Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
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.
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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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