Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports,
It’s been reported that Toronto is offering two first-round picks and a third-rounder for Kessel.
One source said that offer is now the two first-rounders, a second-rounder and a player – although Burke denied that by e-mail Tuesday night.
As for the player, I can’t get confirmation, so I’m not going to guess.
At least one other team isn’t giving up hope.
It’s been a four days since Nashville’s David Poile admitted his interest. Since then, he hasn’t spoken to his Boston counterpart.
“Nothing is happening ... I don’t know where it stands,” the Predators GM said Tuesday afternoon.
“But we’re interested. Who wouldn’t be?”
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
“There’s pressure there with the team we have on paper,” 24-year-old Flyers captain Mike Richards said after a spirited practice in Voorhees, N.J., yesterday. “Pressure to perform. Everybody around us has those expectations. You feel it.
“What we’re going to do with those is still to see.”
So begins the latest chapter of Flyers hockey, the latest effort to reconnect to the consecutive championship seasons of the mid-1970s, the way the Phillies last October finally bridged to 1980. Great players have come and gone, but the pattern of early promise morphing into lingering doubt has marked this franchise like a witch’s wart, and as the team plays its first preseason game at Detroit tonight, we approach that precipice again.
Is this a team on the brink of a Stanley Cup?
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
When I say I want two young defensemen on the team, I’m thinking of them as six-seven,” Tortorella said hours before the Blueshirts dropped last night’s preseason opener to the Bruins, 2-1, at the Garden.
“I think it’s asking way too much of rookie defensemen to play them together as a unit. Plus, the way we’re set up with Marc [Staal] and Danny [Girardi] being young enough themselves, I’m not sure it would be best to add two more kids to that mix, at least at the start.
“What I’m hoping is that a veteran defenseman might become available as things shake out during camp who we can have on our third pair with one of our kids, while we carry another as a seventh,” Tortorella said. “If it works out that a young player were sitting out too much, we’d send him to Hartford [AHL] to play games, but having kids at six-seven is the way I’d like to start, if possible.”
Henrik Lundqvist talks about his Bauer equipment.
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post,
...as more people turn to Twitter to keep in touch with friends and follow their favorite celebrities, impostor accounts are becoming a concern for image-conscious athletes and causing confusion for others.
“My buddy Googled my name a while back, and he stumbled across [the fake account],” Schultz said. “He asked, ‘Do you have a Twitter account?’ I was like: ‘No.’ The fans, I’m sure, all know about it. What if someone puts up the wrong thing? People might get the wrong impression of the type of person you are or the things you do in your free time.”
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
More than two decades after honing his picturesque skating style in the rinks of Minnesota, Bret Hedican is hanging up his skates.
Hedican, the former North St. Paul High and St. Cloud State star, will officially announce his retirement today after 17 seasons as one of the NHL’s smoothest-skating defensemen.
“Looking back, I remember [former North Stars and Blues defenseman] Curt Giles saying my first year, ‘Bret, enjoy every day because it’s going to go by really quick,’” Hedican, 39, said by phone from Alamo, Calif., where he lives with his wife (Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi) and two daughters. “I remember thinking that’s crazy. Now looking back at my 17 years, man, it flew by. I’m really happy at my career and have no regrets.”
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Evgeni Malkin wants more. A lot more.
The Penguins’ prolific center thinks about piling up the trophies every time he looks at his hands. It has nothing to do with how soft those big paws are on shots or passes.
He just sees possibilities that make the team’s successful Stanley Cup run last season one to grow on.
“That was last year,” Malkin said this week as training camp got under way. “I want to win one more time, two, three more times. I have 10 fingers on my hands, and I want to win 10 times. Why not?
“I want to win a couple more trophies, a Hart Trophy. We have a good chance to win. Why not? We’re young kids.”
from Brian Compton of NHL.com,
Just three years after drafting Jonathan Toews with the third pick and less than 48 months following the No. 1 selection of Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks found themselves in the Western Conference Finals. As they enter the 2009-10 season, the word “rebuild’ isn’t even a part of the Hawks’ vocabulary. These days, Kane believes only two words should be used.
“It’s probably (Stanley) Cup or bust this year, and that’s what we want,” Kane told NHL.com. “I think you’ve got to play for those expectations. The better you get, the more the expectations are going to grow. Expectations are probably to the ceiling, but that’s the way it should be. That’s the way we want it.”
from Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic,
...the beleaguered Coyotes took the ice for Tuesday night’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings with Ulf Samuelsson directing traffic from behind the bench. Gretzky probably was wishing he could watch his team from afar, except the Coyotes don’t have a television contract yet.
That’s too bad. Gretzky should’ve seen how pathetic it all looked inside Jobing.com Arena, with tiny pockets of loyal fans scattered throughout a giant hockey palace. The low turnout was expected yet ominous. The Coyotes didn’t spend a dime on preseason advertising, not with all of the uncertainty in the air. And maybe if the Great One saw it, he would’ve felt twinges of shame.
“Wayne . . . we’ve had regular communication,” Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said. “He’s in a very difficult position contractually.”
No doubt, it’s tough being the Great One.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Igor Larionov, the only player in the Hockey Hall of Fame to ever wear a Sharks’ jersey, is spending a couple days in San Jose at Coach Todd McLellan’s invitation.
“Igor and I created a friendship in Detroit,” McLellan said. “I asked him if he’d like to come out and spend some days with us in training camp. I think bringing the alumni back, especially of his stature, is real valuable. He’s got a very unique hockey mind and I like to bounce some ideas off of him.”
Larionov, who said he and his family have moved back to Detroit from Southern California so his 11-year-old son could participate in a stronger hockey program, said he and McLellan were at the rink at 6 a.m., going over video.
more plus other Sharks topics…
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