Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
Milbury’s addition raises the question of what the future holds for another HNIC regular with Boston connections - P. J. Stock. There won’t be much room on the Hotstove with ring master Ron MacLean, Milbury and Scott Morrison taking up three of the four spots. HNIC likes to throw in Eric Duhatschek, Pierre LeBrun or Al Strachan in the fourth spot, and that leaves little or no room for Stock.
But CBC Sports head honcho Scott Moore told me yesterday: “We’re definitely keeping young Stock. He has a future.”
Moore said HNIC executive producer Sherali Najak is still putting the pieces of the telecast together, but predicted Stock will have a “slightly expanded role.”
more on Milbury…
Former Blue Jackets defenseman Duvie Westcott has signed to play with Dinamo Riga (Latvia) of the Continental Hockey League (KHL).
Westcott was bought out of the final two years of his contract by the Blue Jackets this summer, meaning he’ll earn $600,000 plus from the Jackets over the next four years. He tried to get a one-way contract in the NHL, but found no takers.
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.
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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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