Friday, March 22, 2002

Why Iginla should get the Hart trophy as NHL MVP: Imagine how bad Calgary would be without Jarome Iginla. The Hart is normally not awarded to a player on a non-playoff team.
Your honours, Exhibit A for the defence in the case of Jarome Iginla vs. the No-Playoff Theory - Mario Lemieux, 1988. That season, Lemieux claimed the Art Ross Trophy as the National Hockey League's leading scorer and subsequently was voted his first Hart Trophy as "the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team.'' Yet his Pittsburgh Penguins finished last in the Patrick Division and, by a whisker, out of the post-season photo op. So, going by the letter of the law, precedent has in fact been established.
So, please, give the guy some Hart, will yah? (Calgary Herald)
Like it makesa difference: The Florida Panthers recalled goalie Wade Flaherty from Utah of the AHL Thursday after learning starting goalie Roberto Luongo will be out for the season while rehabbing a torn ligament in his ankle. Right wing Valeri Bure will also be out for the season after deciding to have surgery to repair cartilage damage in his right knee. Bure was injured in a game March 17 at Ottawa. (AP)

Its not like they were competing for first place. But this should help in the drive for worst place and a better draft position.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Teammates says "Thank God he is gone!" It does not seem that Pavel Bure was much loved down in Florida.

Bure's reputation as a selfish, one-way player remained intact, with veteran goaltender Trevor Kidd leading the attack. "Anybody that doesn't think the organization did the right thing by trading Pavel, if they spent five minutes in the dressing room, they wouldn't be speaking negatively about the trade," Kidd said. "Everyone that's been around him knows what he brings to the table - that's goals, and that's it." (Montreal Gazette)
Arena safety and death-by-puck: The AP indicates that it was not exactly a slapshot that killed the 13-year-old fan in Columbus. She died from a rare injury to an artery that was damaged when her head snapped back, a coroner said Wednesday. Brittanie Cecil died Monday, two days after she was struck in the forehead by the puck at a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames. The damage to the artery, which runs from the spine to the back of the brain, led to a "vicious cycle" of clotting in the artery and swelling of the brain, said Franklin County Coroner Brad Lewis, who performed the autopsy. He said the artery also might have been slightly torn.

I suppose Espen Knutsen can feel a bit less mortified now. I hope this does not keep him from ringing up slap shots, cause he shoots so weakly already...

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Saying goodbye: I wish Kaspar luck with the Avalanche. He brought lots of fun to the Penguins, a killer attitude, the first Lindros concussion and a Game 7 overtime goal, among other things. We'll miss him terribly.

Post-deadline: Bure scored a goal his first time out in a blueshirt uniform, but the Canucks still thumped the Rangers 3-1, thanks to Todd Bertuzzi's pretty hat trick.

As Nelson would say, "HA, HA!"

The Penguins announced that Martin Straka is gone for the season.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Richer returns to Jersey: Late news from Fan590 radio. Stephane Richer was traded from the Penguins to the New Jersey Devils for draft picks.
Waver wire pickups: The Caps picked up Benoit Hogue and the Canadians picked up Bill Lindsay.
One more blockbuster: The New Jersey Devils, fighting just to make the playoffs this season after reaching the Stanley Cup finals last year, have acquired Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday for Jason Arnott, Randy McKay and a first-round pick. A good move for both teams, but both teams have chemistry problems - this could fix them or sink them entirely.
Espen Knutsen, best Norwegian in the NHL, and a murderer: "A 13-year-old girl died after being hit in the head by a puck that was shot over the glass and caromed off another fan at an NHL game. Brittanie Cecil died Monday night, two days after she was hurt at the game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames, Children's Hospital said. It was believed to be the first death of a fan hit by a puck at an NHL game and one of the few fan fatalities at an American sports event other than auto racing directly related to action on the field.

"Our fans mean the world to us," said Doug MacLean, Blue Jackets general manager. "This loss has profound effect on the entire Blue Jackets family." The shot by Espen Knutsen of Columbus flew over the high glass at the west end of the rink, glanced off another spectator and struck the girl in the head, witnesses said. The slap shot from the left circle appeared to be deflected by a defenseman's stick. After being hit, the girl was seen standing with a jacket being held to her head. She walked with little assistance to an exit." (AP)
Where's Jim Carey when you need him? The net detective is nowhere to be found, so the Capitals traded Adam Oates to the Flyers for hot young goalie Maxime Ouellet and the Flyers' 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks this summer.

Hmm, the Caps are giving up on the playoffs I guess... Meanwhile, Philly picks up a talented senior citizen to hold the fort until Roenick and Primeau are healthy.

Anyone want my remaining Caps tickets? Anyone at all?

