Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Carolina Hurricanes,
Bryan Bickell sits down with John Forslund to discuss his recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, and how he plans to overcome it.
from Luke DeCock or the News & Observer,
It was still scoreless Friday night when Don Waddell called an impromptu first-intermission press conference to object to yet another relocation rumor. The Carolina Hurricanes president normally doesn't respond, but this one rankled.
These rumors came out of the Montreal media, just as they did last April before the Canadiens played the Hurricanes, and you could see Waddell's competitive juices sizzling as the old coach and general manager railed against what he saw as a contrived excuse to distract the Hurricanes players.
If that was the plan, it didn't work. The Hurricanes scored three goals in six minutes of the third period to post a 3-2 win and run their winning streak to three games, not that it made Waddell any less frustrated with this perceived injustice.
“The only reason we're talking about this today is because we're playing the Montreal Canadiens again and it started out of Montreal a few days ago,” Waddell said. “Because somebody has a radio show and because they put whatever they want on there … it grows like a wildfire.”
Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette on the same topic,
RALEIGH, NC - Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that forward Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
"First and foremost, the most important thing is for Bryan to take care of himself and our thoughts are with him and his family," said Francis. "He will need to take some time to rest in the immediate future, and we will support him as he takes the necessary steps for his health. We ask that his privacy be respected during the process."
"Since the 2015 playoffs, I've been struggling to understand what was going on with my body. Again during the past few weeks, it felt like something wasn't right," said Bickell. "Obviously this is a bit of shock for my family and me, but I am hopeful I will be able to return to the ice and continue playing the game that I love."
Bickell, 30, has scored one goal in seven games with the Hurricanes this season. The Bowmanville, Ont., native was acquired by Carolina on June 15 from Chicago, where he was a member Chicago's Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Bickell (6'4", 223 lbs.) was drafted by Chicago in the second round, 41st overall, in the 2004 NHL Draft, and has scored 66 goals and earned 70 assists in 391 NHL career regular-season games with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes.
NEW JERSEY - Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk is week-to-week with an upper-body injury, head coach Bill Peters said on Tuesday.
Faulk was injured in the third period of Sunday's game against the New Jersey Devils and received an MRI on Monday. Peters ruled the Canes' All-Star defenseman out for the remainder of the week but didn't have a further update.
"I'm sure by the time we get home, the MRI results will be read and we'll know a lot more," Peters said.
Faulk, 24, leads Canes defensemen in goals (3) and ranks tied for fourth on the team in points (6). He regularly logs 24 minutes a night and skated in a season-high 27:40 in Ottawa on Nov. 1.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
It’s time. There’s no other way to say it.
In this, the third season under Ron Francis and Bill Peters, the Carolina Hurricanes’ time has come.
It is not unfair, in fact it is entirely proper, to expect the Hurricanes to make the playoffs this season, or at the very least be in the race down to the final few days.
After seven years in the postseason wilderness, a streak exceeded only by the Edmonton Oilers, it’s time for the drought to come to an end. This is the season. This is the time.
Francis has been given considerable leeway from fans aware of the need for a retooling, even if Francis spent the previous three years as part of the front-office team that put the franchise in this position. He has carefully and deliberately followed that slow and winding path, waiting until the last moment to trade Eric Staal, letting contracts expire, amassing young talent, sticking with Cam Ward.
“The new baby at home doesn’t seem all that crazy excited about watching all the hockey. I’m sure if I see it on TV I’ll find a way to watch it for sure. That’s kind of the feeling I’ve gotten throughout. Part of it’s because I’m not sure how it will turn out. It could be really great. It could flop.”
Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes on watching the World Cup. Luke DeCock of the News & Observer has more from some other Carolina players.
from Ben Pope of the News & Observer,
Andrej Nestrasil was among a number of Carolina Hurricanes players attending an informal skate for the first time this season on Tuesday, participating in 2-on-1 drills on goaltender Cam Ward and a 3-on-3 half-rink game at Raleigh Center Ice.
Without a doubt, no one enjoyed the light workout more than he did.
“It felt great,” he said, unable to hold back a beaming smile and laugh. “Being back here and being out on the ice today was awesome.”
Six months ago, shortly after suffering a season-ending fractured vertebra that initially seemed career-threatening, it was a lengthy task for Nestrasil to simply sit up.
His progression from that feeble stage to full health in time for Hurricanes training camp became an endeavor that completely transformed his perspective on his hockey career – and on life.
“Obviously I’m very grateful to get this opportunity. I realize it’s probably my last shot, with where I am in my career. I’m grateful, I’m thankful and I’m excited.
“People are going to say what they’re going to say. I have not helped myself. You sleep in the bed you make. I accept that, I believe I had paid my dues and I have dealt with what I had to deal with. I think I can change the way I play.”
-Raffi Torres, who is on a PTO with the Carolina Hurricanes. Chip Alexander of the News & Observer has more.
from Ben Pope of the News & Observer,
Oft-suspended enforcer Raffi Torres will join the Carolina Hurricanes during training camp on a professional tryout agreement, the team confirmed Tuesday.
The 6-foot, 215-pound winger turns 35 in early October and brings an experienced resume to Raleigh, having played in 635 career games for seven different teams. But he’s appeared in only 44 over the last four seasons combined due to injuries and a number of suspensions.
After being suspended four times between 2011 and 2013 — including a 21-game ban for a late hit that knocked Chicago’s Marian Hossa out of the 2013 playoffs — Torres was suspended for the entire first half of the 2015-16 season for a hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg during a preseason game. The incident prompted many to call for a lifetime ban of the then-San Jose Sharks forward and the Sharks sent Torres to the AHL after his 41-game suspension ended.
News of the PTO agreement, which broke Monday before being confirmed Tuesday, sent shockwaves through the fanbase as fans expressed dismay and concern on social media.
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