Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Stubbs at Habs Inside/Out,
Higgins underwent arthroscopic surgery on the shoulder in Colorado in late June, but already is in tremendous condition as he prepares for the season to come. The 24-year-old’s fitness is legendary, and this summer he’s making huge strides to regaining and building on his superior conditioning, working with Jon DiFlorio, his personal trainer at Institute 3E on Long Island.
I had long conversations with Higgins and DiFlorio this week, and heard again the passion and commitment Higgins brings to the game. He sees the season to come as a great opportunity for himself, and other young members of the club, to step up and take a leadership role. If his dedication to his fitness is any indication, he’ll live up to his end of the bargain.
Comments from Montreal fans at Habs Inside/Out are coming in fast and furious regarding the departure of Sheldon Souray to Edmonton.
added 5:02pm, from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
So why did it take so long to sign the big, handsome, popular player?
It’s a question I asked a general manager friend of mine a few days ago when Souray appeared to be twirling in the wind awaiting an offer?
“He’s a good guy,” was the reply. “He’s a risk. Obviously, he’s very good offensively (an NHL record 19 power-play goals among the 26 he scored in 81 games last season), but …”
What he was really saying was that there were glitches in the scouting report on Sheldon, which go like this:
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
After more than a week of waiting and wondering, Souray is still out there. So is Mike Johnson, the best of the Canadiens’ acquisitions for 2006-07. Alas, Radek Bonk is a Predator after that franchise’s mother of all fire sales.
The best the Canadiens could do was sign defenceman Roman Hamrlik, who probably dislocated his shoulder in his haste to put his name to a four-year contract at the obscene price of $22 million U.S. (Has Alex Kovalev asked to have his $4.5-million-a-year deal renegotiated yet?) Bryan Smolinski was signed to a one-year deal for $2 million. Then: Tom Kostopoulos….
While I’m sure the Canadiens tried hard to bring a desperately needed franchise player such as Daniel Briere to this city, the bottom line is that they came up empty, while their non-playoff neighbours improved.
from the Montreal Gazette,
With his girlfriend, Montrealer Lindsay Rosen, and his father up from Long Island with a few pals, Komisarek arrived at the Big O with a T-shirt over his proud Polish heart, unsure what awaited him in the stadium.
Madness, as it turned out.
“By the end of the game, I was wearing a jersey and waving a flag, people just giving me this stuff off their backs,” Komisarek said, still amazed. “We were taking pictures, I was signing autographs. My dad was overwhelmed, he couldn’t believe it.”
Roman Komisarek’s 25-year-old son is a hockey star in this town. He’s a huge favourite of Montreal’s Polish community.
But quicker than you can say Grzegorz Krychowiak, who scored the game’s lone goal, Komisarek’s hero status soared higher still in a Polska cheering section, where fans enveloped him and, for a few hours at least, made him one of their own.
added 9:05am, for more on this with some great pictures, check out Habs Inside/Out...
The Montreal Canadiens continued to lock up players for their 2007-08 roster on Thursday, re-signing centre Tomas Plekanec to a two-year contract.
No financial terms have been released.
RDS (translated) reporting Tom Kostopoulos signs with the Canadiens.
from Habs Inside/Out,
Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey told the Montreal media this morning in a wide-ranging talk at the Bell Centre that his free-agent shopping is pretty much done – no Alexei Yashin or Brendan Shanahan, thank you very much – though his eyes remain open should something stupendous fall into his lap. Gainey also added that defenceman Sheldon Souray is no longer in talks with the club…
read on and listen to Gainey…
Bill Watters on Leafs Lunch today stated the Canadiens are “quietly” courting Yashin…
Sources have told TSN the Montreal Canadiens have signed veteran centre Bryan Smolinski to a 1year, $2 million dollar deal. The agreement also includes a no trade clause. Details to follow.
Update 7:44pm ET: TSN link
The Canadiens currently court the Czech defender Roman Hamrlik, who played with Flames of Calgary last year. According to what RDS learned, the Tricolour one is ahead of other teams.
Update: translation adjusted because Yves (in the comments) was nice enough to point out my dumb error. (oops!) Thanks!
Update 5:14pm ET:
From Habs Inside Out,
Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today the signing of free agent defenceman Roman Hamrlik to a four-year contract (2007-08 to 2010-11). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Inside/Out will have salary details soon, and we’ll be on a conference call at 5:30 p.m. ET, posting Hamrlik’s comments shortly thereafter.
*also noted at RDS (French)
Note: Original time of this post was 3:46 ET.
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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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