Hockey Hearsay shines a light on stories of interest from around the hockey world and runs weekdays, year-round.
OILERS’ GAGNER IGNORES TRADE RUMOURS
The Edmonton Journal points out the no-move clause in Oilers forward Sam Gagner’s three-year deal, of which he’s in the first season now, doesn’t kick in until after this year.
“I’ve been through trade rumours my whole career, it seems,” Gagner said Thursday. “It’s something I’m used to at this point (but) unless something came about, it’s not something I worry about. I’m here to help the Edmonton Oilers win and that’s my focus.
“I just know personally that things aren’t always as good as they seem when they’re going good, or as bad as they seem when they’re going bad. I think I’ve played some good hockey this year. Coming back from the jaw injury, it was slow going for a little bit, but my game is rounding into form.
“It’s just easier when you’re not reading (trade talk). That’s been my biggest thing. I try not to read it anymore. People are going to say things all the time — whether you’re doing good things or not. I just have to keep pushing forward.”
“I haven’t read anything that’s been said … It can be a roller-coaster ride if you do.”
PREDATORS’ FISHER PONDERS RETIREMENT TIMELINE
The Ottawa Sun relays that 33-year-old former Senators forward Mike Fisher, currently with the Nashville Predators, admitted contemplating his retirement.
“I think everyone kind of does that, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t,” said Fisher. “I still have a year left on my deal here and, after that, probably next year will be a deciding factor on how my body feels and where Carrie and I are at.
“Obviously there’s always the green light from her, but it’s going to be a decision then. I really don’t know at this point.”
Is he recognized on the streets as a Predator or Mr. Underwood?
“No, she’s my wife here,” Fisher said sarcastically. “I’ll never get rid of that, probably. People are pretty good here. It’s not like at home, for sure. It’s not like Ottawa, where people follow every bit of it. But the more you here, obviously, more people recognize you. You can still get away.
“We actually stay at home a lot. If we’re out, we don’t go into the tourists spots, for sure. You can’t really hide here. People are good, friendly, and they usually leave me alone.”
NOEL TO JETS FANS: WE FEEL YOUR PAIN
The Winnipeg Sun details how the Jets lost their fourth game in a row Tuesday and were booed off the ice.
“We hear their voices, and I can tell you to a man, with the players and the staff, we’re all feeling about the same,” coach Claude Noel said. “We’re trying to find solutions to get this thing back on the right track. So we feel their pain. We’re hoping they still support us for the next game, and we expect to be a lot better in the next game.”
Noel wouldn’t go into detail about what is being done to get the situation turned around, but he said you can hold only so many meetings with players before they start tuning out the coaching staff.
“We’ll get it turned around,” he said. “We are going to win here one day. I’m hoping to be here one day. We are going to win here one day. And then I’ll be able to sit here and say, ‘We’re winning now.’ That’s going to happen. I’m confident in that.”
WOULD MILLER CONSIDER PLAYING FOR PANTHERS?
The Panthers and Sabres squared off Thursday night and after the morning skate, The Sun-Sentinel had these quotes from goaltender Ryan Miller. He’s slated to become a UFA at the end of this season.
He told the Sun Sentinel that while he’s focused on helping the Sabres get out of the NHL basement, he repeatedly said that, “Florida’s a good spot.”
Miller is aware that new owner Vinnie Viola has vowed to use his wealth to acquire elite free agents.
“My situation here has to play out before I could consider anything else,” Miller said. “I pay attention to the league, I know what’s going on.
“I’m happy that Florida has new ownership. It’ s important for every team to be healthy. Florida’s a good spot. My grandparents live down there in Stuart … My mom’s mom and my grandfather are down in Lakeland for a long time. Florida’s a good spot but …”
STARS’ NICHUSHKIN DRAWS HIGH PRAISE FROM YASHIN
A report in R-Sport discusses how a split has developed between Team Russia coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov and GM Alexei Yashin, the ex-NHL star, over whether or not Dallas Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin deserves his place on the Sochi Olympic team.
