Here are the national morning papers:
- Dave Shoalts of the Globe & Mail says there is still some hope for the Leafs to be able to trade players with no-trade contracts.
- New Oilers owner Daryl Katz got to where he is by being bold, and he is not about to change his style now, writes Alan Maki of the Globe & Mail.
- Mark Spector of the National Post provides readers with a couple of scouts’ perspectives on the current state of the Maple Leafs.
- David Yates has a great feature article on former NHL’er Joe Juneau in this morning’s Montreal Gazette.
- Lois Kalchman has an inspiring story about Jason Blake and his new friend, in this morning’s Toronto Star.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution takes a closer look at all five teams competing in the Southeast Division.
- Panthers forward Richard Zednik has finally broken out of his prolonged slump, and the team is now hoping he can provide more secondary scoring. Panthers coach Jacques Martin doesn’t mind his team fighting for a purpose, but he doesn’t approve of fighting with nothing to gain.
- Habs coach Guy Carbonneau has demoted Chris Higgins to the team’s fourth line for tonight’s game versus the Maple Leafs.
- Sabres coach Lindy Ruff changed it up in the shootout by calling Henrik Tallinder’s number as the second shooter and he didn’t disappoint as Buffalo defeated the Devils 3-2 at the HSBC Arena. There were fifteen scouts in Buffalo last night to watch the Sabres face-off against the Devils.
- The Devils finally lost a shootout to Buffalo last night 3-2, ruining their perfect 3-0 shootout record against the Sabres this season. Brian Gionta is sick of facing Ryan Miller in the shootout, as last night was their fourth shootout matchup this season.
- The Islanders will be without Miroslav Satan for tonight’s game versus the Penguins and possibly longer, writes Erik Boland of Newsday.
- “He’s on the puck, his puck pressure, a lot of battles won, blocking shots … look who I have on the ice in the final 22 seconds,” said Lightning coach John Tortorella about forward Craig MacDonald.
- Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star says the new Leafs GM may be in luck, as the salary cap is expected to rise at least $3 million for next season. While McGran is fairly positive, Damien Cox of the Star says the Leafs too easily accept losing.
- Petteri Nokelainen isn’t happy sitting in the press box, and wants to do whatever it takes to get back on the ice for the Bruins, writes Fluto Shinwaza of the Boston Globe. For the players that are in the lineup, coach Claude Julien wants them to go to the dirty areas more often. (Writer’s note: I’m pretty sure this is the third article I have linked this season about the Bruins needing to go hard to the net.)
- Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford considers himself a buyer rather than a seller coming up on the February 26th trade deadline.
- Sean Avery and Marek Malik made Rangers practice more interesting yesterday by dropping the gloves and going at it.
- With last night’s victory over the Flyers, the Capitals now find themselves in first place in the Southeast Division, writes Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post.
- In Pittsburgh, defenseman Ryan Whitney understands that playing for coach Michel Therrien comes with lots of criticism, and he is used to it by now, writes Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. On the stat sheet, goaltender Ty Conklin has finally played enough games to show up on the NHL official statistical leaders.
- The Flyers are expecting a decision from Peter Forsberg by the weekend, but on the ice, the team lost 4-3 at home to the Capitals last night.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Morgan Cook of the Orange County Register has the story of the Ducks’ day at the White House.
- Calgary GM Darryl Sutter said he could keep all his UFA’s for next season if he wants to, and they want to return. The Flames have quite a foursome of players locked up for the long haul, writes Jean Lefebvre of the Calgary Herald.
- The Jackets are going to rely on struggling backup netminder Fredrik Norrena for the next two games versus Phoenix and San Jose as Pascal Leclaire is on the shelf with a sprained neck. Off the ice, the Jackets did lockup speedster Jason Chimera to a four-year contract extension. Here are the probable lines for Columbus tonight.
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News has a good story about the evolution of Brenden Morrow as a goal-scorer.
- You won’t see Mike Babcock getting overly excited about the Red Wings record so far this season. Even though the Wings are rolling, they would like to get Jiri Hudler back on track as the youngster has been slumping lately.
- Mike Modano is going to be honored tonight in Minnesota and Michael Russo of the Star Tribune has a profile of the highest scoring American born player of all-time.
- Sharks coach Ron Wilson said some of his players just didn’t come to play last night and his team paid for it with a 3-1 home loss to the Avalanche.
- “They haven’t won much here for about three years, and we’ve been trying to change that. Is that a culture issue? I don’t think our issues are physical, so are they environmental? I’m not sure.” That was the quote by Blues coach Andy Murray in response to his team’s recent slump.
- Even with a number of their players edging closer to a return from injury, the Hawks lost their fifth straight game last night 4-1 at Edmonton; making the playoffs look that much farther away.
- The Avalanche were more than happy to have Jose Theodore back between the pipes last night, as the veteran netminder turned aside 30 shots in leading his team to a 3-1 road victory at San Jose. In other Avs news, the team is still in the hunt for Peter Forsberg.
- Since Shawn Horcoff went down for the season, and everyone wrote off the Oilers slim playoff chances, the team has responded by going 2-0 after last night’s 4-1 victory over Chicago. GM Kevin Lowe is looking forward to the Daryl Katz era, writes Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal.
- Even though the Predators’ top line is rolling, the team needs secondary scoring from the likes of Radek Bonk if it wants to solidify its playoff standing. In injury news, Jordin Tootoo was back on the ice yesterday by himself, but there is no timetable yet for his return.
- Jim Gintonio has the story of Rick Tocchet’s return to the Coyotes coaching staff in this morning’s Arizona Republic.
- The Canucks continue to try and weather the storm until they get their defensemen back healthy, writes Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province. Apparently the Canucks remain one of Peter Forsberg’s possible destinations.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.
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