Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
While team officials closed ranks last night, refusing to comment, it was confirmed Playfair will stay in the organization, likely as an assistant coach.
And while many fans wanted the relatively inexperienced Playfair out after going 14 games above .500 in his rookie year, few will be happy Keenan is his replacement.
He’s that controversial. That brash. That abrasive.
Truth is, it’s a brilliant move.
First, having worked with Keenan in Chicago, Sutter knows the 57-year-old disciplinarian well and has modeled his coaching style after the fifth-winningest bench boss in NHL history.
from Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie at TSN,
It looks like “Iron Mike” could be back in business behind the bench of an NHL team.
Sources tell TSN that Mike Keenan is on the verge of becoming the new head coach of the Calgary Flames.
While the Flames declined to comment when contacted by TSN today, sources confirm Keenan is currently in Calgary and if all goes as expected, the well-traveled NHL executive and coach could be announced as the head coach of the Flames as early as Thursday.
RWBill, a KK member posted the audio of the Johan Franzen series clinching goal in a Wings forum today,
The audio call was from Calgary broadcaster Pete Maher, who was inducted into the HHOF Broadcast Wing last year.
You can tell why- listen to the call, a true professional all the way.
Some play-by-play guys would have barely told you the puck was in the net, or be screaming about a penalty that should have been called or maybe and offsides.
Pete did it right and I came away even more impressed!
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Iginla has one year remaining on a deal that will pay him $7-million (U.S.) for the 2007-08 season, at which point he could become an unrestricted free agent. On the open market, a player of Iginla’s stature — tough, smart, physical, a first-rate NHL scorer — could theoretically become the league’s highest-paid player, if a bidding war were to begin.
However, Iginla said his primary goal is to win a championship, not lead the league in dollars earned, and believes that the Flames have as good a chance as any NHL team to do that in the near term.
“Personally, I’d like to stay and I want to win,” said Iginla, who added: “I’m not concerned about being the highest-paid player in the league. I’d like something that would work well for both sides.
“I’m already doing all right (financially),” he continued, with a laugh. “I’m thankful.”
from George Johnson at the Calgary Herald,
Sutts Lite, he came to be called.
It’s difficult to figure out if we got even a fleeting glimpse of the real Jim Playfair at all. He had that suspicious, tight-lipped, us-against-the-world Sutter thing going almost from the drop of the puck.
If he did deliberately adopt the pose, maybe it’s because that’s what he felt his boss believed a winning coach to be. Or maybe he did it out of respect for someone he truly does admire, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.
Or just maybe, as he told us countless times heading into this adventure: “I’m more like Darryl than you guys think.’’ Maybe he actually is as much of a hard nut as Sutter. Only with fewer credentials to fall back on.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
As a team, the Flames need to get quicker and hungrier up front; one of the issues in the Detroit series was they simply couldn’t get in on the Red Wings’ defence hard enough or fast enough to turn the puck over. The infusion of youth and speed may address that issue; it also means that many, if not most of, their 30-something forwards (Darren McCarty, Byron Ritchie, Marcus Nilson, Amonte, Friesen and depending upon his wishes, Primeau), may be seeking employment elsewhere next season.
It’s a different story on defence, where the Flames will almost certainly bid to retain one or both of Roman Hamrlik and Brad Stuart, a pair of minute-munching rearguards, for whom there are no replacements waiting in the wings.
more… *including thoughts on Jim Playfair’s coaching future with the Flames
From Jim Kelly at Sportsnet.ca,
The Flames disgraced themselves and the game they profess to love. They didn’t play hard, they played dirty ... and stupid. If it weren’t for their magnificent talent in goal, Game 6 would never have existed. Kiprusoff also extended their good fortune into overtime Sunday when he kept the Red Wings off the board after Craig Conroy received a double minor for striking Tomas Holmstrom in the face with his stick.
continued… *more on Calgary, and the NHL’s response
Update 4:49pm ET:
John sent this photo, seen below. Thought it might be an amusing addition (for some of you) to add to this post.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
There was some debate among Canadian analysts that perhaps Playfair, who was fined $25,000 by the league on top of a team fine of $100,000, should have been removed by GM and former coach Darryl Sutter after the Flames were outclassed in Games 1 and 2.
There shouldn’t be much debate now given how the Flames disintegrated into ash in the blink of an eye as Detroit’s 2-1 double-overtime win Sunday eliminated Calgary from the postseason in six games.
more...plus “Code” talk, Sean Hill and GM talk…
from the Calgary Herald,
While Miikka Kiprusoff dragged his Calgary Flames around for six playoff games, a much more subtle, equally impressive show of domination was being exerted by Nicklas Lidstrom.
The Detroit Red Wings captain was matched against Calgary captain Jarome Iginla throughout this Western Conference quarter-final series.
Apart from the fact Lidstrom’s team won four times and Iginla’s side twice, there’s a small mountain of evidence that supports the quality of Lidstrom’s performance.
The Hockey News comments on yesterday’s action…
•I’d imagine the Lightning’s loss will mean one of their big three (Richards, Martin St-Louis, Vincent Lecavalier) will be on the move this summer. Tampa GM Jay Feaster can’t go into the 2007-08 season so top-heavy in payroll and he needs to improve his defense.
•I don’t buy the theory that older teams tend to wear down during overtime or late in a series. The Red Wings looked young and strong throughout the overtime of Game 6, the seventh-plus period of hockey they played in about 33 hours. A younger Calgary team looked wasted at times. Durability is all about conditioning and drive, not age.
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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