Kukla's Korner Hockey
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)
from the Vancouver Province,
I feel great, young and healthy,” said Bertuzzi, having had five days of consecutive organized workouts under his belt before getting started against the Kings Saturday.
“It was tough during my time with Detroit, I was really only at about 50 per cent, all beat up and sore during those games. It wasn’t so much my back but everything else was all smashed up—my tail bone was sore, I was a mess.
“Looking back on it, maybe I would have been better off not playing at all last year, but the summer was good and really, the opportunity was too good to pass up, playing with those guys. And we were really close to winning. That series (with the Ducks in the conference final) could have gone either way, at least we felt that way.
“But now to come to the team that just won the Cup, it’s pretty exciting.”
From AP via NY Post,
New Ducks defenseman Mathieu Schneider will be out at least four weeks after breaking a bone in the left ankle during his first preseason game with the Stanley Cup champions.
An MRI taken Sunday revealed that Schneider sustained a non-displaced fracture of the ankle Saturday night in Anaheim’s 3-2 victory over Los Angeles.
The 38-year-old Schneider, beginning his 20th NHL season, signed a two-year, $11.25-million deal with Anaheim. The Ducks brought him aboard this summer as insurance in case captain Scott Niedermayer decides to retire.
via the OC Register,
Veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider, signed as a free agent July 1 as insurance against the possible retirement of captain Scott Niedermayer, left the game midway through the second period because of an ankle injury. Schneider is scheduled to undergo an MRI today.
“I really don’t know what to tell you,” Schneider said. “It didn’t feel like much on the ice, but it stiffened up on me. My skate just kind of stuck on the ice.”
from the LA Times,
Much like Scott Niedermayer is wrestling with thoughts of retirement, so too is Selanne.
“The decision is way harder than I thought,” he told a small group of reporters at Anaheim Ice on Friday. “I thought it was going to be an easy decision and just move on. Obviously, everything has just been unbelievable here. When you have played something since you were 6 years old. . . . Now I know how players say how hard it is to retire….
I’m guessing I’m going to see how I feel when the season starts and I’m watching the games,” he said. “By then, I’ll know for sure whether I want to go back and play again. But right now, I feel at this point, there’s no way I can be as motivated” as needed.
“If I don’t feel the same way the next month or so, then it’s time to do something. It’s unbelievable, [this] decision. But it has to be right.”
read on (reg. req.)...and Selanne says he will only play for the Ducks.
Thursday night marked the first game of the 2007 pre-season. the L.A. Kings defeating the Anaheim Ducks, 5-4.
Both teams’ starting goalies (Dan Cloutier and Ilya Bryzgalov) were pulled in the second period, between them letting in 7 goals on 28 shots. (So… NHL hockey is back, but—I dare say—great NHL hockey might take a while.)
More at Slam! Sports.
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