Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Mark McGuire at the Times Union,
He didn’t get drafted and drifted to the ECHL and UHL before getting a shot in the American Hockey League. Then he produced, just like in high school, just like in college.
He’s been called up by the Hurricanes twice in the past two seasons—but never for more than eight games before being sent back down to Albany.
“I’ve been told I wasn’t good enough since I was a kid,” Aucoin said. “It’s not the first time (someone) said I can’t do it.”
From Bob Ford at The Philadelphia Inquirer,
“Back With a Vengeance,” was the message emblazoned on the pumpkin-colored T-shirts handed out to the customers for the home opener last night. It is a nice sentiment, a promise that the foolishness of a year ago won’t be tolerated again - at least not mildly. Coming just three days after Jesse Boulerice broke his stick on an opponent’s jaw, maybe the timing was a little off, but what can you do? “Back With a Cross-Check and a 25-Game Suspension” wouldn’t fit on the shirt.
These aren’t the Broad Street Bullies, regardless of the shelf time for Boulerice or the 20-gamer earned by Steve Downie in the exhibition season, and they aren’t the Philadelphia Ballet yet, either. The franchise is stuck somewhere in between, searching for an identity, and trying to skate the fine blue line that separates being tough and being stupid.
From Edward Guthmann at the San Francisco Chronicle,
In the world of Xavier Louis Reed, a collarbone fracture is nothing. Same goes for the 800 miles he travels each weekend for hockey practice, the equipment he has to lug, the time away from his mom and dad and the social life he’ll miss because of his breakneck schedule.
Such are the sacrifices of a 14-year-old, 6-foot-2-inch athlete with world-class potential. Reed, a freshman at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, is one of the best American hockey players in his age group. He played two seasons for the San Jose Junior Sharks, won a place on the West Coast Selects at 12 and this year joined the Los Angeles Hockey Club, a top-ranked Tier 1 AAA team, as defenseman.
Each year there are dozens, maybe hundreds of young guys with serious prospects for a National Hockey League career. Unlike Louie, as he is called by his family, nearly all of them are white. With 30 NHL teams and roughly 24 players on each team, black players make up 1 to 2 percent of the league.
continued… (*a great, in-depth article about a promising young African-American player and his journey to making the NHL)
From the LA Times,
One of the unique spoils of winning the NHL’s Stanley Cup is that each player on the championship team gets to take the trophy anywhere he wants. [...]
This summer, Los Angeles Times photographer Robert Gauthier traveled across the U.S. and to Sweden, Finland and Canada with the Ducks players to document the cup’s journey. As a lifelong hockey player, the shot of fan-favorite Teemu Selanne hoisting the cup before a Helsinki crowd of 10,000 made me misty-eyed.
You can view Gauthier’s audio slideshow here.*
*that link should pop up. If not, the direct page link is here. It also provides numerous, additional audio slideshows.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The NHL Players Association has narrowed its search for a new executive director down to three finalists: former U.S. attorney Paul Kelly, NFL Players Association lawyer Richard Berthelsen, and Bill Gregson, president and chief executive of sports store chain Forzani Group.
It’s expected that the union will hold a conference call on Monday. During the call, a five-player search committee will recommend the union hire Kelly, who, as a prosecutor, spearheaded the investigation of union founder Alan Eagleson.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Randy Robitaille may be coming home.
The Senators are looking to sign the 30-year-old Ottawa native to a one-year contract, the Sun has learned. The New York Islanders have also shown a mild interest in Robitaille’s services….
A source said the Senators’ deal for Robitaille, who would be joining his ninth NHL team, was still being worked out late yesterday.
note 1:22pm, I missed my morning coffee earlier today and forgot to note this was from a tele-conference Campbell did yesterday.
Q. So often in these things we hear about repeat offender things, that each suspension thereafter is harsher. Now we’ve had two against a team in a short period of time. Is there any provision where teams can now be held responsible for their players’ actions as well?
COLIN CAMPBELL: There’s nothing formal that holds a team responsible. I guess if you really look at the issues they have to deal with, their roster situation, they have to deal with paying the player and with other aspects that come with losing two players that they’re paying. But there’s nothing formal that punishes the team for the number of players who are suspended.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
The goalie controversy aside, this is an intriguing Canadiens team. The major components are similar to last year’s squad that missed the playoffs, but Carbonneau is reaping large benefits from small changes, like moving Mathieu Dandenault to forward and Mark Streit back to the blue line.
Dandenault is coming off a so-so season on defence, but looks good up front, while Streit shows the confidence, leadership and shot from the point they talk about in Switzerland. Streit doesn’t have the howitzer of the departed Sheldon Souray, but he has a hard, accurate shot and he is a mobile, fluid skater who doesn’t make many mistakes.
Then there is Bryan Smolinski, a player everyone liked in his various incarnations as an opponent, now bringing his grit and smarts to the Canadiens. And Tomas Plekanec, Chris Higgins and Mike Komisarek, playing like the young veterans they are.
more on the Canadiens…
from the News & Observer,
“Not necessarily, because basically the defense we have now is the same or equivalent to the defense that we had when we had the good year two years ago,” he said. “With that being said, our team would be improved with another defenseman that can move the puck.
“It would help our transition game. It would potentially give us another defenseman for the second unit of the power play.”
Adding some offensive punch on the blue line has been near the top of Rutherford’s agenda since the end of last season.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
Fernando Pisani is a private person who doesn’t like talking about himself when things are going great, so you can imagine what it was like telling a bank of reporters and cameramen about something as personal and painful as his struggle with ulcerative colitis.
About losing 30 pounds and six pints of blood in a matter of weeks. About not being able to climb a flight of stairs without gasping for air. How 15 or 20 trips to the bathroom every day left him weak and dehydrated.
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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