Kukla's Korner Hockey
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail, the optimism of Paul Maurice:
The man is the epitome of grace under fire. A font of cool rationale as the centre of the hockey universe explodes into panic.
Lost Kyle Wellwood to another operation on his sports hernia? Relax, coach Maurice says. Chad Kilger and John Pohl are here to carry the second line.
Vesa Toskala looked more like Red Light Racicot than the second coming of Curtis Joseph in the exhibition season? Not to worry, coach Maurice says. He and Andrew Raycroft will make the Leafs better in goal this season.
The defence as a group looks every bit as bad as last season? Hey, coach Maurice says, we’re just working a few kinks out.
from the AP via the Red Bluff Daily News,
“Just knowing these guys and watching them skate every day, I don’t see how we can’t be the odds-on favorite,” Roenick said Tuesday. “But with that comes a lot of responsibility, a lot of pressure. We have to make sure that we don’t sit on those accolades. We have to go out there and make sure they come true.”
After making few changes to a roster that posted a franchise-record 107 points last spring, the Sharks are so loaded with largely homegrown talent that Roenick—the 495-goal scorer who signed on 10 days before training camp—probably will be a healthy scratch when San Jose opens its season in Edmonton on Thursday night.
“I can be a cheerleader, and this is a great team to cheer for,” Roenick said.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Dany Heatley is closing on a new deal.
Sources tell TSN the Ottawa Senators are taking another hard run at signing their star forward to a contract extension.
The Sens re-opened discussions with Heatley’s agent, J.P. Barry today and its believed the gap in salary between the two sides, roughly 1 million dollars has narrowed.
from the Windsor Star (Wed. edition),
The adjectives younger and quicker have been missing from the vocabularies of the Detroit Red Wings for more than a decade.
However, with 11 of 23 players on the roster for tonight’s season opener against the Anaheim Ducks being under 30, those adjectives were once again being dusted off Tuesday.
“The growth of our team isn’t about bringing new people here,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s about the people within growing into their jobs.”
from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
The Thrashers named veteran forward Bobby Holik captain on Tuesday.
Holik replaces the retired Scott Mellanby to become the sixth captain in team history. Earlier in training camp, Holik talked about the daunting task of replacing Mellanby inside the team dressing room.
From Pat Hickey at CanWest (tomorrow’s Montreal Gazette),
Two weeks ago, Patrice Brisebois wasn’t able to skate.
A week ago, he stepped gingerly on the ice and hoped he wouldn’t feel a pull in his groin.
Tonight [Wednesday], the 36-year-old will be one of the Montreal Canadiens’ top four defencemen when they play their NHL season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes.
AHL President and CEO David Andrews announced Tuesday that Steve Downie has been ruled ineligible to play in the AHL for one month from the start of the 2007-08 season.
“The American Hockey League has established a strict disciplinary standard over the last several seasons relative to deliberate hits to the head,” said Andrews in a statement. “We strongly support the National Hockey League’s recent directives on these dangerous hits, and we want to send a clear message that actions such as Mr. Downie’s are unacceptable in our game.”
from Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail,
The foreign invasion keeps taking over leadership of NHL teams like never before….
The Detroit Red Wings nearly have an all-import captaincy. Nicklas Lidstrom from Sweden wears the ‘C’, with Swedes Henrik Zetterberg and newly-appointed Russian Pavel Datsyuk as alternates. Kris Draper, a Canadian, is the other alternate captain.
Some of the choices for these positions of importance are mind-boggling, considering most import NHL players are not year-round residents in their adopted hockey communities.
a little more...
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
Defenceman Roman Hamrlik’s first game as a Montreal Canadien will be also be his 1,000th in the National Hockey League. The milestone will be reached when the Canadiens open the regular season on Wednesday night in Carolina.
Hamrlik, a 15-year veteran, had played 999 NHL games when he signed a $22 million, four-year contract as an unrestricted free agent this summer after two seasons with the Calgary Flames.
“I’m very excited,” said the 33-year-old, who played his first game on Oct. 7, 1992 for the Tampa Bay Lightning. “It’s a special day for me — my first game with the Habs and the 1,000th game for me.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Look, I love The Hockey News and not just because I tend to agree with their thinking and they tend to agree (within reason) with my preseason picks.
But if there’s one area we tend to differ regarding the upcoming season, it’s who will be the first coach fired.
The consensus in the latest edition of “The Bible,” is that the first coach whacked will be Tampa Bay’s John Tortorella. The magazine came to that conclusion by polling their 30 correspondents, six “colleagues” from the Globe and Mail and some senior staff members….
Add it all up and I’d argue that Tortorella has a better shot at keeping his job longer than Atlanta’s Bob Hartley, Washington’s Glen Hanlon, Montreal’s Guy Carbonneau, Edmonton’s Craig MacTavish, Dallas’ Dave Tippett or even Phoenix’s Wayne Gretzky.
read on plus more hockey talk…
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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