Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,
Every season in the NHL is important, but some franchises are facing make-or-break campaigns in 2008-09. Here’s a rundown of which teams are looking at turning points in the near future.
Their on-ice advances last season were somewhat overshadowed by the fact the Coyotes can’t draw crowds. Phoenix has lost big money season after season; how long will the owners throw around good money? The Dogs have to make some noise in the standings and generate local buzz; otherwise…it might be back to Winnipeg.
from Lightning Strikes,
Given the team’s cap number, it is much more likely to swap players for minor-league depth or draft choices. That means the rumors about Bryan McCabe, Darryl Sydor and Pavel Kubina can stop.
I know it’s been mentioned a great deal around the Internet before, but it is worth repeating here: Nashville seems a likely trading partner. Think about it. The Predators have 13 draft picks next year and a ton of defensive depth that includes prospects such as Cody Franson, Alex Sulzer and Jonathon Blum.
Two things are at play: The Lightning believes it is set at forward, and, as Koules said, “We feel better about our kids (on defense) than anybody else.”
Cammi Granato, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter will be enshrined into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2008 it was announced today by USA Hockey.
The quartet will be formally inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Denver at an induction dinner set for 7 p.m. (MT) on Friday, Oct. 10, at Magness Arena on the campus of the University of Denver. The following evening—Sat., Oct. 11—the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game will take place in the same venue, when the University of Denver men’s ice hockey team takes on the University of Notre Dame at 7:07 p.m.
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
Call it the next step.
It’s the difference between playing against boys in junior hockey or in college and playing against men in the National Hockey League. It’s a daunting task. It’s a physical drain of growing into your body more quickly than ever before. It’s wanting it more than anything else you’ve ever done.
And with the most recent draft being considered in quality and depth right up there with the 1979 and 2003 drafts, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear Tampa Bay talking about where Steven Stamkos will fit in the Lightning lineup.
Another handful of players from the first round—including defensemen Drew Doughty (No. 2 by Los Angeles), Zach Bogosian (No. 3 by Atlanta) Alex Pietrangelo (No. 4 by St. Louis) and Luke Schenn (No. 5 by Toronto), plus forwards like left winger Nikita Filatov (No. 6 by Columbus), right winger Mikkel Boedker and left winger Viktor Tikhonov (Nos. 8 and 28 by Phoenix) and left winger Kyle Beach (No. 11 by Chicago)—are in the same situation as Stamkos.
Vito from Woodbridge is part of the Morning Show on Fan590 in Toronto. Yesterday he filed a report from the Beijing Olympics which I found pretty funny.
from Crash the Crease,
During his career Wendel played taller and heavier then he actually was and that took a toll on his body, he did everything in his power to protect his teammates and anything for his team to win, if he had to score a hat-trick he would, if he had to fight Bob Probert he would, if he had to take on a much bigger Marty McSorley who just dropped Doug Gilmour with an elbow he would and he would do it very well.
There has not been many players in the history of the NHL who could do this on a night to night basis and there has been even fewer who could do it that actually would do it
The pre-season schedule is predictably weird.
Find your own theories….
I have heard all the yada-yada about venue availability and Franchise requests every year, but personally….
I think the scheduling chimps were rushed trying to make their tee times.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
The Hawks sold 57,000 single-game tickets Monday, and with their increasing season-ticket base have sold more than 500,000 tickets for the upcoming season, an increase of more than 300 percent from this time last year.
While no games are officially sellouts because the team is withholding tickets for season plans, many games — including the home opener Oct. 13 against Nashville, the Feb. 27 game against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins and games against the Red Wings — were unavailable to some buyers Monday….
McDonough said the Hawks’ season-ticket base had increased from about 3,400 at the beginning of last season to more than 12,000 so far this season. Full-season ticket-holders will get an opportunity to purchase tickets for the Jan. 1 Winter Classic against the Red Wings at Wrigley Field.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
But I’ll go on record right now and say his decision will be to come back. There are too many clues to say otherwise.
Among them: Sakic is still working out hard. If you were about to retire after two decades in the NHL, would you still want to hit the gym every morning, or might you want to tip back a few every afternoon on the 19th hole?
When he talks to teammates, he’s still using the word “we,” not “them.” True, Gordie Howe still refers to the Red Wings as “we” when he talks about them, but that didn’t happen for at least a decade after he left Detroit and played in Houston and Hartford.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
... And if you ever run into the man with a hockey mullet and infectious laugh, he’s as approachable as a miniature bichon.
“This is a big business guy who runs in big political circles, but he walks with kings with the touch of a common man,” said close friend Joe Sweeney, an investment banker who used to be marketing agent for Brett Favre, LeRoy Butler, Barry Alvarez and Robin Yount, among others. “Craig is as down to earth as anybody I’ve ever met.
“The greatest thing I can say about Craig Leipold is he’s got 100 best friends. He’s so busy. He’s got five kids, a wonderful, successful wife, tons of business ventures, yet he’s there for so many people, a hundred people call Craig Leipold their best friend.”
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