Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: International-Hockey

Should Brian Burke Lead Team USA Again?

from Scott Burnside of ESPN, 

While Burke's Leafs continue to struggle to find traction in rejoining the NHL's elite clubs -- they are the only NHL team to have missed the playoffs in every season since the last lockout -- there is no disputing the masterful job Burke and his management team did in assembling of the U.S. coaching staff and playing roster in Vancouver, and then stickhandling them through the landmines that such a tournament presents en route to the emotionally charged gold medal game.

But here's where it gets interesting for head of USA Hockey David Ogrean and top officials like Jim Johannson, who is the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. What's the goal for USA Hockey when it comes to best-on-best tournaments like the Olympics?

Is it about sharing the experience? Is it about making sure people like Paul Holmgren, Ray Shero, Dean Lombardi, Stan Bowman, George McPhee, Dale Tallon or David Poile all get a turn?

Or is it about balancing that kind of "everyone on the bus" philosophy with consistency and hoping that consistency yields success in those competitions, which ultimately benefits everyone in a national body like USA Hockey?

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke, team+usa

Early September Hockey Talk

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- Think of the two largest international victories in North American hockey history and both involve Russian opponents: The Henderson scores for Canada win and the Miracle on Ice from Lake Placid and the U.S. Olympic team in 1980.

Herb Brooks is in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Henderson is not. The precedent has been set: Momentary brilliance can be Hall worthy.

Henderson was a fine NHL player, certainly no star. Brooks was a rather ordinary NHL coach: In seven seasons with four different teams, he never got past the second round of the playoffs. He coached a gold medal team in 1980 and a silver medal team in 2002 at the Olympics. But his body of work would not necessarily qualify him for the Hall. The great Miracle put him over the top...

- Overheard in the Orioles clubhouse: “How come NHL players get all the hot wives?” The player in question was referring to the recent engagement of Dion Phaneuf to the actress, Elisha Cuthbert. “What do hockey players have that the rest of us don’t?”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Media, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: herb+brooks, paul+henderson

Phil Esposito Gets The Rock Star Treatment In Russia

from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,

When Phil Esposito is spotted in Russia, the reaction from a throng of people is a sight to behold.

"One time, my wife (Bridget) looked at me and said, 'I didn't know I was travelling with Brad Pitt,' " Esposito said with a laugh.

"Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed by the admiration, the adoration, whatever word it is. It's overwhelming. I'm 70 years old and, man, it's wonderful to still be recognized and known.

"I think I'm more famous over here (in Russia) than I am there (in Canada and the United States). Does that make any sense?"

continued with video too...

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+esposito

Purely Canadian

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

"Henderson ... has scored for Canada!" chirped Foster Hewitt.

"When you ask Canadians of a certain age to gauge themselves against Americans, that goal will always come up," said John Shannon, Sportsnet commentator and former Hockey Night In Canada executive. "Americans know where they were when John F. Kennedy was shot. Canadians can tell you what they were doing the moment Henderson scored against the Russians.

"I think that goal is still the measuring stick for a hockey broadcast. You can compare Mario Lemieux's (Canada Cup) goal in 1987 to Sidney's in the Vancouver Olympics, but everything comes back to Henderson. Our business hasn't really changed, but the ability to tell a story through pictures, words and emotions was conveyed better in that game than anything today. Foster probably couldn't get a job if he were around now, but the simplicity of that call will always be remembered."

Henderson just didn't beat the Russians with his Game 8 goal, one of three consecutive winners he potted in Moscow, it was seen as victory for a way of life.

more

Below, watch the Henderson goal one more time and if you want more 1972 Summit Series video, check out YouTube.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

All 1972 Summit Series

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News, 

Led by team manager Alan Eagleson, head coach Harry Sinden and assistant John Ferguson, Team Canada invites 35 NHL elite players (excluding WHA superstars) to training camp in Toronto in mid-August of 1972. 

PHIL ESPOSITO: We were called Team Canada, which I didn’t agree with. I said it at the very first meeting. I thought we should be called Team NHL, because they didn’t let Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe play. 

