Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Robert Tychkowski in the Edmonton Sun, these words from Edmonton Oiler, Jarret Stoll:
“It would be nice to know for sure, one way or another, what’s going to happen,” said the 26-year-old centre, who made it through the draft without being dealt but knows there’s still a long way to go between now and when the Oilers open camp in September.
“You hope a team wants you. If it’s Edmonton, that’s great, that’s what I want. But if it’s not, then you move on.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s kind of the thing that, if anything, bothers me. Not knowing. It can be a little nerve-racking.”
Globe & Mail writers Matthew Sekeres, Eric Duhatschek, Allan Maki and Tim Wharnsby have put to together an assessment of the draft situation for all six Canadian teams. They take a look at each team’s available picks, specific needs, salary cap space and the progress of their top picks from last year.
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From Dan Barnes at the Edmonton Journal,
The sale of the Oilers to Edmonton billionaire Daryl Katz has been approved by the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors.
A source said the approval was granted earlier this morning during the governors meeting in New York.
Rexall Sports, the Katz Group company that purchased the Oilers for $200 million from the Edmonton Investors Group, will now proceed to close the sale on or before June 30 by issuing cheques to the 34 EIG members.
from Bob Stouffer of the Edmonton Sun,
Daryl Katz will officially become the new owner of the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
If Katz is looking for an owner and an organization after which to model the Oilers, he should look no further than Mike Ilitch and the Detroit Red Wings.
With their fourth Stanley Cup victory in the last 11 seasons to complement seven straight seasons with 48+ wins, it goes without saying that the Red Wings are far and away the best organization in the NHL.
From Terry Jones of Sun Media, some words from the anonymous fan that bought Peter Pocklington’s hockey memoribilia earlier this week:
“I’m somebody from Oiler Country who bought them because I think they belong in this area and because it takes me back to my childhood watching the Oilers have all that success in the 1980s.
“I think there are only six people who had all five rings, Pocklington, Glen Sather, Mark Messier, Kevin Lowe, Jari Kurri and Randy Gregg. I might be wrong about that. I was just trying to figure that out myself. I’m sure there are others in the organization.
“But Pocklington brought Wayne Gretzky to Edmonton. He also sold him but he brought Gretzky here for the best years in his career and I was able to watch him those years as a kid when my dad took me into Edmonton for the games.
Looking back, I consider Gretzky to have been very instrumental in my life.”
via the CBC,
Peter Pocklington, who once sold Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings, held an online garage sale this week that netted the former Edmonton Oilers owner a cool $294,269 US.
The items included five Stanley Cup championship rings from the Oilers’ amazing run in the 1980s, plus three Edmonton Trappers title rings dating from when Pocklington owned the Pacific Coast League baseball team.
In addition, there were miniature replicas of the Stanley Cup and Clarence Campbell Bowl (Western Conference championship) trophies. A number of smaller items such as photographs were also up for bid.
From the Edmonton Journal,
“I think he can be a star ... you can see the potential he has, the icetime he gets. He never wants to come off, and the way he can skate,” said Oilers assistant coach Charlie Huddy, who looks after the blue-liners. “I think he’s only scratched the surface. His offence will come ... the creativity will come out. You’d like to see him take the puck to the net more, the way he can skate.”
That’s the rub with Pitkanen. He doesn’t get nearly enough points for his ability, although he did have 43 twice in Philadelphia. He had a meagre 26 last season here, albeit in only 63 games because he had a bad knee and sundry other smaller ailments. That put him in a tie for 50th amongst defencemen with David Johnny Oduya in New Jersey and James Wisniewski in Chicago. Hal Gill, who would lose a race with the Zamboni, had 24 points, if you’re counting. Pitkanen should be a 55-60-point defenceman, but he’s not. He might also be a shutdown defenceman because he can close people off with his skating but those sort of guys often have a physical edge to their game. Pitkanen doesn’t.
From Robert Tychkowski at the Edmonton Sun,
Much ado, it turns out, about nothing.
“It’s just so typical of how people jump to conclusions,” Edmonton’s general manager said yesterday in a telephone interview from the World Championships.
Lowe took enormous heat at the time of the deal, and was forced to defend himself during every subsequent attack from Burke.
Now that the draft order is complete (except for 27, 28, 29 and 30, depending on how the final four play out), and the evidence is there in black and white, there has to be a sense of vindication. Unfortunately there’s no undoing the bad blood and the black mark the the feud left on Burke, Lowe and the NHL.
Update 12:18pm ET: More on the adventures of Penner, Lowe, Burke & Co. from David Staples in the Edmonton Journal today.
From Fernando Pisani at The Hockey News:
Hockey players often take their health for granted. That all changed for me in 2005 when I started feeling sick.
I knew something was wrong with me, but I was kind of embarrassed to see somebody about it. As time went on and I began to feel worse, I knew I needed to get well and had to see a doctor. I finally did and that’s when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
I was able to continue playing, but last July all the symptoms started coming back, only worse this time. I was going to the bathroom 20-30 times a day, losing a lot of blood and a lot of weight.
from the Calgary Herald,
Finnish defenceman Joni Pitkanen pulled out of the IIHF world hockey championship with a knee injury, but he wasn’t getting a lot of sympathy from head coach Doug Sheddon.
“I wouldn’t put a gun to anyone’s head to play for their country,” said Sheddon, who is convinced the injury wasn’t all that serious.
“The commitment has to be better and I didn’t see a whole lot of commitment from him,” Sheddon said.
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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