Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Sean Avery returns to the Garden tonight as an anti-hero. Number 16 in the Stars’ lineup understands that. What he does not understand, however, are implications from one-time teammates that the Rangers are better off without him.
“If anyone feels that I was disruptive or had my own agenda, I wish those guys would have the [guts] to say it to my face,” Avery told The Post by phone late last week. “I don’t think I was disruptive or selfish.
“All I did was give everything I had for the team, I don’t think that was a question. If my [former] teammates feel that way about me, that would certainly be very disappointing.
“I played hard for my teammates.”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
It promises to be an interesting week for the Leafs.
Up first is a home game tomorrow night against Anaheim, and much of the talk will be about Ducks GM Brian Burke and his signing with Toronto when his contract expires in July.
“It will be an opportunity for you guys (the media) to get things going,” Fletcher said. “We have to focus on what we have to do – try to beat Anaheim in a hockey game.”
While the Leafs work on their hockey skills, Fletcher will be putting his managing skills to the test. The league’s GMs meet at the end of the week in Chicago, and Trader Cliff anticipates the seeds of future deals will be planted.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Hockey fans at a sports collectibles show say they were stunned to learn that autographs at a table featuring Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano of the Edmonton Oilers cost $25….
It wasn’t clear where the money was going, but the Edmonton Sun reported that several people working the event who didn’t want to be identified confirmed that it wasn’t for charity….
Cogliano said the signing was part of his contract with AJ Sportsworld, but declined to comment further after being told not to talk to media.
Gagner, looking at the table in front of him and slumping his shoulders when asked why they’re charging fans, declined to answer.
from Mark Madden of the Beaver County Times,
If Ovechkin won’t respect Malkin’s status as a superstar, the Penguins can’t respect Ovechkin’s status as a superstar. If that means that Eric Godard does Ovechkin a favor by rearranging his face, so be it.
from Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports,
In what had been a latent war, muted by slow gains for alternative media and muffled by gimmicks like the New York Islanders’ Blog Box, David Berry is the hockey blogging equivalent of Joe the Plumber—a conversational pivot for a renewed debate.
In the process, he’s shown that the Oilers are embarrassingly behind the times when it comes to new-media acceptance. The times, in this case, being circa 1999.
Why is it some NHL teams get it and others just don’t? Maybe if they took the time out to try to understand what bloggers actually do, they would be much more receptive instead of always looking over the shoulder of a blogger.
added 7:34am, Mirtle chimes in too…
At some point, the designations become pretty unclear. If I was in the Oilers press box on an assignment for the newspaper and happened to post a little ‘how do you do’ on this site, would that be allowed? Is blogging on Oilers Nation if you’re already in the media circle okay?
added 7:38am, from Ted’s Take,
The NHL needs a big tent when it comes to coverage. We need to embrace new media and be the leaders in developing affiliates and a network that talks about our sport, our teams and our players.
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
“There is a feeling that we’re a good team and that fundamentally we have to play better,” general manager Paul Holmgren said yesterday after the team returned from the West Coast. “Two years ago we had a lot more issues with our team that we don’t have with this team.”
The problem, Holmgren said, is not the defense or the injuries.
“Right now I don’t believe we’re real committed to playing the way we need to play, he said. “I’m not sure our forwards are committed. They forgot how hard it was last year in the playoffs and they’re trying to find shortcuts.”
This start doesn’t doom the team, but it casts some serious doubt about a repeat of last year’s playoffs or even advancing to the Stanley Cup finals.
from James Duthie of TSN,
Welcome to Habapalooza. The schedule isn’t even complete yet, and already we know the Ring of Honour ceremony will be followed by (brace yourself): Builder’s Night (Oct. 28), Memorable Games in Canadiens History DVD release (Nov. 4), Patrick Roy’s sweater retirement (Nov. 22), Opening of Centennial Plaza (Dec. 4), Centennial Gala (Dec. 5), NHL All-Star Weekend (Jan 24-25), launch of the Canadiens Hall of Fame (April), NHL Draft (June 27), 8 “Vintage Jersey” games, and two “Original Six Salute” games. Oh ya, and the Stanley Cup Final* (June).
And I didn’t even get to the Special Edition Montreal Canadiens Monopoly Game, the commemorative stamps, and a special minted Habs Loonie (the only Canadian dollar that may rise in value this year).
from Mike Milbury at Blogs and Colums at CBC,
The twins are terrific players but they lack the leadership and explosiveness to be considered amongst the very elite of the game. The Canucks need a face that’s not behind a mask: a leader and an offensive powerhouse. And this is why, dollars aside, that Mats Sundin makes great sense for the Canucks and why you have to applaud Mike Gillis for his bold offer to Sundin. And if it isn’t Sundin, will it be Marian Gaborik? This is a big hole to fill and it will be a challenge to complete the task. Until they do, contender status is beyond reach.
more on Vancouver…
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
• Martin Gelinas’s goal of playing 20 NHL seasons is on hold, and he’s not going to let things drag out much longer than another couple of weeks.
He’s been skating with the University of Calgary Dinos and says he’s in great shape, but nobody’s craving a 38-year-old winger.
“I talk to my agent (Steve Kotlowicz) in Edmonton and he says ‘I’ve got nothing, I’ve got nothing’ so you get a little frustrated and you wonder if I’m just spinning my wheels,” said the former Oiler forward, who finished last year in Nashville.
• Teams are growing leery of Gaborik’s injuries and the risk that would bring to paying him something in the $9-million neighbourhood. Maybe the Montreal Canadiens will offer Chris Higgins and a hot prospect (Mac Pacioretty or Ryan McDonagh, two first-round picks in ‘07) and a first-round pick for Gaborik.
As good as Gaborik is, the face of the Wild these days might be Saku Koivu’s brother, Mikko. He’s a stud centre. And their second-best player might be Brent Burns on the back-end.
more hockey notes…
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
While it’s well within the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, the fact teams can bury their problems in the minors so that big salaries don’t count against the $56.7-million cap has GMs shaking their heads.
As training camps wound up last month, a host of players—including San Jose’s Kyle McLaren (making $2.5 million this season), Boston’s Peter Schaefer ($2.3 million) and Vancouver’s Matt Pettinger ($1.1 million)—cleared waivers and were sent to the minors.
GMs are saying privately that teams should be forced to pay for their mistakes by having demoted players count against the cap. Not everyone supports the theory, as teams still have to pay their problem players.
read on, more NHL notes and rumor talk too…
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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