Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Craigen of the Knoxville News Sentenel,
Thought not much of a threat in the past and only being able to use “home” as a their largest recruiting tool, this new league can now compete and surpass the NHL with their salary offers and have already snatched up a very respectable list of former NHL players to pad their line-ups, including; Ray Emery, John Graham, Jaromir Jagr, Jozef Stumpel, Trevor Letowski, Marcel Hossa , Josef Vasicek & Alex Radulov from the Nashville Predators.
I think this new league is fantastic for hockey on a global standpoint. For too long now, the NHL has been running the show, changing the game, setting the bar and making many decisions for the future of hockey, virtually uncontested. Though the KHL is a long way from bringing themselves to the level of play exhibited in the NHL, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see more and more players foreign & domestic flee for the larger salaries in the future.
from Brody Mark of the Chronicle Journal,
A disheartened Trevor Letowski has decided to try his hand overseas.
After waiting a month for a solid NHL offer, the Thunder Bay native signed a one-year deal with HC Astana of the newly formed Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) based out of Russia. Letowski had played the last nine seasons in the NHL.
“It had become a little frustrating here,” said Letowski Wednesday afternoon. “Anyone who has been a free agent at the NHL level knows that after July 1, you‘re talking to your agent pretty much every day. There‘s different things here and there and you get your hopes up and then another day it‘s bad news, another day it‘s good news.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
With the help of professional therapy, the support of his family and a fresh slate awaiting him in Russia, where he will tend goal for Atlant Mytishchi of the new Continental Hockey League, Emery said he’s ready to stop doing the same old things that saw him descend in startling fashion from a starting netminder with a Stanley Cup finalist to a pariah with a reputation in tatters and essentially no NHL options.
“I had lots of help,” Emery said. “I brought my family into things. I had friends I had to stop associating with. And I’ve got friends that I’m a lot closer with.”
It took the better part of two weeks to get our phone conversation lined up, and there was a feeling it might never happen, that perhaps Emery had no intention of addressing these issues with us. Yet he was text-messaging apologies and working to get a time lined up around his schedule as the team heads to training camp about an hour outside Helsinki, Finland.
from Mark Hartigan’s Blog at the Hockey News,
Welcome to my first Insider Blog. I’m writing to you from Riga, Latvia, where I will be suiting up this season for Dinamo Riga of the Kontinental Hockey League, alongside my buddy and former Columbus teammate Duvie Westcott, not to mention a couple other ex-NHLers….
Even though it’s the middle of summer, things have been real busy for me. I left Minnesota last week, getting on a plane at 7:30 pm and landing in Amsterdam at 11 am the next morning. Duvie and I had a nine-hour layover in Amsterdam, so we rented a hotel room at the airport to get some sleep.
The beds were smaller than a single – I mean, if you roll halfway over, you’re on the floor – and the funny thing was the beds were pushed together, so Duvie pushed them apart and faced them towards the TV.
from Ian Shantz of the Barrie Examiner,
A little more than a decade ago, Daniel Tkaczuk was a top-10 NHL draft pick.
Coming off a 105-point season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts, the Calgary Flames made the centreman its first overall pick in 1997. Tkaczuk went sixth overall. Touted as a surefire bet to become as prolific in the world’s top hockey league as he was throughout his four seasons of junior, some might say the 18-year-old’s potential was mind-blowing.
Almost two full seasons in the minors and a total of 19 NHL games later Tkaczuk’s NHL career was done….
Is Tkaczuk disappointed by how things worked out? Yes. Is it the end of the world? Hardly.
“Do I look back and say I regret any decisions I made? No,” said Tkaczuk, now 29 years old, living in Barrie with his wife, Lyndsey, and making his living playing hockey in Europe. “Do I wish things maybe worked out a bit better over here? Of course I do….”
from Linda Mankefors at the Hockey News,
Here’s another one: Mats Sundin returns to his mother club Djurgarden IF. Hold your breath, it’s only one rumor of many.
Is there one rumor about Mats Sundin that holds a truth? It is honoring for Swedish hockey a 37 year old veteran still creates so much interest that the whole National Hockey League and its followers is holding its breath where he will land. Well you might end up disappointed. I was talking yesterday to a person inside the Swedish Icehockey Organization who said Mats already has made up his mind, it’s only a matter of missing details.
from the CP via the Hockey News,
Five members of Germany’s ice hockey squad face a three-month suspension for failing to comply with requirements on doping tests.
The players weren’t named but all failed twice to notify NADA - Germany’s national anti-doping agency - about their whereabouts for out-of-competition tests, the trade magazine Eishockey News said.
From Charlie Teljeur at The Hockey News,
What would be a good analogy to describe the current state of Euro-NHL relations?
Maybe a chess match, in which one side – the NHL – has three Queens, five Knights, 12 Rooks and an infinite number of pawns. Europe is represented by a pair of rogue, but nicely dressed Bishops who feel they can move any direction they damn well please.
The National League – they’re the white side – have been hungrily swallowing up unlimited European talent since it was discovered Inge Hammerstrom wasn’t female and that she, er he, had a nice backhand.
Europe – playing the evil black role – occasionally jumps a pawn or two or sign a broken-down seen-better-days Queen (sorry, Jaromir) and waves said contract in the face of the “shocked” NHL, something akin to a pirate who steals your spare set of car keys.
Former Blue Jackets defenseman Duvie Westcott has signed to play with Dinamo Riga (Latvia) of the Continental Hockey League (KHL).
Westcott was bought out of the final two years of his contract by the Blue Jackets this summer, meaning he’ll earn $600,000 plus from the Jackets over the next four years. He tried to get a one-way contract in the NHL, but found no takers.
from the blog of Risto Pakarinen,
Backed by Gazprom, the world’s third-largest corporation, measured by market capitalization, and a company that made almost two billion dollars in profit last year, the Russians have expansion plans of their own. Last February, they announced the formation of the Kontinentalnaya Hokkeynaya Liga - the Continental Hockey League - or the KHL, and at stake is simply: world domination.
The KHL has reportedly tried to attract teams from Sweden and Finland to join the newly set-up league that currently only has two non-Russian teams, the Dynamos of Kiev and Riga, in Belarus and Latvia, respectively. None of the Scandinavian teams have taken the bait. Not just yet, anyway.
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 email@example.com