Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Spector at Fox Sports,
If Smith and Kolzig struggle it’ll not only cost the Bolts on the scoreboard but could also damage the confidence of their defense corps.
Getting the best out of his goalies and young defensemen will be a significant challenge for head coach Melrose, who must prove that he can adapt to the new NHL after being out of the coaching ranks for so long.
The Lightning’s new ownership and management have certainly proven their willingness to make take bold steps. It remains to be seen if that boldness will be rewarded.
“Obviously a player of Mats Sundin’s stature…he’s been a tremendous player for a long time,” said Holmgren. “He’s a free agent, and we’ve made inquiries as to his status. We don’t know whether he’s going to play or not. I think Mats is still trying to decide that in his own timeframe. But, if he wants to play, we’d certainly have an interest in seeing if we could fit him in.”
-more from Paul Holmgren at Flyers.com…
from David Littman at the Hockey News,
Most people who don’t know hockey very well assume the worst part of playing goalie is the physical aspect. Not so. I would rather have a small rubber disc shot at my head than have a 250-pound defenseman crushing me into the boards. The toughest part of the job is, in fact, the mental aspect. A forward can have a bad game and his teammates can bail him out, but if a goalie has a bad game, there is almost no doubt your team will lose. You have to concentrate every second of the game. If you let up for a moment the puck is sure to find its way to the back of the net.
Before each game, most goalies have a routine they follow to keep focused (OK, most goalies are superstitious, too). As Ken Dryden says in his book The Game, you can always tell which goalie is starting. The starter won’t talk to anyone and the backup won’t shut up. In fact, my entire game day routine was mostly the same for 10 years in the pros.
If you are interested in The Game, the great hockey book by Ken Dryden, you can purchase it at Amazon.
Tom Benjamin at Canucks Corner responds to a reader question on the impact of the latest exchange rates on league revenue, the salary cap and revenue sharing.
First, I don’t think the Canadian dollar will necessarily stay where it is. The value of the dollar is tied to oil prices and I expect energy prices to rise, not fall. Second, even if the Canadian dollar continues to fall, the impact next year will not be enough to actually drop NHL revenues. If all other things remain more or less equal - the league “enjoys” a small increase in real revenues - the salary cap would still go up a little bit. Third, any adverse impact of the changing Canadian dollar will fall mostly on the Canadian teams. It will mostly help the revenue challenged teams in the United States if the salary cap level stabilizes.
Read on for more, including how the American economy may continue to negatively affect the NHL this coming season.
From Paul Kukla at NHL.com:
I am tired of the summer lists: Best teams since July 1. Teams that still need help. Coaches on the hot seat.
I’ve had enough of the gossip: So and so was spotted at the coffee shop and was wearing an opposing team’s hat. This player is dating this celeb, or was spotted holding hands with a movie star/model/singer in Hawaii. I heard from a trusted source he is going to sign with…
from Mike Toth at Sportsnet,
NHL camps, on the other hand, don’t get going until next month but there’s nothing that says we can’t offer up a few pre pre-season puck predictions….
5. Forget about the fact that Detroit has captured four Cups in the last 11 years. The real reason to fear the Red Wings is their penchant for making everybody else in the league look stupid. Motown is famous for taking late round draft picks such as Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg and turning them into stars. Their latest project? Jonathan Ericsson, a swift skating Swedish defenseman who the Wings grabbed with the very last pick of the 2002 draft. Ericsson is now being groomed to make his Detroit debut and it’s these kind of savvy moves that will allow the Wings to keep the Cup when the play-offs roll around.
read on for 9 more NHL bits…
from Courtnee James of the Detroit Free Press,
“Since I was such a huge fan of hockey, and I always played with my brothers, my dad recommended that I join the league,” Abraham said. “It was definitely a challenge. Playing with my brothers made it easier for me, and when I had doubts, my parents would tell me that it would get better.”
Her mother, Stacy Abraham, recalls the emotion her daughter felt when she first began playing:
“She was intimidated. All the players were much older than she, and they were guys. Claire felt like they couldn’t relate. But when she was down, I would just tell her that hockey was her favorite sport. She knew the game just as well as they did so get out there and play.”
Along with her family, Claire Abraham had others who offered encouragement, including some of the guys in the hockey league.
Last year, they suggested she attend a summer camp for young people with all forms of muscular dystrophy.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Left wing Ladislav Nagy views his decision to sign a $5.6 million, two-year deal to play in the Russian Super League as a temporary stop and not a long-term plan.
“Nagy fully intends to come back to the NHL if he can find a situation where he will be given the minutes in order to produce at the elite level he is capable of,” said his agent, Matt Keator….
“The level of talent in Russia is improving every year with top NHL players heading over there,” Keator said. “It has become a viable option for players to play at a high level and be very well compensated. As this league grows and matures, it will pose more and more competition to the NHL for players.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Despite a report yesterday on a Swedish hockey website, the Bruins aren’t planning to see Carl Soderberg, their top European prospect, here in Boston when training camp opens Sept. 19….
Chiarelli said he spoke yesterday with agent J.P. Barry, Elefalk’s partner in North America, and Barry was unaware of any change in Soderberg’s plans. Barry, according to Chiarelli, said Elefalk was traveling in Spain and could not be reached immediately. Chiarelli said he left voice mail and email messages for Elefalk, but as of late yesterday afternoon, Elefalk had not responded.
“Right now, nothing’s changed; I don’t think he’s coming over,” said Chiarelli. “Who knows, maybe he’s changed his mind, but we’ve had no indication of it.”
I am surprised Barry gave that response, I expected something like, “We are not even sure if he wants to play next season.”
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
Former Vancouver coach Marc Crawford claims that Todd Bertuzzi acted in “direct disobedience” to instructions from the Canucks bench during the March 8, 2004 NHL game in which he attacked Colorado forward Steve Moore, breaking his neck and ending his career, according to court documents obtained by the Toronto Star.
Crawford, in documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, pleads that the Vancouver coaching staff was trying to get Bertuzzi off the ice before his infamous sucker punch on Moore.
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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