Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Dinunzio of the New York Times,
Cutting through the offensive zone, Jonathan Cheechoo, who once scored 56 goals in a season for the San Jose Sharks, appeared ready to score again. But this was not the N.H.L., and when Cheechoo deftly drew the goalie out only to slide the puck to a teammate, the teammate was not ready for it.
“He just has a lot of poise when he gets the puck,” said Roy Sommer, who coaches Cheechoo with the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League.
The A.H.L. is not where Cheechoo, a right wing, was supposed to be. But meeting the high expectations that came with winning the Maurice Richard Trophy as the N.H.L.’s top goal scorer in 2005-6 proved daunting. He led San Jose in goals the next season, but his production sank the next two seasons. Injuries mounted, including a double sports hernia, and his streak of 140 games played ended.
“I lost a little confidence in myself,” Cheechoo, 30, said. “One or two stop going in, you start trying to get a little closer to the net, you’re easier to check and you take less shots. I think I tried to get too fine.”
From CBC News:
Minor league hockey players were 10 times as likely to suffer a brain injury since bodychecking was first allowed for nine and 10-year-olds, a Canadian study finds.
Dr. Michael Cusimano of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and his co-authors reviewed records of more than 8,500 boys aged six to 17 who went to one of five hospital emergency departments in Ontario for hockey-related injuries from 1994 to 2004.
More than half of the hockey-related injuries reported, 4,460 or 52 per cent, were the result of bodychecking, the researchers said in Tuesday’s issue of the journal Open Medicine.
from Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal,
Last spring, goaltender Michael Leighton led the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals. One month later, he cashed in with a two-year, $3.1 million contract.
On a recent night in January, however, Leighton was minding the net for the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League at the Glens Falls Civic Center in upstate New York. The crowd of 3,889 was a little bigger than normal, but not on his account. It was Girl Scout night. “It’s tough just to think about it,” Leighton says.
There’s nothing unusual about a millionaire baseball player doing a stint in the minors to retool his game or come back from an injury. But hockey’s minor leagues are a different animal: They exist mostly as a holding pen for journeymen and fringe prospects. Future stars like Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin never set foot in them and the facilities and accommodations tend to be considerably more spartan.
This season, thanks to a little-known loophole in the league’s labor deal and a growing pileup of phenomenally bad contracts, the AHL has seen something new: an influx of millionaires making as much as double the NHL’s average salary.
thanks to a KK member for the pointer
With the trade deadline approaching, might a Southeast team or two peddle one or more of their AHL prospects for some immediate help? We’ll know in five short days. For now, let’s take our latest look (a belated one this week – apologies…) at results and stats for the Southeast Division’s AHL affiliates from the week gone by:
Click for individual box scores
Tuesday, 2/15/11: Albany Devils 3, Charlotte Checkers 0
Charlotte goal-scorers: none
Charlotte goaltenders (saves/shots): Justin Pogge (25/28)
Three stars of the game: 1 – Dave Caruso, ALB; 2 – Adam Henrique, ALB; 3 – Brad Mills, ALB
Time once again for a look at this past week’s AHL results for the affiliates of the NHL’s Southeast Division teams.
Let’s get right to it:
Click for individual box scores
Tuesday, 2/8/11: Charlotte Checkers 4, Providence Bruins 1
Charlotte goal-scorers: Jerome Samson (26), Chris Terry (20), Brett Carson (3), Jon Matsumoto (15)
Charlotte goaltenders (saves/shots): Mike Murphy (31/32)
Three stars of the game: 1 – Mike Murphy, CHA; 2 – Jerome Samson, CHA; 3 – Jon Matsumoto, CHA
Wednesday, 2/9/11: Grand Rapids Griffins 7, Chicago Wolves 5
Chicago goal-scorers: Nigel Dawes (24), Riley Holzapfel (6), Andrew Kozek (7), Ryan Garbutt (13), Darren Haydar (19)
Chicago goaltenders (saves/shots): Drew MacIntyre (15/19), Peter Mannino (11/13)
Three stars of the game: 1 – Francis Pare, GR; 2 – Mark Matheson, CHI; 3 – Jamie Johnson, GR
from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,
The Manitoba Moose will retire Mike Keane’s No. 12 jersey tonight in a celebration of his time both with the local pro franchise and his storied NHL career.
Keane, who won three Stanley Cups with three different teams before spending his final five years as a pro with the Moose, will be the first player to receive such an honour from the hockey team.
Debuted the new-look version of The Bolts Beat yesterday, complete with some first-time technical goofs, as I suppose we should have expected. (Our intro song was somehow infiltrated by a portion of, co-host Mark Pukalo was effectively muted throughout the broadcast without a headset, the camera didn’t pick up my good side and , overall, “goofy” comes to mind…) In all seriousness, if you tuned in, thanks for sticking with us, despite our clear need for some serious polishing in the show’s new incarnation.
If I had to sum it up briefly, I’d call on fellow old school professional wrestling fans to remember the infamous first appearance of “The Shockmaster” in WCW. (Look it up if you’re unfamiliar. It communicates yesterday’s frustrations pretty well…)
I’d have posted it here, as promised but I think I’ll wait to do that until we shine her up a little more.
Moving right along, it’s time for a look at this past week’s AHL action for the affiliates of the NHL’s Southeast Division teams, which is shorter than usual this week, thanks to the All-Star break.
Head Coach Roy Sommer of the Worcester Sharks takes a puck to the face, but quickly returns to his coaching duties.
From Elliotte Friedman at CBC.ca:
While researching how different organizations approached scouting, several other teams ripped Buffalo’s approach. At the time, Golisano considered that self-serving, because those people stood to lose their jobs if “The Sabre Way” caught on. But, what interested me most was a common thread throughout many of those conversations. It went like this: “I’ll explain to you why video scouting is a bad idea. But, I’m not going to rip Darcy because he’s at the mercy of his owner.”
In the interview, Golisano didn’t exactly disprove that theory.
“These scouts are traveling all over the world. All these expenses, could they accomplish a lot more staying in one place with the use of video?” the owner said. “And they believe they can. If somebody interprets that as not being progressive and being regressive, that’s too bad. But we think we’re far more efficient and have a much better scouting organization than we did three years ago.”
Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, NHL Entry Draft, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: darcy+regier, lindy+ruff, sabres+sale, tom+golisano
Introducing This & That. a feature set aside for those days when my brain is incapable of any smooth transition from one thought to another. Instead, a random spattering of things I’m thinking, items I meant to include elsewhere but may have forgotten and miscellaneous ramblings that may otherwise have no defined category or forum for inclusion.
(Plus, this way, I never have to use the term “hodgepodge” again.)
Off we go:
—-“If Smitty gets claimed, it’s good for him. If he doesn’t, he goes down and plays for us down there. We want to get him playing.” – Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, on recently waived netminder Mike Smith.
To the first point, absolutely. As far back as late last season, I was wondering whether or not Smith might be better off with a fresh start. Amid flashes of brilliance, Smith has struggled consistently throughout his tenure in Tampa and had all kinds of promise stifled by injuries. This year, despite unsightly statistics, some in scouting circles have seen reason for optimism in his game, giving new life to the idea that he might somehow flourish in a new situation.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: brent+johnson, cedrick+desjardins, dwayne+roloson, jeff+skinner, mike+smith, nhl+guardians, rick+dipietro, steve+yzerman
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