Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
“Mats has decided he will make a decision by Aug. 1,” Barry, of CAA Sports, said. “He hasn’t finally decided if he’s going to play or not, but he’s set the timetable. He needs to make the decision by then so he can be in training camp in September. He wants to be ready for that.”...
Barry said his gut feeling is that the 6-foot-5, 231-pound Sundin, who’s been a point-a-game player virtually every season of his NHL career, is still playing too well to retire.
“If he’s turned the corner one way or the other, he isn’t telling anyone yet,” said Barry. “But I told him that he’s still a top-five centreman in the NHL and he can help any team he goes to. It’s probably premature to not play at this point.”
from the Chicago Sun-Times,
Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley is a Blackhawks fan. It goes without saying he hates the Detroit Red Wings….
Besides declaring Jan. 1 will be ‘‘Chicago Blackhawks Day’’ in Cook County, Quigley’s resolution designates Wrigley Field and the surrounding area an ‘‘Octopus Free Zone’’—a dig at Red Wings fans’ tradition of throwing octopi on the ice after their team scores.
‘‘The good thing about being a Blackhawks fan,’’ Quigley said, ‘‘is you don’t have to live in Detroit.’‘
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
In Columbus, he hopes to finally live up to his title as a stay-at-home defenseman. The contract Commodore signed—$18.75 million over five seasons—would seem to indicate as much. The deal’s first two years include a no-trade clause.
“I’m looking forward to staying in one place for a while,” Commodore said. “That would be nice. I’d like to take a break from moving and establish some roots if I could.”...
Some critics, however, say the Jackets overpaid for a defenseman with 14 career goals and 49 assists in seven seasons spanning 296 games. The Hockey News labeled it the fourth-worst signing of the summer.
“I’ll be the first to admit I got a very good contract for myself,” Commodore said. “I know (NBC and TSN analyst) Pierre McGuire ran his mouth up there, which is no shocker. I don’t set the market. If you take what I’ve done in the last three years and take my comparables ... I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination it was an unfair contract.”
from the Timmins Daily Press,
The National Hockey League should stop trying to tailor itself to the U. S. market and instead grow where it’s already popular, says Dick Duff.
The six-time Stanley Cup winner and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee from Kirkland Lake would like to see some changes in the NHL, and that includes more Canadian teams.
“I would like to see them take about four franchises out of the league and I’d like to see them move four,” said Duff, who visiting his hometown last week where he put in an appearance at Hockey Heritage North.
“The attraction has always been in Toronto and Montreal. The focus just may have to go back to Canada,” he said.
via Mark Everson of the NY Post,
Hall of Famer Larry Robinson will not return to the Devils’ bench as assistant coach next season, GM Lou Lamoriello told The Post yesterday.
“It was his [choice],” Lamoriello said. “He did it for one year because we asked him to do it with Brent Sutter coming in.”
Lamoriello said Robinson will revert to his previous post as a special assignment coach.
from the blog of Risto Pakarinen,
Backed by Gazprom, the world’s third-largest corporation, measured by market capitalization, and a company that made almost two billion dollars in profit last year, the Russians have expansion plans of their own. Last February, they announced the formation of the Kontinentalnaya Hokkeynaya Liga - the Continental Hockey League - or the KHL, and at stake is simply: world domination.
The KHL has reportedly tried to attract teams from Sweden and Finland to join the newly set-up league that currently only has two non-Russian teams, the Dynamos of Kiev and Riga, in Belarus and Latvia, respectively. None of the Scandinavian teams have taken the bait. Not just yet, anyway.
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Stephane Yelle, who remains unsigned and is out there wanting to be signed by somebody, is a guy who might not score many goals either. But he’s not going to get scored on much, and he’s a great penalty killer.
In case Giguere needs any reminding, here it is: the Avalanche’s penalty killing was AWFUL last year….
But Yelle’s teams have a funny way of always being winners, and nobody disputes his PK credentials. The fact is, the Avs have been distinctly unimpressive of addressing this woeful area so far this offseason. They seem hellbent on adding every Hanson Brother-type player they can find, but not interested in finding a guy who can, you know, win a faceoff or get the puck and clear it when one of the Hansons are in the box.
Martin Rucinsky will be playing for Sparta Prague next season according to a report from the AP via the International Herald Tribune.
from Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
“Look at our team now,” Sutter said Tuesday afternoon at the Pengrowth Saddledome. “We’ve got 15 or 16 forwards, eight or nine defencemen, who are legitimate NHL players. They’re not all going to play here. So it’s a different mindset . . . there are veterans who are going to have to make our team.”
Incoming forwards include the pro-seasoned likes of Michael Cammalleri, Todd Bertuzzi, Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross, Andre Roy, Jamie Lundmark and Kyle Greentree. Factor in knocking-on-the-door prospects such as Brandon Prust, Mikael Backlund and Dustin Boyd, and Sutter’s correct - incumbents should be nervous.
“It’s a competition thing,” said Sutter. “These veterans . . . they don’t have jobs on our team. We have a good team, but we want to be more than good.”
from the Grand Rapids Press,
The Grand Rapids Griffins have found their next leading man.
Curt Fraser will be introduced as the Griffins’ eighth coach in franchise history during a Wednesday morning news conference at Van Andel Arena.
Fraser, 50, was the first head coach in the history of the Atlanta Thrashers, who joined the NHL in 1999. He spent three and a half seasons there, compiling a 64-169-31-15 record before being fired in 2003.
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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