Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon at Fox Sports,
Blues defenseman Erik Johnson manhandled his peers at the Traverse City prospects tournament, to nobody’s surprise.
He dominated collegiate competition for the University of Minnesota. He ran roughshod over junior competition for the U.S. national team. He held up against international veterans at the World Championships.
But what can he do against NHL competition?
We’ll know soon enough, because Johnson, the first overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, is the cornerstone of the Blues rebuilding project.
read on about nine more NHL rookies…
Twenty-two of the 30 teams increased their Shop.NHL.com sales in August. The Ottawa Senators, who recently revealed a new logo, were the top-gaining team for August, up 332% year-over-year. Other teams to experience noteworthy sales for August were the Buffalo Sabres (304%), Nashville Predators (223%), Vancouver Canucks (154%), Los Angeles Kings (150%) and Washington Capitals (138%).
The excitement from teams unveiling their new Rbk EDGE jerseys has carried over to Shop.NHL.com. Seven of the top 25 most searched terms on Shop.NHL.com in August were related to the new Rbk EDGE jersey.
TOP 10 SELLING JERSEYS ON SHOP.NHL.COM (August 1-31, 2007)
from the Utica Observer Dispatch,
Esche spent last week in Pittsburgh working out with the Penguins. The 29-year-old Esche got his foot in the door via his friend Mark Recchi, an 18-year NHL vet and Penguins assistant captain. Practicing against young stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Esche showed off his new and improved physique to the Penguins executives.
“I lost a lot of weight this summer,” Esche said. “I feel good and quick, something that I never really had in the NHL. I’ve never been in that good of shape.”
from Eric Duvall of the Tonawanda News,
It’s football time again, and for Bills fans, that means it’s the time of year where we get our hopes up….
One thing I could do without, though, is the pomp and circumstance surrounding the NFL’s kickoff. Big-time musicians, fireworks, lasers — all to celebrate day one.
I greatly prefer the NHL, which usually starts its season under cover of darkness. Sportscenter keeps the game highlights to 30 seconds and about 45 minutes into its hour-long broadcast. Fine by me. This is hockey country and we don’t much mind skipping the Faith Hill performance before a largely meaningless game nine months before a trophy is handed out.
Besides, I don’t know a ton of hockey fans that would want to hear Faith Hill. The Tragically Hip singing “50 Mission Cap” is far more our style.
from Carter Gaddis of the Tampa Tribune,
Year Three, A.L. (After Lockout) is dawning. Training camps are upon us.
The National Hockey League is about to begin its annual search for identity south of the 49th parallel. For every plus, there is a minus. For every slap, a shot.
In Canada, where folks are taught from birth the sanctity of the blue line and they know without being told that Don Cherry is not a flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, there is no debate.
Hockey is king. End of discussion.
In the U.S., the debate rages. Well, perhaps not rages. Stirs with quiet desperation among those who care, maybe.
There is no escaping the debate, though, not after pro hockey shared a spot with men’s golf in the most recent annual Harris Poll to determine the favorite sport of Americans.
Hockey fans begin preparing for the new season…
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Since the “original six” teams in the NHL were Toronto, Montreal, Boston, New York, Chicago and Detroit, why was the league called the National Hockey League? It was clearly an international league to begin with, so why wasn’t it called the International Hockey League? Except for teams in Montreal and Toronto, there’s nothing original about the Original Six.
The National Hockey League began life in 1917 as a truly national league, with five Canadian teams, although only four actually played in the inaugural season.
Brad Holland of NHL.com is in Traverse City keeping any eye on some of the top NHL prospects.
I wonder if he has an eye for hockey talent?
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Sure, it would be easy to predict which players are most likely to take home the NHL’s individual achievement awards at the end of the season, but here in Hockey Capital, we don’t do easy (i.e. Senators’ playoff history before Cup run last year).
Sidney Crosby for the Hart Trophy? Pshh. Chris Pronger for the Norris? Whatever. Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo duking it out for the Vezina? Duh.
Instead, we’re picking players who could come out of nowhere to take down the trophies. Without further delay, here are the Hockey Capital Dark Horse Player Awards.
from the Toronto Sun,
The National Hockey League is sending all 30 teams a DVD to explain 2007-08 rule changes, along with a stern reminder to stay out of fights while sitting on the bench.
The four new standards are topped by a five-minute interference major at the referee’s discretion should an injury result from the action. There will also be a penalty shot awarded if a breakaway is tampered with in the neutral zone, as opposed to inside the blue line. But players and coaches new to the league need to be reminded about bench decorum said league hockey operations director Kris King.
“It’s not a major issue, but if there is a fight and you’re on the bench and give the guy on the other team a face wash, then it could escalate into something worse,” King said.
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 email@example.com