RON ELLIS: It was very cumbersome there were that many players in camp, but the that was so we had competitive intra-squad games. The little carrot they dangled for players was that if you came to camp, everyone would play at least one game in the series. They assumed like everyone else in Canada we’d win the majority of the games, if not all, and it would be very easy to move people in and out of the lineup. That proved to be a mistake, because the Russians were that good.

ROD GILBERT: Everybody was promised one game, but there were too many of us. 35 guys and everyone had to get in a game. Once they found that winning recipe in Toronto in Game 2 we could have stuck with the lineup, but everyone had to get into a game.

read on 

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Future USA Olympic Goalies

from CSN Washington,

As USA Hockey looks towards the 2014 Sochi Games, goaltending may be its deepest position.

THE LOCK:

JONATHAN QUICK (Los Angeles Kings): The Milford, CONN native led the NHL last season with 10 shutouts, finished second with a 1.95 goals-against-average and was the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy. This was all before he had even backstopped the Los Angeles Kings to an improbable Stanley Cup win….

IN THE MIX:

JIMMY HOWARD (Detroit Red Wings): Only three goalies have won more games the past two years than the 28-year-old, Syracuse, NY native. It should also be noted though, that only three teams have scored more goals than Detroit has over those same two years.

Unlike Quick who had to be exceptional just to get the 29th ranked offense into the playoffs last season, Howard just had to be good enough with the high-scoring Red Wings. In a short tournament where so much of a team’s success can lie with a hot goalie, Howard may not be that dominant goalie who can steal games.

more

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: team+usa

Evening Line

“If you were walking by, you would’ve thought it was a high school party.  I’m talking booze, people randomly making out, everybody else cheering them on. And that was the PG stuff. Then everything went inside.”

-Bobby Ryan explaining the atmosphere in the Vancouver Olympic Village after the Canada/USA gold medal game.  Much more on what really goes on (not hockey related) in these villages during the Olympics by Sam Alipour of ESPN The Magazine.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bobby+ryan

Do You Want An Annual Break In February?

from Andrew Podnieks and Martin Merks of IIHF.com,

What he proposes is an annual break every February. His proposal of a four-year cycle is not unlike what Donald Fehr discussed casually of his own opinion with differences when it comes to NHL participation.

Kurbatov believes February should always be the break for Olympic Winter Games and also for World Championships that should only be held in non-Olympic years. But to make this successful from the sporting view it would need an NHL break every year.

“We know the National Hockey League has been willing to take a break in February for the Olympics in the past,” he said, “and we hope that they would be ready take the next step and take a break every year for all these events. It’s possible to discuss with the NHL to have an annual break in February in future.”

more

I don’t see too much support from this on the NHL side.  Sending players to the World Championships in February will never fly.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: iihf

Kovalchuk Talks World Championships And Olympics

via RT,

The two-time world champion said he couldn’t miss the final game in Helsinki, where his teammates thrashed Slovakia, 6-2.

“I admired the guys, who didn’t give a single chance to their opponents,” Kovalchuk told Sport-Express paper.

“Everyone played well, especially Aleksandr Semin and Sashka (Alex) Ovechkin, who looked solid side-by-side with Pasha (Pavel) Datsyuk. As for Malkin, without many words, he is currently the best on the planet.”

Kovalchuk admits though that the Russians were lucky to see Canada and Sweden knocked out early.

“The Canadians had a good team in Finland, made up of strong NHL players. Same can be said about the co-hosts, Sweden. When those teams were eliminated, the Russians saw a green light in front and capitalized on that in style,” he noted.

The 29-year-old specially mentioned the team’s defense and power-play teams. “It’s very important now not to rest on our laurels. In two years’ time in Sochi it will be way more difficult,” he added.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk

Has Alfredsson Played His Last Game?

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,

Once again, Daniel Alfredsson performed with incredible passion, like a man who may never do so again.

Afterward, he even admitted it could have been his swan song.

Moments following Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Czechs in Stockholm that knocked he and his Swedish teammates out of the world championship, the Senators captain was described as being “distraught” as he told local media that “this might have been my last hockey game.”

Alfredsson will now return to Ottawa and make the much-anticipated decision of whether to retire or play a 17th NHL season. Despite his comment in the aftermath of an emotional game, it’s unlikely he has made a final determination.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: daniel+alfredsson, team+sweden

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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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