Kukla's Korner Hockey
The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning share a home state, divisional alignment and the perks of leaving their home rinks to 80 degree-plus temperatures on the regular.
Their tenure as National Hockey League member franchises is nearly identical as well, with Tampa entering the league for the 1992-93 season and Florida one year later.
But you won’t find much evidence of a rivalry when speaking to current players from these clubs and, from members of the organizations of years gone by, what once sounded like legitimate hostilities have either fizzled into forced assertions or a longing for the good ol’ days.
It can’t hold a candle to the long-standing, emotionally charged levels of Calgary/Edmonton, Boston/Montreal or Colorado/Detroit.
It’s not likely to ever split households, a la Islanders/Rangers or Canadiens/Maple Leafs.
And, though both teams have had their share of supreme talents over the years, the odds of a superstar-driven rivalry, as in Ovechkin-Crosby/Capitals-Penguins, between the Lightning and Panthers are poor.
But there has to be something there still, right?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, brian+bradley, enrico+ciccone, erik+gudbranson, guy+boucher, jacob+markstrom, jay+feaster, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, paul+laus, phil+esposito, quebec+nordiques, randy+moller, sidney+crosby, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, tony+esposito, vincent+lecavalier
Today’s three cheers (an all-goalie edition!) for those who deserve as much from their performances of a night ago:
***Cheers to Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin, who turned aside 26 Florida shots in the Oilers 3-2 win over the Panthers, for his second win in as many outings on the young season. After off-ice woes and injury problems recently, Khabibulin’s solid start to 2010-11 is a great sign for both he and a young and exciting Oilers club. If he can return to form and stay healthy, the many pundits who automatically tabbed Edmonton for the Western Conference cellar will end up looking awfully silly come season’s end.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: brendan+morrison, lanny+mcdonald, mario+lemieux, miikka+kiprusoff, mike+vernon, niklas+hagman, nikolai+khabibulin, t.j.+brodie, the+bolts+beat, tim+thomas, tuukka+rask, wayne+gretzky
Today’s three cheers for those who deserve as much from their performances of a night ago:
***Cheers to Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers, who burst onto the NHL scene last night with a hat trick in his first career game. Dallas’ Fabian Brunnstrom was the last player to manage three goals in his NHL debut and Stepan became the fourth player in league history to accomplish the feat. That it came against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, too, makes the performance that much more impressive. If Stepan’s contributions in the early-going are any indicator, New York will fare far better than some of us may have predicted.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alexei+yashin, david+hale, derek+stepan, fabian+brunnstrom, guy+boucher, john+tavares, kyle+okposo, mark+streit, mike+milbury, radim+vrbata, ryan+miller, steve+downie, todd+fedoruk
from Kevin Paul Dupont of Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
This was a homecoming for Zdeno Chara. Turns out, it was a very lucrative return to the city where Big Z really got his hockey career started as a teenager, playing for Sparta Praha in the spring of ‘96.
Chara, the 33-year-old Bruins’ captain, in the next few hours will finalize a long-term contract extension with the Bruins, one that is believed to expire on or about his 40th birthday.
Contract terms have not been released by the Bruins, but based on a conversation just minutes ago with his Wellesley-based agent, Matt Keator, Chara today will ink a six- or seven-year deal that probably will bring him slightly less than his existing deal, which this season will pay him $7.5 million.
PRAGUE, CZE – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed defenseman Zdeno Chara to a seven-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
PRAGUE, CZE - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed forward Patrice Bergeron to a three-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
The 25-year-old Bergeron is entering his seventh NHL season, having made the Bruins NHL roster in his draft year of 2003 as an 18-year-old. He has served the club as an alternate captain since 2005-06. In 2009-10, Bergeron captured the team scoring title for the second time in his career (tied with David Krejci), with 19 goals and 33 assists for 52 points on the season. In addition, he ended the regular season fifth overall in the NHL with a 58% faceoff efficiency. In 13 postseason games, the 6’2’’, 194-pound native of Sillery, Quebec tallied four goals and seven assists for 11 points, which ranked second on the squad.
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, the boys offer their conference forecasts, predicting teams 15 all the way to 1 for both the West and the East. Cramming details for all 30 teams into an hour show proved to be a formidable task, with those projected as non-playoff clubs getting far lengthier explanations than those the hosts see qualifying for postseason play. Spoiler alert: Obligatory Alex Tanguay cracks included, the Lightning make the playoffs and Jon’s orange-and-blue hallucinations return (sort of).
Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: nhl+season+preview, predictions
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
Chara is ideally looking for something that would allow him to play until the age of 45, but that would mean an 11-year deal for the Slovakian defenseman. A lengthy contract like that is not exactly an easy sell to the NHL after an arbitrator roundly rejected the Ilya Kovalchuk contract – a deal based on the assumption that NHL players can continue skating in the NHL well north of their 40th birthday.
Whether a new contract would take Chara through that length or would simply be another deal similar to the five-year contract he originally signed with Boston, the B’s defenseman said there a few more days before his season-opening deadline comes into play.
“We’re not on the exact same track,” said Chara of contract talks. “But we’re talking and we’ll see how it goes. Obviously I don’t want to have it bother me during the season, so we have a few days left.”
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
Hockey has given Shawn Thornton many things in life, but he never imagined it would bring him back to his roots.
Yet, there Thornton sat Thursday afternoon—after an overnight flight from Boston—in the city of his mother’s birth, peeling off a sweaty Boston Bruins jersey and ruminating exactly on what the game has given him.
Just since signing with Boston in 2007, Thornton has found a hockey home and been exposed to experiences he never believed to be possible.
“I’m pretty fortunate, my first exhibition game with Boston after I signed was in Newfoundland and I hadn’t been back there in five or six years and now this,” Thornton told NHL.com Thursday. “The timing has been pretty good for myself.”
Thornton played his first four pro seasons in the American Hockey League with the St. John’s Maple Leafs, which made that first trip such a powerful homecoming.
from James Murphy of ESPN Boston,
While general manager Peter Chiarelli gave winger Michael Ryder a public vote of confidence Sunday, Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, speaking at Wednesday’s media day, didn’t rule out the possibility of Ryder being shipped to the minors.
“Hopefully we’re not doing that,” Jacobs said of sending Ryder to Providence. “It’s up to Pete. We sure don’t want to see that happen. It’s not unheard of in this organization, but we want to be a little more fiscally responsible than that. But if that’s where you wind up, that’s where you wind up. It’s Peter’s call, really.” ...
With the preseason showing the Bruins have numerous young prospects knocking on the door, and others such as Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron already busting through it, Jacobs realizes Chiarelli will need to cut salary to accommodate the youth movement. Demoting an underachieving player like Ryder, should he not have a good start to the season, could be the answer.
“He’s got to win, that’s what it’s about,” Jacobs said. “But these people are already in your inventory. You’re paying them one way or another. I think he’s flushed with some very talented young players. I know that’s the way I see it. I know that’s the way he sees it, and he’s got to give them exposure some way or another. How he brings them up is going to be difficult perhaps. “
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
So now the crazy part begins for the Bruins], who, like all hockey players, are creatures of habit, leading lives structured 8-9 months per year with daily expectations and routines.
But sometime around midnight tonight, the B’s will fly off into uncharted territory, jetting to Belfast, Northern Ireland, to open their eight-day European trip.
It won’t be like any training camp, or start to a regular season, that most of these players have experienced. The essential question: Will we look back on this trip in the weeks and months to come and say it hurt the team’s preparedness for this vitally important season?
Or will the analysis be that the visits to Belfast and Prague, Czech Republic, were the perfect springboard into a great year?
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com