Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Korky's back!

Well, I certainly wasn't expecting to see this in the news:

San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has acquired forward Alexander Korolyuk from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a third round selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Korolyuk has spent the past three seasons playing primarily for Chekhov Vityaz in the Russian Elite League, where he has posted 38 points (14 goals, 24 assists) in 39 games this season.
“We are very excited to have Alex rejoin our organization and we look forward to him integrating quickly into our line-up,” said Wilson. “He brings an added element to our team that has been very effective in the past. Alex knows our style of play and we expect him to be a natural fit.”
When Korky left the team, he finally seemed to "get it" -- he was skating hard, using his hard shot, and actually hitting people. I have no idea what he's been doing in Russia, but it'll be interesting to see if he's still playing the way he did when Ron Wilson put him, Nils Ekman, and Alyn McCauley together for a very dynamic second line.

Obviously, this Sharks team is WAY different from the one he last played on. However, the system remains the same and Korky stated before that he was pretty loyal to Ron Wilson for molding him into a better player.

I'm sure Wilson will give him a chance on the top two lines for the first game or two. Do you go Joe Thornton/Jonathan Cheechoo/Korolyuk or do you go with pure speed with Patrick Marleau/Milan Michalek/Korolyuk? And what happens to Joe Pavelski and Steve Bernier when they get healthy? Part of me thinks that this is a depth move in anticipation of finally getting some defensive help.

Take that, Nashville!


Earl Sleek said...

That was a shocker. What's the ruling on Korolyuk, any way? Wasn't it the case that since he was playing in Russia, he'd have to clear waivers if he were to try to rejoin the Sharks this year? Is that rule no longer in play, or maybe after the trade deadline passes, or is this strictly a move for next year and beyond?

Also, it is interesting that two of the deepest forward squads in the west got even deeper up front these last two days, when logic might dictate that they are better off going for help on the blueline.

Still, improvement's improvement, I guess.

Mike Chen said...

I'm still confused with the entry rules because I thought he had to play by December to be eligible. But Wilson says that he'll be in the lineup soon, so who knows?

I don't see the point in getting yet another second-line forward without trading for D. I gotta think either Pavelski or Bernier are gone for some blueline help by the deadline.

PJ Swenson said...

It will be interesting to see what kind of impact he can make on the lineup if he comes over. And that is a big if.

Is his game and conditioning where it should be at to play in the NHL? The broadcast crew just said he has been playing at a point a game in the RSL. 14 goals, 24 assists in 39 games for Chekhov Vityaz.

He has always been a player I would pay to see, but he has received his share of criticism from fans for a lack of physical and defensive play. He could never turn it around under Darryl Sutter, but under Rwil he started logging minutes in key situations and on the penalty kill. Wilson called him the best defensive player on the ice two times in the playoffs against St Louis.

If they could add Korolyuk, and a veteran defensive-defenseman who can log in the 20 minute range, and get Bernier to regain his focus on a 2-way game, the Sharks could be hitting their stride when it counts, down the stretch. And they will have been able to keep the best goaltending tandem in the league together.

Anaheim's inconsistency? Save that for a post by E double.

PJ Swenson said...

Hope you dont mind me adding a photo Mike.

Art Vandelay said...

Ron Wilson also praised his defensive corps like it was Robinson/Savard/Lapointe/Engblom after Game 2 v. EDM last spring. Just before the team collapsed, that is. SJS's D was exposed last year. The solution: trade Preissing and get even greener by playing Vlasic 25 minutes a game.

jamestobrien said...

If he's anywhere near as good as he is in NHL2K7 than it was brilliant to bring him back. Seriously, he's really good in that game.

PJ Swenson said...

Exposed wasn't really the word, unless you lived on the East Coast and were asleep for most of the Sharks games.

They lost Rathje and Stuart, and gained Ehrhoff, Carle and Vlasic. Three defenseman with less than 3 years between them. Not much of a surprise the defense was going to take a hit.

When the injuries return, when Korolyuk and Bernier are added up front, the Sharks will figure out their forward lines. What they need at the deadline is a defenseman.

Re-reading my post from the first Korolyuk trade, the condition on the first round pick from NJ is whether or not they make the playoffs. I think that is a safe bet, so it looks like that will be a first rounder in 2008, not this year.

And just for kicks, I want to hear Doug Wilson throw out a Brian Leetch rumor.

Anonymous said...

As a recovering Sharks fan from the dark ages of yore, I am glad to see Korky back.

Always loved that kid. Great skater.