Kukla's Korner Hockey
from The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
While we can conclude very little from any pre-season, it’s clear we have ourselves an Ottawa Senators team with more question marks than the Riddler’s outfit, and an Eastern Conference as wide open as Saskatchewan….
That leaves it wide open for….take your pick…Montreal, Philadelphia, the Rangers, Washington…
The early line on the Sens is Sesame Street simple. If Martin Gerber is really good, they finish somewhere between 4th and 7th in the conference. If Martin Gerber is…uhh…what Martin Gerber was most of last year, then they’ll be golfing by mid-April.
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Since European players began populating National Hockey League rosters in the late 1970s, their influence on the game has been unmistakable. The N.H.L. hopes to find out what impact it could have in Europe this weekend, when the regular season begins with games in Sweden and the Czech Republic….
“Our goal is to increase our brand presence there,” the N.H.L.’s deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, said. “We would like to have some sort of permanent presence, whether it is some kind of league office or stores or regular games, but clearly we want to extend our brand in Europe.”
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Economic woes combined with cutbacks in the newspaper business will reduce the level of print coverage given to the NHL in some U.S. markets.
In Florida, The Palm Beach Post decided last week to discontinue staff coverage of the Florida Panthers….
The Los Angeles Times has chosen to use just one beat reporter to cover both the Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, with Helene Elliott continuing to write hockey columns….
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s long-time hockey writer, Tim Panaccio, accepted a buyout after he was taken off the Flyers beat and assigned to cover the Philadelphia Eagles….
The New York Times will continue to focus most of its attention on the Rangers. In terms of coverage on the road, sports editor Tom Jolly said by e-mail, that the Times will pick its spots….
from Lightning Strikes,
The Lightning traded rugged wing Nick Tarnasky to the Predators for a conditional 2009 draft pick. Tampa Bay received a sixth-round pick that would turn into a fifth if Tarnasky plays at least 50 games.
from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
We came to practice in Traverse City, and it’s a sellout [every day] for practice,” Hossa said. “It’s a small arena, but that shows me something. Obviously, in Atlanta there were good fans, but it’s not a traditional hockey market. You can tell the difference.”
It’s a difference, he said, that helps the Red Wings.
“You’re still playing the same game, [but] there’s definitely more atmosphere,” he said. “You get more fired up before the game. Everybody’s talking about it. You’re more under the microscope. Everybody’s talking about hockey.”
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues defenseman Jeff Woywitka has a cracked bone in his right foot and will miss four to six weeks, according to the team.
Woywitka suffered the injury while blocking a shot in Friday’s 9-4 victory over Atlanta at Scottrade Center.
He becomes the third Blues’ defensemen to be injured during the preseason, leaving a huge void less than two weeks before the start of the season.
Sergei Gonchar of the Pittsburgh Penguins will mis 4-6 months due to surgery on a dislocated left shoulder, a source told ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun on Monday.
The team is expected to announce Gonchar’s injury status on Tuesday.
added 9/30/08, via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his dislocated shoulder Thursday and will be sidelined for four to six months.
UPMC physician Dr. Mark Rodosky will perform the surgery to repair cartilage and ligament damage to his left shoulder. Gonchar suffered the injury during the first period of the Penguins’ pre-season opener against Tampa Bay on September 20.
“It is always difficult to lose a very talented player and leader for an extended period of time, but we all believe this is the best decision for Sergei,” said Ray Shero, the Penguins’ executive vice president and general manager. “We are confident that he will come back strong after this surgery. In the meantime, we’ll look to our other defensemen to step up in his absence.”
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
Riding shotgun for Sidney Crosby seems like the easiest duty the NHL has to offer. Sometimes, though, looks can be deceiving.
It takes a player with a special set of skills—and a high dose of confidence—to play on Crosby’s flank. The Penguins are hoping Ruslan Fedotenko, signed as a free agent from the New York Islanders this summer, emerges as that player.
“I think with Sid, you need to be a certain type of player,” Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. “I like the way (Fedotenko) plays. He’s got decent speed, he’s good on the boards, and he has the capability to finish.”
from the CP,
“I think that it has worked better for the players than they anticipated coming out of the lockout in 2005,” he (Paul Kelly) said recently. “I think there was a great deal of fear and unhappiness (when it was signed). There was a lot of unhappiness about the fact that the players had agreed to a rollback of salaries by 28 per cent. There was a fear of what a cap system was going to mean - not only for them personally, but for their team.
“I think as it has evolved ... it’s actually worked relatively well.”
Of course, there are elements of the deal he’d prefer to see changed.
from the CP via TSN,
The situation in Phoenix is reminiscent of the one Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane enjoyed as rookies last year in Chicago. Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky wants to give Boedker and Turris every chance to showcase their talent in the desert.
“We’re not going to trap,” said Gretzky, who enters his fourth season as coach. “We’re going to go offensively and we’re going to utilize our speed.
“And we’re going to enjoy watching this team grow and watching this team play.”
It’s been 15 years since the Stanley Cup was awarded to a Canadian team and the Montreal Canadiens enter the season with the best chance of ending that drought.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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