Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Post-Bulletin,
As some of the nation’s best players gather in St. Paul this week for the WCHA Final Five, one thing is clear: This is not Paul Martin’s WCHA.
The use of family advisors is not new, but with players committing to colleges earlier and college-level players deemed ready for the pro game at an earlier age, the process has begun at a much earlier age.
Many players have been relying on the services of an agent since they were 14. Known in college hockey circles as “family advisors,” the agents work without a contract with the hope of one day taking on the player as a client.
from Darren Eliot at NHL.com,
With good reason, we’ve talked an awful lot about the fine young goaltenders around the league this season. But we can’t overlook the veteran backups chipping in admirably. The trio of Jocelyn Thibault, Chris Osgood and Mike Dunham came to the forefront this week. All three were once starters in this League, routinely playing over 60 games a season. Now they start sporadically, either out of emergency or to give the No. 1 guy a momentary break.
Q: Can you relate the pressure situations you face in golf to what you experienced at the highest levels of hockey?
Mario Lemieux: Well, it’s much easier in hockey. Golf is something we’re not used to dealing with. It’s not what we do for a living. So you get a lot more nervous in golf.
Q: Do you get as into the golf as you did hockey? Is the intensity at all similar?
Mario Lemieux: Well, this is a lot harder for us. This isn’t something you do for a living. But you still enjoy it.
With his team hit hard by the injury bug and no salary cap room to call up anyone from the minors, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello decided Thursday to place right wing Brian Gionta on long-term injured reserve retroactive to the last game he played on March 6 in Philadelphia….
“We just looked at the calendar and where Brian is at, we’re certainly not going to rush him,” Lamoriello said. “Brian and I had a conversation [Wednesday]. We’ll put Brian on injured reserve, which will allow us to put pressure on some of the young players. It also will give Brian time, so he doesn’t have to put pressure on himself.”
from the Montreal Gazette,
Tanguay’s lucrative deal, some Edmonton and national media suggested, led to inflation and priced Smyth out of the Oilers’ comfort zone.
That insinuation is more than Tanguay can stand.
“Ryan’s a great player,” Tanguay said. “Don’t get me wrong. I’d like to have him on my team. But what happened with the contract situation, I think it’s just unfortunate that I got dragged into it for no reason. I don’t see why the fans in Edmonton or anybody else in Canada would be mad at me because they couldn’t get Ryan Smyth signed. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with me.”
from the Nashville City Paper,
Tootoo has been known mostly for his ability to create havoc and mayhem on the ice, but Predators coach Barry Trotz and his staff have been working with Tootoo to become more of a well-rounded player.
“I think the more he plays at that higher level that the game will start slowing down for him and you will see some offensive numbers,” Trotz said. “But I look at it as whether or not he is having an effect on the game. And he absolutely does. He drew three or four penalties against Detroit Wednesday night, and he didn’t do anything except finish his checks and go hard to the net.
“Does that have an impact? Absolutely. That might be worth more than goals. He is playing with some purpose. He is focused. And he is working hard.”
from the OC Register,
“I wouldn’t be able to play 30 minutes at 220,” Beauchemin said. “Now I’m 210. I think it made a big difference in my game having quicker feet.”
Specifically, Beauchemin does not have to resort to hooking and grabbing when he goes back to retrieve the puck. Offensively, he can be more aggressive in joining the rush.
“I adjusted pretty well,” he said. “I’m not a big skater, but I can use my speed and still be physical.”
from the Toronto Sun,
Good thing Darcy Tucker is mellowing.
For much of his career Tucker was one of those guys who could make you admire his tenacity one moment, then curse his immaturity and fool-headedness the next. The upside was that he could upset the other team and make them forget they were there to play hockey. The downside was that he’d just as often forget why he was there himself—inevitably do more yapping than scoring; he would leap into an official’s face flapping his arms like Big Bird on an amphetamine rush, or try to beat up the entire Senators bench.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
In the salary cap world, where there isn’t much separating the top of the playoff pool from the bottom, it seems next to impossible to pick a favorite.
Maybe we should just pick the Stanley Cup champions to repeat. Oh, wait a minute, the Carolina Hurricanes might not make the playoffs. Maybe we should pick last season’s other Stanley Cup finalist. No that doesn’t work because the Edmonton Oilers are all but out of the playoffs.
Maybe we should draw a name out a hat because the truth is there might be eight favorites in each conference. Another No. 8 seed might just reach the Finals again this spring like the Oilers did last June.
read on... Kevin breaks down the plus and minuses for the cup contenders…
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
It’s time for another friendly game of Fact or Fiction. In this edition, we’ll focus on some interesting league matters. Do we have all the answers? Well, it’s a fact we don’t, but that won’t stop us from taking a stab at these intriguing questions.
The NHL will eventually expand to Las Vegas
Fact. Within the next five years, the league will expand to two new cities, and you can bet Las Vegas will be one of them. Hollywood mogul Jerry Bruckheimer, a big-time hockey fan, is part of a group that wants to land a team in Vegas.
read on for more fact or fiction…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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