Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Rand Simon of the Hockey News,
Hockey fans everywhere had to be nervous about what the future holds for the game after Montreal Canadiens’ owner George Gillett was recently quoted as saying: “But it is still a very difficult business when you have your player payroll at 54 or 55 percent of your total revenue.”
If Gillett’s comments are an accurate reflection of what other owners think, then it is hard to be optimistic that a work stoppage can be avoided when the current CBA expires on Sept. 15, 2011 (the players have the right to extend the agreement by one year or terminate it two years early).
from the Montreal Gazette,
The Latendresse brothers, Guillaume and Olivier, remain an inseparable pair, even though they live 3,500 kilometres apart on opposite ends of the professional hockey spectrum….
Guillaume is living out a dream playing for his beloved Canadiens, a media darling who has been portrayed as a saviour to a public starving for a French-Canadian star to carry the Tricolore. Olivier, meanwhile, is toiling in the Central Hockey League with the Arizona Sundogs, unable to make any headway in the Phoenix Coyotes organization after signing a three-year contract in 2004 as an undrafted free agent.
The Montreal Gazette has a Q & A with Tom Kostopoulos…
What is the craziest prank you have seen?
“In Los Angeles, I used to switch the gel and the shampoo, and one day Marc Crawford went to gel his hair and used the shampoo. And the way he likes his hair perfect, it was pretty funny when he came out and it was all flat and he was pretty fired up about it. Marc Bergevin, when I was in Pittsburgh, he was crazy. He used to dress up like the other team’s mascot before the games, wear wigs or dress up like a 1970s dancer and dance for everyone. He was probably the funniest prankster and craziest guy I have met.”
more with Tom…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
But if the past is similar, the future looks entirely different for the two men and their teams, the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.
“They both have mediocre current situations,” said one NHL executive, who wished to remain anonymous.
“But Ferguson put the Leafs in a situation where they have a terrible future and Gainey put the Canadiens in a situation where they have a great future.”
from Lightning Strikes,
...It seems you have to believe the part about him not knowing about such a trade because it just doesn’t seem to make sense for the Lightning which was supposed to give up Richards, its second-line center and one of its alternate captains for Ryder and Kostsitsyn who between them have just 11 points, and Halak has 16 NHL games to his name.
I’m sure the potential new owners of the franchise would love to have to fill that kind of hole in the roster.
from the CP via Yahoo,
With Higgins’ combination of speed, skill and willingness to battle for pucks, the only question now is how much of an impact player he will become.
He had 23 goals as a rookie in 2005-06 and 22 last season, despite missing 21 games either sick or injured. The No. 40 was suggested and the six-foot-200-pound Higgins nodded.
“I definitely think I’m capable of reaching 40 goals,” he said. “That’s a good marker for me.
from the CP,
Gillett said that despite the rising value of the loonie, the NHL’s salary cap will keep the team’s payroll in check.
But a stronger dollar allows the hockey club to spend aggressively and continue to build with younger players and supplement with free agents.
“No matter what happens with the exchange rate, up or down, we’re going to spend aggressively toward the cap,” he said.
From Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
You can toss out the form chart. Forget the odds. Pay no attention to the fact the Toronto Maple Leafs lost 3-2 last night in New Jersey, or that the Canadiens are coming off a superb performance against the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night.
The Leafs also absorbed a 7-1 pounding on home ice against the Capitals Monday. That matters about as much as the price of chai in China.
When the bell rings tonight, the two teams stepping into the ring might as well be fighting a unification bout for a heavyweight title, because when the Canadiens and Leafs hook up on a Saturday night, it’s playoff hockey.
from the CP via TSN,
A day after taking heat for not speaking French, Montreal Canadiens captain Saku Koivu spoke a few words in a pre-recorded feature shown before a game Thursday night at the Bell Centre.
A surprised crowd cheered as Koivu said ‘‘ici Saku Koivu, voici mon equipe’’ (Saku Koivu here, this is my team) before reading out the Canadiens lineup in a mix of English and French on the video scoreboard.
from the Montreal Gazette,
“Nothing is happening with him on the ice,” Carbonneau explained. “We felt like we needed to win the game, so I went with the guys I thought could help us do that. I was trying to switch some lines and trying to create something. I was looking for a spark.”
Ryder, who has been the Canadiens’ top goal-scorer in each of the past two seasons with 30, played 11:35 Tuesday night….
“I don’t think it’s time to panic,” said Ryder, who had four goals at this point last season.
“There haven’t been too many games when our line hasn’t created some chances and there are other top scorers who have scored only three or four goals.”
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