Kukla's Korner Hockey
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
Now it’s for real. The first points of the 2007-‘08 NHL season are at stake Saturday when the Los Angeles Kings get first crack at taking down the Stanley Cup-champion Anaheim Ducks.
Practice for both teams seemed to have a little more edge on the eve of the NHL’s regular-season opener (CBC, noon ET).
“There’s a subtle feeling that comes over a team,” said Kings head coach Marc Crawford. “And you can see it in the players, there’s a little more focus in their eyes.
continued… (*regular season in North America starts next Wednesday)
From the Anaheim Ducks,
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle announced today that defenseman Chris Pronger will take over as captain, with last year’s captain Scott Niedermayer still mulling retirement.
“The coaching staff and management had a discussion and ultimately it was left up to us, the coaches, to make that decision and we made it through consultation through the last 48 hours,” Carlyle said. “We came to the conclusion that we thought Chris Pronger would be best suited to fit the captaincy role.”
From the Daily Mail,
The NHL will enter uncharted territory and return to its outdoor roots during a new season that begins on Saturday with the Anaheim Ducks starting their Stanley Cup defence on European ice.
The Ducks and Los Angeles Kings travel to London to play the first NHL regular season game in Europe as the NHL bids to gain a foothold in a market which has also attracted serious attention from the NFL and NBA.
“We’ve got to look at extending our brand outside of North America, whenever we can,” Ducks general manager Brian Burke said. “We think that to take regular season games to Europe is a milestone for our league. Is it ideal from a preparation standpoint? No. But I think when the league asks you to go, you go.”
from the OC Register,
Acquired in a Monday afternoon trade with the Boston Bruins, Mowers quickly threw together a few things, spent as much time as possible with a family that includes two young daughters, and made his way to New York to join the Ducks’ charter flight that had made a refueling stop before its overnight trek across the Atlantic.
“It’s kind of a shocker, at first to switch teams, and then come to the realization that you’re not just going out to California, but you’re going overseas,” Mowers said. “It was a crazy 24 hours, but I feel like I’m settling in, getting to know the guys. The excitement is definitely starting to hit me now.”
NHL.com’s Shawn P. Roarke is in London and providing daily updates about his experiences and the upcoming games. From his Day #3 installment:
Wednesday, NHL.com took an abbreviated double-decker bus tour of London. But the company couldn’t be beat as I joined the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the Stanley Cup itself for a quick jaunt through the city.
We all climbed aboard a 30-year-old traditional red double-decker bus that is only used for special occasions. And, what could be more special than escorting the Ducks and the Stanley Cup on a sight-seeing tour?
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?”
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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