Kukla's Korner Hockey
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
If you’re a hockey fan in the good ol’ USA, life can be pretty frustrating. (You already knew that, didn’t you?)
The latest example of that frustration came Tuesday night. I was eager to see Ryan Smyth’s return to Edmonton. In particular, I wanted to see the crowd reaction when he skated onto the ice as a member of the visiting Avalanche and I wanted to see the Oilers’ video tribute to their former star.
I didn’t get to see any of that.
*and if you missed a previous KK post, you can see part of the Smyth ceremony here...
From Michael Russo at his blog on the Star-Tribune,
Pavol Demitra was injured nine minutes into the third when he strained his right hip on a shorthanded rush with Marian Gaborik. Demitra will be evaluated tomorrow and is day-to-day “for now,” said assistant GM Tom Lynn.
*At 7-0-1, the Wild is off to their best start in franchise history and remain the only team unbeaten in regulation this season.
John Buccigross at ESPN ponders 10 stories from the past week:
4. It’s just a fantasy, it’s not the real thing
Good exchange between Joe Sakic and The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater:
Question from Dater: Do you ever hear from fantasy hockey team owners with stuff like, “You cost me a win last week” or “You won me 300 bucks”?
Answer from Sakic: Yeah, you hear from ‘em. I actually have one friend who traded me last year. He told me, too. He was like, “Sorry, had to trade you, bud.”
more… highlighted stories from Buccigross
From Adrian Dater at the Denver Post
Joe Sakic has helped give Coloradans two Stanley Cups since 1996. More important, however, Sakic and his wife, Debbie, have helped serve 8,581,248 meals to hungry people in the state since 1998. That is the exact number, according to Food Bank of the Rockies official Kristina Cordova, with the promise of many more to come.
For that and many other reasons, Sakic on Monday was given the ninth annual NHL Foundation Player Award, for recognition of his commitment and service to charities in his community. In recognition, the NHL will present a $25,000 check tonight, before the Avalanche’s game with the Calgary Flames at the Pepsi Center, to the pediatrics oncology unit at Children’s Hospital.
“Joe is probably the most sincere person I’ve ever met in my life,” Cordova said. “He’s very involved with us. He’s always asking about ways to do more. He’s always saying, ‘We’ve got to do it for the kids.’ He and Debbie have just done so much for this community. People don’t know.”
from the Rocky Mountain News,
Six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore will make his regular- season debut tonight.
He will start against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center in a game that could set the tone for the kind of season it will be for him and for the Avalanche.
“It’s good to be back in,” he said Thursday. “It was a long rehab, but it’s fun to get the start. I’m anxious to get out there and help the team.”
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Even the Avalanche, Stastny and his family projected him to at least start last season in the minors. But Steve Konowalchuk’s career-ending heart irregularity, among other things, opened up a roster spot. And Stastny quickly took advantage of it.
“I try to consider myself a playmaker,” Stastny said. “Those are genes that come from your dad and your family, and I have some of those genes for things that can’t be taught. Playing with better players makes it that much easier for me. If this were only an individual game, I’d be in big trouble, I think. When you’re playing with smart players like this, they’re reading what you’re reading and you know what they’re thinking. It makes it that much more of a simple game.”
From Rick Sadowski at the Rocky Mountain News,
“The rest is up to the coach. I’m just waiting for my start, my chance. There’s no pain - everything is feeling really good. I feel as strong as ever. It was hot in the building, too, so I could test my conditioning. I wanted to make sure that, when I play here, I was ready.”
Theodore skated for about a week before training camp when he felt pain in his knee. A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed a tear under the kneecap, and he underwent arthroscopic surgery Aug. 29.
It was an unexpected setback for Theodore, coming off a 13-15-1 season and begins 2007-08 as Peter Budaj’s backup with plenty to prove in the final year of a contract that pays him $6 million.
From the press conference call held earlier today with the Colorado Avalanche’s Paul Stastny —one of the NHL’s Stars of the Week.
Q. It’s always hard to predict how a young player coming out of U.S. college makes the adjustment to the NHL. Some take a long time and some take a very short period of time. Can you pinpoint why there doesn’t seem to have been the steep learning curve that some young players have had, why it seems to have gone so relatively smoothly for you? PAUL STASTNY: I don’t know if it was quick. But I was in college for two years. And so when I came up, I was already 20, 21. Pretty mature for my age, and it was easier for me, maybe because I was a little smarter. Some of the things you can’t teach I got from my dad. Playing with better players I think makes it a lot easier for me, just knowing that you can give and go. They think the way I do and it makes it that much easier.
Paul Stastny’s 3rd goal last night earned him the “NHL Play of the Night”.
From Dave Krieger at the Rocky Mountain News,
Pierre Lacroix never has been big on publicity. As an agent for 21 years and general manager of one of the NHL’s most successful franchises for another 13, he shunned the limelight and met with the wretches at news conferences only when he had something important to tell us.
So receding into the background 16 months ago when he kicked himself upstairs to be president of the Avalanche was not the difficult part. Letting go of the adrenaline highs from a lifetime of deal making and competition was something else again.
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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