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Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

“If you wonder why we’ve worried about Lidstrom leaving, it’s because look what happens when Pronger leaves teams.  They don’t recover. It’s pretty apparent what he does for teams and he’s even more appreciated when he’s not there because you come to appreciate all he does. Look at Edmonton. They had one great year. That wasn’t an accident. Look what’s happened to them since.

“It was all because they had Pronger. Those kind of special players can do that for a team.”

Ken Holland, GM of the Detroit Red Wings.  More on Chris Pronger from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+pronger

Yzerman Says Goodbye To The Organization

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,

“Can I come by the house?” Steve Yzerman asked….

He hung up and told his wife, Marian, that Steve was on his way. They had gone through this a few months earlier when, unbeknown to most people, Yzerman nearly accepted the Minnesota GM’s job. He had come by the house then, like a dutiful son, and Marian Ilitch was so broken up by the thought of Yzerman leaving she stayed in the back, crying.

This time she and Mike sat in the family room and listened (albeit, Ilitch admitted, with “teary eyes”). They listened to Yzerman thank them over and over. They listened to him say how much he had learned.

And they listened to him say farewell.

“Since he’s been 17 years old,” Ilitch said Tuesday, from home, voice catching. “I mean, talk about family. That’s legit family. But he’s 45 now and it’s time.”

read on and for more Yzerman coverage, make sure to check out the work George Malik put in at Snapshots...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+yzerman

Ville Leino’s Scouting Report On The Blackhawks

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

“They have a lot of skilled players; they’re really good offensively, and they move the puck well,” said Leino, who played in the Stanley Cup Finals with the Red Wings last season. “That’s a really good team, and we just have to play our own game.”

But he sees weaknesses the Flyers can exploit when the teams meet in the Cup Finals starting Saturday in Chicago.

The Blackhawks are the NHL’s youngest team with an average age of 26.2. The Flyers - with thirtysomethings Simon Gagne, Blair Betts, Arron Asham , Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen, Chris Pronger, and Ian Laperriere - have a lot more experience.

“I think they all turn the puck over if they try to make too many plays,” Leino said of the Blackhawks. “We have to be hard on their key guys and get them a little frustrated [because] they can get a little emotional. We just have to have the solid effort we’ve had the last two games.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Playoff Points

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Daryl Reaugh of the Dallas Stars Blog,

• Alex Ovechkin…is a one trick pony and a big game gagger.

• Goaltending…isn’t as important as it used to be, unless your goalies name is Nabokov.

• A taxi from a North American airport to a hotel will make you…want to bath in Purell. Will take 0.63 years off your life. And will challenge your understanding of what the driver is passing off as the English language.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Do The Canucks Need More Canadians?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Gordon McIntyre of The White Towel,

• The 20 Canucks who played significant minutes in the playoffs break down geographically like this: Sweden, 5; Ontario, 4; Quebec, 2; Prairies, 2; U.S., 2; and 1 each from Slovakia, Germany, Finland, Denmark and Austria;

• For Philly it looks like this (there are 21 because they’ve used two goalies): Prairies, 6; Ontario, 6; Quebec, 3; U.S., 3; Finland, 2; Austria, 1.

• And for Chicago: Prairies, 5; B.C., 4; Ontario, 4; U.S., 3; Slovakia, 2; and 1 each from Sweden and Finland.

Does it mean anything that the Canucks had just eight “Canucks” and 10 North Americans in all to draw on?

This isn’t to rehash that sad argument, the one that says teams with European captains can’t win Stanley Cups.

But it does raise the question of whether players who come up through the grind of the North American club system and the CHL’s gruelling playoffs aren’t more prepared for the Stanley Cup playoffs than those who didn’t.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

People from Glendale and Winnipeg should be outraged. Bettman and Daly have long told both cities, with straight faces, that they would love to have both of them in the NHL. But not, apparently, before one is told to shut up and cough up, and the other is used coldly as a bargaining chip.

-David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail were you can read more on the Phoenix/Winnipeg talk.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

What Now Montreal?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,

Though their free-agent picture isn’t expected to change as radically as last year – when they didn’t re-sign any of their 10 unrestricted free agents – it’s still plenty complicated.

The Canadiens have roughly $44.7-million (U.S.) committed to 14 players (including the eventual buyout of enforcer Georges Laraque), which optimistically leaves $13-million to $14-million for the remaining nine roster spots.

That could prove problematic in a year where some are due big pay increases.

At the head of the list is centre Tomas Plekanec, who led the team in scoring in the regular season, but faltered disconcertingly in the playoffs.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tampa Bay Rays Dressing In Style

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adam Berry of MLB.com,

Manager Joe Maddon is having his team start the next road trip in style.

As part of a theme travel day to Toronto for the Rays’ three-game series against the Blue Jays from Monday to June 2, Maddon asked all his players to wear hockey jerseys. He had a simple answer when asked why.

“We’re going to Canada—Stanley Cup week,” said Maddon, referring to the fact that the Stanley Cup Finals between Philadelphia and Chicago start Saturday. “[It’s] the national pastime of the great country of Canada.”

Maddon, who said he will be wearing a St. Louis Blues jersey, noted that he had no preference as to who wins the championship.

continued

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tampa+bay+rays

Hossa Finds Another Winning Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

Courting of Marian Hossa began in Dale Tallon’s Montreal hotel room at last June’s draft. It was there that the Tallon, then general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, met seriously with agent Ritch Winter for the first time. It was there he let Winter know just how interested he was in signing Hossa.

It was an unusual arrangement. Hossa wouldn’t become a free agent until July 1, but his one-year deal with Detroit had come with a gentlemen’s agreement: He could negotiate with other teams if a longer-term deal with the Red Wings fell through.

Hossa’s instruction to Winter was simple: Find me a winner. Doing so, however, was a little more complicated.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+hossa

Panthers Want Some Cash Freed Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

via Sarah Talalay of the Sun-Sentinel,

Broward County commissioners appear poised to grant the parent company of the Florida Panthers a break on loan payments for building the county-owned BankAtlantic Center.

Commissioners voted 8-0 on Tuesday to direct county staff to come back to the commission June 8 with a new debt service schedule for Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which owns the National Hockey League team and operates the arena.

Sunrise Sports requested the county cut the company’s payments by $2.5 million annually through 2016 and then raise them about $1 million a year starting in 2017, as a way to free up cash for the struggling hockey team.

Sunrise Sports wants to use the cash to help improve the team’s finances.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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