Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Tennessean,
"There's no question it's the most firepower we've had,'' Coach Barry Trotz said. "We have potentially eight or nine guys that could score 20 goals, and that's a pretty balanced attack if those guys are able to reach numbers like that.'' The transformation from the gritty, low-scoring, defensive-minded club to a more threatening offensive unit actually began last year when Steve Sullivan and Paul Kariya played their first full seasons in Nashville, and young players — such as Scott Hartnell and Martin Erat — started to showcase more goal-scoring ability. Nashville "definitely has more offensive potential,'' Kariya said. "The organization is going more of the offensive route and so is the league. You have to play offensively to be able to win.''read on
from the Pioneer Press,
WHAT CAN'T HAPPEN Believing a fatter payroll will solve their problems. The principles that define Jacques Lemaire-coached teams are a dogged work ethic, commitment to playing a responsible two-way game and counterattacking. The new blood makes the Wild more dangerous, but the players cannot abandon their roots lest they endure Lemaire's wrath. Nor can the stars dump all of the defensive dirty work into Wes Walz's lap.more
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
[Jim] Balsillie, chairman and co-CEO of Research in Motion, the company based in Waterloo, Ontario, that makes the BlackBerry, has emerged as the latest frontrunner to buy the Penguins, two sources with knowledge of the sale process said yesterday. His second pursuit of the hockey team is the latest development in what has been a roller-coaster ride the past several months as fans have waited to see who buys the club and whether the new owner intends to keep it in Pittsburgh. Balsillie, who has declined comment, was the secretive Canadian bidder who nearly signed a letter of intent with the Penguins in mid-July. He backed out when he realized it wouldn't be simple to move the team. It's believed he wanted to relocate it to Hamilton, Ontario, which is near Waterloo.continued
The National Hockey League Board of Governors today approved a variety of rule changes pertaining to the curvature of players' sticks. The maximum curvature of a player's stick was increased to three-quarters of an inch. Previously, the maximum curvature had been one-half inch. During regulation time or overtime (but not shootouts), a player found to have a stick curved in excess of that amount would be assessed a minor penalty and a $200 fine for the first offense. A second offense in the same season would be accompanied by a minor penalty, plus a fine of $1,000. A third offense in the same season would draw a game misconduct penalty and an automatic one-game suspension. The suspension would double in length for any subsequent violation in the same season. During shootouts, an opposing Club may request measurement of a shooter's stick prior to the shooter's attempt. If the stick is found to be legal, the complaining Club would forfeit its next shootout attempt and the player listed for the challenging Club's next attempt would not be permitted to participate until all other eligible players have participated. The Club would be fined $5,000 and the Club's coach would be fined $1,000. If the stick is illegal, the offending player would become ineligible to participate in the shootout and the Club would forfeit that shootout attempt. The Club would be fined $5,000 and the player would be fined $1,000. The Board also approved enhanced measures against "diving" and embellishment of actions in the attempt to draw a penalty. The first such infraction would result in a warning letter being sent to the player or goalkeeper. A second infraction would be accompanied by a $1,000 fine. A third infraction would result in a telephone hearing with the Director of Hockey Operations and a possible one-game suspension. The length of the suspension would double for any subsequent violation. The Board also approved a rule change that will give the home team the choice of shooting first or second in the shootout.
from the CP via TSN,
The arrival of Tanguay gives Iginla a talented set-up man or takes pressure off him should Tanguay end up on another line. ''I'm a winger and I like to shoot the puck. I'm not going to lie,'' Iginla said. ''So it's exciting to hear that he's going to feed me, but I plan on trying to get him a few back and return some favours too.'' Tanguay contemplated the possibility of switching from wing to centre to play alongside Iginla. ''I've played maybe, over the course of my first six years in the NHL, a maximum of 10 or 15 games at centre,'' he said. ''It's something I'm unfamiliar with, but if I have to play centre, I'll play centre no problem.''read on
Sources tell TSN the Vancouver Canucks will match the 1.9 million dollar offer sheet the Philadelphia Flyers lured Ryan Kesler into signing on Tuesday. Canucks general manager Dave Nonis will file his intentions with the NHL today
Stan Fischler of MSG Network breaks down the Ranger, Islanders, Devils and Sabres.
The good news is that the Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Sabres all are undefeated. The other news -- as if you didn’t know -- is that nobody has played a game yet. No Matter. This is a delicious time of the year for hockey fans because optimism reigns supreme; and, as everyone knows, when it rains it pours -- hockey pucks.
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
"You get to a level where Alexander is, and you are evaluated over time,'' Hanlon said. "The great players are the ones who can do it year in, year out, and we will see that with Alexander. I think it's just a matter of time. This player doesn't have a drop-off.'' Last year, Ovechkin was one of the few reasons to watch the Capitals, who languished, as expected, at the bottom of the Southeast Division in a rebuilding year. If the team is to win a Stanley Cup with Ovechkin as the centerpiece, it's time to start heading in that direction. "Last year we were about the process,'' Hanlon said. "And now there has to be some focus on achievement.'' Hanlon refused to cite any specific goals, but goaltender Olie Kolzig wasn't shy concerning the "P'' word. "Our goal this year is not to be satisfied with working hard every night - that should be a given,'' Kolzig said. "I think our goal this year is to try to make the playoffs.''more...and it case you missed it, the Caps have signed John Erskine...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Did Lowe, at any point, think about enforcing the final four years of the contract and playing hardball with Pronger? "I definitely thought about it, but it wasn't to be resistant," he answered. "It was more with a view to maximizing our return. If I needed to do that, I would have been glad to do and been comfortable doing it. But I know Prongs well enough that I don't think, at any point, he would have come back to play. He would have just ridden it out. It would have been realistically too hard for him, after demanding this, to then come back and play. It just wasn't going to happen." Even with Lupul signed, the Oilers' payroll stands at about $38 million, leaving Lowe enough wiggle room if he needs to make a move down the road.more
from RDS (translated):
The captain of the Canadiens, Saku Koivu, declared that he could have to wear a contact lens in his left eye to play this season because of a caratact. [On the first day of training camp, he said] that his problems of vision did not improve. If the situation does not change, he could have to undergo a surgical operation. He specified that if an operation were to be necessary, he wishes to be able to await the end of the season before [going under the knife].continued added 3:18pm, Now up at TSN,
"Obviously, the best scenario would be to get it done at the end of the year, but right now, we're going to wait and see how it will progress." He said it is common for cataracts to develop after injuries or surgery to the eyes. This one has caused his vision to be "not as sharp as a month and a half ago."
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