Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
Seinfeld had the Summer of George. I’m predicting 2008-09 will be the Winter of Some Original Six Team. Theoretically, I’m not supposed to cheer, but deep down I’ll have a soft spot this season for these three golden oldie franchises:
Montreal: The Habs are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, they’re holding the All-Star Game and the entry draft at Bell Centre and the club is a bona fide contender in the East. It’d be sweet to see the NHL’s most storied franchise reach the peak again.
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
The consensus among Canadiens fans is that if Sundin signs, the Habs will be holding a parade in June. Detroit, Schmeetroit. Who cares if the Red Wings were already the best team in hockey before they inked Marian Hossa? In the unrealistic way of fans everywhere, they see the equation this way: good regular-season team adds Alex Tanguay, Georges Laraque and Sundin, great playoff team wins the Stanley Cup.
Uh-huh. I’ll believe that when Sidney Crosby checks into an ashram and Henrik Zetterberg decides he’d rather play backgammon for a living. Even with the additions, the Canadiens aren’t a slam dunk to win anything - but with or without Sundin, Bob Gainey has already molded the Habs into one of those quality organizations that will have a chance to win it all. Like Dallas, Detroit, Anaheim, San Jose and Pittsburgh.
Even without Sundin, the Canadiens are, on paper, one of the top five or six teams in the league - and they do need another impact forward to get over the hump and stage another parade.
RDS reports Bob Gainey phoned J.P. Barry, Mats Sundin’s agent, on Tuesday.
While the sports network did not reveal the substance of the conversation, a source in Sweden has sent a recording of it to Habs Inside/Out.
Gainey: If you change your mind, I’m the first in line
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down
If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey I’m still free
Take a chance on me
-Mike Boone at Habs Inside/Out
from the CP via the Toronto Star,
Charges levied against a Montreal Canadiens defenceman following an incident at a Tampa Bay nightclub last February have been dropped.
Ryan O’Byrne had been charged with grand theft.
State attorney Pam Bondi says the charges against the Victoria, B.C., native were dropped after he read an apology in court to the victim and agreed to do community service in Canada.
from Greatest Hockey Legends,
Now, on to Doug’s question. Is Nicklas Lidstrom better than Doug Harvey?
I think history tends to nicely accept that Doug Harvey is the second best defenseman of all time, behind Bobby Orr, of course. In fact, most of the so called experts tend to place Harvey in top ten players of all time, regardless of position….
Doug Harvey was the epitome of hockey grace, and one of the few players in hockey history that could truly take control of a game all by himself.
Now that is awfully hard to compete against. Lidstrom is catching up, with more seasons ahead. He’s got 4 Stanley Cup championships and 6 Norris Trophies. His career offensive numbers dwarf Harvey’s, mind you that is due much to the very different eras each played in. Both are classic and near flawless defenders and both are dominant at both ends of the ice.
from Habs Inside/Out,
Sports Illustrated has asked its writers to pick their favourite venues.
Michael Farber chose the Forum. In recalling the ghosts, Farber writes:
They were in the rafters with the retired jerseys, stampeding with the fans when the doors opened before the game so they could get a good spot in the standing-room section, hanging out in the cramped corridors where they were getting two-packs-a-day’s worth of second-hand smoke during intermissions…
I am pointing you to the Habs Inside/Out page where you can get the link to the Farber story and also see the only picture of Howie Morenz’s funeral at the Forum…
from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,
The key to success in the salary-capped NHL is to build through the draft and spend your money wisely, two things Gainey has done extremely well. He has spread his money out evenly, with three players in the $5-million tax bracket (Markov, Roman Hamrlik and Alex Tanguay), two in the $4-million range (Saku Koivu and Kovalev) and one earning $3 million (Andrei Kostitsyn).
By comparison, the New York Rangers have five players earning more than Markov: Wade Redden and Scott Gomez ($8 million each), goaltender Henrik Lundqvist ($7.75 million), Chris Drury ($7.1 million) and Michal Rozsival ($7 million). Those five players will eat up 67 per cent of the Rangers’ cap space.
The Montreal Canadiens will host the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at Bell Centre, Montreal Canadiens Executive Vice President & General Manager Bob Gainey and the National Hockey League announced today. The Draft will be held over two days, Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27.
“The Montreal Canadiens are extremely proud to host the 2009 NHL Entry Draft,” said Canadiens President Pierre Boivin. “In December 2009, the Canadiens will become the first professional hockey team to celebrate a century of history. Thanks to the NHL, the Entry Draft is back in Montreal after 17 years. We are excited about this occasion, knowing the past history of the Draft and its origins in Montreal.”
from Empty Netters,
Laraque was unlike anything we’ve seen here in Pittsburgh. He was a black hockey player of Haitian heritage who had corn rows, spoke two languages and dominated just about any fight he was a part of. He was so dominant of a fighter, many opposing goons just simply weren’t all that eager to drop the gloves with “BGL.” And when Laraque did get a chance to go at it, more often than not his fights were fairly boring due to Laraque’s immense strength.
Our first chance to see Laraque ply his craft came in a game against the Rangers March 10, 2007. Colton Orr was the brave soul who decided he wanted to test Laraque:
more with many fight videos…
From the Montreal Canadiens:
Canadiens GM Bob Gainey announced Wednesday the signing of defenseman Josh Gorges to a three-year contract (2008-09 to 2010-11). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Josh established himself as a key member of our defensive squad last season. His reliability and solid play made him one of our most improved players. He is a young defenseman with a very good work ethic,’’ said Bob Gainey.
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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