Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the AP via the West Central Tribune,
The mothers of 17 Wild players proudly accompanied their sons as the group left Minnesota on Friday for three games on the West Coast. Last season, the team invited the fathers on a trip.
“She’s very excited. Last year, when the dads got to go, she was very jealous right from the get-go,” said right wing Mark Parrish of his mom, Barb.
The mothers gathered for photos at the arena in the morning before the plane left for Phoenix, where the Wild face the Coyotes on Saturday night.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Minnesota Wild winger Derek Boogaard is out to inflict some pain, which is exactly what the six-foot-seven, 260-pounder did last year when he scored a hat-trick of sorts—knocking Oilers’ Ales Hemsky, Ladislav Smid and Marty Reasoner out of action for a spell.
All three were staggered by Boogaard hits—the Oilers would say with some malicious intent in the case of Hemsky—although Boogaard claims he was only out only to create mayhem and Hemsky got caught in his train tracks.
“Speaks to his effectiveness that we’re speaking about him right now,” said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish. “He hasn’t fought, either. You don’t want to play to his strengths, obviously. He’s a helluva fighter….”
From Michael Russo at the Star Tribune,
Attention, fantasy hockey owners: Jacques Lemaire has a red-hot tip for you.
Pick up Eric Belanger, and fast.
“When we got him, I felt that he’s going to get 20 goals,” the Wild coach said. “Now, I feel he’s going to get 80 points. Playing on the power play like he does, playing on a pretty good line, he’ll get some points.
from the Star-Tribune,
In an e-mail to and subsequent phone interview with the Star Tribune on Sunday, former Gophers winger Tyler Hirsch accused the Wild of “misrepresenting the truth” and being “unethical” after the team announced last week that he signed a contract with the Houston Aeros, its American Hockey League affiliate….
According to Hirsch on Sunday, “I have neither verbally committed to or signed anything resembling a contract with the Minnesota Wild or their minor-league affiliates. I have never laid eyes on a would-be contract and am currently a free agent.”
From Brian Murphy at the Pioneer Press,
Playing wire to wire is all that remains for Gaborik, 25, to prove he belongs in the same company with Heatley, Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Marian Hossa, next-generation superstars with equal talent but more durability.
“I think that’s fair,” Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said. “The true picture of him persevering for 80 games and being productive in all situations, he’s just got to play the 80 games.”
Pierre McGuire, a former NHL coach and current TSN and NBC hockey analyst, said it is time for Gaborik to elevate his stature.
“When you’re talking about great players like Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman, no matter what they did individually, over time, you have to prove you can do it for an entire season,” McGuire said. “Very few players can do what (Gaborik) does. But it’s longevity, durability. Do they have the determination? Are they willing to pay the price? It’s a huge recognition year for him.”
From John Shipley at the Pioneer Press,
Derek Boogaard is listed as day to day after taking a puck to the head during Friday morning’s practice at United Center. It opened a gash that required about 20 stitches and left a wound not disimilar to the one Boris Karloff wore in “Frankenstein.”
Asked what hurts worse, a fist or a puck, Boogaard didn’t have to think.
“They both hurt,” he said.
Ask a stupid question, get an honest answer.
From Michael Russo at the Star Tribune,
In the real world, Brian Rolston is a young man at age 34. In the hockey world, he’s a dinosaur.
“But I feel young, which is all that matters. If I was on the Red Wings, I’d be really young,” a laughing Rolston joked.
Plus, if you’ve paid attention to his first two years in Minnesota (or Sunday’s scrimmage in White Bear Lake), you realize Rolston, despite a few gray hairs, isn’t some breaking-down, old veteran.
(Gotta love a Red Wings joke at the end of the day…)
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild announced today that three regular season home games sold-out in 10 minutes as more than 500 fans lined up at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office to purchase single-game tickets when they went on sale at 9:00 a.m. this morning. The Wild’s home opener against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 4, the Oct. 30 match against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Jan. 18 contest versus the Anaheim Ducks are all sold-out.
In all, fans purchased more than 27,400 regular season single-game tickets through the Xcel Energy Center Box Office and Ticketmaster locations this week. St. Paul’s Pat Vos was the first in line, setting up camp Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.
via the Minnesota Wild,
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild announced today that 96% of its season ticket holders have renewed their seats for the 2007-08 NHL season. In addition the team announced today that all 66 annual suites are sold-out for the 2007-08 season.
from Michael Russo of the StarTribune,
Q So Gaborik says he’s confident his groin troubles are a thing of the past. If healthy, what’s Gaborik’s ceiling?
A High. Nobody in the NHL has a second gear as fast as Gaborik, and when it comes to his wrist shot, few are better. Health is the only thing keeping Gaborik from contending for the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal-scorer. In the past two seasons, only Ottawa’s Dany Heatley (.610) has averaged more goals per game than Gaborik (.602). If sidekick Pavol Demitra is also healthy, Gaborik could be on the verge of his first 50-goal season.
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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