Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Iginla thought: With the opening of training camp still eight days away, he’d organized a boy’s weekend out in nearby Banff – something coach Mike Keenan likened to a team-building exercise, but Iginla saw mostly as an excuse to get together with the newcomers in a social setting, away from the pressures of the rink and all the attendant scrutiny.
Some players went golfing, others went fishing. Mother Nature didn’t exactly cooperate, according to Alex Tanguay – the day was cold and wet and sometimes, the wet stuff looked suspiciously like snow or hail. But all in all, it served the purpose – to introduce Iginla, Tanguay and other holdover mainstays to the new players on the team, Owen Nolan, Adrian Aucoin, Cory Sarich and all the rest.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
This was the 11th year that Centre ICE and Traverse City have hosted the event and the second year that seven other NHL teams competed here. There may be an event like this coming to you in the future. There were at least two teams here to study the rink operation as well as scout the roughly 160 players who, for the most part, were drafted in the past three years. Each team was limited to using only four professional hockey players, mostly those in the AHL and ECHL.
Teams that once turned down Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland’s invitations, call repeatedly to ask to be admitted.
“You snooze, you lose, I tell them, but we’re looking at expanding and including more teams, nothing definite yet,” Holland said. “It’s a good place to see how your young talent is progressing and how they shape up against their own age group.
Numminen believed the surgery would occur years down the line but doctors at The Cleveland Clinic advised the 39-year old defensemen have it done now.
“It was shocking,” said Numminen. “It was something that I wasn’t expecting and it really was surprising.”
Numminen, who has had two heart surgeries, will have a valve in his heart repaired on Thursday at The Cleveland Clinic.
The Sabres have suspended Numminen without pay for reporting to training camp physically unable to perform, something he is not thinking about.
“That’s I guess how the teams do their business, it’s not really on my list of worries or things to think about. It’s really on the side and not a big deal for me.”
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
The Thrashers opened training camp Friday morning without center Steve Rucchin, who failed his physical on Thursday. Rucchin has been suffering from post-concussion syndrome since taking a hit to the head against the Colorado Avalanche on Feb. 8. He hasn’t played since.
“He feels pretty good, but when he gets to an exertion period of work, (the headaches) keep coming back,” said general manager Don Waddell.
from On the Islanders Beat,
The Isles’ arrival was the good news yesterday on the front page of the Moncton Times & Transcript right next to the tragic news of the funerals for three of the four local 16-year-old boys who died in a terrible traffic accident last Saturday. The fourth service will be held today in nearby Beresford, and the Islanders are exploring ways to make a goodwill gesture to aid a community in mourning.
For some, the opening of hockey season will provide an escape from their grief. Moncton has scheduled a Hockey Night in Downtown celebration tonight, featuring a parade led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police band and players from the Islanders as well as four local university and youth teams. On Saturday, there will be a Road Hockey Challenge for kids ages 5 to 10 to launch the opening of the season for the Wildcats, now coached by Danny Flynn, who was Nolan’s top assistant last season with the Islanders and previously in juniors with Moncton and Sault Ste. Marie.
via the Globe and Mail,
Last week, we tried to track down the 31-year-old O’Neill to get his thoughts on why he remains unsigned even though he scored 20 goals last season and to find out if there were any clubs interested in his services. But his new agent, Ian Pulver, returned an e-mail that said the two of them felt that it wasn’t in the best interest of O’Neill to do an interview.
Of the 120 players who scored 20 goals or more, only Petr Prucha of the New York Rangers averaged less than O’Neill’s 13 minutes and 43 seconds of ice time. Of the 167 players who matched O’Neill’s 42 points or more, only Michel Ouellet of the Pittsburgh Penguins averaged less ice time than O’Neill.
from the Boston Globe,
Julien has been through this before. Last season, he heard similar questions about his defense in New Jersey, which featured Brian Rafalski as its only big-time D-man. But that same defense posted a 2.35 GAA last season, the third-lowest mark in the league that was undoubtedly spurred by the presence of goalie Martin Brodeur.
“You could say we had a good goaltender then, but the team in front of him did a real good job,” Julien said. “It’s about working as a group. With the guys that we have here, we’re very confident they can do that job.”
more on the Bruins…
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
For two days, at least, hunker down. Close ranks. Nurture the “us against the world” mentality, especially among the veterans certain to be on the final roster. Hell, ban cellphones, iPods, PDAs, Blackberrys (sorry, Mr. Balsillie), laptops, camcorders and portable DVD players. (“Don’t bring your $#@* toys!” Don’t close it to the media, of course, but at least draw the line by preventing the folks from the team Web site from posting any of the proceedings and turn it into a slideshow or sideshow.)
No, I’m not saying that if the Islanders for all intents and purposes have a playoff spot locked up by the All-Star break; or the Canucks run away with the Northwest Division; or the Panthers rebound after their annual Rocky Mountain retreat; or the Red Wings seem headed to a 70-win season, that it all can be traced back to “getting away” for camp.
from the Arizona Republic,
Mikael Tellqvist - who made a nice impression when he was acquired from Toronto for Tyson Nash and a 2007 draft choice in November - along with two free agents, David Aebischer (Montreal) and Alex Auld (Florida), likely have the best chance.
But with exhibition games starting Sunday, everyone will get a chance. That includes three others desperate to make their mark in the NHL: David LeNeveu, who played six games with Phoenix and 37 at San Antonio (AHL) last season; Josh Tordjman, who played for San Antonio and the Phoenix Roadrunners (ECHL) in 2006-07; and David McKee (Portland, AHL; Augusta, ECHL), in camp on a tryout contract.
“I think we’re really lucky this year,” Fuhr said. “We’ve got six guys we think that can play, so one through six, it’s no set order. I think it’s a . . . wide-open job.”
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
He’s also aware of the grind of an NHL season after playing in 78 regular-season games, five playoff games, plus nine more games for the bronze-medal Russian squad at the world championships in May—far more games than he had been used to.
That perhaps begs the question of what a more relaxed and confident Malkin can do for an encore in 2007-08 after collecting 33 goals and 85 points to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year last season.
“I feel much stronger this season compared to last year. I think I’m in good shape,” said Malkin, 21, who was the second overall pick in the 2004 draft.
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.
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