Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vancouver Sun,
Former Vancouver Canuck president and general manager Brian Burke has won the right to have his defamation suit against New York Post columnist Larry Brooks heard in B.C. Supreme Court. Burke is suing Brooks, who writes primarily on hockey, over an item that appeared on Feb. 27, 2005. The item concerned the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident of March 8, 2004 in which Bertuzzi sucker-punched the Colorado Avalanche forward in a game at GM Place. The attack was in retaliation for a Moore hit on Canuck captain Markus Naslund three weeks earlier.
from Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun,
It's not just the fans who aren't sure what to expect from the National Hockey League this season. Coaches are in the same boat. They have some ideas and some expectations. And each one hints that he has noticed something that may have escaped the attention of others -- which he's keeping quiet, of course. But in Detroit, Mike Babcock has an added burden. As the new coach of the Detroit Red Wings, he not only has to adjust to an unfamiliar situation, he also has to adjust to an unfamiliar position -- players he doesn't know in a city he doesn't know in a franchise he doesn't know. He had thought, for instance, that Sunday would be an ideal time to give his players a rest day after a rigorous week of training camp in Traverse City, Mich. But the people at Little Caesar's Pizza, who also happen to be the people who own the Red Wings, had a different idea. They thought a promotional intrasquad game at the State Fairgrounds would be a better idea. Guess what the Wings did on Sunday?
from the Detroit News,
The Red Wings might have to change the color of that winged wheel on their jerseys to blue. That's the dominant color of the Swedish national team jersey. With as many as seven Swedes possibly making the roster this season, the Swedes certainly have become noticeable. "There's never been this many Swedes before," said defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, the veteran of the group. "It's a different feeling." "It's nice," said forward Tomas Holmstrom, looking around at his teammates one day last week in Traverse City. "There is a lot. I'm not sure what's happening." Nothing is happening, according to general manager Ken Holland. No secret plan, nothing to do with the rule changes, favoring offense and skating. "Just a coincidence," Holland said of the growing number of Swedes on the Wings roster. Along with Lidstrom, Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg, others certain to make the final roster are defensemen Niklas Kronwall and Andreas Lilja, and forward Mikael Samuelsson.
It appears games will come down th power play and penalty killing. The 'specialist' is going to be more important than ever. from the Victoria Times Colonist,
Marc Crawford thinks everyone is going to need to be a special teams player in the new-look National Hockey League. With a parade to the penalty box expected at least in the early going as players and teams adjust to an anti-obstruction crackdown, the Vancouver Canucks' head coach says he will likely employ three power-play units, not two. And the guys who don't get power-play time almost certainly will find themselves killing penalties. A select few will do double duty.
from the Toronto Star,
When the NHL and its new American cable broadcaster announced their deal last month, they spoke glowingly of a brave new world that included a more exciting game, more access to players and bold ventures in television broadcasting. That knowing laughter you might have heard in the background came from Ralph Mellanby. The former executive producer of Hockey Night In Canada and a hockey producer for three American networks can be excused if he says he's heard it all before. He has — 27 years ago to be exact. In 1978, John Ziegler, commissioner of the NHL at the time, asked Mellanby to form a committee to recommend ways to improve TV ratings in the U.S. What Mellanby and company came up with back when long sideburns were stylish the first time looks an awful lot like what the NHL is peddling more than a quarter of a century later. "We proposed shootouts, removal of centre red line, change on the fly only, widening the blue lines," Mellanby said from his Atlanta home. "Our feeling was that to enhance the game for television, you had to have a better product on the ice. "Here we are 27 years later and they're finally getting around to doing it."
from the Toronto Star,
With NHL players divided over the fate of players' association boss Ted Saskin, one of hockey's free speakers has entered the fray by calling on the union's 37-member executive board to stop voting on whether Saskin should be hired as executive director. Phoenix Coyotes forward Brett Hull said yesterday in an interview that all of the league's 700-plus players should have a say in whether the embattled Saskin remains at his post. Hull said he's also surprised that more players don't want to start fresh by looking outside the players' union for a replacement for Bob Goodenow, who sources say was fired two months ago by union president Trevor Linden. "It's crazy that we'd fire Bob and want to hire his right-hand man," Hull said. "It's like firing the Lone Ranger and hiring Tonto." Hull said Saskin's actions wouldn't be tolerated in any other industry. "Just because we're hockey players, you can't just shove this down our throats," Hull said. "If someone did things this way at the United Auto Workers, they'd be lynched. The union should be talking to all of us about this, not just the player reps."
from the Toronto Globe and Mail,
Dominik Hasek won the Vézina Trophy five times, led the Czech Republic to Olympic gold in 1998, won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002 and was one of the top goaltenders in the National Hockey League throughout most of his career. He'll be 41 in January, has barely played in three years and his last comeback was interrupted by a severe groin injury. So what's he doing back on the ice with the Ottawa Senators trying to rediscover his magic at least one more time? "[The great things in my career] happened yesterday in my life," Hasek said. "I always want to prove something new. If you're not proving something, it's boring. I don't know if I can play at the same level that I did. But I need something to prove in my life every day
from the Ottawa Citizen,
It's only preseason hockey, and a handful of games at that, but already there are signs of a dramatically different NHL. For example, did anyone imagine living long enough to hear a coach complain about his own player grabbing onto the opposition? Remember when that was a good thing? Not anymore. Not in an NHL that just found its rule book in Gary Bettman's attic. The league blew off the dust, and voila: There were the rules outlawing holding, interference and so on. Who knew?
from the Tampa Tribune,
"We are committed," said owner Bill Davidson, who attended Monday's preseason opener against the Red Wings and sat behind the Lightning bench. "We have a lot of confidence in this team, and we think they will be right up there contending for a championship." Under the old agreement, Davidson said it would have been "very difficult" to maintain ownership considering the amount of money the team was losing, upward of $10 million per season since he purchased the Lightning before the 1999-2000 season. Despite the new economics, CEO Tom Wilson said it will take a playoff run into the third round for the team to break even this season on a payroll that will come close to the $39 million cap. During the 2003-04 season, Tampa Bay carried a $33 million base payroll and turned its first profit -- about $3 million -- after winning the Stanley Cup.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Even though Team Canada boss Wayne Gretzky has said Steve Yzerman is on the 2006 Torino Olympic team if he is healthy, Yzerman's pride prevents him from accepting that verdict. "If I don't play well, I don't think I will be on the Olympic team because there are too many good players," he said. At 40, Yzerman is coming back for his 22nd NHL season, and it isn't to be a role player. Yzerman has endured such high-profile health issues over the last few years — including a scary eye injury in the 2004 playoffs — that it's easy to forget he needed radical leg surgery to save his career three years ago. Yzerman said he appreciates Gretzky's vote of confidence but he doesn't view it as a free pass to the Olympics. "Some of the best young players in the game are Canadian," Yzerman said. "I don't care how many years you have played and how much success you have had. This is the only year that matters. ... To me, I have to earn the place."
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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