Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
The last time Vinny Lecavalier actually had to make a team was ... well, never.
And the last time Joe Thornton had to make a team ... was, well, almost never.
Making teams are for other guys, not the gifted and precocious and iconic. But as Canada Red and Canada White departed the Pengrowth Saddledome after Day 2 of the Most Serious Olympic Hockey Orientation Camp in the world, it seemed apparent that there would not be room for the both of them next February.
from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
...But if Dan Cleary makes this team—and I expect he will—he won’t be there because his coach Mike Babcock is running the squad and he won’t be there because more talented players are sitting out. From what I saw in last spring’s Stanley Cup finals, Cleary is a uniquely talented player in the game, a guy who goes hard to the net and screens the goalie as well as anyone in hockey right now. He’s also a defensive ace. among the best two-way players in hockey.
During the Cup finals, I kept track of scoring chances and also reviewed all of them. I tracked which players did the most to create scoring chances for their own teams. I also tracked which players made the mistakes that led to scoring chances for the other team.
In the seven games, Cleary was a key contributor on 32 Detroit scoring chances. He made mistakes that contributed to just four Pittsburgh scoring chances, making him +28 for the series, by far the best mark on any player in the Stanley Cup finals…
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
Shame on Steve Yzerman. The country was in a recession and he could’ve saved Hockey Canada some money.
After all, he really didn’t need to make three separate calls to the 807 area code in early July. One would have sufficed. Or maybe a conference call.
The three Staal boys, you see, were all together at their Thunder Bay “camps” – cottages in southern Ontario parlance – when the time came for Yzerman and his staff to start contacting those NHL players who would be invited to Team Canada’s summer orientation camp.
from Jeff Marek of CBC Sports,
First, this is Mike Babcock’s team. Period.
Yes, he is flanked by some outstanding assistant coaches in Jacques Lamaire, Ken Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff - who since he is the youngest of all assistant coaches gets to do the grunt work like shovel snow in front of the net - but make no mistake about it, Babcock is in charge.
Even at the opening press conference on Monday where Babcock laid out his now infamous “200-foot” hockey player analogy, you can tell in every interaction that the coach is leading this squad. Right away Babcock is on the ice at the opening session.
He gives out the instructions, he runs the drills and yes he stops players who aren’t doing exactly what he wants. And that includes the Sidney Crosby/Rick Nash/Jarome Iginla line, which he stopped Tuesday and made them start a drill over.
Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock talks to the media after day 2 of Team Canada’s orientation camp in Calgary, Alberta.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
A 17-year-old Russian touted as the possible No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 N.H.L. entry draft faces almost certain suspension by the K.H.L. after he refused to sign a contract that contained no clause allowing him to depart for North America.
The player, Kirill Kabanov, was singled out for discipline by K.H.L. president Alexander Medvedev during a Tuesday news conference in Moscow, the latest episode in an ongoing series of K.H.L.-N.H.L. disputes over player contracts.
from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files at the Courier-Post,
Flyers left wing Simon Gagne injured his surgically repaired right hip on the first day of Olympic workouts in Calgary on Monday, the Courier-Post has learned.
Speaking by phone from the Pengrowth Saddledome, Gagne said he felt soreness in his right hip during a fast-paced practice on Monday and will not return to the ice this week.
“For now it’s nothing serious,” Gagne said. “The pace was a little faster than I was used to this summer. I think I’ll be OK for training camp.”
added 2:12pm, Other reports coming out of camp claim groin injury.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
This will be Sidney Crosby’s team, one way or another.
Having delivered the Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh, a truly blighted hockey town before he arrived there four years ago, it is now expected by his home and native land that Crosby will deliver an Olympic gold medal in men’s hockey next winter in Vancouver.
But it would appear that anointing the Penguins superstar as the captain of Team Canada was at best premature and apparently closer to dead wrong.
More than anything, you see, those organizing the Canadian team want Crosby to play, to deliver points and passion and important moments.
Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman talks to the media prior to Team Canada’s first on-ice practice yesterday.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
You said you didn’t give a f—- about hockey
And I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr
I still get chills every time I hear that Bobby Orr line from lead singer Gord Downie. Somehow, right in that instant, Downie’s unique voice captures Canada’s obsession with the sport it invented and still clings desperate ownership to.
All of which should help underline to my American readers here at ESPN.com just what kind of pressure and hype await the host country in less than six months. When Canadian hockey fans stop me to chat Olympics these days, it’s not to ask me who I think will win men’s hockey gold in Vancouver, but rather which country I think will lose to Canada in the gold-medal game. Gulp.
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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