Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sun Media,
Hall of Fame centre Marcel Dionne, who also chose to leave his home province as a teenager to play major junior for the then St. Catharines Black Hawks in Ontario, said that the demands on a francophone player in Montreal are far more onerous than those placed on other players.
“I am from Quebec and I’m very proud to be a French-Canadian,” he said. “But it is very, very difficult for a French-Canadian to play the game at the NHL level in Montreal. I really feel the fans and the media in Quebec are harder on French-Canadian players.”
from the New York Post,
“We’re going to surprise a lot of people,” incumbent captain Patrik Elias predicted after the team reported for physicals yesterday and first practices today. “I’m optimistic about this season.”
“We’re going to be a lot better than people think we’ll be,” said Zach Parise, one of those on whom that will depend.
from Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,
The Sabres didn’t advertise it, but The Buffalo News on Thursday night learned they suspended Teppo Numminen without pay for failing to report to training camp in proper physical condition. The 39-year-old defenseman must have his heart worked on a third time, although this procedure is for a different condition than the previous two….
What do you think the Canadiens would have done if a team physical showed Saku Koivu’s cancer had returned over the summer? Suspend him?
Jaromir Jagr touches on numerous subjects regarding the New York Rangers.
Good interview, about five minutes long.
from Kevin Allen at USA TODAY,
The NHL’s Eastern Conference has become a landscape of equal opportunity for teams looking to reach the Stanley Cup Finals this season.
Whether you have a hole on defense, or a slug in your top six forwards, you have reason to believe you have a chance. If you had chosen a committee to shuffle players from roster to roster to make every team equal, you could not have created as much parity as we now have in the Eastern Conference after this summer’s wheeling and dealing.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
At day’s end, any distaste Bettman might still have for Balsillie would probably be trumped by the Research In Motion co-founder’s ability to help bail out a struggling team. Say, the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Thrashers aren’t going anywhere as things now stand. But that’s largely because the team’s eight owners are in court fighting for control of the NHL franchise and its basketball cousin, the NBA’s Hawks.
Sports finance experts say whoever emerges with the team may well look to sell and/or move the Thrashers.
That’s because Atlanta has failed to impress as an NHL market. “Forget about hockey,” one sports business source says.
from the Mercury News,
“This is becoming a destination place,” Thornton said. “Word of mouth spreads like wildfire in this league, and guys love playing here. People believe you can win playing on this team, and it’s got a chance to keep going and going.”
The summer contracts - worth nearly $75 million - were an indication that General Manager Doug Wilson believes this nucleus can overcome its playoff failures and break through to claim a Stanley Cup. Yet it also appears to have been relatively easy to convince Marleau, Thornton and Michalek that they didn’t need to test the free-agent waters - even with the lure of more money elsewhere.
“For me it was a no-brainer signing an extension,” Thornton said. “Where else would I go that’s better than here?”
Thursday night marked the first game of the 2007 pre-season. the L.A. Kings defeating the Anaheim Ducks, 5-4.
Both teams’ starting goalies (Dan Cloutier and Ilya Bryzgalov) were pulled in the second period, between them letting in 7 goals on 28 shots. (So… NHL hockey is back, but—I dare say—great NHL hockey might take a while.)
More at Slam! Sports.
I didn’t know Bob Hartley was into fashion design, but I do like the Stanley Cup ‘I’.
Ben Wright at Blueland Blog explains more and some sweater talk too…
Today was the first chance for most of the guys to try on the new jerseys and the vast majority of the comments were positive. The one complaint that was voiced by three different players was that they’re hard to grab on to. They’re tighter than the old uniforms and the material is a bit on the slippery side, especially if your hands are sweaty.
A blog at Canada.com called offside needs to know the games in London are part of the regular season schedule…
London won’t be a sellout
How do you make an NHL preseason game matter even less than it does in the first place? Set one up in a market that has little to no knowledge or interest in the sport whatsoever.
On top of that, charge ticket prices that would make Sir Richard Branson flinch.
Well, maybe not Branson, but you’d think twice about rushing out to get in line.
Also, I thought all the reports were the games were sold-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.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org