Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Courier-Post,
Tonight in Edmonton when the Flyers try to start the season 2-0 after Thursday’s 3-2 opening victory over Calgary, Pitkanen will face the Flyers for the first time in his career amid harsh criticism from the unlikeliest of sources: his former captain.
In a weekly column he is now writing for Montreal La Presse, former Flyers’ defenseman Eric Desjardins described Pitkanen as an immature player who refused help from his Flyers’ teammates.
“He has all the talent in the world, he’s strong as a horse and he’s as powerful a skater as Al Iafrate was, but he is also very immature,” Desjardins wrote.
From the CP,
The Edmonton Oilers have reportedly signed general manager Kevin Lowe to a multi-year contract extension.
According to a report on TSN’s website, the Oilers were expected to announce the signing at a media conference Saturday morning.
From Allan Maki at the Globe & Mail,
Not only that, Sanderson played against Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish, the Oilers’ general manager and head coach, respectively.
“He’s played for a lot of years,” Edmonton teammate Sheldon Souray. “It seems like every team I’ve played against, he’s on it.”
This is somewhat true since Sanderson is beginning his 17th season and has now played for eight teams, some of them twice. But given the number of youngsters the Oilers are breaking in this season, Sanderson could end up playing a key role on a team he grew up idolizing from his home in suburban St. Albert.
From Victor Chi at The Sporting News,
For the sake of the NHL, let’s hope that Ducks GM Brian Burke and his Oilers counterpart, Kevin Lowe, continue their verbal sniping.
The league went through the considerable expense of exporting the Ducks and Kings to England for the season openers in hopes of expanding its profile. But the Burke-Lowe exchanges already have generated oodles more buzz than the trans-Atlantic foray, and in today’s fragmented and multi-layered media landscape, relevance is king.
from the Edmonton Journal,
The tossing and turning started on Tuesday for Kyle Brodziak, and he has already played in 16 NHL games.
Andrew Cogliano didn’t know what to expect in the last hours leading up to his first NHL game. He didn’t know if he would be more jittery before he made the walk down the corridor, or during the anthem, or when he leapt over the boards for his first shift.
“This is what you dream of as a kid,” said Sam Gagner, the 18-year-old rookie forward with the freshly signed contract with the Edmonton Oilers.
Alan Ryder of the Globe and Mail has some advice for the coaches of the six Canadian teams…
I know you are new to Calgary. So I thought I might give you some insight into your Flames. You inherit a pretty good team, a playoff team. But the West is a tough conference, the Northwest is a tough division and it is important to get the most out of your guys to even ensure a playoff spot.
Something went wrong with the back end of the team last year. Goaltending is a fragile thing. Miikka Kiprusoff was not the same goalie as in prior seasons. I know this is a sensitive point, but he is no Roberto Luongo (who was the most valuable goalie in the NHL last season).
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
“When Doug Weight left I asked him who he thought should replace him as captain and he said Jason Smith,” said Oilers’ coach Craig MacTavish.
“I asked Jason, when he left, and he said Ethan Moreau.”
While MacTavish threw out some teasers about maybe having rotating captains and suggesting he was going to be very open-minded about the whole deal, he knew who his captain was going to be.
“It was a little bit of a no-brainer.”
via the Edmonton Oilers,
The Edmonton Oilers have named Ethan Moreau as their new captain, making him the 12th player to wear the “C” since the team joined the NHL in 1979.
Oilers coach Craig MacTavish says the decision to name Moreau the Oilers new captain was made after careful consideration. MacTavish says, “Ethan’s leadership at this stage of his career is highly developed. The intensity and physical play that he exhibits every shift is a great example for everyone. It’s his voice in our dressing room that has the most impact and at the end of the day, Ethan was an obvious choice.”
Moreau said, “I’m extremely honoured and consider it a priviledge to be named captain of the Edmonton Oilers. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization and will continue to strive towards bringing the Stanley Cup back to Edmonton.”
from the Edmonton Sun,
MacTavish said the players can sense there is something special happening here.
“It brings the optimism up, for sure,” he said of having four high-end skill players making the team together as toddlers.
He said the players can all sense “there’s the making of something real memorable here. If you get that skill with players willing to play hard and sacrifice, we’re going to have something special.”
He said there’s suddenly a foundation here which gives you that feeling of deja vu - “something we’ve seen here in the past when a young team comes together collectively.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
The Edmonton Oilers signed 18-year-old centre Sam Gagner to a three-year entry level contract today, and plan on having their first-round draft pick in the opening night lineup Thursday against the San Jose Sharks.
Gagner, whose dad Dave played over 900 NHL games, is the first Oiler first-round choice to make the team in his draft year since another centre, Jason Arnott, in 1993.
“I like the way Sam thinks the game mentally. I don’t know if there was one time in the pre-season where I had to talk to Sam when he came off the ice about where he should be (defensively),” said Oiler coach Craig MacTavish.
“You can tell he’s been well-coached by his dad. That’s invaluable.”
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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