Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From Aaron J. Lopez at the Rocky Mountain News,
For nearly three decades, Joel Quenneville has been wielding a stick and some blades in the NHL, first as a player, then as a coach. If all goes as expected, when he stands behind the Avalanche bench Jan. 9 in Washington, he will join Jacques Lemaire and Bob Pulford as the only people in NHL history to coach and play in at least 800 games (Quenneville played 803 games in 13 seasons).
While Quenneville takes pride in the personal milestone, his mind is focused on guiding the Avalanche to the playoffs after missing the postseason for the first time since the franchise moved to Denver in 1995.
continued… (*a short Q&A session with the Avs coach)
from the Denver Post,
The affable Laperriere has been fighting throughout training camp and the preseason, making sure everyone on his team and around the league knows they’ll have to go through him to get to Colorado’s numerous (and healthy) stars, including additions Ryan Smyth, Scott Hannan and Jaroslav Hlinka.
Lappy’s face is a mess, and he’s proud of it. He has multiple cuts around his nose, which has been pointing toward his right ear for years, and a black eye. He exceeds the definition of toughness and team pride, and uses those things to defend his teammates and provide motivation during rough times.
From Mike Chambers at the Denver Post,
In the past year, Avalanche center Paul Stastny has gone from a longshot to make the team to an emerging NHL star. Credit his genes, or the opportunity he was given because of injuries, but good luck finding anyone who thinks Stastny made a mistake by forgoing his final two years at the University of Denver.
In hindsight, even Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky believes Stastny, the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, made the right move turning pro in July 2006.
from the Denver Post,
Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said Hlinka “has had a great camp. ... His poise and patience with the puck, his play selection, are all high end. Being around top players who have a lot of skill, he plays right into that, feeds off of that.”
Was Quenneville skeptical about taking a look at a 30-year-old rookie?
“Well, it’s opportunity,” Quenneville said. “He’s playing at the top level over there, and he’s the top scorer over there, and it can be a matter of giving some guys a break, or having them get discovered. Or some guys just mature a little bit later. ... He’s given us every indication that he can handle this, no problem, and I think he can help our hockey club.”
from the Denver Post,
Choosing to fight Smyth, who is playing on the top line with Joe Sakic and Andrew Brunette, appeared inexcusable, like a Broncos defensive lineman trying to beat up quarterback Jay Cutler. It also appeared that Laperriere’s fight with Love was meant to send a message that you don’t mess with high-salary, skilled forwards like Smyth.
Afterward, the players presented a different picture. Turns out that Smyth, who signed a five-year, $31.25 million contract in July, picked the fight with Love, and Laperriere only fought Love to remind Smyth that he will be handling his dirty work.
more on the Avs…
added 8:14am, The Denver Post also has a nice feauture on Steve Konowalchuk.
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.
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