Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The question, needless to say, is how much failure can Gretzky stand, or withstand. He’s in only the second year of a five-year contract, but his buddy Mike Barnett was cashiered as general manager last season and the Coyotes ownership made it clear in hiring Maloney that they were avoiding any and all hockey people with direct ties to Gretzky.
Could he be fired if the Coyotes stink? Possible, but unlikely, particularly given that he still has an ownership stake in the team.
But it’s equally hard to imagine he’ll just hang in there if this season turns out to be utterly miserable. Perhaps there will be a resignation, or some other kind of face-saving way out.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Todd Bertuzzi is looking not for redemption, exactly, but for a fresh start in southern California. He’s in a market suddenly crazy for hockey again, playing for a manager, Brian Burke, who stood by him during the darkest days of the Steve Moore incident, with its resultant suspension and pending lawsuit.
He’s wearing the single digit No. 4 on his Anaheim Ducks jersey instead of the more familiar 44 because that number belongs to Rob Niedermayer, and fellow winger Chris Kunitz had dibs on 14.
Bertuzzi looks slimmer than he has in years, down to 230 pounds from the 245 that he played at for most of his career, seeking to get his career back on the rails again, after three mostly nightmarish seasons, played out in medical rooms and court rooms and just about everywhere but on the ice.
from the Mercury News,
Wilson then banged home the message that he will apparently stress this season: To be ready in the spring, the Sharks must consistently pay attention to details through the winter. He wants players to hold one another accountable. And being young, as so many Sharks are, is no excuse.
“We need people,” Wilson said, “who can look at themselves and say, ‘It’s time for me to grow up and act like a man when it matters most.’ “
At the coaching and front-office level, it seems, there will be another adjustment. This will involve more frequent communication among Ron Wilson, Doug Wilson and other Sharks executives - or as Ron Wilson puts it, “More feedback . . . conference call-type things.” The idea is to make sure Ron Wilson knows as soon as possible when the higher-ups have seen a detail slipping that he might have missed.
On July 1, Mike Sillinger was as disappointed as anyone in the Islanders’ organization to learn that his friend Ryan Smyth had signed with Colorado rather than accept a slightly better offer from the Isles. As one of Smyth’s partners in a British Columbia real estate development and as alternate captain, Sillinger had pushed for “Captain Canada” to become “Captain Islander.”
“Even with me, he kept everything inside,” Sillinger said. “He kept his private stuff private between him and his family and his agent. I had no idea he was going to sign with Colorado. When he did sign, he told me the Islanders were one of his teams to the very end….”
continued with more Islander talk…
Brian Biggane of Inside the Panthers at the Palm Beach Post responds to the latest story by David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail about expansion & the schedule…
David Shoalts, who covers the Toronto Maple Leafs for Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper and loves to bash the Panthers, was at it again Wednesday.
In a story about Wednesday’s Board of Governors meetings in Chicago, Shoalts noted that while expansion will be discussed, it isn’t likely to come about for a few more years. If and when it does happen, he said, Winnipeg is likely to be passed over in favor of American cities such as Las Vegas, Kansas City and Seattle.
Winnipeg’s best chance of getting a team, he continued, “remains relocating one of the league’s basket cases, such as the Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers or Nashville Predators.”
added 9:30pm, Bob McKenzie at TSN also has some notes regarding the BOG meeting. A few people willing to pay up $200M-$300M for an NHL team!
Empty Netters tries to find out what happened to all the tickets for the Winter Classic.
via David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL will probably drop its unbalanced schedule for next season and the vote by the governors could come at their December meeting.
Several governors who left Tuesday’s meeting before it concluded said the sentiment seems to be to have all of the league’s 30 teams visit each other at least once.
“We want [to drop the unbalanced schedule],” Calgary Flames governor Harley Hotchkiss said. “There is a good chance it will happen in December.”
from Fire & Ice,
Congratulations to Sherry Ross, who is expected to be named as the Devils’ radio color commentator in the next day or so.
from the Vancouver Sun,
Well, chronologically, obviously we have two guys who are locks for the Hall of Fame [Selanne and Niedermayer] who aren’t back. So I think for any team to deal with the loss of two players of that significance over any summer creates difficulty,” Burke said. “But that being said, our team mantra is ‘No complaints, no excuses.’ So I don’t want the players reading the GM complaining about this, either. The fact is we’ve taken steps to replace those guys, and I like our chances with this group.
“We’ve got to replace close to 80 goals between Teemu and Dustin Penner. We’re not countin’ on Todd to score 80 goals. But we think he can contribute, and then other people are going to have to grab the rope and pull.”
much more on Burke and the Ducks…
GLENDALE, ARIZONA—- Phoenix Coyotes Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Bucek announced today that the Coyotes have launched their very own MySpace page. The Coyotes Official MySpace page will allow fans to communicate directly with the club as well as with other Coyotes fans across the country.
“The launch of the Coyotes Official MySpace page is just one part of our commitment to offer fans increased access across multiple interactive platforms,” said Bucek. “Social networking websites are the online starting point for our current and future fans in the younger demographic, so we felt it was extremely important to have a presence in that space.”
The Web page can be accessed at www.myspace.com/phoenixcoyoteshockeyclub and will provide inside information on Coyotes players and rising stars, as well as news on ticket offers and special events.
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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