Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: Edmonton-Oilers

Morning Line

Souray is a risk worth taking. If he comes aboard, he would be the best defenseman on the Jackets’ roster - arguably, the best they have ever had. He says he is healthy and seeking redemption. His swagger and brashness would be welcome among a troop of Boy Scouts, in a town where season-ticket sales have tanked, on a team with a huge hole on the power play.

-Michale Arace of the Columbus Dispatch where you can read more on Souray.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

Turnaround in Tampa Starts at the Top

Before a single tweak to the roster, the Tampa Bay Lightning were already poised for improvement in 2010-11. With the tumultuous era of previous ownership already behind them when the sale of the team to Jeff Vinik was completed late last season, gone in an instant were any and all off-ice concerns and the circus went back to being an annual visitor to the St. Pete Times Forum rather than a permanent resident. With the appointment of Steve Yzerman as general manager, credibility returned to the franchise and new head coach Guy Boucher was widely regarded as the hottest commodity on the off-season coaching market.

Without a solitary player move, hockey life in Tampa was good again.

But far be it from Yzerman to rest on the comfort that fans surely feel by him simply not being one of those other guys. The addition of former Flyers forward Simon Gagne headlines a list of shrewd off-season maneuvers for the rookie GM and the revamped roster could very well translate to the sort of on-ice success that will make Lightning followers quickly forgot about three non-playoff seasons gone by.

 

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Long Time No See

via Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini was sitting in media row at Millenium Place when Sportsnet’s Louie DeBrusk strolled in.

He mistook Tambellini for one of the media members, slapped him on the back and made some comment that can’t all be repeated but suffice to say the colour man turned a slight shade of red when he realized it was Tambellini.

As for Tambellini, he just said: “Didn’t you used to work for us?”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Would Columbus Be A Fit For Souray?

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

The Dispatch has learned that there have been internal conversations within the Blue Jackets about trading for Souray, a three-time All-Star with record-setting power play ability and one of the most fear slap shots in the NHL.

The likely candidate to be traded by Columbus would be Mike Commodore, the club’s highest- paid defenseman.

To be clear, there is no deal on the table between the Blue Jackets and Oilers. If there have been talks between Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and Oilers GM Steve Tambellini, they have not been extensive or specific, The Dispatch has been told.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

Alexandre Giroux Has His Shot With The Oilers

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

When you’ve played 636 games in the American League and only 31 in the NHL by the time you’re 29 years old, you’ve unfortunately got a billboard that screams Career Minor Leaguer.

Winger Alexandre Giroux, who had some sweet hands with 110 goals in his last 138 games in the chocolate capital of Hershey, Pa., in the past two years, knows the score. He has to prove he can be an NHLer, and this might be his best chance after there was no room for him with the Washington Capitals, who had Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin on left wing. Giroux grabbed the one-year, one-way $500,000 contract offer from the Edmonton Oilers as if it were a life-jacket this summer. He may well have been the best player in the second-best league in the world, but the clock’s ticking on his NHL dream….

“I’m not sure why he’s not in the NHL ... you’ll have to ask him. To me, he’s got great hands and great vision. He’s a good skater, not a great one, but that’s not fatal when you have hockey sense like him. Bottom line is he’s going to make it very interesting on us through training camp,” said coach Tom Renney, who was in New York when Giroux was in their system.

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  Tags: alexandre+giroux

Khabibulin Working On The Trust Issue

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

The veteran goalie, who only played 18 games last season until his back gave out and he needed surgery, says he’s healthy and has no worries about being on the ice taking shots when the sessions start. But, the off-ice court case is going to be hanging over his head and the Oilers for some time.

“I wish, collectively, we all didn’t have to deal with this,” said Khabibulin.

Khabibulin says he tries not to read newspapers but he has to earn back the trust of the team, and the fans. His tenure as an Oilers goalie has been a rough ride, starting his back issues after he signed a four-year free-agent $15 million contract in the summer of 2009. He was playing well before his back issues, but he has to mend some fences, for sure. “Until everything gets resolved (court) I can’t say anything about it, but in the meantime I’m going to try to do the best I can and hope we all grow together,” he said.

“As a team of integrity and character, we’ll do everything we can to make sure Nik feels really comfortable coming back and being a hockey player for the Oilers,” said coach Tom Renney.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolai+khabibulin

Carolina’s Push Toward Youth is Both Promising and Perilous

The future is now in Carolina, where the old guard is out, an influx of youth is taking over and everyone is looking to put the injury-plagued woes that ruined things a season ago far, far behind them.

With the retirement of former captain Rod Brind’Amour symbolizing the changing of the guard in Raleigh, which started with Eric Staal succeeding Brind’Amour as team captain in January last season, the process of remolding the club is well underway. The 25-year-old Staal will have some veteran support in his first full year wearing the ‘C’ but Carolina’s heavy reliance on several key youngsters is a make-or-break formula for success this season. If the kids collectively respond to the challenge, the ‘Canes have enough going for them to cause trouble in the Southeast and surprise a lot of people. Some growing pains are sure to be felt, however, in such a transitional year for the franchise and immediate success probably takes a back seat to more long-term achievements.

Avoiding the injury bug has to be high on the list of priorities for a club that holds the unfortunate distinction of hitting the 300 man-games lost to injury milestone a year ago.

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What Oiler Is Worthy Of The ‘C’?

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Who will get the “C”? With the Edmonton Oilers’ training camp set to open Friday with fitness and medical testing, that’s one of the more intriguing questions yet to be answered.

Choosing the next team captain is a decision that will likely fall to head coach Tom Renney, in concert with his assistants. That’s the way the succession system works in the NHL….

Shawn Horcoff would seem the most obvious, not to mention probably the best choice, never mind the fans who keep howling about his salary cap hit of $5.5 million, especially after last year’s major offensive struggle when he had just 36 points in 77 games and was minus 29. He’s the longest-serving Oiler, with 637 games, which almost puts him in the top 10 in team history.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Oilers Better Without Souray

from Peter Adler of The Cult of Hockey,

It seems Tambellini comes from the old school of people who seem to think we all should be responsible for our actions. Looks as if it was a perfectly novel approach to some. What Tambellini, by the action he had taken, told his players (and, by unspoken extension, sundry employees) is quite straightforward: think before you put match to bridges. You’re responsible for your actions, and you will be held as such. You’re an adult, after all, you can vote, you can run for public office, even, so, there it is. Know when to speak. Know what to say. Know how to say it. And, last but not least, know to whom you’re talking.

Sheldon Souray ignored all of this. Now, he’s paying the price. A steep price, too.

And the Oilers, even if they happen

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

Edmonton Players Talk Sheldon Souray

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

If defenceman Sheldon Souray was at Edmonton Oilers training camp, it wouldn’t be a problem for his teammates, who see him as a piece of the puzzle, not the walloping headache that the team management does.

“A distraction for us? Not at all,” said the leaner-looking winger Dustin Penner, after an informal skate with many Oiler players, including Souray, at Kinsmen Arena Tuesday. “He’s a player like anybody else. We could use him.”

“A distraction to the players? It won’t be now. It wouldn’t have been on the ice, but if the media wants to make a big deal of it, they could easily do that. Then it becomes one, because you have to answer questions about it every day,” said centre Shawn Horcoff. Horcoff was surprised Monday to learn the Oilers had e-mailed Souray’s agent Paul Theofanous that the 34-year-old defenceman wasn’t welcome at camp, as they try to move him. “I don’t think we have to worry about that now (distraction problem) because management’s taken that out of our hands.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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