Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“It got to the point where, because I wasn’t playing him in the last two or three minutes of a game, he would undo his skates, take off his helmet, put his gloves in his lap, lean his stick against the glass and just sit there,” King said. “But one night, we were up two goals, so I thought we were safe and I barked: ‘Roberts, Nieuwendyk, MAKAROV!’ I did it late, too, so the line that was on the ice was already coming to the bench and now Sergei’s in a panic.
“He flips on the helmet, doesn’t do up the chin strap. Puts on his gloves, grabs his stick, didn’t get his skates tied up properly, and over the boards he goes. Immediately, he gets the puck and goes in and rings a shot right off the crossbar. He does a quick turn, comes back to the bench, sits down and gives me the longest stare you’ve ever seen.
“That was Makarov. Sometimes, it would happen to the players too. If a guy just shot the puck in, Sergei would give him that same look – like the kiss of death, as if he were wondering, ‘Who am I playing with?’ What planet are they from?’ But he was really a great player – and a really interesting guy.”
more on Makarov...
Below, a fan-made video tribute to Makarov...
from Tal Pinchevsky at ESPN,
One game with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL. That's all it took for Angelo Esposito to decide he was done.
It was a fun game too, in which the Komets scored four third-period goals to force overtime against the Indy Fuel before winning in a nine-round shootout. Not a bad way to kick off the 2014-15 season. That is, unless you had been tabbed for greatness as a teenager but found yourself still toiling in the minor leagues seven years later.
Esposito let his coach know the next day that he was going back home to Montreal. With that, one of the top prospects in the 2007 NHL draft was ready to call it a career after a nomadic, injury-plagued pro run that never included a regular-season NHL game.
"I went to the East Coast, and [during] that first game I didn't feel comfortable anymore playing. I thought to myself, 'Maybe it's time I moved on,'" said Esposito, now 27. "Honestly, the first month [off], I did absolutely nothing. I didn't step on the ice until December, and then I started playing with my buddies in their beer league just for fun."
He ultimately decided to come back, and his return to pro hockey last year helped him gain a new perspective on hockey and life.
The puck drop is not one of them.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Steve Moses, proud son of Leominster, started this new hockey season on his club’s No. 1 power-play unit, setting up the likes of former NHL stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk.
For a kid yet to give up the dream of one day playing in the NHL, that’s pretty good company.
“We really have a pretty unbelievable roster,’’ Moses, 27, noted last week, reached by telephone at his apartment in St. Petersburg, Russia. “I mean, I watched those guys growing up and have a huge amount of respect for them. It’s a little different when you are out there with two legends. You sort of listen to them and go where they tell you to go.’’
It’s a fair bet, if your lens on the pro hockey world is strictly the NHL, that you haven’t heard much of Moses. He played four seasons with the Boston Jr. Bruins, then four more at the University of New Hampshire (class of 2012), and his two best shots at the NHL thus far have been short-lived stays with Connecticut and Milwaukee of the AHL.
continued plus more hockey talk...
A linesman in Sweden lost a finger after a collision along the boards in a preseason game.
Tweet and video below...
from Andrew Podnieks of IIHF.com,
Of the 993 players to have skated in at least one NHL game this past 2015/16 regular season, 87 of them (8.8 per cent) were Swedish-born or trained, a record level of participation by any one European nation in NHL history.
In all, there were 263 Europeans in the NHL this season, more than any other since 2005/06 when there were also 263. The all-time record remains the pre-lockout year of 2003/04 when exactly 300 Europeans played in North America’s top league.
Canada still led all nations and accounted for almost half of all players. The Olympic and World Championship gold medallists placed 490 players in the league this past season, but the 49.2 per cent is Canada’s lowest total in NHL history. The United States had 241 players or 24.3 per cent.
from Lucas Aykroyd of FlightNetwork,
Moscow and St. Petersburg are Russia’s most glamorous cities, and international hockey fans will flock there for the 2016 IIHF World Championship (May 6-22). However, Ufa, the host city for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, isn’t as well-known. With the 2014 Sochi Olympics still a fresh memory and the 2016 Worlds just weeks away, it’s a great time to take a closer look at Ufa.
I visited as a journalist to cover the 2013 tournament, and discovered many quirky dimensions to this Russian city of more than one million inhabitants, both inside and outside the rinks.
The 439-year-old capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan lies almost 1,200 kilometres east of Moscow, in the Ural Mountains. You’d never guess ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev grew up here. It’s an oil town, and petrodollars power Salavat Yulaev Ufa, the local Kontinental Hockey League franchise.
Some notable ex-NHL players who have suited up for Ufa include Alexander Radulov, Oleg Tverdovsky, Viktor Kozlov, Sami Lepisto, Oleg Saprykin, and Brent Sopel.
continued, a quirky and enjoyable read...
from Gabriel Luis Manga of The Guardian,
In next year’s NHL draft, the No1 pick won’t be the prototypical teen from Ontario, the Swedish speedster, or pummeling Muscovite. It will be an 18-year-old from Arizona who plays in Switzerland named Auston Matthews. The young phenom has ended up playing in Europe thanks to a combination of outsider hockey status – Phoenix is not exactly a hockeyhot-bed – and the logistics of being born just after the cutoff for last year’s draft.
Europe has long been a haven for North American hockey players. But most players who end up there are looking to continue the dream of making a living playing the sport they love, even if the NHL isn’t calling for them. That’s how Dan Olsen and Bruce Hardy, two Canadians, ended up in Iserlohn, just south of Dortmund in Germany. It was there that, in 1987, their hockey careers would lead them into what amounted to a dystopian version of Slap Shot. Their bankrupt team, ECD Iserlohn, turned to the most unlikely of saviors: Muammar Gaddafi.
European hockey is a strange place: jerseys are a neoliberal dream of sponsorship patches, and top scorers on each team are marked with gold helmets; there’s a lot of gimmick and schtick that goes into making the sport financially viable as it competes with soccer for attention. Heinz Weifenbach, the owner of ECD Iserlohn, was perfect for this world. A gregarious, mustachioed, cigar-smoking bon vivant who made his fortune in real estate development, Weifenbach had poured his wealth into making Iserlohn one of Germany’s top teams.
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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