Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Another day, another story on The Hockey News’ pre-season predictions – and the fury they generate in some people and players.
This time, it’s Boston defenseman Aaron Ward whose UnderArmor is in a twist. Apparently, he’s none too pleased we picked the Bruins to finish last in the Eastern Conference this season.
“There’s a reason why (those writers) are not putting skates on,” said Ward, employing the incomparably lame “Youse-guys-ain’t-NHLers-and-therefore-can’t-comment-on-nuthin’ ” argument. “And if (writers) really knew what they were doing, they wouldn’t be writing in Toronto or Montreal or New York. They’d be in Vegas, putting their money where their mouth is.”
Proteau responds and a bit on Ozolinsh too…
from Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
Former NHL Players’ Association executive directors Bob Goodenow and Ted Saskin routinely tape-recorded players, agents, NHL officials such as NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and officials of other sports unions, including NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw, without their permission or knowledge, according to a report issued to NHLPA members last month….
The report also details a taped conversation between Daly and Saskin in October 2004, which Daly said was recorded without his knowledge. Last week, Daly wrote in an e-mail , “I’m not prepared to comment on the ‘ethics’ of the practice. But apparently, it was a practice that Bob (Goodenow) endorsed and may even have been insisted on.”
Daly blasted the report, saying, “To the extent anyone reads the Block report and treats its conclusions as ‘gospel’ — i.e., that they are factual — they are making a big mistake,” Daly wrote in an e-mail.
Thanks go out to Sports Business Journal for allowing KK members and guests to read the full article...
Scott Gomez talks about the transition from New Jersey to New York.
Video found via Game On, the blogs at MSG Network.
from the Tennessean,
“With the guys that have gone, it’s a great opportunity for me to step up my game,’’ Tootoo said. “I know I can score in this league. It’s just a matter of getting the opportunity.’‘
Tootoo twice averaged more than a point per game while he was in juniors, and during the 2005-06 season he notched 27 points in 41 games at Milwaukee of the American Hockey League.
“As the years go on, you mature as a player and get more comfortable,’’ Tootoo said. “That’s what’s happening with me. You develop more confidence as you go, and I think this year is going to be my break-out year.’‘
more on the Preds…
from the Calgary Sun,
Three years after capturing the attention of the nation, the Calgary Flames are now the least-popular Canadian team in Canada.
According to a recent year-long study by Charlton Strategic Research, a meagre 5% of all Canadians aged 12-70 cited the Flames as their favourite team.
from the Edmonton Sun,
Unlike Montreal, Chicago, Toronto and Detroit, the Oilers abandoned tradition entirely in a sweater designed to appeal to the skateboarding/video game crowd.
They actually don’t look like hockey sweaters at all, more like a cross between practice jerseys and something you’d see in rollerball or an Arena football field.
from the Mercury News,
The Sharks welcomed back an old face Sunday. Defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh arrived for a training camp tryout.
“This is a good opportunity for him and for us,” said Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson. “We’ll just see where it goes. We think it’s well worth the time.”
Ozolinsh, who has dealt with well-documented problems off the ice, said he spent the summer deciding if he was prepared to continue playing.
“I was less concerned about my physical strength than I was my mental condition,” he said. “I wanted to make sure my head was in the right place. I’m really grateful for this opportunity, and I’ll make the most of it.”
from the Vancouver Province,
I feel great, young and healthy,” said Bertuzzi, having had five days of consecutive organized workouts under his belt before getting started against the Kings Saturday.
“It was tough during my time with Detroit, I was really only at about 50 per cent, all beat up and sore during those games. It wasn’t so much my back but everything else was all smashed up—my tail bone was sore, I was a mess.
“Looking back on it, maybe I would have been better off not playing at all last year, but the summer was good and really, the opportunity was too good to pass up, playing with those guys. And we were really close to winning. That series (with the Ducks in the conference final) could have gone either way, at least we felt that way.
“But now to come to the team that just won the Cup, it’s pretty exciting.”
from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette,
Regardless of how management classifies him, it seems extremely unlikely that Esposito will spend this winter with the Penguins.
They have a surplus of NHL-caliber talent up front, so there is no need to force-feed the league to Esposito instead of sending him back to the junior league Quebec Remparts.
“Just like everyone else, you want to make the team, but if I don’t make this team this year, I’m still young,” Esposito said. “I want to come in here and learn a lot and we’ll see what happens.”
No matter what transpires the next few weeks, Esposito figures to take at least one enduring memory out of this camp: He is expected to be in the lineup when the Penguins face Montreal in a preseason game tonight at 7:38 p.m. at the Bell Centre.
from the Buffalo News,
League executives will gather at Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon to trumpet the first NHL game to be played outdoors in the United States, one that should shatter the league’s attendance record. The Sabres will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in the home of the Bills.
NBC, one of the league’s television partners, has been pushing for a marquee New Year’s Day event, Collins said. The holiday is one of the busiest days of the year for television use. It traditionally has been an afternoon of college football bowl games for sports fans, but since the advent of the Bowl Championship Series to determine a national champion, most of the top games are on other days.
The league views that as an ideal time to attract fans.
“It will really build a national and North American platform for the league,” Collins (NHL Sr. VP) said. “There’s a lot of interest in the game.”
more including ticket information…
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.
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