Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Surely, there is something wrong with this picture.
The Montreal Canadiens are at practice. The drill is like something you would see in atom house league: 5-on-5 at each end of the ice, a goaltender in each net, the players desperate to be first to score and encouraged to try any offensive move they can imagine, no matter how risky.
And standing at centre ice, laughing, is head coach Guy Carbonneau, the three-time winner of the NHL’s Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive player in the game. Watching play in the other end and smiling is assistant coach Doug Jarvis, also a Selke winner. And both men were hired by general manager Bob Gainey, the defensive specialist for whom the Selke Trophy was created and who once won it four consecutive years.
A report in a Montreal newspaper that the Canadiens are for sale was quickly denied on Friday by owner George Gillett and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
According to La Presse, Jim Balsillie of Research in Motion told the newspaper that the 100-year-old club was for sale.
When asked by TSN to respond to the report, Balsillie’s lawyer Rich Rodier said, “absolutely not, it couldn’t be farther from the truth, there is nothing to it - zero.”
from Louis Jean at Sportsnet,
Anyone who knows a little about hockey can see what great potential Price has. What they can’t see is his determination. He lost 30 pounds this summer to ensure he’s ready for the rigours of an 82-game season. And although Price has given up a few soft goals so far this season, every single general manager in the NHL would build their team around him in a heartbeat.
So it made absolutely no sense when veteran writer and broadcaster Stan Fischler said Price was a stiff, he was cocky and inept on the weekend. It’s one thing to offer an opinion based on facts, however, taking personal shots at someone simply to increase your own exposure and TV ratings is ludicrous.
from Bob Duff of Duffer’s Dabbles at the Windsor Star,
• Friday was the 76th anniversary of the night that Maurice (Rocket) Richard played his first NHL game with the Montreal Canadiens. He wore No. 15 and picked up his first NHL point, an assist 36 seconds into the game, a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins at the Montreal Forum.
• Former Windsor Spitfire Steve Ott returned to the Dallas Stars’ lineup following a three-game absence due to a groin injury. According to an NHL source, the cause of Ott’s injury came when he was playfully hooked from behind by teammate Sean Avery while taking a shot during practice.
read on for some slap shot talk regarding Al Iafrate…
The Canadiens’ young prospect Pavel Valentenko signed a deal in Russia earlier this week, and the Habs responded today by suspending the player from the team and presenting their concerns to the IIHF.
Valentenko’s Canadian agent Roland Hedges tries to explain his client’s actions. From the Canadian Press via TSN:
Hedges said Valentenko has been supporting his family since he was 15, and took a pay cut to pursue his NHL dream when he signed with Montreal before the 2007-08 season.
After playing all of last season and the first four games of this season with Hamilton, he was given permission to return to Russia to attend to a family matter. He said the signing was not premeditated.
“His intention was to go home to see his parents and see what he could do,” said Hedges. “When he got home, his father already had the deal done (with Dynamo).
“And if you saw the size of the deal, you’d see why.”
Montreal Canadiens Executive Vice President & General Manager Bob Gainey is the guest on the NHL Hour today, hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. The show is on now, from 4-5 p.m. ET on XM Satellite Radio (204) and Sirius (208).
You can also listen live online at the NHL Network Online.
* While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: email@example.com
**Archived shows available for download via podcast on NHL.com.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Count me in for some NHL viewing tonight. OK, so I do that every night (much to my wife’s chagrin), but seriously, there’s a pair of real compelling matchups tonight with Detroit at San Jose and Montreal at Minnesota….
As expected, the Wings and Sharks already top the Western Conference standings. It’s only late October, but you know these kinds of games are important for a San Jose team trying to finally break through after four seasons of contending.
Sibling rivalry will be taken to a new level Thursday night when Saku and Mikko Koivu face off against each another in Minnesota.
The game will mark the first time in NHL history that two brothers will clash as captains — Saku is the long-time captain of the Canadiens, while Mikko was given the “C” by the Minnesota Wild before this season.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Among the 30-plus head coaches who have worked behind the Canadiens’ bench during the past century, none approaches those who joined the franchise’s Builders Row last night at the Bell Centre. Not even close.
It starts with the numbers for Dick Irvin Sr., Toe Blake and Scotty Bowman, who won a combined 16 Stanley Cups during the 36 seasons they wore the CH on their hearts. I’m talking about coaches who posted a 1,350-678-416 record in 2,444 regular-season games. It’s about their dedication to winning. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, it’s in the admiration they earned for winning as often as they did.
from Kevin Mio of the Montreal Gazette,
When you walked into this famous dressing room for the first time, what were your thoughts?
“It’s fun. Like I mentioned Detroit, and it is very similar to that. It’s an old arena and you have the old pictures, the same as here. You have the old players with the current ones, so it’s a good blend.”
The Canadiens are the fourth Original Six team you have played for, after Boston, Detroit and Chicago. How does this compare with the others?
“Detroit was very good, as far as the history there and all that stuff.
Chicago was a little bit different, but it was a really young team, so it was just a little different feel on the team. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was just a lot of young guys and a rebuilding process. And then here, obviously, you have history on every corner and then it’s the centennial year on top of that, so it’s very exciting.”
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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