Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Privately, players say the offseason firing of general manager Doug MacLean and the hiring of Scott Howson has lifted the mood and changed the outlook of a club that has had six losing seasons. Bluster and bravado, they say, has been replaced by a quiet confidence and a singular goal—winning.
“It’s real now,” said right winger David Vyborny, who has been with the team from the start. “It feels real.”
Training camp begins Sept. 14, but already up to 16 Blue Jackets have joined in unofficial workouts in the Dispatch Ice Haus. The number likely will grow to more than 20 by the end of the week.
“The guys have all walked in here the same way we walked out last April,” left winger Jody Shelley said. “We know how disappointed we were, and we know what we have to do to get better. We’ve said it’s different before, I know, but this is a group that’s embarrassed and sick of losing.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Who’s going to wear the Edmonton Oilers’ “C” now that Jason Smith is wearing orange and black with the Philadelphia Flyers?
“Do you want to be captain?” Ethan Moreau is asked.
“Love to do it and I think I’d do a good job at it,” said Moreau.
“Do you want to be captain?” Steve Staios is asked.
“Sure, yeah, I do,” said Staios.
from the Toronto Star,
“Is it as hard to play there as I’ve heard it is?” inquired Toskala, conjuring up the stories of media and fan pressure passed on by fellow Finns, and former Leafs, Aki Berg and Jyrki Lumme.
“It’s worse,” came the reply. “It’s an awful place to play. If you play well, you’ll be next to God. If you don’t – oh my God – they’ll stone you to death.”
There was a long pause at the end of the line.
“Good,” Toskala finally said, breaking the silence. “I look forward to the challenge.”
It is, however, one thing to be open to a challenge, quite another to be open about it.
from the Calgary Sun,
Darryl Sutter is disappointed Andrei Taratukhin has chosen to remain in Russian rather than honour his NHL contract….
Sutter said the team hasn’t been officially informed the forward has signed a deal with Salavat Yulaev in Ufa of the Russian Super League. He added he understands players returning to their homeland but not before completing an entry-level contract.
“During that time, at some point, you hope that player gives himself that opportunity to play in the NHL,” Sutter said. “Andrei, quite honestly, needed more than a year. He certainly wasn’t ready to play in the NHL yet.
“It’s a big adjustment. Andrei made a big adjustment last year, without his family over here, different style of game and different (size of) ice, and he was starting to make progress in terms of how to manage his game, length of shifts, pace of play ... those sorts of things.
“We’ve invested a lot—not just money but time personally for him and his family—and you want him to honour both years .”
from the OC Register,
Ducks general manager Brian Burke plans to meet with defenseman Scott Niedermayer today or Thursday to try to determine whether the team’s captain intends to retire or return for a 15th NHL season.
A similar meeting with right wing Teemu Selanne is likely follow in short order.
“Obviously, with (training) camp opening next week, we need to know what’s going on,” Burke said Tuesday.
While stories circulated in Canada last week suggesting that Niedermayer might have had a change of heart and be more likely to play another season, Burke’s latest telephone conversation with the four-time Stanley Cup winner included no such message.
via the Edmonton Oilers,
The Edmonton Oilers announced today forward Fernando Pisani will be out of the Oilers lineup indefinitely after being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Pisani is currently undergoing treatment.
Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe had the following comment. “We are very concerned about Fernando’s medical condition and we wish him nothing but a full and healthy recovery. Hockey will be secondary until he gets the care and treatment required. As a result, the Oilers will move into our training camp and pre-season and not have Fernando available for our lineup. I know the Edmonton Investors Group and all Oilers fans hope to see him recover quickly and be an active player with our team as soon as possible.”
Pisani commented on the situation, and said “I would like to thank everyone who has supported me through this difficult time, especially my wife and family. I appreciate all the wonderful words of encouragement I have received, including messages from my teammates. I look forward to returning to the Oilers.”
There’s a slideshow of the jerseys at the Calgary Flames website
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Joseph is ready to continue his NHL career (let’s be clear on that point) should circumstances change tomorrow or the next day or the day after that. But for the first time in a long time, Joseph’s life isn’t all about hockey, and in some ways, that means his life is richer.
“I’ve got a lot to look forward to,” he said. “I’m trying to be the best father I can, and that’s a pretty important role. Some would say it’s more important than stopping pucks.”
from the Detroit News,
More than four years after a near-fatal car crash put his hockey career on hold, Red Wings prospect Igor Grigorenko finally stepped onto the ice for his first informal workout with the team Tuesday at the Troy Sports Center.
More than a dozen of the Wings’ veteran players, including captain Nick Lidstrom and newly-acquired defenseman Brian Rafalski, were on the ice preparing for the start of training camp, which begins next week in Traverse City.
But all eyes were on Grigorenko, the 24-year-old Russian winger who was Detroit’s top pick in the 2001 entry draft. Wings general manager Ken Holland, assistant GM Jim Nill and team vice president Steve Yzerman all were on hand observing Tuesday’s workout.
Pierre Turgeon, who scored 515 goals in 19 NHL seasons, has called a news conference for Wednesday at which he is expected to officially announce his retirement.
The 38-year-old is to meet with the media at agent Bob Sauve’s office in Laval, Que., north of Montreal.
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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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