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KARLSSON, COOKE REACT TO MELNYK-NHL MEETING
You no doubt heard about Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melynk meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman Monday, reportedly to present the findings of the “forensic investigation” to see if former Pittsburgh Penguin winger Matt Cooke, now with the Minnesota Wild, intentionally sliced the Achilles’ tendon of Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson last February.
Via The Ottawa Sun, here’s Erik Karlsson’s reaction:
“I heard about it. It’s not something that I’m personally involved in or something I put any focus on. (Melnyk) is a very emotional guy and he cares about this team deeply. He’s always had our back. If he’s done something he wants to do and move forward with that’s totally up to him. That’s not something I’m involved in.”
Karlsson, on moving forward: “It’s almost a year now. You can’t think about that stuff anymore. It’s done and it’s happened. It’s always going to be a part of me, but it’s something I rarely think about anymore,” he said.
And finally: “It’s just one of those things. We play a sport where injuries happen. If I could go my entire career without being injured I would be the luckiest guy alive.
“This is totally (Melnyk’s) own choice. If he wants to do it, that’s fine. He cares about this team and his players. That’s something that we respect.”
Meanwhile, here’s Cooke, to The Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “I think it’s really strange. It’s almost a full year ago that it happened. I’ve said this from the beginning and I still say it. It was a complete accident. It’s happened two or three times since with other guys.”
On if he wishes Melnyk would just let it go: “I can’t control it. I learned a long time ago, all I can control is my actions and my words. I try to do that to the best that I can. Other people are going to have judgments. They’re entitled to their own opinions. I can’t tell this guy how to spend his money. He’s entitled to do what he wants.”
CONCUSSED VISNOVSKY STILL HOPEFUL FOR OLYMPICS
Newsday caught up with Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who has been sidelined with a concussion since Oct. 19. He’s at least 10-14 days away from returning to action.
As far as playing for the Slovakian team in Sochi, to which he was named?
“I’m looking for my first game back with the Islanders and be back in perfect condition — after that, I try thinking about Olympics.”
And: “In my country, Olympics is something very big. But you need to be in good shape. I don’t want to go out there and kill my team by playing. I have to be ready for games here and then we will see.”
BRUINS’ BERGERON ADDRESSES OLYMPIC SECURITY
Candid, extensive quotes via The Boston Herald from Bruins center Patrice Bergeron regarding his thoughts on security concerns for the upcoming Sochi Olympics.
“It is scary to some extent. I’m not necessarily concerned about it right now. I don’t feel that my own personal security is going to be in jeopardy over there, so I feel fine about going.
“I’ve heard about the recent threats but I haven’t thought about it too much. I’m still focused on playing the games here. It’s still a few weeks away and we have a lot of games left …
“My family, my wife, my brother went to Vancouver, but they’re not going this time. I’ve got to say security is part of it. I wanted to worry about my game and my team, and I didn’t want to have any other distractions.
“It’s still a huge honor to go to the Olympics. I’m focused on the Bruins right now, but I’m really excited about Sochi. I’m really looking forward to it.
“With the terrorist threats, it actually blows my mind that people could consider attacking the Olympics. It’s sad that it comes to that. It’s such an honor for athletes and such a great event. You work so hard to get there. It’s sad that this could happen …
“I don’t know if anything could change my mind. You obviously don’t want to hear about anything happening. That’s the last thing you want to hear. But I feel like the security over there is going to handle it. I’m sure the Olympic village is going to be very secure. So right now, I feel OK.
“At Vancouver the security was great. It was actually hard to get in anywhere even as an athlete, to the village, the rink, or wherever. Our families were not allowed to come visit us in the village. I thought security was great four years ago and I’ve heard there’s even going to be more force there this time with the army.”
PATRICK KANE MARVELS AT PENGUINS’ CROSBY
The Chicago-Sun Times relays Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane’s thoughts on the face of the NHL, Sidney Crosby.
‘‘He produces every night,’’ Kane said. ‘‘He’s fun to watch. Even on nights where he maybe doesn’t have his best game, he still comes out of there with two assists or a goal and an assist. Then there are games where it seems like he’s determined, and he’s the best player in the world and just dominates the game. You’re like, ‘Wow, this guy is amazing.’ I think he’s the best player in the league, for sure.’’
Kane added: ‘‘The thing is [being] consistent,’’ he said. ‘‘That’s the biggest thing about it. To do that for 82 games is where he’s at, and I’m not, I guess. Consistency is the biggest thing, just to keep that chugging along the whole year. I was real hot and right there with him, and then he kind of continues and keeps trotting on.’’
PAVELSKI’S HIGH HOCKEY IQ
Sharp profile on Sharks forward Joe Pavelski from CSNBayArea.com.
Coach Todd McLellan recalls taking over the team in the summer of 2008.
“You could tell at that point that Pav was astute. He wanted to know how we were going to do things,” said McLellan, the former Red Wings assistant. “He asked a lot of questions about people we had in Detroit – the Pavel Datsyuks, the Henrik Zetterbergs. He wanted to know how they did things.
“Where others were meet-and-greets and that type of stuff, Pav was already digging, trying to find ways.”
McLellan also noted: “He’s not Marian Gaborik or Patrick Marleau when it comes to skating. So, his mind has to get him to places where their legs get them. Pav has that sense. He knows where to go. Then when he gets there, he has the courage to stay in it.”
RUPP BEING GOOD TEAMMATE FOR WILD
Via The Pioneer Press, Wild forward Mike Rupp on being a healthy scratch for the 10th straight game Tuesday night.
“I’ve played with guys who drag their lip and maybe have a chip on their shoulders and they don’t talk to their teammates,” said the 11-year NHL veteran. “That’s been a turnoff to me, and I don’t ever want to be that. So no matter what the circumstances are, I’m going to be a teammate and continue (to work hard).”
More Rupp: “It’s no one’s fault; it’s just the circumstances. There’s a way you can handle it, and I’m just trying to work hard and use this time to get my skating back to where it needs to be and just stay focused, and I think I’ll get a chance at some point.”
HUTTON PLAYING BETTER FOR PREDS
Predators coach Barry Trotz, via The Nashville Tennessean, on how he hasn’t taken it easy on goaltender Carter Hutton during his slumps this season. Hutton has won his past three starts.
“If anybody would know where his confidence level is now it would be him, but if anybody was hard on his confidence it probably would be me,” Trotz said. “The difference between just having a cup of coffee in this league and being in the league full time is your consistency level, and that’s what you’re pushing to do: be more confident and consistent.”
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