Kukla's Korner

Hockey Is the Talk In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,

Canada invented the game of hockey, as every citizen here is required to tell foreign visitors at least five times a day. And while the Winter Games have taken place once previously in Canada — Calgary 1988 — the players were amateurs and not NHL professionals, who didn’t appear in the Olympics until 1998.

In other words, this will be the first time an Olympic hockey gold medal will be decided by the world’s best hockey players on Canadian soil. And since Canada finished a disgraceful eighth at the last Winter Olympic hockey tournament in Torino four years ago, the home fans are in no mood for finishing second. As one international hockey official has joked, the country is “a nation of 35 million general managers.”

Another indication of hockey’s pecking order here: Every men’s tournament game will be played at the largest and nicest ice arena in town, Canada Hockey Place, home of the Vancouver Canucks NHL team. Usually at the Olympics, the biggest and best arena is reserved for figure skating, the glamour event of the games. This time, the figure skaters have been shunted off to the Pacific Coliseum — the smaller 42-year-old building where the Canucks played in the 1980s and ‘90s.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+olympics

Finding The Right Chemistry

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Charles McGrath and Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,

...But the groupings suggested some surprising thinking on the part of the Russian coaching staff. Sergei Fedorov, Slava Kozlov and Alexander Radulov, who all play in the Kontinental Hockey League, were together, but Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk — the three best players on the team and potentially a devastating line — were not. Instead, Ovechkin was with Datsyuk and Alexander Semin, who is Ovechkin’s teammate on the Washington Capitals….

Talking about how the problem of getting the lines to click on short notice, Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames and Canada said: “The coaching staff talks to us, and they’ve already been thinking about the role they want each of us to play. They’ve put the lines together, and some of the guys have already played together.”

Ron Wilson, the United States coach, likened the process of putting together a team on one day’s notice to a riddle.

“It’s like a Rubik’s cube,” he said, speaking with reporters at Canada Hockey Place. “You just start moving it till you get a side with one color all the same.”

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+olympics

How Souray Could Become A Ranger

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Rangers have been monitoring the situation in Edmonton with Sheldon Souray all year. Now that the veteran defenseman with the cannon from the power play point has included the Blueshirts on his list of teams for which he will waive his no-trade clause, Sather will be more than tempted—even with Souray likely to be sidelined until the third week of March with the broken hand he suffered in a Jan. 30 fight with Jarome Iginla.

But Souray’s contract carries a $5.4 million cap hit through 2011-12. The only way the Rangers would be able to get him would be by either including Michal Rozsival ($5 million cap hit through 2011-12) in the trade, or by sending No. 33 elsewhere in a separate deal without taking on much of a contract in return.

So, unless Sather is somehow able to pull off cap acrobatics of an unforeseen nature—or is willing to divest the Rangers of Wade Redden’s $6.5 million cap hit by waiving him to the minors, a move there is no indication the GM is considering—trade deadline changes are more likely to be made around the fringes, as they were last Friday when Jody Shelley replaced Donald Brashear on the roster.

more on the Rangers battle to make the playoffs…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“The exciting thing about these Olympics is having them in Vancouver.  It’s hockey, hockey all the time, and it’s a great atmosphere.”

-Teemu Selanne of Team Finland.  More on Teemu, who is playing in his last Olympic games, from Mark Whicker of the OC Register.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+finland, teemu+selanne

Time To Drop The Puck

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

“Coming here today and seeing all this,” said Zach Parise, nodding toward the swarm of media. “The nerves start to creep in.”

There’s only one way to remove those nerves.

“You almost just want to start the game and let the nerves relax a little bit,” he said.

After months of anticipation, they finally get that chance.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: winter+olympics

Babcock Full Of Surprises

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

This time, with only three round robin games, it was assumed Brodeur and Luongo would split the first two games, but that Brodeur, almost as a courtesy, would start the opener. Instead, he gets the tougher opponent in Switzerland, with the really complicated choice being who starts next Sunday against the United States.

“No, I wasn’t surprised,” Brodeur told the Star. “I’m going to play the next game (against the Swiss). More of a challenge for the coaches will be who plays after that.”

