Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
In the coming days and weeks, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is going to be asked to make difficult decisions on two prickly issues, decisions whose ramifications may reverberate around the league for years.
Both decisions involve how to deal with men who have run afoul of the law. Both will require Bettman to balance the desire for good public relations with what is right and just, and possibly even compassionate.
First, there is the issue of what to do with disgraced assistant coach Rick Tocchet, who pleaded guilty to a variety of gambling offenses and was ordered to serve two years of probation last week.
continued and Scott’s second issue is Mark Bell…
from Black Athlete,
I don’t know about you, but if you’ve ever seen or been privy to a hit-and-run situation, you know that the act itself is tantamount to attempted murder when alcohol is added to the equation.
I’m amazed that an advocacy group like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) isn’t after Bell’s ass with the same passion as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in Vick’s case.
For Bettman to make light of these incidents is to imply hockey has no problem—and the treatment in both issues further gives the impression ain’t nothin’ goin’ on but the ice.
Bettman’s laissez-faire attitude says “No problem—because ‘our guys’ aren’t troublemakers like those in those “other leagues”—and there are no moral issues in conflict with our athletes.”
Meanwhile, 50 years since the first black player, Wilie O’Ree, laced up his skates for the Boston Bruins, the NHL still wants to pretend that Black folks in America aren’t worth cozying up to sell their game to.
from Chuck Gormley of the Courier-Post,
Forsberg told “Aftonbladet” he would play for Modo of the Swedish Elite League before deciding whether to jump to the NHL, perhaps sometime in December.
“He didn’t know what his (playing) status was and I left it that when he gets to that point let us know and we’ll talk,” Holmgren said.
Forsberg has since played a couple of benefit games with former Flyers teammate Simon Gagne in Sweden. Holmgren said Gagne told him Forsberg was “unbelievable” in the exhibitions.
Reuniting Forsberg to a vastly improved Flyers lineup is not a far-fetched proposition. Before he was traded to the Predators Feb. 15, Forsberg said he believed the Flyers could quickly rebound from the worst season in team history and be a Stanley Cup contender within a year or two.
from the Vancouver Province,
With the addition of Linden, the team’s roster now sits at 21 players with a salary cap hit of $46.46 million. The NHL’s salary cap this coming season is $50.3 million.
But Nonis strongly hinted that the Canucks are in a wait-and-see mode for the moment in terms of additional players—notably someone who can score goals—whether through signing a free agent or making a trade.
“We’re still looking,” said Nonis. “I would add another defenceman if I could. There hasn’t been a forward out there so far from a free-agent standpoint that made sense financially, or if it did make sense financially it wasn’t an upgrade on what we had. So we’ll keep the powder dry and when an opportunity comes we’ll move.
“There might be a free agent that comes available at numbers that make sense, but I would say more than likely if we were to add to our forward group it would be through the trade route.”
from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
Excuse-making is out. Accountability is in. That means a talented, young player such as Nikolai Zherdev will work hard and get with the program or go to the bench. It means goaltender Pascal Leclaire will be in better shape than he has ever been or he will watch Fredrik Norrena play. It means playing time won’t have anything to do with where players were drafted or how much they have been hyped. It means it will be Hitch’s way or the highway, and the team’s general manager, Scott Howson, will back Hitchcock all the way.
While there’s no way to know how this will play out during the course of the season, it’s hard to see how this won’t change things for the better.
from the Toronto Sun,
Ron Ellis had a special speaking engagement yesterday afternoon and the former NHL player knew exactly what he was going to say.
Ellis, who wore Canada’s colours in the 1972 Summit Series against Russia, was scheduled to address the Canadian juniors yesterday afternoon before the team departed for Moscow. The times have changed, but for Ellis, the message he was given nearly four decades ago remains the same.
“Back then it was the big bad Russians, communism versus our way of life, and now a number of Russian kids play in the (Canadian Hockey League and NHL),” Ellis said. “These are all top players and goal-scorers, and somebody is going to have to do some backchecking. That’s what happened with our club. We had to take on different roles.
via the Blueshirts Blog,
Michael Peca will not be a Ranger this season.
Agent Don Meehan confirmed moments ago that the Rangers did not make Peca a contract offer.
Meehan said that he expected to complete negotiation on a one-year deal for the 33-year-old center within a couple of hours. Columbus appears to be the city where the former Islanders captain will be playing his home games this season.
added 9:06pm, On the front page of the Columbus Dispatch but no link yet- Peca expected to sign
added 9:08pm, Link now working,
Michael Peca is likely to sign a contract with the Blue Jackets either late tonight or early Wednesday.
It’s a one-year contract with incentives, according to a source.
As of 8:45 p.m., Peca’s agent, Don Meehan, was negotiating with Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson over the final details.
added 10:57pm,, The same link from the Dispatch now stating Peca has agreed to terms with Columbus.
from the Vancouver Canucks,
Call off the investigations and put away your detective hats. After almost four months of questions and predictions, Trevor Linden re-signs and will return in a Canucks uniform for the 2007-08 season.
Linden’s excited to re-join his team of 15 years (going into his 16th) and is positive about the changes made over the summer.
Like all of the fans, he’s hoping for more in the coming season and is confident of the team that will enter GM Place in October.
read on for Q & A with Linden…
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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