Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: NHL-Teams

All Patrick Kane

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Q: Nobody’s won back-to-back Stanley Cups since the Red Wings did it back in 1997 and ’98. You’re going to have to deal with the effects of all the players that you lost [due to salary cap pressure], plus the effects of that short summer. Do you think maybe some of the changes actually help you because it puts a lot of hungry hockey players into your lineup, all of whom want to win their first championships?

A: That’s what we’re kind of noticing now. You talk to somebody like [new No. 1 goalie] Marty Turco. We’re all excited about winning the Stanley Cup. He’s excited about winning one this upcoming year. He’s so enthusiastic about the season. He wants to get back on top of his game, he wants to be a big part of the team. … Sometimes, you talk to a guy like that and it just gives you motivation to get back on the ice and want to do it for him because you were in the same position last year.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane

The Top Defensive Pairing In LA

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

When you see them on the ice together as a pairing, you wonder if you aren’t watching the makings of one of the NHL’s great defensive tandems for the 2010-11 season.
Free-agent newcomer Willie Mitchell was again skating alongside blueliner phenom Drew Doughty at Kings training camp Monday, a fit that makes so much sense.

“Mitchell and Doughty—I really like the look,” Kings coach Terry Murray said Monday between on-ice sessions at the team’s practice facility. “A great veteran player in Mitchell, a defensive guy whose really a solid character person, is going to help push Doughty along.”

Mitchell, the towering, shutdown D-man, plus Doughty, the offensive wizard and puck-mover and ... voila! You have the Kings’ top pairing.

“A perfect fit for a guy like Doughty,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi told ESPN.com on Monday.

Lombardi’s eyes rarely shifted away from the ice surface while he discussed his team with ESPN.com. His excitement for the Mitchell signing is unmistakable; so much so that, while he would never say it out loud, I’m convinced Lombardi would be more excited about signing Mitchell even if Ilya Kovalchuk would have become a King this summer. Seriously.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Turnaround in Tampa Starts at the Top

Before a single tweak to the roster, the Tampa Bay Lightning were already poised for improvement in 2010-11. With the tumultuous era of previous ownership already behind them when the sale of the team to Jeff Vinik was completed late last season, gone in an instant were any and all off-ice concerns and the circus went back to being an annual visitor to the St. Pete Times Forum rather than a permanent resident. With the appointment of Steve Yzerman as general manager, credibility returned to the franchise and new head coach Guy Boucher was widely regarded as the hottest commodity on the off-season coaching market.

Without a solitary player move, hockey life in Tampa was good again.

But far be it from Yzerman to rest on the comfort that fans surely feel by him simply not being one of those other guys. The addition of former Flyers forward Simon Gagne headlines a list of shrewd off-season maneuvers for the rookie GM and the revamped roster could very well translate to the sort of on-ice success that will make Lightning followers quickly forgot about three non-playoff seasons gone by.

 

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+tanguay, andrej+meszaros, antero+niittymaki, antti+niemi, blair+jones, brad+richards, brett+clark, brett+connolly, carter+ashton, cedrick+desjardins, chris+durno, dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, dominic+moore, dustin+tokarski, eric+perrin, guy+boucher, james+wright, jaroslav+janus, jeff+vinik, johan+harju, kevin+quick, khl, kurtis+foster, lady+byng+trophy, marc+pouliot, mark+barberio, mark+parrish, martin+st.+louis, matt+lashoff, matt+walker, mattias+ohlund, mike+smith, mitch+fadden, nate+thompson, nhl+awards, nhl+previews, niklas+persson, paul+szczechura, pavel+kubina, radko+gudas, randy+jones, richard+panik, riku+helenius, rocket+richard+trophy, ryan+craig, ryan+malone, sean+bergenheim, sidney+crosby, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, stephane+veilleux, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, teddy+purcell, training+camp, traverse+city+prospects+tournament, ty+wishart, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier, vladimir+mihalik, zenon+konopka

Watching The Flames

from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,

While the media has been skeptical about the direction of the club throughout the summer and into the fall, it’s evident city-wide support of the club is still on the up-and-up.

If you couldn’t tell by the full parking lot outside the northeast rink, you could see it in the eyes of jersey-wearing parents and kids dotting the railings alongside scouts, scribes and even GM Darryl Sutter.

Clinging to free lineup sheets they picked up at the front door, they oohed with every shot and awed with every save as part of a memorable afternoon of hockey hooky.