Babcock didn’t really explain his choice, mumbling something about Luongo being a Vancouver Canuck, and something else about Brodeur having played so much this season – he’s appeared in 58 of New Jersey’s 61 games – that he might be able to use a couple of days off.

Maybe. More likely is that Brodeur is already slotted to get the game against the Americans and would face a four-day layoff if the games against Norway and the Swiss were flipped. But we’ll see.

The second surprise unveiled by Babcock on Monday was having Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, a player who wasn’t even invited to the summer camp in Calgary, skating alongside centre Sidney Crosby and Rick Nash on what is expected to be Canada’s top line.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+canada

H2H: Time For Some News And To Pay Your Money

Blog: Abel to Yzerman By VooX

Herm 2 Hockeytown is being called the greatest thing the internet has ever given mankind.  Admittedly only I say that, but I’m hoping it will catch on.

There are some pressing matters to attend to regarding Herm 2 Hockeytown, and even a shocking development that the interns have uncovered.

I have received an email from Jennyquarx requesting for everyone who hasn’t paid for their tickets to do so ASAP.  She has gone out of her way to make a sizable deposit for you bitches, do the right thing and send her money for the tickets you have requested.  She can only hold onto them for a few days longer take care of your payment if you haven’t already.  If you have already paid up, thanks so much.

Here is the email I received on the weekend from Jennyquarx that has the details,

Important: There is only one more week for people to pay me for game tickets.  I have a few stragglers and I just cannot front the money to people, this needs to get done.  They can still get tickets on their own from Ryan Michaels after that time, but I cannot extend the deadline any further. Hockeytown Cafe payment is needed by March 5.  Logistically I simply cannot let this go longer than these deadlines, I have too many people to collect for and these places need to get paid.  Tell them they don’t want to not be at Hockeytown Cafe as that is where the penalty box seats prize drawing will be held!! 
Donations can still be made here

Everyone has until this weekend to settle up with Jen.  Otherwise your tickets will be sent back to the Red Wings and you are on your own to get seats in our area.  And as mentioned, if you want to go to Hockeytown Cafe and be part of the drawing for penalty box seats, payment also needs to be sent.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Onwards, with the Olympic break at hand the high-paid interns at A2Y thought they would get a couple weeks off for relaxation and team building.  No chance.  Being the ruthless sweatshop owner that I am, I had them hard at work and they have uncovered a discovery which has shocked me.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Franzen Happy To Be In Vancouver

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Even after his major knee operation in October, Johan Franzen had a gut feeling that he was going to be in Vancouver for the Olympics.

“I didn’t book a vacation trip,” he said Monday after Team Sweden’s practice.

Maybe not, but he also didn’t find out officially until 11 o’clock Sunday morning that he would be part of Team Sweden.

Franzen, who is four months removed from surgery for a torn ACL, is here because his teammate in Detroit, Tomas Holmstrom, can not be as his Olympics were derailed by nagging foot and knee injuries.

“I waited until the last day and I finally got the call,” Franzen said. “I wanted to believe it (that I would be in the Olympics).”

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: johan+franzen, team+sweden

Fedorov Having Fun

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the CP at CTVOlympics,

The 40-year-old forward appeared to be just as loose and relaxed as the players around him on the eve of the Olympic tournament. He was clearly enjoying himself on the ice during Monday’s practice at Canada Hockey Place and was cracking jokes afterwards.

“I’m just delighted to be around those guys and have fun,” said Fedorov. “If you want to be part of the group, you have to goof off too sometimes.”

Fedorov is five years older than anyone else on the Russian team. He’s back for his third Games and is painfully aware that his country hasn’t won Olympic gold since 1992, but doesn’t believe it’s much of a distraction for the young stars.

“I don’t think anybody on the team thinks about when we won last time Olympics and stuff because we’re having too much fun,” said Fedorov.

read on

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sergei+fedorov, team+russia

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“I’m the happiest guy here, that’s for sure.”

“When it first happened it was one of the scariest things I’ve been through. And it was one of the hardest things I’ve done.  The last week hasn’t been easy and I’m so relieved just to get on the ice with the guys again.”

Ryan Getzlaf of Team Canada.  A bit more on Team Canad from Helene Elliott of the LA Times.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+getzlaf, team+canada

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