Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Macomb Daily,
In the collective bargaining agreement that ended the NHL lockout in 2005, teams’ rights to European-drafted players were severely curtailed. Before the current agreement, NHL teams could draft Europeans and keep their rights on the shelf forever whether or not the player ever signed a contract. Now, Europeans can remain in a system for only two years without a contract.
Non-college North American players were always in that situation and remain so. College or college-bound players may now be claimed by NHL teams for four or five years after being drafted (they may play a year of Tier II junior before entering college) without being signed.
“In the old CBA, a North American you had to sign after two years and a European you could hold onto forever,” said Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill. “You get into the later rounds, when there was a North American and a European kid that were about the same, you’d go with the European because he could develop. Some kids are ready at 20, some are ready at 25. Europeans have lost that time.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Funny how their careers have been intertwined, Joseph and Belfour. Two people, two goalies, who couldn’t have been more different in both style and substance.
One was technical, the other athletic. One was grumpy, the other friendly. One was a workout freak, the other, not so much.
And neither was considered a prospect when they were young. Both went undrafted more than once. Both spent one year playing U.S. college hockey. Both went from college to the now defunct International Hockey League. Both arrived as backups in the NHL.
Both have earned more than $50 million in what for Belfour is a certain Hall of Fame career and for Joseph one that is certainly worthy of consideration.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Sources say the league is currently negotiating to place the 2008-09 regular season opener in one of three venues - either Prague, Stockholm or a German city from a group that includes Hanover, Munich or Frankfurt.
No word yet on which NHL clubs might get the call.
It would seem obvious that this London event is the first step in the league’s attempt to significantly heighten awareness of the NHL “brand” in Europe and that with each passing year there is going to be a greater emphasis on exposing the European market to the NHL product.
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.
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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