Why, Glen, why? Your defense sucks, so what do you do? If you are the New York Rangers, you the traded your second-best center, Mike York, along with fourth-round draft pick in this summer's draft to the Edmonton Oilers for offensive defenseman Tom Poti and center Rem Murray. Goal scoring was not the problem in the Big Apple. Glen Sather will burn if the blueshirts don't make the playoffs after this and the Bure trade. But don't expect them to go anywhere with an all-offense, no-defense approach.

Coolest player in hockey heads west: Rather than lose him to free agency in the summer, the Penguins traded Darius Kasparaitis to the Colorado Avalanche for forward Ville Nieminen and defenseman Ricky Berry. Nieminen is a potential power-forward and played great for Colorado in the playoffs last year. But who the hell is Rick Berry?! The AP says he "has not scored, but was playing as a sixth defenseman for Colorado and adds depth to Pittsburgh's very thin defensive corps." Depth my eye! He adds a warm body, that's all.

Other moves: Lyle Odelein went to Chicago while Columbus got Jaroslav Spacek and a 2nd round pick in 2003 in return. That is a good move for both teams - Lyle the crocodile will provide playoff leadership for the Blackhawks and Spacek will provide a low salary and a slight offensive upside to the Bluejackets.

The Red Wings smartly picked up defenseman Jiri Slegr from the Thrashers in exchange for the useless Yuri Butsayev and a 3rd round pick this summer.

The Canadians got goalie Stephane Fiset from the LA Kings for a conditional draft pick. A useful bit of depth for Montreal, but importing yet another player prone to injury to an already injury-prone locker room...

The Bruins stocked up some offensive potential on their defense by getting Jeff Norton from the Panthers in exchange for a 6th round pick this summer. Quite a steal!

Bob Corkum went to Buffalo, which provided the Thrashers with a 5th round pick this summer. Another steal.

Who cares?: Darren van Impe went to the Islanders in exchange for a 5th round pick next summer. The Oilers swapped defenseman Sean Brown with the Bruins for defenseman Bobby Allen. The Wild swapped Daryl Laplante for Greg Crozier. The red-hot Phoenix Coyotes traded Kiril Safronov and Ruslan Zainullin (who?) to the Thrashers for Darcy Hordichuk and a 5th-round pickthis summer. The Mighty Ducks shipped former Penguins Dave Roche to the Islanders for Ben Guite and Bjorn Melin (who?).
Pavel Bure heads for Broadway! In exchange for defenceman Igor Ulanov, a bit player who spent time in the American Hockey League last month, blue-line prospect Filip Novak, currently with the junior Regina Pats, and three draft picks (first- and second-round choices this year and a fourth-rounder next year), the New York Rangers acquired Pavel Bure and a second-round pick this year from the Florida Panthers. (National Post)

Chicken Parm on the move: The Atlanta Thrashers traded captain Ray Ferraro to the St. Louis Blues for a fourth-round draft pick Monday night, giving the 18-year veteran a chance to finish his career with a playoff team. (AP)

The no-name two-step: The Nashville Predators made their third trade in five days Sunday, swapping a conditional pick in the 2003 draft to the Calgary Flames for right wing Jukka Hentunen. (AP)

Monday, March 18, 2002

Trade deadline one day away. Teams swing into action: The Philadelphia Flyers sent center Kent Manderville to Pittsburgh for Penguins forward Billy Tibbetts on Sunday. (AP)

A sensible move, since Tibbetts was not getting a ton of ice time with the Pens, and they desperately need a utility centerman like Kent. Meanwhile, Tibbetts provides depth with speed and grit on the wing for the Flyers.

The Carolina Hurricanes traded veteran goalie (and former Stanley Cup-winning Penguin) Tom Barrasso to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday for a fourth-round draft pick. (AP)

The Leafs needed insurance in case CuJo does not return from his injuries soon enough. The Hurricanes, who added young goaltender Kevin Weekes to their roster 10 days ago in a trade with Tampa Bay, needed to clear some space at the position.

The Pittsburgh Penguins obtained defenseman Jamie Pushor from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday for a fourth-round pick in 2003 and claimed forward Shean Donovan off waivers from Atlanta. (AP)

Continuing to stack up bodies (though not many of them capable of playing hockey), The Pittsburgh Penguins claimed Jeff Toms off waivers from the New York Rangers on Saturday.

The Los Angeles Kings acquired 15-year veteran Cliff Ronning from Nashville on Saturday for defenseman Jere Karalahti and a conditional choice in the 2003 draft. (AP)

The Dallas Stars traded forward Benoit Brunet, whom they had already dumped to the minors after signing John Maclean, to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday for a conditional draft choice in 2003.

The Ottawa Senators also traded tough guy Andre Roy to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday for center Juha Ylonen.

In the continuing news of teams swapping players I have never heard of, and probably never will again, the Atlanta Thrashers acquired defenseman Francis Lessard from the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday in exchange for defenseman David Harlock and two picks in the 2003 draft.