Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
MacTavish believes the high end of Gagner’s offensive ability is probably much higher than Horcoff’s, and since the team needs offence, they have to give this a serious look.
“We need a dynamic scorer,” said the coach, who had no idea Gagner would be this good this fast when Edmonton drafted him last summer.
“Horc, for all his strengths, is not a 100-point guy in our minds. You need a guy who’s going to be a 90 or a point-a-game guy, at least, in that position. So we’re going to entertain thoughts of looking at somebody else there at times five-on-five.”
from the St. Louis Post-Disptach,
Tkachuk was ecstatic when the Kariya deal fell in place July 1. In six seasons with the Blues, he has had only Pavol Demitra and Bill Guerin as scoring threats on his line.
“All I’ve got to do is get (Kariya) the puck and he’ll make me a better player,” Tkachuk said. “I compare him to a Pavol Demitra ... a give-and-go kind of style, which I like. He’s got unbelievable speed, unbelievable hands. Doing those 2-on-1s, he’s always moving. He’ll definitely help me.”
Kariya, who has one goal and four assists in the preseason, said the duo is developing chemistry “right away. Keith is an unbelievable hockey player. He does so many things well. He loves to play that give-and-go style of game, and that’s a game I love to play, too, so I think it’s going to be pretty quick in terms of the chemistry.”
from the Sun-Sentinel,
Jokinen was just 24 when then-coach Mike Keenan made him the Panthers’ captain in 2003. Some wondered whether the easygoing center from Finland was equipped to be a leader. Some still do. Teammates and former teammates say he’s a good one.
But there’s also a perception that he’s a poor — or perhaps incapable — captain. One of the most beloved players in franchise history, retired goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, criticized Jokinen’s leadership abilities on a radio show in July.
“He doesn’t know how to bring people together,” said Vanbiesbrouck, who insinuated Jokinen’s leadership suffers when he tries to be more vocal.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
As the Vancouver Canuck players prepare for the oncoming season, one of the last things on their mind is union politics, and rightfully so.
But over the next few months they’d better start to get serious because they’ll be voting on a new leader or leaders and that decision is going to be absolutely critical to their long-term interests.
from Scott M. Reid at the OC Register,
As the Ducks and Kings prepare to open the 2007-08 National Hockey League season Saturday in London, coaches, current and former players and doctors who treat them maintain the NHL’s failure to deter headshots and escalation in dangerous play in recent years has placed the league and its players on a potentially catastrophic course.
“Is it going to take a death to make the NHL see the problem?” said Dr. Charles Tator, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, who has treated NHL players with concussions.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The Penguins agree, pretty much to a man, that the high-tech sweaters they will be wearing this season are lighter and more comfortable than the ones they replaced.
They also concur that the new sweaters are extremely effective at repelling moisture, exactly as planned.
Trouble is, quite a few have concluded that is not necessarily a good thing….
“[The sweaters] don’t soak anything in, which I guess is what they wanted,” Recchi said. “But the problem is, it goes through all of your equipment. It goes into your gloves, goes into your skates.”
And eventually saturates the leather in both, leaving the players feeling as if their hands and feet are immersed in liquid. Perhaps because, at least in some cases, they are.
from the NY Post,
It’s way too early, but it has already started. Even Tom Renney jumped in, breaking them up briefly. In their first exhibition game together, Scott Gomez and Jaromir Jagr did nothing to dismiss the idea that one puck isn’t enough for the two of them….
Meshing players whose game depends first on skill is always more difficult than throwing together a line of diggers, grinders and hard-drivers, and Jagr and Gomez are still looking for an intuitive understanding even in practice. Those who play with Gomez must learn that the puck is coming when they least expect it.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Now we head into the third post-lockout season, uncertain what the NHL will deliver other than a novelty outdoors game in Buffalo on Jan. 1 that it seems to believe will somehow sell the sport.
There’s a plethora of young, exciting sharpshooters around the league, but it’s unclear whether the game will be played and officiated in a manner that will allow them to flourish.
With fighting and defence on the rise, it appears more and more that the thrilling 2005-06 season was just a blip, a brief moment in the long history of the sport with the game played as one imagined it could be before they tightened the screws on it again.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Further proof of some forward thinking around the NHL emanated last week out of San Jose. Sharks boss Greg Jamison, approached over the summer about a venture in the Asian Ice Hockey League, agreed to back and engineer a plan to send five players and three coaches to join the China Sharks. Yes, that’s China, specifically Beijing, which is part of the six-team AIHL that includes four clubs in Japan and one in Korea.
According to Jamison, there were many good reasons to try to give the game a boost over there. Among them, he said, “Obviously, they have a few people living there.” Some 15 million (about half of Canada’s population) live in Beijing, which actually looks like a couple of pucks in the bottom of the bucket when compared with the country’s overall population of 1.3 billion-plus.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
With a new leadership group intact, and with the Blue Jackets’ seventh NHL season drawing near, McConnell sat down with The Dispatch last week for his first public comments since MacLean’s firing.
Question: What are your expectations for the 2007-08 season?
Answer: I say the same thing every year, but I think we’re going to win, I think we’re going to be better. Better than last year, for sure.
Q: Blue Jackets fans have never had a chance to watch a winning hockey club. How tenuous do you feel the fan base is right now?
A: It might be a little bit. But I think with the changes we’ve made, the fans are going to stick with us. They want to see how the new regime works out….
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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