Kukla's Korner Hockey
E.J. Hradek of ESPN is doing a “Better or Worse” feature on all NHL teams. Today he features Atlanta…
This season will be a critical one for the Thrashers, who want to remain among the playoff class in the East. I get the sense that will be tough. If they get off to a bad start, Waddell might have to make an early decision about coach Bob Hartley.
At this point, I think they fall into the “worse” category.
read on and if you choose the month “August”, you will see his preview of the Ducks too. Something to keep an eye on all month long….
As Spector points out today, will Peca play for less than $1.5M and sign with the Rangers?
My feelings are Peca is shooting for a higher dollar amount than what teams have been offering him. Will he finally come down on his asking price or continue to shop for a team that will meet his $$$ demands?
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Andrew Raycroft spent his honeymoon in Tahiti, knowing he’d have to one day come back and patch up his marriage with Maple Leafs management and fans.
That task began in earnest yesterday at Lakeshore Lions Arena where the goaltender joined the first team workouts of the year, informal practices ahead of next month’s official training camp for 2007-08….
You don’t hear a lot about hockey in Tahiti,” said Raycroft, who married Erin in her native Boston in July and claimed to have steered clear of the sports pages since.
“All I can say is that I had good conversations with (general manager) John Ferguson and (coach) Paul Maurice and they’ve told me we now have two good goaltenders and that’s what it’s going to be (heading into camp).
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
Imagine a 1-2 punch that features Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza on one line and Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Forsberg on another.
Bryan Murray has—and acted on the thought.
The Senators GM said yesterday he’s been in contact with Forsberg’s representative, Don Baizley, and expressed a desire in talking contract with the Swedish star….
“There should be a number of reasons why we’d be one of the teams he may be interested in joining. I hope he thinks we have a good team, that we got to the final and we have a chance to do it again, and I think Daniel Alfredsson is his friend. I think there are things in our favour.”
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
“I tried to play but wasn’t strong enough,” the native of Toronto said. “It was tough. I tried but just didn’t have the health. I wasn’t ready. I hoped I could still play but couldn’t do it. With that, and other reasons, I decided to retire.”
The other reasons involved his family. He and his wife Beth, who is from Peterborough, have three children: Jade who is seven, four-year-old Mario and two-year-old Ella.
“My family is important,” he said. “It’s different now when you have three children seven and younger.”
He said they would continue to live in their current home in Haliburton, Ont., during the summer but move to San Jose during the winter. He said he intended to hook up with the Sharks, possibly in a player development role.
from ESPN SportsNation,
With that in mind, ESPN.com’s Gene Wojciechowski has come up with a list of the 32 greatest records in all of sports, matching them up against one another in a free-for-all bracket. He’s come up with his choice, but what do you think, SportsNation? Which of Nolan Ryan’s records is more impressive? Do Pistol Pete’s unreal college stats push him over the top? Do you favor individual streaks, or team efforts? Does Barry reign supreme, or does Aaron still hold the title?
read on and vote if you wish, but only Gretzky nominated. How about Scotty Bowmn Mr. Wojciechowski? Plus, I am sure KK readers can come up with more hockey types that should have been included.
via the Phoenix Coyotes,
Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced that the Coyotes have signed goaltender Alex Auld to a one-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
• Look for Lee Stempniak to have a breakout season in St. Louis.
“In clutch situations I want to be the guy the coach has faith in,” says Stempniak.
Other teams are high on Lee as well.
“Whenever trades are discussed, one player they’re always asking for is Lee,” said Blues President John Davidson. “All I know is that we’ve got ourselves a very honest professional.”
• Scott Niedermayer’s “To play or not to play?” decision should be imminent. We’re betting that the Cup captain will be back; at least for a year.
more from The Maven, most has been mentioned at KK…
added 5:31pm, from The Maven at MSG Network,
In an attempt to make NHLers more recognizable and marketable, the league has suggested players remove their helmets during Shootouts. The NHL Players’ Association put the kibosh on this sensational idea on the grounds that the players’ hair would not be in the best shape after playing 65 minutes.
Some players do go bare-headed during pregame warm-ups. So, here we have yet another case of the Union simply being ridiculously obtuse rather than helpful.
NEW YORK—The National Hockey League today announced the dates and start times for the 2007-08 pre-season schedule, which runs from Thursday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 30.
The 107-game slate opens with a home-and-home series between the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and their cross-town rival Los Angeles Kings, Sept. 13 at Honda Center in Anaheim and Sept. 15 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Two weeks later, the Ducks and Kings will open the 2007-08 regular season with the two-game NHL Premiere series at London’s 02 Arena on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30.
from the Thrashers Blog,
1. Alexei Zhitnik, $3.5 million
2. Niclas Havelid, $2.7 million
3. Garnet Exelby, $1.4 million
4. Ken Klee, $1.250 million
5. Tobias Enstrom, $750,000
6. Steve McCarthy, $725,000
7. Karel Pilar, $600,000
8. Mark Popovic, $500,000
Now I’m not saying that’s a Stanley Cup winning defensive corps, but it’s priced right. And there’s some upside. You figure Exelby can still get better and the foursome of Enstrom, McCarthy, Pilar and Popovic all likely have their best hockey ahead of them.
But is it enough? You need a good defense to win, especially in the playoffs. I still wouldn’t count out a trade, especially if Bob Hartley and Don Waddell don’t like what they see from some of the younger guys in camp.
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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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