Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Capitals Insider,
The ever-changing Michael Nylander-to-the-KHL story may or may not be nearing its conclusion, with more information leaking out by the day…
According to a source close to CSKA, the two sides had almost agreed on a deal - until the Moscow club balked at one of the clauses proposed by Nylander’s agent. The clause, the source tells us, was Nylander’s ability to walk away to another team in the middle of the current season should he get a more lucrative offer. CSKA is reportedly dead set against it and insists on a standard binding contract through the end of the 2009-2010 season.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
I’ll believe it when I see it.
But for what’s it’s worth, Bettman, Daly and Medvedev did meet in a quiet room at Verizon Center in Washington before Wednesday night’s Islanders-Capitals game, and they even watched the first period together.
“It was constructive,” Bettman told ESPN.com on the phone from New York on Thursday. “It was good to see Alex again. Last time we had seen each other was in Rome a little over a year ago. We agreed that it would be good if we could find some areas of cooperation where we could work together, and we were going to see if we could begin that process by trying to find some common ground.”
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Win or lose in Vancouver, Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman feels NHLers should be Russia-bound for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
In fact, Stevie Y said yesterday he would be willing to take part in negotiations that would help NHL players land in Sochi, Russia.
“Absolutely,” Yzerman said. “I have my own opinion. I understand the league’s concerns.
“But I think (the NHL’s participation) is needed.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
(Craig) Anderson, a former Bruins property, is the primary reason why Colorado entered last night as the top-ranked team in the NHL (26 points, 2 more than Pittsburgh and San Jose, who met late last night). The 28-year-old native of Park Ridge, Ill., is 11-3-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.
For the first time in his career, Anderson has been tapped to be the go-to goalie for his club (he backed up Tomas Vokoun in Florida the last two seasons), and he has responded by turning the revamped Avalanche into the surprise story of the NHL.
Anderson’s start has propelled him into the Olympic discussion and most likely vaulted him past Los Angeles’s Jonathan Quick, who attended the US orientation camp along with Thomas and Miller over the summer.
But when you place Anderson’s pedigree against those of his competitors, it’s a good bet that the US brain trust, led by Toronto general manager Brian Burke, will consider the Boston and Buffalo netminders, both Michigan natives (Thomas hails from Flint, Miller from East Lansing), for the starting job, even though both got a break last night.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Completely unprovoked, Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau spent Tuesday morning lobbying for defenseman Mike Green to make the Canadian Olympic team.
“If I’m Stevie Yzerman, I’m looking at him as one of your top pair,” Boudreau said.
According to people that follow the Capitals closely, it’s the first time Boudreau has publicly made a pitch on Green’s behalf. It’s also an about face from last spring, when after the playoffs were over Boudreau admitted his disappointment in Green’s overall effort through 14 postseason games.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com,
At the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Team Canada trainers were draining his aching right knee of fluid and shooting the leg full of painkiller so he could get his skates on, never mind race up and down the ice. He wanted to play, so he did, but it was agony, at times, after his knee was scoped three weeks before the tournament.
“I played two pre-tournament games in Montreal and Minnesota and had no swelling. I told Wayne (Gretzky, Olympic team boss)I was fine, then the first tournament game it got sore against Sweden. Then, against Germany, the knee became really painful and it just progressed,” said Yzerman.
“I don’t know if I willed myself to play, but I said, ‘Oh, boy, I’ve made this commitment. I can’t bail out now. I knew I had to work through it as best I could.”
read on plus Dave Gross of Camwest News Service takes a look at Stevie too…
from Jeff Z. Klein of SlapShot at the NY Times,
Russian news outlets reported on Tuesday that Peter Forsberg, the 36-year-old Swedish superstar, was on the verge of signing with the K.H.L. champions Ak Bars Kazan, adding to the intrigue over which club in which country Forsberg would land as he continues his comeback from chronic foot and ankle problems.
And Forsberg’s own comments on Tuesday, in which he dodged questions on where he would resume his pro career, added fuel to speculation that he would not be returning to the N.H.L., as had been widely speculated in North America.
via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• The two least disciplined teams I’ve seen this hockey season: Brian Burke’s current team and Burke’s previous team.
• Love the people who assume there is a trade market for Vesa Toskala. There isn’t. The only chance of moving him before the NHL trade deadline would be for the Leafs to waive him, send him to the minors and bring him back on re-entry waivers. And even that is a longshot unless Toskala starts stopping the occasional puck.
• Statistically, the top two goaltenders in the NHL are Americans, Ryan Miller of Buffalo and Craig Anderson of Colorado, which bodes well for Burke’s Team USA at the Winter Olympics. And what does Burke do if Anderson stays hot right through February? Bench Tim Thomas?
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTV Olympics,
He was standing in the visiting coaches office in the Pengrowth Saddledome, putting forward a unique theory about the 2010 men’s Winter Olympics hockey tournament and what Canada can expect from the opposition.
This was Ken Hitchcock, the thoughtful Columbus Blue Jackets coach, who doesn’t mind tilting against occasional windmills - or conventional thought.
“I see this as being very much a North American style of game - NHL players playing on NHL surfaces with international rules,” said Hitchcock, one of Canada’s three assistants for 2010 Games in Vancouver. “Size will matter. There will be more shots on goal - lots more. There is going to be more physical play. There is going to be more dump-and-chase.
“You can’t stand back in the neutral zone in a small rink because the rink is tighter, so it’s easier to chip the puck in and then go in and get it again. You can’t do that stuff.”
via Jamie’s Hockey Blog at About.com,
From the days of the outdoor game, to the British upset of 1936, the last triumph of the Soviet dynasty, the first women’s champs, up to the NHL’s Olympic era, here’s a few classic images of Olympic ice hockey.
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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