Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
Martin Rucinsky will be playing for Sparta Prague next season according to a report from the AP via the International Herald Tribune.
From Eric McErlain at the Sporting News,
It was just last week that I warned that Russia’s nascent Kontinental Hockey League represented a legitimate threat to the way that the NHL did business.
Now, here we are just a week later, and the brewing competition between the two leagues over hockey talent—in particular Russian-born hockey talent—is threatening to escalate into a full-scale war.
Eric reviews the events of the past week, then further explores the long-term impact all this might have on the NHL.
from Snapshots at Mlive,
In the attached articles, Larionov seems intent upon not only helping SKA build a winning team, but also working on restoring some of Russia’s status as a country that can develop solid hockey players. He’s going to be a member of the KHL’s board of directors, and as such, he adds a somewhat moderate and nuanced viewpoint to a group of owners who are, by and large, economic oligarchs, and a set of GMs and coaches who are comprised Russian hockey veterans and the last of the Soviet hockey machine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org