Kukla's Korner Hockey
From this week’s “Friday Faceoff” with Damien Cox and Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Scott: Hello, Damian. Everywhere I look, I’m reading discussions and debates about the Vancouver Olympics, which are just under two years away. I see you wrote on it earlier this week. I did as well. What’s the deal? Why are people so pumped about an event that’s some 730 days away?
Damien: Well, I can’t speak for the United States of America and how much interest there is there as of yet. But here in Canada, this will be, of course, the first Olympics held in our country since the Calgary Games in 1988.
more, and worth the read. At one point Cox even remarks to Burnside, “I think you’re just not very bright.”
I think these two are gradually morphing into a bitter, married couple.
Japers’ Rink found a report today stating Glen Hanlon will be coaching in Finland next season.
From Allan Maki at the Globe & Mail,
Fetisov, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, was quoted on the Russiatoday website endorsing what will be called the Continental Hockey League and include teams outside of Russia.
“At the moment, the top players will continue playing in the NHL because they believe it’s the best league in the word,” Fetisov said. “But if our league gains the same status as our North American counterparts, the new Ovechkins, Kovalchuks and Datsyuks will stay here because they’ll be playing in a very competitive and financially competitive league.”
Fetisov said the new league will also stage a draft like the NHL.
“If we’re able to draft players from the various European leagues, Canadians added to our talent in Russia, we’ll definitely be a serious contender to the NHL.
Formerly a pro hockey player overseas, Kerry “Gouche” Goulet writes a short series on his tour of Moscow:
You would think Day two could not exceed day one, but it just got better! Yes it did. After enjoying a typical Russian breakfast we were whisked off to the Kremlin by limousines, where the Professor (Igor Larionov) had organized a personal tour of the Kremlin and the Russian Palace (a separate story to follow). Outstanding! It’s a tour only for dignitaries and Capazoo and the Gouche were there.
Now, the real big deal. Hockey equipment packed up and placed on the bus. The final destination, Red Square. You got it, the Red Square; Cold War, espionage, tanks, missiles etc. But we were only armed with Canadian and American hockey players, hockey equipment and hockey sticks battling only Russian hockey players and of course the cold on an outdoor rink!
from the Detroit News,
In the middle of presidential campaign season, coach Mike Babcock did some lobbying of his own Monday in the Red Wings locker room.
The candidate Babcock was backing was Nicklas Lidstrom.
Well, you can add another can’t-miss player for the mix, but the here’s the kicker - all 30 NHL teams missed out on him a while ago. His name is Fabian Brunnstrom, and he’s one of the most coveted young players not playing in the National Hockey League.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
USA Hockey executive director David Ogrean recently told ESPN.com that the GM for 2010 will be selected before the start of the 2008-09 NHL season. That decision will set the tone for the rest of the team and have a significant impact on the Americans’ ability to ice a roster that can compete for a gold medal.
That person will almost certainly be Burke. At least, it should be.
With all due respect to other members of the committee and fellow American GMs Jay Feaster and Dean Lombardi, Burke has the personality best suited to put this team together and gives the United States its best shot at a medal.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Sources have indicated to thehockeynews.com that former Red Wings star and current Wings vice-president Steve Yzerman will return for a second stint as the GM for Canada’s entry in the World Championship this spring when he is named to the post in a news conference Monday morning….
That Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson is prepared to hand Yzerman the keys again this season indicates the enormous amount of confidence he has in Yzerman and also proves how Yzerman has matured as a savvy hockey executive. It also creates an interesting dynamic within the hierarchy of the Red Wings and could force several dominos to fall over sooner than expected.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The NHL and the European federations – minus the Russians – came to a one-year deal earlier this month that would have seen more players going back to their European teams instead of going to the minors. But after some surprising opposition from GMs around the league and the Swedish decision to pull out, the agreement now would appear to be in serious jeopardy.
The major issue, Loob said, is a provision in the new collective bargaining agreement that forces teams to sign European players within two years of drafting them, which brings them in line with major junior players. Prior to that, teams held the rights or European players in perpetuity after drafting them.
via the blog of Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
I do think the WIngs will be one Swede stronger at some point this spring, and his name is Fabian Brunnstrom. He’s an almost 23-year-old forward who’s become a star in the Swedish Elite League. He went undrafted, but now NHL teams are taking notice, and the Wings are among teams who have made an offer. From what I hear, the club believes it is the front-runner to acquire Brunnstrom.
All NHL clubs are on an even field as far as what entry-level contract they can offer Brunnstrom, so on his part, it’ll just come down to where he wants to go. I hear he’s already made up his mind about coming to Detroit.
From The Moscow News Weekly,
Russia’s hockey tradition is long and exceptional. I remember the first wave of Russian players who took the NHL by storm in the 1980s, and the steady stream of players that followed. And while it is certainly still just the second-best league in the world, the Superliga offers many things the NHL can’t. For starters, the fact that teams are based in unglamorous places like Khabarovsk and Novokuznetsk appeals strongly to my sense of fairness.
And unlike the NHL, the Superliga has a bright future. Last summer, thanks to some changes in Russian contract law, a flood of Russian players came home. Russian pro hockey is also set for a major reorganization this year, and it appears that big com-panies like Gazprom, VTB and Rosoboronexport are ready to step up their investment. And though billionaire Roman Abramovich’s football loyalties are tied up with Chelsea, his hockey interest rests solely with Avangard Omsk.
more from a former Bruins fan
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.
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