Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joy Russo at ESPN,
Now, keep in mind that this is the preseason edition, but we’re not factoring in the preseason scores here, folks. They are about as relevant as Megan Fox’s role in “The Transformers” (I know Michael Bay wanted her in it, but she was not in the classic comic). Back to my preseason point: Chicago went 7-1 before the start of last season and we know how well things turned out there.
So, my Optimus bitterness aside, here we go!
1. San Jose Sharks
Yes, they’ve been ousted in the second round of the playoffs for two straight seasons, but is this the season the Sharks turn things around for good? Any team that has Joe Thornton (114 points in 2006-07) has more than a decent chance.
Host Ron MacLean will be welcoming viewers to Hockey Night in Canada for at least the next seven seasons after agreeing to a new contract Monday.
The new deal will run through the 2013-14 campaign, which coincides with the television deal struck by the CBC and National Hockey League in March.
“For millions of Canadians, Ron is the face of CBC Sports, and we are absolutely thrilled to continue our partnership with him for the long term,” Scott Moore, the executive director of CBC Sports, said in a statement.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Edmonton Oilers signed 18-year-old centre Sam Gagner to a three-year entry level contract today, and plan on having their first-round draft pick in the opening night lineup Thursday against the San Jose Sharks.
Gagner, whose dad Dave played over 900 NHL games, is the first Oiler first-round choice to make the team in his draft year since another centre, Jason Arnott, in 1993.
“I like the way Sam thinks the game mentally. I don’t know if there was one time in the pre-season where I had to talk to Sam when he came off the ice about where he should be (defensively),” said Oiler coach Craig MacTavish.
“You can tell he’s been well-coached by his dad. That’s invaluable.”
Eric Duhatschek at his Globe & Mail blog discusses the various luminaries attending the Esquire party tomorrow night in Manhattan, launching the new NHL season. The guest list includes a number of notables but also features one notable exception, as well.
NHL luminaries for the Esquire party include the commissioner, Gary Bettman, the deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, plus members of the New York Islanders (Bill Guerin, Mike Comrie), the New Jersey Devils (Patrik Elias) and some as yet-to-be-announced members of the Buffalo Sabres. Curiously, there are no New York Rangers’ players listed as possible attendees, even though the Rangers boast two of the NHL’s most attractive free-agent acquisitions, Scott Gomez and Chris Drury, at least one of whom (Gomez) is an unbelievably great talker.
One wonders if the Rangers’ absenteeism is merely an oversight, or has something to do with that curious decision by Madison Square Garden (MSG) to file a lawsuit against the NHL last Friday for violating antitrust laws and acting like an illegal cartel.
*For more on the MSG lawsuit, see earlier today on KK
The Pittsburgh Penguins own Sidney Crosby participated in an NHL teleconference today. Here are the Q&A’s from the conversation:
Q. Could you comment on the feelings of the prospect of playing your first regular season game as captain of your team on Friday.
SIDNEY CROSBY: I’m looking forward to it. I mean, obviously it’s an honor to be a captain. But playing my first one as captain, I mean, it doesn’t really feel that much different. Like I said, it was an honor, and it still is an honor. But I don’t think my focus or mindset really changes any different than it would be last year or the year before.
Q. You’re a spirited player, play the game with a lot of emotion. Do you think that will change as captain or will you maybe assert yourself more than you do now?
from Red Wings Corner- Babcock on Igor Grigorenko
Grigs not being able to speak English ... “That’s one of the biggest problems. When you’re trying to communicate to him that you’re trying to help him, he just thinks he’s getting demoted. It’s to our benefit when you’ve got a player who could be a real good NHL player, you’ve got to find him. … Now try to explain that to him. You’ve got his agent translating, but any time they’re translating, they’re translating, not you. I’m always a little leery of that.”
“He’s going to play hockey in Grand Rapids. Everyone knows what skate is. Everyone knows what work is. Everyone knows how to ride the bike. It doesn’t matter what language.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Ten reasons why his Pittsburgh Penguins will win the Stanley Cup:
10. The father’s son: Shero learned the game from his Stanley Cup-winning father, Fred, whose coaching style was two parts tactics and three parts motivation. “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion,” the late Fred Shero used to say. “You must first set yourself on fire.” He believed that winning was about heart as much as talent, and he could watch a youngster take two shifts and know whether he had the passion necessary to be a NHL player.
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) will mark the 10th Anniversary of Hockey Fights Cancer with a year-long celebration that commences in October with Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month. The League-wide initiative will include numerous activities in October involving all 30 clubs, players, management and fans.
During the month of October each NHL club will host a Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night at a home game.
Most NHL teams will be making their final training camp roster cuts today. Here’s a look at where some teams stand today:
added 10:58am, via Habs Inside/Out,
Final cuts: Price stays, Lapierre, Halak and O’Byrne sent down
According to the reports on Versus during the Ducks/Kings game yesterday, the NHL Network should begin popping up on carriers in the USA today.
Feel free to comment here and we also have a thread in the KK Forum regarding this too.
added 10:36am, via Tripp Mickle at SportsBusiness Journal (paid sub.),
Sources with the three biggest cable operators, Comcast, Time Warner and Cox, as well as satellite operator DirecTV say they are still negotiating to carry the network, and expect to complete a deal soon. EchoStar wasn’t available for comment, though it appears likely that Dish Network is close to a deal, as well, since its customer service representatives were selling the NHL Center Ice package last week.
Putting the NHL Network on a sports tier would follow a similar strategy to NBA TV, which accepted digital sports tier carriage several years ago. The NBA recently has been expressing disappointment about the lack of cable subscribers that get sports tiers. NBA TV is in less than 10 million homes.
To combat these poor penetration rates, NHL Network plans to make much of its programming available on demand, including some live programming and archived content. That would give all digital cable subscribers access to NHL Network content.
update 1:14pm, Thanks to SBJ, you can now read the full article...
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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