Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Sun-Sentinel,
With the region’s year-round tropical weather, few South Florida high school students lace up their skates and hit the ice to play hockey.
Here, football, baseball and basketball still remain supreme.
“Hockey isn’t popular because most people don’t understand it compared to baseball and football,” said North Broward Prep junior Zach Andrews, who has been playing hockey since he was 4. “There is a lot more to hockey than fights, scoring and hits. Hockey is a lifestyle.”...
“While hockey is certainly becoming more and more popular down here, I think the reason why it is not as popular as other sports is because of the expense and accessibility,” he said. “There are only three or four rinks in the area, and ice time is very expensive. An hour of ice costs about $250 to $300. Equipment can also cost up to $2,000.”
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Doug Wilson, Ken Holland, Dale Tallon and Doug Armstrong have spent a lot of time in recent years trying to outsmart each other. We’re talking about three NHL general managers — Wilson with the Sharks, Holland with the Red Wings, Tallon with the Blackhawks — and Armstrong, an ex-GM in Dallas who is now part of the Blues’ front office.
No matter. The four of them are heading to Ireland next week, leaving families behind to knock a golf ball around some of that country’s fine courses.
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
I don’t think you’ll see Mats come back to the organization that drafted him and he began his career with (yes, he is a former Nordique, a former teammate of Joe Sakic’s even)....
There’s no way the Avs are going to match that $10 million offer of Vancouver’s, if it came to that, even if Sakic retired. First off, $10 million is about all the Avs have under the salary cap right now, without having Sakic back. They’re not going to blow it all on a 39-year-old center whose best days are well behind him (and, yes, I’m talking about Sundin here, not Sakic!).
added 7:40am, from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
While Sundin has remained mum on his future, observers in Sweden say his actions speak loudly.
For about the past 15 years, Sundin has been the organizer of informal summer skates among NHL players based in Sweden. Those workouts are set to begin Aug. 11 at the Globen Arena.
Normally, this is when Sundin would be working the phones, making sure his countrymen know about the available ice. This summer, however, that task has fallen to someone else and Sundin, though he is in Stockholm, isn’t expected to attend.
“He’s not working out. It doesn’t seem like he plans to, he’s just golfing,” said one source.
Barry said the retirement possibility is “why this whole consideration is taking so long.”
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
...But the ensuing three weeks got to be so frenzied, so hectic, so exhausting, it’s amazing Lawton’s wavy brown mane hasn’t frizzled as if he actually was struck by a lightning bolt.
“It’s been kind of like the movie ‘Gladiator,’,” said the 43-year-old Lawton, reached in his office just before midnight earlier this week. “The gates open, and you’ve got to be ready for anything and make sure you’re not killed.”
In fact, Lawton has been the one doing the trampling. Since his June 25 hiring by owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, the NHL’s biggest daily headlines typically come out of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal via the National Post,
By design or not, the Oilers front-office begins to resemble the gold standard, that of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.
In Detroit, single owner Mike Ilitch has an all-star hockey department, led by GM Ken Holland, assistant GM Jim Nill, vice-president and GM-in-training Steve Yzerman, with longtime hockey man Jim Devellano in the mix as senior vice-president.
Ilitch also has a shelf full of recent Stanley Cups.
In urging Lowe to beef up the hockey operations side, Katz is demonstrating he will do what is required to try to make that happen in Edmonton again.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
With the depth of talent in the NHL’s 2008 unrestricted free agent pool pretty much tapped, now seems as good a time as any for a look ahead at key players currently eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.
This article will analyze the key UFA players of 15 NHL teams (ranked alphabetically). We’ll look at the other 15 clubs in the next article.
D Francois Beauchemin, C Brendan Morrison, D Scott Niedermayer, C Samuel Pahlsson, D Mathieu Schneider
Schneider is expected to be traded, perhaps prior to the start of the upcoming season and Niedermayer could retire next summer.
“When he got to Detroit, we had a lot of talented players,” said Red Wings GM Ken Holland. “He took us from being a talented team to being a championship team. He got (Slava) Fetisov and (Igor) Larionov to come here and he put The Russian Five (Sergei Fedorov, Larionov, Slava Kozlov, Fetisov and Vladimir Konstantinov) together. He’s the one who transformed Steve Yzerman from a great offensive player to a great two-way player.”
more on Bowman from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News...
One of my favorite Scotty moments while with the Wings.
From Rory Boylen at The Hockey News:
Here are a few generalizations I take exception to and write off as storytelling myth.
1. The Detroit Red Wings win with the neutral zone trap
Bogus. There is a rather large difference between the trap and a puck possession style of game, but it’s really easy to explain: For one you don’t have the puck; the other, you do.
read on for more myth-busting from Boylen
From the Edmonton Oilers:
Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe will be announcing important changes to the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Operations Department at 11:30 p.m. MDT. Follow the link below to listen to the press conference LIVE via 630 CHED and check back for reaction, including audio, video and exclusive interviews.
The press conference can be heard live at this link at 1:30pm ET.
Update 1:36pm ET: From the Oilers’ announcement—
Kevin Lowe will be the new President of Hockey Operations.
New General Manager, Steve Tambellini
New Assistant General Manager, Kevin Prendergast
More at the Oilers website.
Watch Mike Babcock as he hosts the Stanley Cup and in case you missed part 1, it can be viewed here.
View part 2 below…
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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