Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• The Ottawa Senators have quietly expressed some interest in Curtis Joseph as a backup goaltender should they be able to find a home for Martin Gerber and his $3.7-million US contract.
• Word around is that the new tough NHL was ready to give Mark Bell a 30-game suspension had he not shown such remorse and personal growth to the league. Doubt Ferguson, who said he did his due diligence on Bell, was aware of that when he tied up $2 million in summer cap money trading for him.
• A waste of money: Whichever NHL team ends up signing Peter Forsberg. He has little left to offer.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
With NHL training camps now opening here are ten story lines worth watching:
On the rebound
Several NHL stars struggled last season through injuries and/or inconsistency will be looking toward a strong camp to get off to a strong start to the 2007-08 campaign.
Those hoping to get their mojo back include Tampa Bay center Brad Richards, New Jersey winger Patrik Elias, San Jose winger Jonathan Cheechoo, Carolina center Eric Staal and goalie Cam Ward, Columbus forward Rick Nash, Ottawa blueliner Wade Redden and former Oiler turned Philadelphia Flyers forward Joffrey Lupul.
read on for more storylines…
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
This was the 11th year that Centre ICE and Traverse City have hosted the event and the second year that seven other NHL teams competed here. There may be an event like this coming to you in the future. There were at least two teams here to study the rink operation as well as scout the roughly 160 players who, for the most part, were drafted in the past three years. Each team was limited to using only four professional hockey players, mostly those in the AHL and ECHL.
Teams that once turned down Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland’s invitations, call repeatedly to ask to be admitted.
“You snooze, you lose, I tell them, but we’re looking at expanding and including more teams, nothing definite yet,” Holland said. “It’s a good place to see how your young talent is progressing and how they shape up against their own age group.
via the Globe and Mail,
Last week, we tried to track down the 31-year-old O’Neill to get his thoughts on why he remains unsigned even though he scored 20 goals last season and to find out if there were any clubs interested in his services. But his new agent, Ian Pulver, returned an e-mail that said the two of them felt that it wasn’t in the best interest of O’Neill to do an interview.
Of the 120 players who scored 20 goals or more, only Petr Prucha of the New York Rangers averaged less than O’Neill’s 13 minutes and 43 seconds of ice time. Of the 167 players who matched O’Neill’s 42 points or more, only Michel Ouellet of the Pittsburgh Penguins averaged less ice time than O’Neill.
A blog at Canada.com called offside needs to know the games in London are part of the regular season schedule…
London won’t be a sellout
How do you make an NHL preseason game matter even less than it does in the first place? Set one up in a market that has little to no knowledge or interest in the sport whatsoever.
On top of that, charge ticket prices that would make Sir Richard Branson flinch.
Well, maybe not Branson, but you’d think twice about rushing out to get in line.
Also, I thought all the reports were the games were sold-out.
fromm David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL’s board of governors will hold their annual fall meeting Tuesday in Chicago and reporters usually give this one a pass. But this time there is a lineup of sexy topics on the agenda, so yours truly and a few others will be hanging around the govs’ airport hotel.
First on the list is expansion, but it’s thought the governors will not be talking about run-of-the-mill Kansas City or Las Vegas plans. Rather, they will be discussing long-range plans for a European division. Many around the NHL believe this will come to pass within six or seven years, and holding the official season-opener in London at the end of the month is part of the plan.
From Eric Duhatchek at the Globe & Mail,
This time around, the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Buffalo Sabres and that too represents an intriguing match-up - although with a 1 p.m. Eastern starting time, it is hard to imagine them fitting in what could be a great legends game beforehand, what with Mario Lemieux and Paul Coffey available on the Penguins’ side and a reunited French Connection leading the way for Buffalo. Nor can anyone underestimate the value of getting Sidney Crosby involved in the project, along with the rest of his exciting, emerging Penguins’ team. Even if the event doesn’t strike a chord, the presence of Sid The Kid will
more… (*the date of the game is Jan 1, 2008)
via the Detroit News,
Ilitch also spoke about his ownership of the Red Wings and the team’s sudden attendance challenges. He blamed “scheduling” boredom for fan disinterest and indicated that changes in the NHL schedule will be forthcoming in the 2008-09 season.
“You’re gonna be able to see a lot of teams,” Ilitch said, implying that the division-heavy scheduling of past seasons will give way to greater diversity. “This is history. This will be the last year with this type of structure, I think.”
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail, in response to Gary Bettman’s statements today regarding Mark Bell’s suspension,
Bettman’s phrasing is eerily reminiscent of the wording of commissioner Roger Goodell’s statement when he suspended a couple of NFL miscreants (Pacman Jones and Chris Henry) last May. Goodell talked about the “integrity” of his league; how it was a “privilege to represent the NFL” and that its members must meet “the highest standards of conduct.”
All of which sends a clear signal to professional athletes everywhere — that whatever standard of behavior was tolerated in the recent past by the NHL, NBA, NFL and major-league baseball, the rules are starting to change and that part of the “covenant” with their fans that Bettman alluded to is becoming good role models again.
from Allan Muir at Sports Illustrated,
No surprise, really, but I failed for the 26th consecutive year to finagle an invitation to an NHL training camp. Rather than succumb to bitterness, I merely did what I do every year at this time: scour camp rosters to see who was lucky enough to get the call. Most of these guys aren’t any more likely to suit up in the NHL than I am, but there are always a few surprises on the lists. I’m talking about the where’s-he-been guys, the last-chancers, the longshots, the dark horses and the no-names who could be big names before too long if things go their way.
Here are 15 players that caught my eye.
Brandon Sutter (Hurricanes): The 11th overall pick of this year’s draft won himself a lot of fans—me included—with his ferocious performance at the Super Series.
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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