Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Speaking of the Sabres/Penguins “Winter Classic,” I’m having a hard time agreeing with some prominent hockey scribes who wonder whether another outdoor game is a case of the league going to the well one too many times.
Fellas, this is only the second one. In four freakin’ years. Another Rolling Stones tour this is not.
In Adam’s blog today, there is now a reason for me to attempt to get media credentials for a Kings game in LA.
from Eric Duhatschek at the Globe on Hockey Blog,
Call it a hunch, but after being around the team for a few days now, I’ve done a complete about-face on this issue. A month ago, I thought both Niedermayer and Selanne were done. At the moment, I’d say it’s more likely that they’ll play at some later date this year rather than retire, in the hopes of winning back-to-back championships.
more... Eric is in SoCal and has a bit on the Kings too, could a rookie goalie fit into the mix for the Kings?...
Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Alberts is doing special correspondence on the team website:
As you know camp started here on Friday, only I wasn’t able to attend because i had a bad 4-day run in with the dreaded “flue like symptoms.” It wasn’t pleasant (achy, headache), but I’m over it and ready to get back to playing hockey.
The first few days here at camp have been very intense.
more… (*including Andrew’s own movie review and recommendation…)
From Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
The Rangers may have an impressive group of prospects within the organization, but there’s a good chance that not a single one of them will be on the roster for the Oct. 4 NHL opener at the Garden against Florida.
How different would that scenario appear, and how more powerful would the Rangers be, had management been keener with its three first-round picks in 2003 and 2004 Entry Drafts that yielded three players who so far have not played in a single NHL game among them, and who probably won’t for at least a while?
The Globe & Mail has put up a nice little gallery of hockey images today.
*image above credited to Paul Battaglia/AP via the Globe
from the Buffalo News,
Maxim Afinogenov is a terrible liar. The Buffalo Sabres winger was asked about the secret injury he suffered last spring in the playoffs.
“What do you mean in the playoffs?” Afinogenov replied with the awkward indignation of a nervous child standing next to a broken vase. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Unbeknownst to the devious Russian, his coach already had told the tale….
“Max, while warming up playing soccer in the playoffs, flipped over backwards and hit his head on the concrete before Game Three in Long Island,” Ruff said, “and I don’t think he was right for a little while after that.”
Afinogenov bonked his head early in the first round, and, in Ruff’s opinion, the injury hampered the speedster’s play well into the second round.
from the Vancouver Province,
The Canucks’ plans have taken a shot to the groin.
Five players have now been sidelined with sore groins. It’s an epidemic of injuries among the veterans that coach Alain Vigneault implied Tuesday could have been avoided under the old rules governing camp.
“There is no one who is sore who was at the prospects camp,“he said. “The prospects had seven full days of practice before we got into games. They had more time to prepare for game-like situations.
“Because of the CBA [collective barganing agreement] our hands are tied. Before [the current CBA] it was five to seven practices before you played an intrasquad game. Now, it’s three [for the veterans] and you’re right into it.”
from the Edmonton Sun,
Head coach Craig MacTavish says they’ll go the team toughness route again this year.
“Intimidation is a big part of the game, you have to have some toughness,” he said. “But we feel we have enough. Sheldon Souray is plenty tough, Matt Greene’s tough. Steve Staios will battle and fight when he has to. Zack Stortini, Ethan Moreau, Raffi Torres ... we have enough toughness.
“Do I envision having a team that’s going to be fighting guys like Boogaard every time we play them? Absolutely not. That’s the strength of his game. Why give him the ability to do what he does best? You have to be punishing on the other factions of their team, and we have plenty of guys to do that.”
more on the Oilers…
from The Record,
Add Cam Janssen’s name to the list of Devils who might need surgery.
The 23-year-old enforcer dislocated his right shoulder for the second time in less than a year during Monday’s 3-2 preseason loss to Philadelphia in Trenton. Janssen said Tuesday that his shoulder popped out of the socket while he was throwing punches during both of his first-period fights with Philadelphia’s Jesse Boulerice….
Janssen underwent an MRI on Tuesday and said he will find out “in the next couple of days” whether he will require surgery to fix the shoulder, which never healed fully after he dislocated it in a fight with Anaheim’s George Parros on Nov. 24. He missed 12 games last season because of it. Surgery would likely keep him out for at least two months this time.
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.
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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