The coach said it was “an advance payment” that the player “must justify.”
“It’s hard to talk about an advance payment. It’s the wrong word,” said Yashin. “Nichushkin has earned the call to the Olympics with his game.”
Yashin also said Nichushkin is “a very good player and an emerging star of the NHL” and his rookie season is reminiscent of Sidney Crosby and John Tavares.
ROY’S GOOD-NATURED RIBBING OF ROENICK
Phenomenally funny moment described in The Denver Post:
One of the most famous lines in Avalanche history, when Patrick Roy said “I can’t really hear what Jeremy says, because I got my two Stanley Cup rings plugged in my ears” to Jeremy Roenick of Chicago in the 1996 Western Conference semifinals, got an addition Thursday.
Roenick was at the Avs practice facility this morning, doing a segment on Matt Duchene for NBC. We asked Roy, who got two more rings after that series, if he could hear anything Roenick said to him during the visit.
“I had the other two rings in my mouth, I couldn’t say anything to him,” Roy joked.
— Matt Duchene (@Matt9Duchene) January 9, 2014
FLYERS’ HOLMGREN SURPRISED BY GIROUX SNUB
Via CSNPhilly.com, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren describes his reaction to finding out Claude Giroux didn’t make Team Canada.
“I would say I was a little bit surprised,” Holmgren said. “I’m more disappointed for Claude. I know how badly he wanted to be named to the team. That’s a tough call. A lot of good players to choose from.”
TORTORELLA APPRECIATES LACK’S IMPORTANCE TO CANUCKS
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks at back-up goalies, including Eddie Lack of the Vancouver Canucks. A few thoughts from coach John Tortorella on the situation he inherited between the pipes with Roberto Luongo and Lack, the Canucks having traded Cory Schneider.
“Coming to a new team, the stuff involving Roberto, and not knowing Eddie, it was a concern of mine,” Tortorella said. “As a coach, you have to put him in. Eddie, right away, it was pretty easy for me to see his demeanor and how he plays, that he was going to be able to handle this.”
Tortorella puts a lot of value on the role of backup goaltender.
“If you want to get where you want to be come May and June [deep in the playoffs], you can’t be playing your No. 1 [too heavily] throughout the year,” he said. “You’ve got to make sure that he has some sort of freshness to him when you start the playoffs. It’s a huge role, not only just to play the games, but to get points.”
FAREWELL TO REDDEN
Wade Redden retired Thursday after a 14-year NHL career, prompting a few tweets from current NHLers.
Wade Redden retires today. The hockey world will miss your presence big guy. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better pro on/off the ice.
— Jordin Tootoo (@Jtootoo22) January 9, 2014
Congrats to Wade Redden on his career! #gentleman
— David Perron (@DP_57) January 9, 2014
All the best to Wade Redden and his family after such a great career!
— Keaton Ellerby (@ellerby88) January 9, 2014
Want to congratulate Wade Redden on a great NHL career! It was a privilege to have played with one of the best guys in hockey. #PapaReds
— Cam Talbot (@ctalbot33) January 9, 2014
KRUGER EARNS SECOND LINE ROLE WITH HAWKS
The Chicago Tribune describes how 23-year-old Marcus Kruger has earned another shot as the second line center for the Blackhawks, between Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg.
“(Kruger) has been a real nice fit for our team,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “You appreciate the energy he brings, you like the consistency he brings (and) the reliability on both sides of the puck. I see improvement in his game. You have to commend him on his practice habits. He betters himself because he works so hard in practice and brings that into the game. He’s had a really nice progression to his young career. He’s got that will to find ways to contribute any way he can and I think he’s really moved up the ladder in a lot people’s eyes, particularly around this locker room.”
THEY TWEETED IT
— Marian Gaborik (@MGaborik10) January 10, 2014
The cops in Calgary get to wear cowboy hats….if that's not cool, I don't know what is…
— Brian Elliott (@KidElls1) January 9, 2014