Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Whicker of the OC Register,
It’s not that the Ducks and Kings shouldn’t play twice in Europe, but not two regular-season games. And not in England. If you’ve ever been there, you know how little use they have for ice.
Two exhibitions in Sweden or the Czech Republic or even Russia would have been perfect. The NHL has very little to gain in the U.K. besides the odd jersey sale.
If the league wanted to make any splash in Britain, it should have recruited the Phoenix Coyotes, coached by Wayne Gretzky, whose name might ring a faint bell with someone.
That would have satisfied the need for a Western team to suffer approximately the same hardship the Kings will. Certainly the fact that the Kings’ owners also own the arena in London was not enough reason for the Ducks to sign up.
Also from the OC Register… The Bertuzzi Effect...
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
The NHL gets hammered for many things, some of them deserved, but let’s applaud it for what’s happening this week in London, England.
The puck drops for the NHL’s 90th season with the Los Angeles Kings and defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks playing back-to-back games at the 02 Arena.
I will be on hand and I can’t wait.
A few months ago we mentioned Pierre would be part of the Sportsnet team this season. A welcomed addition I must say.
from the OC Register,
Anaheim Ducks rookie hopeful Bobby Ryan wasn’t planning to take any chances after collecting four assists to spark Sunday night’s 5-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the club’s NHL exhibition finale at Honda Center.
“The cell phone will be shut off and the room phone will be unplugged,” Ryan said.
The last thing Ryan wants to receive is word that he won’t be aboard tonight’s charter flight that will carry the Ducks to London for this weekend’s regular season-opening, two-game set against the Kings.
from the BBC,
A week before the new NHL ice hockey season begins in the US, Extratime talks to one of the most outspoken managers in the competition.
In June 2007 Brian Burke led the once-unfancied Anaheim Ducks to win ice hockey’s greatest prize, the Stanley Cup.
Burke makes no apologies for his team’s combative style and says he looks for “pugnacity, truculence, belligerence, hostility and testosterone” in his players.
read on with video (real player)
from the Edmonton Journal,
Chris Pronger is going to start his season in Europe this month, but he wouldn’t want to start his career across the pond.
The Anaheim Ducks defenceman believes NHL expansion to Europe wouldn’t work because some North American-raised players would be unwilling to report to European teams.
“How are you going to run the draft?” Pronger asked during a conference call Thursday. “Are you going to take a Canadian kid and ship him off to Europe?”
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?...
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 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…
from the Vancouver Province,
We accept the responsibility that comes with winning the Stanley Cup,” says Carlyle. “We know we are going to be the measuring sticks for other teams, and we also know that’s not an excuse.”
What he doesn’t know is how all this is going to play out.
As he enters just his third full season as an NHL head coach, Carlyle doesn’t have to be reminded that he enjoyed good breaks on a number of fronts last spring. Can they count on those same things again? That’s just one of the questions he now faces.
The Ducks, in fact, are a veritable Double Jeopardy board as the curtain pulls back on their season.
From Helene Elliott at the LA Times,
The Ducks spent their brief summer vacation showing off the Stanley Cup to their friends and relatives.
The Kings, after missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season, spent five months formulating their 39th annual rebuilding plan.
No matter what happens from here on, the Ducks will always be able to say they won the Cup before the Kings, who had a 26-season head start. Painful though it may be, Kings fans should consider the Ducks’ triumph a source of inspiration, not revulsion.
continued… (*story may require free registration at the LA Times site)
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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