Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Wigge at NHL.com,
In the Central Division alone, we watched at least one second-time-around player break out last season. On the offensive side of things, St. Louis’ Lee Stempniak went from 14 goals in 2005-06 to 27 last season, Chicago’s Patrick Sharp go from 14 goals to 20 and Columbus’ Dan Fritsche improve from six to 12.
Young defensemen were really prevalent in the division, when you consider the improvement of players like Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall, Nashville’s Shea Weber (17 goals) and Chicago’s Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.
Here’s a broader look at how the presumed sophomore jinx can actually turn into sizzle for some young players in the Central Division this season.
from Vegas Insider,
Anaheim Ducks 11/2
Ottawa Senators 6/1
Detroit Red Wings 8/1
Buffalo Sabres 10/1
New York Rangers 11/1
San Jose Sharks 11/1
Pittsburgh Penguins 14/1
Vancouver Canucks 14/1
Colorado Avalanche 18/1
Dallas Stars 18/1
Check out Spector today for Marleau, Markov and more NHL trade and UFA talk…
from the Toronto Sun,
Which teams fared well during the off-season? Which squads saw their talent siphoned away? Which new faces will thrive with the change of scenery? In order to answer those questions, Sun Media enlisted the help of CBC’s Don Cherry, who offers his picks.
1. Rangers: “Chris Drury, Scott Gomez ... Glen Sather landed two big prizes.”
2. Ducks: “Adding Mathieu Schneider, well, the rich get richer. If Scott Niedermayer comes back and, with Chris Pronger already there, that’s an impressive blue line.”
3. Flyers: “Mr. Snyder can’t stand losing and was not going to stand pat after last year’s disappointing season.”
much more NHL talk…
from Ryan Kennedy of the Hockey News,
Logistically, each goalie would have to have two different jerseys – if Roberto Luongo rocks a red Canucks top, he can’t very well wear it when they play Detroit or Chicago. Likewise, gold won’t cut it against Nashville. So maybe King Louie has a red sweater and a light blue one. Automatically, we’ve doubled our fun while solving a problem.
Goalies are always going to be different than skaters, so why not give them freedom of jersey color and give us one more item to spend way too much money on?
more... plus Foppa has a setback…
from the Vancouver Province,
But, restricting ourselves to the NHL, the classics seem to be the ones that hold their appeal, with the Habs, the Red Wings, the Blackhawks and the original Maple Leaf leading the way.
A more recent retro-classic, the Canucks vintage jerseys harking from to the team’s expansion days, people forget were greeted with dismay when they were introduced in 1970.
And it’s worth noting that it’s the Atlanta Thrashers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes and, yes, Vancouver Canucks of the NHL, the Johnny Come Latelys, that are busiest changing their looks.
In a nod to just about every era of pro and semi-pro hockey since the Vancouver Millionaires won the Stanley Cup in 1915, the new Canucks jerseys are a smorgasbord of borrowed styles.
“I’d agree they’re busy-looking,” said Doug Jamieson, a Nanaimo hockey-sweater collectors. “The old jerseys, the teams that haven’t changed their basic look in decades, they’ve held up because they’re simple and I guess they have historical significance.”
from Evan Weiner at the NY Sun,
NHL fans are about to find out just how powerful the owner of the Los Angeles Kings, Phil Anschutz, is. Anschutz — who is not a publicity hound and rarely gives interviews — now has a chance to orchestrate the league’s next expansion between now and 2009 by placing teams into arenas he has built or is building in Kansas City and Las Vegas….
The NHL’s expansion plans were solidified when Anschutz’s AEG entered into a partnership with Harrah’s to build an arena on Harrah’s property near the Las Vegas strip. The new building will be opened in 2010 and it appears that Las Vegas already has an owner in movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who has spoken with NHL officials about placing a team in Las Vegas.
Neither Kansas City nor Las Vegas is a big TV market. But if Anschutz wants teams in those markets, the odds are pretty good that his fellow NHL owners, along with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly, will see it his way.
from the Hockey News,
The scaremongers of the hockey media have been out in full force this summer, reaching a frenzied peak in early July after Philadelphia threw $52 million at Daniel Briere and the Rangers backed up the Brinks truck to the homes of both Scott Gomez and Chris Drury.
This won’t continue. And that’s not guesswork, either.
First, let’s review the facts that back up all the fears.
added 1:40pm, Spector at his Soapbox has an interesting take on this topic and I tend to lean in the direction he is pointing out.
from the Hockey News,
“I saw that all the local pros and top junior and collegiate players were skating at different arenas and at various ice times,” Vastamaki said. “I thought of bringing them all together under one roof to make the best possible summer scrimmage league in Thunder Bay and also give these guys a venue where they could actually challenge and improve themselves.”
This year’s Pro Camp headliners include all four Staal brothers; Eric, Jordan, Marc and Jared, along with Taylor and Tom Pyatt, Patrick Sharp, Trevor Letowski and Alex Auld.
Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal, in his third summer at Pro Camp, said the scrimmages are a fun and very competitive way to tune up over the summer.
In my NHL.com blog today, I choose players who fit in some categories I have come up with.
It is a spinoff of the recent Top 50 Players most of us have read.
added 5:31pm, A reader just submitted a whole new set of categories…
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