Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Garry Brown of MassLive,
Brett Lebda, a 32-year-old defenseman who has quaffed champagne from the Stanley Cup, joined the Springfield Falcons this week as a step toward reviving his hockey career.
He was at home in Chicago, skating every day and waiting for a call after finding himself out of work at free-agency time in July.
The call came Monday from Chris MacFarland, assistant general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Springfield’s parent club. After conferring with president/GM Bruce Landon of the Falcons, MacFarland signed Lebda to a professional tryout agreement.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN several NHL western conference teams are involved in ongoing discussions to improve the geographic challenges some teams face in trying to develop their players from afar.
Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Phoenix, Colorado, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary attended a private meeting with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly earlier this month, where the group conceptually talked about the introduction of a western wing to the American Hockey League to ease the burden of travel on prospect players, as well as provide NHL teams with a more hands on approach in day to day development.
Most in that group are content with their existing AHL partnerships; however, there are some who who like to see change and are considering a more extreme approach if necessary.
The possibility of creating an entirely new league primarily based to serve some of the NHL’s pacific and northwest division teams has also been suggested by some involved.
from Dave Naylor of TSN,
Last season, Darren Kramer dropped the gloves 47 times for the Chiefs in the Western Hockey League (46 regular season, one playoffs), more than 50 if you count his handful of fights in the Alberta Junior league before his call to Spokane. He’s managed to go from being a scrappy player in a Tier II junior league to an Ottawa Senators draft pick in the span of about nine months….
Fighting to Darren Kramer is simply a tool, the thing he decided he must use to buy the time necessary to keep his hockey dream alive.
If he was a baseball player, he might try to steal 100 bases. If he played basketball, he’d probably try to master the art of three-point shooting. And if he played football, he might be a kicker, or a punter or a practice long snapping 500 times a day.
It’s anything to get noticed - to set him apart. Find a job that not everyone is willing to do and do it better - or at least more willingly - than anyone else.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Brendan Smith has been ruled ineligible to play in the AHL until Oct. 18, 2011. Smith was suspended by the National Hockey League for the remainder of the preseason plus five regular-season games for an illegal check to the head of an opponent during a game vs. Chicago on Sept. 28. According to the AHL’s by-laws, a player who is under suspension in another league or organization who seeks to play in the AHL while under that suspension will have the relevant disciplinary matter independently reviewed by the President of the American Hockey League, who may in his discretion deem the player ineligible.
Smith’s AHL eligibility does not affect the terms of his NHL suspension.
The talk of the town of late has been the health concerns of defenceman Ryan Whitney and winger Ales Hemsky. Robin Brownlee posted an article on Oilers Nation titled “Hemsky and Whitney: Not Ready Yet.” The title of that piece should say it all. What that of course did was generate a lot of discussion. Whitney has been out since December and Hemsky since March.
From Craig Custance at Sporting News:
Considering its proximity to Canada, Michigan is the battleground for a fight that’s not new, but grows hotter each year. It’s one the NHL is also watching.
On one side is Berenson—an All-America player at Michigan—and his fellow college coaches, trying to convince North America’s best young players to commit to college hockey. On the other side is Canada’s major junior powerhouse, the Canadian Hockey League, where elite Canadians—and a growing number of Americans—parlay junior careers into NHL careers.
Berenson looked at the young players in front of him and offered a warning against choosing junior hockey.
From Jim Reyno at Metro London:
There’s been a lot of talk in hockey lately about concussions and their lingering effects, and whether it’s time fighting be banned from the game.
“I don’t know about that,” said Dale Hunter, owner and coach of the London Knights. “It’s in the rules — fighting has been part of hockey for 90 years.”
For 19 of those years, Hunter was a willing participant in that part of hockey in the NHL. Just 5-foot-10 but 200 pounds, in many ways Hunter was a concussion on skates, throwing his weight around (as well as a few lefts and rights) on his way to accumulating 3,563 penalty minutes — second all-time behind Tiger Williams. Consider him an expert on rugged play.
continued… with discussion specific to OHL matters and head shots
Finding August lacking in hockey just a little too much? You’re not alone. The Edmonton Oil Kings have started their fifth training camp today and are inviting WHL and hockey fans in general to put on some socks and shoes, maybe grab a sweater and step out of the sun.
I suppose this means that Olivier Roy may not be at the Oklahoma City Barons camp this fall afterall. Eric Rodgers of Copper and Blue has discovered that David LeNeveu formerly of the Springfield Falcons, Columbus Blue Jackets, The Phoenix Coyotes, the Hartford Wolf Pack, the San Antonio Rampage and the list goes on has signed with the Barons. This Fernie B.C. born goaltender was drafted in the second round of the 2002 draft has seen his share of teams, but the Oklahoma Barons must see something in LeNeveu that they needed or had to have, or he was someone who was willing to sign a one way contract with an AHL team. Either way, Barons fans rejoice! Your second season of AHL hockey is closer than you think.
From Vicki Hall at the Calgary Herald:
“I think they’re going to do that parachute jump. So they’ll be looking forward to it. And I guess they’ll be carrying backpacks and stuff like that. But the army is in charge of that stuff, so it will be fun to watch.”
St. Louis Blues prospect Ty Rattie respectfully waffled on the “fun” concept - especially when it came to the notion of the parachute jump.
“I’m on the ground, so it interests me now,” he said. “I think if I get up there, it might not be so interesting. But I think I would do it.”
Vancouver Giants forward Brendan Gallagher expressed similar misgivings, but also opted to stay positive about the ordeal ahead of him.
“I’ve heard we’re repelling down walls, which I’ve never done before,” said the fifthround (147th overall) draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens. “I’m obviously not used to being in a military camp.”
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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