among the top 10 shotblockers with 22:46 minutes per game.
“I think that most of the players in the NHL play through bumps and bruises, it’s part of the game,” Michalek said. “I’ve been hurt and played through injuries. That’s the life of a hockey player.”
Michalek said shotblocking is instinctive and reactive, opportunities develop quickly and don’t lend themselves to analysis and preparation.
“Actually, it’s not too bad,” Michalek said. “I was lucky last season, nothing really hurt me and I didn’t break any bones. Of course, it hurts to get hit in a bad spot, but that’s part of hockey, a physical game. I’m guessing that I place my pads really well. I don’t know why for certain, but it may come from when I was young and my older brother and I played street hockey. I was the goalie and he was shooting at me.”
read on and a list of the top shot blockers in the game today…