Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Stevenson of the Ottawa Sun,
This Penguins fun is a different kind of fun than the “old” Stanley Cup-winning Penguins used to have which was more like the fun you’d see at 11 o’clock at, say, McNabb Arena on a Monday night.
The old birds would skate around in practice without helmets or shoulder pads and coach Eddie Johnston would blow his whistle a couple of times. Tom Barrasso would scowl at somebody and 20 minutes later somebody would undo Mario Lemieux’ skates for him.
These new Penguins are having fun, too, but it’s the fun that comes when some kids realize they have a chance to do something special for the first time. Fun for them; fun for those of us who watch.
from the Toronto Sun,
If it is true that the most dangerous animal is one that is wounded and cornered then the Maple Leafs should be a fearsome sight to behold the next couple days.
They’ve got the Islanders and Montreasl right where they want them. The rest of the NHL just doesn’t know it yet.
This team has more nicks, scratches and blemishes than a frat-house beer fridge. Parts keep falling off, the door is hanging by one hinge but somehow it keeps getting the job done.
According to the two women, the Rangers should be penalized for slashing, spitting and verbal abuse during television timeouts in the first period of Tuesday night’s game at Nassau Coliseum, won by the Islanders, 3-2, in a shootout.
During commercial breaks, teams of three Ice Girls clean loose ice known as “snow” in the goal and the blue-painted goaltender’s crease in front of the goal line. But Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist declined to move and used his stick to whack the squeegee Kelli Higgins was using to push the snow into a pile during the first TV timeout, knocking the butt end of the squeegee stick into her stomach.
“I said ‘Excuse me’ maybe two or three times,” Higgins said Wednesday. “He didn’t move and didn’t say anything, so I gave up and went around him….”
note: updated the link at 8:19am Thursday for a little more information…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Well, if the Leafs are to win their last two games and squeeze into the National Hockey League playoffs, they had better find it quickly.
It is killer instinct, something the Leafs have not shown a lot of lately, be it starting quickly to put a weaker opponent down by the end of the first period, or closing the deal in the third when they have a stronger one on the ropes.
Maurice, the Leafs’ head coach, argues that too much is made of this. Only the Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators or Buffalo Sabres have enough talent to say they have a killer instinct.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In this week’s Facing Off, Luc compares Sid the Kid to Super Mario and The Great One, discusses a shootout experience he will never forget, hands out advice on Barry Melrose’s mullet and picks his Stanley Cup winner.
Q: Who was the best coach you ever had?
A: Scotty Bowman, and probably Barry Melrose.
Q: Wow. Melrose is going to love to hear that.
A: He was great. He was the best communicator I ever had and he was a real player’s coach.
Q: Now, why didn’t you and the rest of the guys pin Barry down and cut off that mullet?
A: We should have, but you guys at ESPN should do it now [laughs]. In those days, in the early 1990s, it wasn’t bad. But now, the mullet is totally over with.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Former NHL coach Pat Burns says that while Sidney Crosby may one day be the best player in hockey, that honour currently belongs to Vincent Lecavalier.
“He’s the best hockey player in the National Hockey League by far,” Burns said Wednesday while promoting a prostate cancer fundraiser.
“I saw a game in Tampa when he played against Crosby and he just put on a show. You could see Crosby thinking ‘I’m going to be good like that one day.’ He’s big, strong, he can skate, he can score and I’d say he’s probably the best hockey player in the league.
“And him and Marty St. Louis are probably the best duo in the NHL.”
Battle of California will be live blogging during the Sharks/Ducks game tonight.
I may have to take a nap to catch up with that one.
Note to Alanah- stay away, you have work to do…
added 10:19pm, Link to the live blog post…
When attempting to talk Wings, Dwayne needs to be very careful these days. A2Y is bang on!!!
via the Buffalo News,
Buffalo Sabres winger Maxim Afinogenov might return to the lineup Thursday night.
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff revealed after Wednesday’s practice Afinogenov could be available to play all three of the team’s remaining regular-season games. They play the Boston Bruins on Thursday night in HSBC Arena and then finish up with afternoon road games against the Washington Capitals on Saturday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.
The status of center Tim Connolly remains in question. Connolly said he is ready to play after rehabbing from post-concussion symptoms and a leg stress fracture. Ruff said Connolly is at 80 percent and the team doesn’t want to rush him back too soon.
from the Excalibur, York University’s newspaper,
Minor league teams and big leagues generally do not publicly divulge players’ salaries, but their rules pertaining to minimum wage and salary caps are made public. How much do these guys earn? Let’s have a look.
In professional hockey, the top-level minor league in North America (unofficially called “AAA level”) is the American Hockey League (AHL). Some of you may know that the Toronto Maple Leafs rookies, the Marlies and two more Canadian AHL teams (the Bulldogs and the Manitoba Moose) have homes in Hamilton and Winnipeg.
Several players in this league are on two-way contracts, which mean that their salary depends on whether they play in the NHL or the AHL. For players who sign such contracts, whose terms are often publicly disclosed by the NHL parent club, their AHL salary is usually between $50,000 and $75,000.
For those who are on an AHL-only contract, the league’s minimum salary for the 2006-07 season was $44,000 ($35,000 US), and $27,000 US for players on loan from lesser leagues, in addition to the per diem allowances to cover certain expenses while on the road.
The average salary in the league is said to be around $50,000 to $55,000; not bad compared to any other job, but still a far cry from what a typical NHL star earns.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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