Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
Once upon a time, the Stanley Cup was revered in the offseason by players who had won The Mug, but with each year, the trophy has been undergoing the most unusual rituals. Most recently, in Pitea, Sweden, Tomas Holmstrom allowed his cousin to use it as a baptismal font for a christening of 7-week-old Alva Felicia. We hasten to think of what will happen to Lord Stanley’s chalice next. Or, to put it another way, Heaven help the NHL if Sean Avery ever wins it!
more from the Maven…
J.P. Barry was just on Team 1040 in Vancouver and said Sundin has yet to decide if he wants to play.
The timeframe for his decision is not August 1st, it is sometime in August. As Barry said, anytime in August, sometime before training camp starts.
Barry thinks more teams will get involved if Mats decides to play and right now it is six teams that have interest. Teams have called him and said, we will make room if you give us some time.
Barry said the Rangers are one team that will not go away and Detroit is not in the running.
added 9:22pm, from David Shoalts of the Toronto Globe and Mail,
The Canucks have that $10-million-a-year offer, but Sundin has never been motivated by money and it is hard to believe he would be willing to put up with all that travel on a non-contender.
So that may leave it between the Leafs and Rangers, who have cap room but are not a surefire Cup contender.
In any event, Sundin has to decide soon. A lot of NHL GMs are on vacation right now, but in the next couple of weeks, arbitration decisions on players will start coming in and the GMs will have to finalize their rosters. They simply won’t have time to wait any longer for Sundin’s decision.
RDS reports Bob Gainey phoned J.P. Barry, Mats Sundin’s agent, on Tuesday.
While the sports network did not reveal the substance of the conversation, a source in Sweden has sent a recording of it to Habs Inside/Out.
Gainey: If you change your mind, I’m the first in line
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down
If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
-Mike Boone at Habs Inside/Out
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
The NHL hasn’t given up hope of mending the fences with Russia’s Continental Hockey League (KHL) and other foreign hockey federations.
Paul Kelly, the executive director for the NHLPA, told Sporting News on Wednesday that the league will proceed with September’s planned meeting that includes the NHLPA, International Ice Hockey Federation, KHL and all major hockey federations. It will take place during the first week of September in New York in hopes of settling the transfer agreement controversy.
“In Zurich we agreed to get together to have a dialogue about these issues,” Kelly said. “Unfortunately, the ongoing issues with the NHL and KHL have put a damper on the spirit of cooperation.”
Goaltender Pascal Leclaire has signed a three-year contract worth $11.4 million with the Blue Jackets, The Dispatch has learned.
The deal will pay Leclaire $3 million this season, $3.6 million in 2009-10 and $4.8 million in 2010-11.
added 5:22pm, from the Columbus Blue Jackets,
“We’re very happy to have signed Pascal to a new contract that will keep him with the Blue Jackets for the next three seasons,” said Howson. “He is an important part of our team and we think he will continue to improve and play a significant role in helping us reach our goals.”
Mike Vogel at WashingtonCaps.com sits down with Jose Theodore for a one-on-one interview.
from the Sun Star,
With razor-sharp metal blades on the skating shoes and hockey sticks that can kill with a spank on the face—not to mention all the shoving and bumping—hockey is, as we know, not a game as safe as chess or ping-pong.
Sitting at the sidelines watching for 30 minutes, we were treated to The NHL In Manila. One Caucasian wore a red jersey with the flag of Canada. Another glided on ice like a ballerina. Another maneuvered the slippery ice like the Michael Jordan of hockey, Wayne Gretzky.
We saw sprints. One player dashed to the goal. Teammates passed. Opponents intercepted. Two referees blew whistles.
We saw how the goalie is the team’s pivotal player. Like in football, if the goalie thwarts every attempt, the opponent can never win. This applies even more so for hockey where the goal box is narrow and the goalie is fully-padded and looms large.
from Rocky Bonanno of NHL.com,
It’s hard enough projecting familiar NHL players for fantasy purposes. But because the League is so international – last season there were players born in 26 countries – each season has its new crop of unknown Europeans ready to make their impact. Problem is, I’ve never seen these guys play. I only know what you know from reading newspapers and web sites.
That’s why it helps to have an informant. And when it comes to Euros, I turn to NHL.com correspondent and feature blogger Risto Pakarinen, a Finn living in Stockholm.
from Mark Moore at the Hockey News,
...In my opinion, the most valuable player in the Ducks’ defeat of Ottawa to capture the Cup was Samuel Pahlsson, a small speedy defensive center from Sweden who most fans probably wouldn’t recognize if he showed up at their front door.
When Ottawa’s top line, featuring Daniel Alfredsson, was matched against him, they found a defender they couldn’t escape. Everywhere they turned, with his speed and agility, Pahlsson was there. Soon the Sens’ stars got frustrated, started gambling and turning the puck over, generating counterattacks and beating themselves.
Now fast forward to this year’s final. With the Ducks long gone, the final featured Detroit and Pittsburgh, two teams surely near the bottom of anyone’s list of muscle and brawn. But the Red Wings sure could fly, and so could the Penguins.
The difference was, Pittsburgh’s speed was on offense while Detroit’s was on defense. In a game in which defense wins championships, the series outcome spoke for itself.
Bruce Boudreau will be a guest host tomorrow on The Morning Show from 6a-9a on Fan590 in Toronto.
You can find the live stream here in case you want to listen in.
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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