Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
From Adam Kimelman at NHL.com:
Former Ottawa Senators coach Cory Clouston has been hired as coach of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings.
He’s replacing Kelly McCrimmon, who resigned after seven seasons to focus solely on his role as general manager.
Clouston had spent the previous three seasons coaching the Senators, but was fired at the end of the 2010-11 season.
Better known to most NHL fans simply as “Minnesota’s Farm Team”. The Aeros actually have a rather deep and rich history in the hockey world. They were originally founded in 1994 as an expansion team in the now defunct International Hockey League (IHL). However, some could argue that this franchise has really existed since 1972, when they were one of the World Hockey Association’s (WHA) original teams, after the “Dayton Aeros” franchise folded, before they ever played a single game (due to lack of an arena and little interest from the community) and moved to Houston.
From Justin Bourne at Puck Daddy:
After July 1, there’s a slow and steady trickledown effect in pro hockey, and it’s not as simple as “sign the best available player, then the next best available player, then the….”
“Next best available player” gets a little blurry when one guy is 26 and played for El Mira and the other is 23 and skated with Victoria. Sometimes you need to get them on the same ice to compare.
NHL teams are set in stone (well, 97 percent anyway) before a single player shows up to camp, but at the AHL and ECHL levels, it can work a little differently.
Lower down in the system, you have a better chance of actually taking someone’s spot, especially if they aren’t some prized prospect.
more about job hunting for the “free-agent stragglers”
*I accidentally credited this story to “Jason Bourne” when this first went online. Apologies. The blame belongs fully to Robert Ludlum…
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league’s Board of Governors, convening this week for its Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, S.C., has approved the following division alignment for the 2011-12 AHL season (NHL affiliates in parentheses):
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
Bob Boughner has spent the past eight months moving between parallel hockey universes.
In theory, his commute requires the occasional four-hour drive, a valid passport and the patience to endure the whimsy of customs agents on either side of the Ambassador Bridge. But the separate worlds competing for Boughner’s attention are vastly contrasting and equally challenging.
On any given day, he is helping to rebuild one of the NHL’s most anonymous franchises and maintain one of North America’s most successful junior programs. His dual jobs require him make do with a modest talent pool in Columbus, while overseeing an operation in Windsor that churns out NHL lottery picks such as Taylor Hall and Cam Fowler.
Such is the double life of Boughner, the Blue Jackets assistant coach and Windsor Spitfires co-owner and president. It is a life of long hours, endless meetings and a marriage to twin devotions with a wife and four kids tossed into the mix.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org