They cheered when Jay Bouwmeester found himself on the opposition’s goal-line, slapping home a rebound and they roared when Miikka Kiprusoff kicked out a tester.

The highlight of the early-afternoon affair came when the top trio of supposed saviours — Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Olli Jokinen — combined for a nifty goal.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Pietrangelo Appears To Be NHL Ready

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has high hopes for the development of his young team and wants to send every signal to prospects in the organization that a job is theirs to be had.

“We’re not looking at (veteran tryouts). We really want to give the opportunity to the players in our organization. I don’t want to muddy the waters,” Armstrong told Sporting News. “Right now, we’ve given them the opportunity to know they’re coming into training camp with spots to earn and I don’t want to take that away from them.”

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is ready to seize that opportunity.

Last week, Pietrangelo wrapped up his third prospects tournament in Traverse City. He did it in an impressive way, scoring a goal on a big shot from the point in what should be the 20-year-old’s final game as a prospect in northern Michigan.

Talk to enough people and consensus becomes clear that the 6-3 Pietrangelo is the most NHL-ready of any player in the tournament. And really, he should be.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+pietrangelo

Long Time No See

via Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini was sitting in media row at Millenium Place when Sportsnet’s Louie DeBrusk strolled in.

He mistook Tambellini for one of the media members, slapped him on the back and made some comment that can’t all be repeated but suffice to say the colour man turned a slight shade of red when he realized it was Tambellini.

As for Tambellini, he just said: “Didn’t you used to work for us?”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Yzerman Has Positive Comments When It Comes To Winnipeg And The NHL

from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,

Count Steve Yzerman among those who believes the NHL would be wise to return to Winnipeg somewhere down the line.

The new general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning spoke glowingly of the possibility on Monday, just a few days before his club hosts the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in an NHL pre-season game at the MTS Centre Wednesday night.

“I think the current CBA is favourable to small-market teams and a city like Winnipeg, I’m quite confident they could fill their building,” Yzerman said in a telephone interview. “I don’t know the details of it all, but I think Winnipeg could be a good option for the NHL to put a team into.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+yzerman

Expect A Big Year From Joe Thornton

from Nabil Karim of CBC,

So San Jose’s management team has some big time questions to answer.

Does the organization believe Thornton has exorcised his playoff demons? In the twilight of his career, can he deliver consistently for multiple seasons? And what is the right price to pay for number 19?

It will all make for some interesting storylines to follow in California this season.

Will San Jose sign Thornton early on to squash the distraction? Or do they gamble and play out the year to see how Thornton and the Sharks fair this season?

Will Sharks’ general manager Doug Wilson trade Thornton at the deadline to get valuable assets in return, or lose him for nothing in the off-season?

It’s a tough decision to make with any player. It’s even more difficult with a player of Thornton’s calibre and worth.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: joe+thornton

All The Good Guys

from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,

Still, the opening day of training camp is generally a feel-good type of deal, with optimism for the upcoming season running high and Wilson not yet agitated by the Toronto media.

When Wilson finally does make an appearance, he’s immediately surrounded, and a blond bombshell opens the questioning with: “Another season begins. Are you excited about today, medical day?”

Nobody’s sure how Wilson, a noted wisenheimer, is going to respond, but it’s clear that the coach is in a relaxed frame of mind when he refrains from answering with something like: “Yeah, there’s nothing more exciting than watching a guy ride an exercise bike in his pyjamas.”...

Team captain Dion Phaneuf, who spoke to the media during informal workouts in Toronto during the week, pops out and asks if anyone needs him (clearly with the hope that nobody does).

One reporter, and one reporter only, says, yes, he needs to ask him one question. Phaneuf steps over to the question area and, suddenly, is surrounded by 16 or so media types, and quickly the one question turns into many questions.

At one point , Phaneuf reveals that Phil Kessel is “a good guy.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Habs release five from camp

No surprises here, although interesting to note that Louis Leblanc and Jarred Tinordi are still in camp (see the press release below).

Reports so far have been that Ian Schultz has looked quite good in camp, although it would take a lot for him to threaten a veteran’s roster spot. No big noise yet from Ben Maxwell or any of the other seasoned Bulldogs pushing for a role on the Habs.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ben+maxwell, ian+schultz, jarred+tinordi, louis+leblanc, training+camp

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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