Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Andrew Duffy of the Ottawa Citizen,
As a draft-eligible junior in Sweden, he was so little regarded that he was passed over by every team in the NHL. It wasn’t until he was 22 years old and a forward in the Swedish Elite League that the Ottawa Senators plucked him out of the sixth round, 133rd overall. He was — like everyone else chosen so late in the 1994 draft — a gamble, a long shot, a hunch.
“We liked what we saw, but he was a little undersized,” remembers then Senators GM Randy Sexton. “It was no slam dunk that he was going to play in the NHL.”
Alfredsson will retire Thursday with more NHL goals (444) and more points (1,157) than anyone else selected in that year’s draft.
Even more improbably, this quiet, private man from Gothenburg, Sweden will retire as the most beloved hockey player in the modern history of the Ottawa Senators: an icon in a city still coming to terms with its Alfie obsession.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The condition of hockey legend Gordie Howe took another turn for the worse on Monday when the former Detroit Red Wings was hospitalized after fears that he might have suffered another his second major stroke in a little more than five weeks.
"We are awaiting test results at this time to determine whether he has had a new stroke," son Murray, said in a text to M-Live. "He is responding and resting comfortably with family while in hospital currently. He is not in an ICU."
Johan Franzen's skate caught the face of Alex Burrows who did return to the bench after going for repairs.
from Keith Gave of Fox Sports Detroit,
Without question, this Wings team -- which was widely predicted to fail to make the playoffs for the first time after 23 straight appearances -- is one of the surprise teams in the NHL. But the most amazing thing is, they're doing it with a roster almost completely made up of what the front offices likes to call "pure Red Wings."
Heading into Sunday's game against visiting Vancouver, only two players on their 23-man roster -- Daniel Cleary and Stephen Weiss -- didn't begin their NHL careers with Detroit. And those two have watched more games from the press box this year than they've played, by a wide margin.
Eighteen players on this team were drafted by Detroit. Three others were undrafted free agents signed by the club: defensemen Danny DeKeyser and Brian Lashoff, and center Luke Glendening.
In other words, history seems to be repeating itself. That same build-through-the-draft mentality that founded the nucleus of those teams that started this playoff streak more than two decades ago is having a profound influence on a new generation of Red Wings charged with making sure it doesn't end on their watch.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Listening to Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock tell the media Monday night about veteran center Stephen Weiss needing to earn his way back into the lineup ("We don't give away anything for free," Babcock said) despite his hefty five-year, $24.5 million contract is a good reminder why the Wings have made the playoffs 23 straight seasons and are often held up as an example of building a team the right way.
Now, let's contrast that with the downtrodden Edmonton Oilers, who have offered little incentive to their young stars in terms of making them earn responsibility and ice time. A smart hockey man pointed out to me on Monday what happened when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored just four goals in the lockout-shortened 2013 season: Nugent-Hopkins was awarded a seven-year, $42 million contract extension that following September.
What happened when Detroit's Tomas Tatar had two straight 24-goal seasons in the AHL from 2010-12? He was told to go do it again, and didn't find a regular roster spot in Detroit until 2013-14. It's a difference in culture.
The Red Wings foster high expectations and preach patience and preparation. The Oilers, meanwhile, are in shambles and appear to have no long-term plan, firing their goalie coach Monday in one of the most cringe-worthy, petty-looking moves this season. You want to shake things up, do it, but we all know a scapegoat when we see one.
read on for more hockey topics from the ESPN hockey writers...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Bryan Murray went for a car ride with an old pal Monday in Detroit.
Former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson invited Murray along for a little ride about town, allowing the two to catch up.
"I ran into him today and he asked me what I was doing and he said, 'Let’s go for a drive.' It was nice," the Senators GM told ESPN.com Monday ahead of his team’s game against the Red Wings.
Just goes to show that despite Alfredsson’s dramatic exit from Ottawa before signing with the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2013, time heals all wounds.
Tonight Sportsnet showed this segment during their pre-game and although it was probably recorded earlier this week it is still worth the watch especially if you are a Blues or Wings fan.
Blues GM Doug Armstrong and Red Wings GM Ken Holland sit down with George Stroumboulopoulos to talk about the craft of being a general manager.
I wouldn’t call us friends, but there aren’t many athletes with whom I’ve had a better professional, working relationship. When speaking to kids or doing question-and-answer sessions, you get asked who the best guys are to deal with. He was always on my list.
-Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet on Daniel Alfredsson. Read more on Alfredsson from Friedman.
from Darren Dreger of The Dreger Report,
Three weeks shy of his 42nd birthday, Daniel Alfredsson's comeback bid is about to end.
Sources tell The Dreger Report that Alfredsson has decided not to play this season and while the Red Wings have been informed he is likely done, they have not heard directly from Alfredsson.
Alfredsson has been plagued by an injured disc in his back over the past few years, a lingering problem that he is able to manage off ice, but is continually aggravated by the wear and tear of game action.
continued plus the Toronto stick salute debate...
I tweeted this out last night but I know many of you do not use Twitter.
A very nice tribute/story from Olbermann.
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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