Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Oh, sure, it’s just a game, and nothing that happens Wednesday night when Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo square off in New Jersey will have much bearing on the Olympic jobs handed out in February.
But just so everyone knows, Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman will indeed be watching the Canucks-Devils game.
“I’m going to TiVo it and watch it later,” Yzerman told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “I’m going to be at another game [Tampa at Boston], but when I saw this game [Canucks-Devils] on the schedule, I wanted to make sure I watched it.”
So there ... it’s not just the media making a big deal out of it, OK?
“To be honest with you, it’s exciting to play against Marty, period,” Luongo told us Tuesday. “Just because we’re from the same hometown and he’s one of the greatest of all time. That’s really the only reason for me. I don’t think one game is going to decide anything with regards to the Olympics.”
from John Shannon of Sportsnet,
Last week on Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown, Bob and I had the chance to talk to Vladislav Tretiak. I have met the great goalie a couple of times over the years when he was the goalie coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, but this was the first time I had talked to him since he had been named head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, and recently the general manager of the Russian Olympic Team.
He has an interesting dilemma when it comes to the Olympics. Does he field a team of NHLers, KHLers or a little bit of both leagues? He told Bob and I that it would be a mix of the two leagues. And frankly from his perspective, it has to be. Even if there were 23 NHL players fit for the ice in Vancouver, Tretiak has no choice but to pick some talent from the Kontinental League. In order to give the Russian-based league any level of credibility throughout Europe, there has to be some of its players on the ice at the soon-to-be-renamed GM Place.
It appears as though Nikita Filatov has started a trend.
According to an online report Phoenix Coyotes’ prospect Viktor Tikhonov has left the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL and has returned to Russia to join CSKA Moscow of the KHL.
“My son has been sent to the KHL, he has already landed in Moscow and he’s ready to play for CSKA” - Tikhonov’s father, Vasily Tikhonov, told Sovetsky Sport. “The only problem is that the league is investigating where his rights belong to. He left the NHL playing for Severstal Cherepovets, but that was two years ago”.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA—Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have loaned forward Viktor Tikhonov to KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) for the remainder of the 2009-10 season.
Tikhonov, 21, appeared in 18 games for the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) this season collecting 2-6-8 and 12 penalty minutes (PIM). Last season, the native of Riga, Latvia played in 61 games for the Coyotes as a rookie, registering 8-8-16 and 20 PIM. He ranked T-2nd among Coyotes rookies in goals and 3rd in points.
from the CP via NHL.com,
The Olympic men’s hockey tournament in Vancouver is going to be a different experience for Pavel Bure.
It will be the first time since NHLers started participating in the Games that the Russian Rocket won’t be involved with the national team. Bure played for Russia in 1998 and 2002 and served as the team’s general manager in 2006.
With Vladislav Tretiak now in charge of the Russian squad, Bure’s role in 2010 will be that of a spectator. And just like most hockey fans, he’s already looking forward to the event.
“I think it’s the best tournament,” Bure told The Canadian Press on Thursday. “All of the best superstars can go and participate, that’s why it’s really hard to win this tournament. All the teams are pretty even. You need a little bit (of) luck in this tournament and all the games are really important because you lose one game and you’re out.
“It’s really interesting for fans and it’s a great promotion for hockey in general around the globe.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
You can understand why Mats Naslund might be chewing on his finger nails these days.
Between last Saturday’s brutal knee injury to Niklas Kronwall and the long-term injury to key forward Johan Franzen, the GM of the Swedish Olympic hockey team can bare to watch what will happen next in what has become an NHL season chocked full of injuries.
“We’re maybe beginning to watch more for injuries than who is scoring goals,” Naslund told ESPN.com this week.
“It seems this is the year of the injury, more so than other years,” said Team USA coach Ron Wilson. “There are a lot of star players out with significant injuries.”
Miikka Kiprusoff wants to start for the Finnish hockey team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, but the Flames goaltender says if he isn’t going to be the team’s No.1 guy, he’d sooner stay home.
“I’d probably not go in that case,” says Kiprusoff in a Tuesday story in The Calgary Herald. “If I’m not going to start for sure, I think I’m going to take that time off and rest.”
Kiprusoff currently has 12 wins, five losses and two overtime losses, with a 2.61 GAA, and a .914 save percentage.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
“The Sharks trio seem to compliment each other well,” Yzerman said in an e-mail to Sun Media yesterday. “Marleau’s got the speed, Thornton’s the playmaker and Heatley the goal scorer.”
Another plus: The threesome has played together before. Because of a lack of practice time between the suspending of the NHL season and the Olympic tournament, familiarity and chemistry are lucrative selling points.
“I think having the ability to bring guys that are currently playing together is a definite bonus for the reason you stated,” Yzerman said.
“I doubt we would leave off a better player for the sake of continuity but it’s starting to look like we might have combos up front and on defence that have played together.”
Some of those potential combos include:
+ Any two, if not all, of Marleau Thornton and Heatley.
+ The Flyers’ Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
Booth has struggled this season, but watching the camp and also watching David Booth I could argue that he is the best pure “sniper” the Americans have and his slow start is a testament to this. Snipers are by their nature streaky players. Right now he is ice cold, but if Booth gets hot at the right time you would probably want him on your top unit. Booth is the Joey Mullen of this group.
-Dwayne (Eklund) in his Team USA outlook today. Dwayne has David Booth on the taxi-squad (there isn’t one) and by his remarks, is oblivious to the fact that Booth has been out with a concussion since October 28th.
Not the first time Dwayne has showed his lack of hockey knowledge and won’t be the last.
added 8:02pm, Craig Custance of the Sporting News spoke with Booth recently. You have to feel for the guy and let’s hope the NHL does something about the hits to the head.
added 11/20/09 7:36am, Well what do you know, Dwayne changed his post without mentioning any correction. This folks, is how he deceives people…
Booth has struggled this season, but watching the camp and also watching David Booth I could argue that he is the best pure “sniper” the Americans have and his slow start is a testament to this. Snipers are by their nature streaky players. Prior to his injury he was Ice cold, but if Booth gets healthy and can get hot at the right time you would probably want him on your top unit. Booth is the Joey Mullen of this group.
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.”
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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