Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon at Fox Sports,
Blues defenseman Erik Johnson manhandled his peers at the Traverse City prospects tournament, to nobody’s surprise.
He dominated collegiate competition for the University of Minnesota. He ran roughshod over junior competition for the U.S. national team. He held up against international veterans at the World Championships.
But what can he do against NHL competition?
We’ll know soon enough, because Johnson, the first overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, is the cornerstone of the Blues rebuilding project.
read on about nine more NHL rookies…
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via CanadaEast,
“Both Hitch and I have an urgency to get better and get better now but we want to be patient with our younger players,” Howson told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.
It starts with star winger Rick Nash, who has gone backwards since his scintillating 41-goal 2003-04 campaign, dropping to 31 goals in an injury-plagued 2005-06 season and then down to 27 last year.
“The challenge for Rick is to play the way he did in the last two and half months last season and through the world championships,” Hitchcock said Tuesday. “If he does that, I think he’s going to be a dominant player in the National Hockey League.”
from the AP via USA TODAY,
Those rowdy Caniacs couldn’t wait for last season to begin because they hoped the momentum of the Cup run would spill over. But the players say they’re more eager to get back on the ice this season, mainly because they’ve had five long months to rest, heal and stew over their shortcomings.
From the season-opening shootout loss to Buffalo to the too-little-too-late overtime win over Florida that ended the year - and the 80 other games in between - Carolina was only briefly fully healthy and as a result never seemed able to rediscover the magic of the previous season.
Now they’ve had plenty of time to heal their lingering injuries and are hoping for a fast start.
Scott Burnside at ESPN has his Western Conference training camp preview up….
Detroit Red Wings
• Does Hasek have another season left in him like last season, when he went 38-11-6?
• Can Kronwall stay healthy for an entire season and prove he’s the star material the Red Wings believe he is?
• Just how good can Henrik Zetterberg be?
• Were the no-shows at the normally sold-out Joe Louis Arena during the playoffs a symptom of deeper problems in one of the NHL’s most solid markets?
from the CP via TSN,
The Anaheim Ducks officially suspended Scott Niedermayer on Tuesday, a formality that was expected on the first day of camp with the star defenceman a no-show.
“Yes, he was suspended today,” Ducks GM Brian Burke said during an NHL media conference call. “I spoke with Scott to tell him he was being suspended, which Scotty expected.”
from the AP via Yahoo,
Two days before players report for training camp, the owner proclaimed “the rebuild is over” in an interview Tuesday with Associated Press reporters and editors. After consecutive last-place, low-payroll seasons following the 2004-05 lockout, Leonsis feels the strategy of building with young talent is heading toward fruition.
“Every person in the organization’s expectation is that we will make the playoffs,” Leonsis said. “Because we improved a lot ... and a lot of teams around us didn’t.”
The rebuilding project has centered around rising superstar Alex Ovechkin, who already has 98 goals in two NHL seasons and will turn 22 during training camp. Ovechkin was the lone star in his first season with the team—Washington’s worst in decades—but the Capitals have slowly but surely given him a better supporting cast that includes Alexander Semin and 2007-08 arrivals Michael Nylander, Tom Poti, Viktor Kozlov and Nicklas Backstrom.
Twenty-two of the 30 teams increased their Shop.NHL.com sales in August. The Ottawa Senators, who recently revealed a new logo, were the top-gaining team for August, up 332% year-over-year. Other teams to experience noteworthy sales for August were the Buffalo Sabres (304%), Nashville Predators (223%), Vancouver Canucks (154%), Los Angeles Kings (150%) and Washington Capitals (138%).
The excitement from teams unveiling their new Rbk EDGE jerseys has carried over to Shop.NHL.com. Seven of the top 25 most searched terms on Shop.NHL.com in August were related to the new Rbk EDGE jersey.
TOP 10 SELLING JERSEYS ON SHOP.NHL.COM (August 1-31, 2007)
from The Maven of MSG Network,
Scotty (Niedermayer) is looking more like Hamlet than Nieder. Unless, of course, he simply wants to escape training camp as Hall of Famer Glenn Hall and others did through the years.
from Sports Illustrated,
Forty-five-year-old Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios came to training camp this week as the NHL’s oldest player, but, says his trainer T.R. Goodman, “he has the body of a 30-year-old.” This summer, six days a week, Chelios hit Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, Calif., where Goodman, a former college hockey player, trains more than 20 NHL players.
from the Thrashers Blog,
The communication between the Thrashers and Marian Hossa’s camp continues in an attempt to get him signed to an extension before the season starts. There hasn’t been a formal offer from the team, but it sounds like they could whip one up real quickly if there are indications from Hossa that he’s ready to sign. All signs point to a possible deal in the four-year range. If he gets Joe Thornton-type money, that would put the total around $28-30 million.
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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