Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Imagine if Deion Sanders could skate with the grace and intensity of an NHLer.
He’d be P.K. Subban, wouldn’t he?
Think about it. While he easily lacks the career body of work of the NFL Hall of Famer — he is, after all, still just 25 — Subban has the mixture of elite skill and flamboyant flair that is unique to very few athletes past and present, Sanders being one of them.
In other words, Prime Time on Skates.
Don’t take our word for it, though. It’s actually a comparison Subban himself has made.
from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,
Biggest storyline to watch: With Gionta and Gorges gone, this team has really been turned over to the next generation of Price, Subban and Pacioretty. Can they be the guys who lead Montreal back to elite status? It will be interesting to monitor how the top-nine forward group shakes out. Rene Bourque was a beast, at times, in the playoffs, but is there any chance he returns to 20-goal form? Parenteau will get a real chance to shine offensively, so we’ll see if he can put together a productive season. Sekac is a six-foot-two late-bloomer, and it seems reasonable to assume part of the reason he chose Montreal from a dozen or so suitors is because the Habs indicated there was a roster spot to be had. On the back end, Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi both seem primed to make the full-time jump. Beaulieu brings speed and offensive awareness, while Tinordi moves well for a guy who stands six-foot-six. If both hit their stride, it will be a major boon to the blue line.
2014-15 prediction: Montreal will be good enough to make the playoffs but is in for a shorter spring than it experienced last season.
01:55 MTL Jarred Tinordi served by Jiri Sekac Elbowing (maj) - 5 min against Nate Schmidt
01:55 MTL Jarred Tinordi Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Chris Brown
01:55 WSH Chris Brown served by Nathan Walker Instigator - 2 min against Jarred Tinordi
01:55 WSH Chris Brown Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Jarred Tinordi
01:55 MTL Jarred Tinordi Game misconduct - 10 min
01:55 WSH Chris Brown Misconduct (10 min) - 10 min
from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,
The Canadiens’ decision Monday to bestow the A on four players, and no C, has ignited a wee tempest in our nation’s most excitable NHL market, as loyalists of one player or the other ask why their favourite wasn’t the obvious choice.
But what if it makes perfect sense?
What if it’s just the formal acknowledgment of an observation every NHL coach makes: that no good team can have just one leader — that if you aspire to be a contender for the Stanley Cup, you’d better have a half-dozen of them?
Anyway, the mystique of the C may not be entirely based on imagination, but its importance is grossly overestimated.
Case in point: Dustin Brown of the L.A. Kings. Brown is, without doubt, exactly the kind of pain in the ass to play against that coach Darryl Sutter loves, but he is also an accomplished diver and, logic tells us, the person no referee has any interest in hearing a protest from, when a call needs to be argued.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
... the Habs may not be alone in this kind of decision this season. Just down the highway in Ottawa, the Senators are mulling over the exact same situation after trading captain Jason Spezza to Dallas this summer.
"That’s the thing we’ve talked about a lot so far," veteran Senators GM Bryan Murray told ESPN.com Monday. "We’ll [go] through a big part of training camp anyway before we decide. But our thought certainly has been that we’ve got two alternates right now in Chris Phillips and Chris Neil, and probably just add a third "A," not sure who it will be yet, rather than name a captain.
"But that’s not final yet. We may still decide at the end of the day a captain is necessary. We’ll see. We’ve got young guys like Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris who are certainly coming [leadership-wise]. Having three "A's" is a not bad thing, though."
Karlsson, one would think, will be captain of this team one day. But he’s probably not yet ready for that responsibility. So the Sens need a bridge decision here, too.
Sometimes it can last more than a year. The Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t had a captain since trading away Rick Nash in July 2012 and they aren’t making apologies for it, either.
"It's already an honor just to be in the conversation, but I know I have to step up and help lead this team no matter if there's a letter on this sweater or not. I feel like I'm ready for it. When Gorges and Gio were here, you don't want to step on any toes, you want the leaders to lead and want them to be able to do their thing. But now that they're gone, I think there's a big gap to fill right now. I hope to be able to do so. Whoever does have the 'C' on their sweater, he's going to have a lot of help. We know a lot of guys in the room that can lead, guys who have been on Stanley Cup teams. So I think whoever gets the letter, he'll get help."
-Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadians on his name being mentioned as one of the possibilites of being named captain. More from Pacioretty by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
The Montreal Canadiens showed some interest in free agent goaltender Martin Brodeur over the summer, according to RDS hockey analyst and former Canadien Vincent Damphousse.
Damphousse appeared on the season debut of the RDS program l'Antichambre on Monday, saying that Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin met with Brodeur's agent Pat Brisson in July to discuss the possibility of the future Hall of Fame goaltender as a fit.
"He's a good veteran," said Damphousse, noting that the Canadiens are looking to fill the leadership void with the departure of Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges. "He would be able to surround the captain and assistants. He could keep things calm. He's always smiling and jovial."
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Canadiens icon Jean Béliveau is recovering at home from a recent bout of pneumonia.
Élise Béliveau, the 83-year-old Hall of Famer’s wife of 61 years, was surprised in recent days to be informed by a friend of at least one French-language Internet report last week stating Béliveau was in critical condition.
A post on Twitter two days earlier had described Béliveau’s dramatic weight loss in graphic detail, adding he was “very ill.”
“I just thought: ‘What the heck is that?’ ” Élise Béliveau said Sunday. “Jean has been sick. He’s had pneumonia, he’s recuperating from it, he has his good days and his bad days and that’s it.”
Typical of the Internet, one report sourcing an unnamed person “close to the Béliveau family” quickly gathered steam. Rumours and further unsubstantiated reports soon suggested Béliveau was in his final moments and that his wife, their daughter, Hélène, and granddaughters Mylène and Magalie were at his bedside.
Élise Béliveau said Sunday while her husband rests and continues to recuperate, receiving a number of close friends to visit, the family is going about its normal routine.
from QMI AGENCY at the Toronto Sun,
Goaltender Martin Brodeur says he'd be willing to finish his Hall of Fame career with his hometown Montreal Canadiens.
The 42-year-old has previously said he's “80% sure” he’s coming back for a 21ST NHL season and told QMI Agency this week that he would have no problem backing up Carey Price in net.
"I would like to play one last season before retiring and I want to have fun doing it," said the three-time Stanley Cup winner.
"If the Canadiens made me an offer, it goes without saying that I would listen to what they have to offer me."
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is not among the NHL executives who has contacted Brodeur this summer.
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.
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