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Category: NHL-Teams

Mats Zuccarello Aasen Trying To Make The Rangers Team

from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NY Times,

Readers who have followed this blog for a few years will be familiar with Mats Zuccarello Aasen, the exciting, pint-size Norwegian Olympian now in Rangers camp trying to win a job as a right wing. Zuccarello (he’s dropped the “Aasen,” allowing his name to fit comfortably on back of his sweater) thrived in the Swedish Elitserien as part of a group of star forwards from Norway, a country not generally known for producing hockey players.

It’s much harder here,” Zuccarello said on Friday, the first day of Rangers camp. “In the Elitserien you come to camp and there are only the 20 or so players — it’s just getting ready for the season. Here you have maybe 50 players, doing tests, working to show you can be on the team.”

Zuccarello is 5-foot-7, as has been reported throughout his career. But the Rangers are listing him at 5-9, following the N.H.L. custom of inflating players’ heights.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+zuccarello+aasen

Future Stars

Some of the best players from the NHL were asked who they feel are the up and coming players.

A follow-up from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,

In our third and final piece on the impact of the infusion of young players around the NHL, let’s look at the top teams that are turning major roles and minutes over to up-and-comers.

In some respects, the nine young players below will have better situations than some of their peers who are on teams that will be battling just to get into the playoffs.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Season Thoughts

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

Monday morning thoughts about an NHL season that is just around the corner:

• ...The easy thing for Murray to do would have been to ship Spezza to another team, but what’s the message for fans if two of the team’s top players were granted a free pass out of town? Under young coach Cory Clouston, the Senators are developing into a disciplined, hard-working outfit that needs Spezza to continue to develop into a more well-rounded player.

I am predicting a big year for No. 19 this year.

• My pick for most improved player in the NHL this season is Carolina Hurricanes centre Brandon Sutter. This kid has flown under the radar, but he’s poised to have a breakout year. Thirty goals and 70 points are not out of the question… I am a big Matthew Lombardi fan, but when he is listed as his team’s No. 1 centre, that team (Nashville Predators) could be in for a long year.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Move The Puck Quicker

We now know what Craig Ramsay wants from his team.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+ramsay

Rule Changes Explained

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Officiating, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Predators Now A Quicker Team With Lombardi

from Josh Cooper of The Tennessean,

Matthew Lombardi’s stride on the ice is close to textbook perfect.

He sits in his crouch and extends his leg. As he does this, the blade never leaves the slick surface. This is exactly what coaches tell young players as they learn the fundamentals of the game, and it’s why Lombardi is one of the smoothest and quickest skaters in the NHL.

“It’s probably a longer stride. You get real low and try to generate as much strength as I can through my legs,” Lombardi said. “To be honest, I don’t really know much technique and whatnot. I just go out there and skate around.”

The Predators signed Lombardi in the offseason to boost their speed and bolster their offense. They hope he can add a new and intriguing element to their team this season.

“The first thing you always see is, ‘Wow he is really quick. He is a good skater,’ ” Predators General Manager David Poile said. “Speed is such a huge part of the game. It opens things up. It takes you from defense to offense.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: matthew+lombardi

Horton Feeling Comfortable In Boston

from Kirk Luedeke of the Hockey Journal,

From the smile on Nathan Horton’s face, you might think he knows something that everyone else doesn’t.

Or perhaps his happiness is due to the fact that after toiling in relative obscurity in the hockey backwater of Sunrise, Fla., he’s now with an Original Six franchise in the Boston Bruins with a legitimate shot at professional redemption.

Seven years after being hailed as the savior of the sagging Florida Panthers franchise, Horton has a chance to live up to the crushing expectations that came with being the third overall selection in the very deep 2003 NHL draft class.

“It’s been awesome; I couldn’t have pictured it being any better,” he said after finishing up the second training camp session at TD Garden Sunday. “It’s been great on the ice out there, and I’m just trying to do the best I can in the short time I’ve been here.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nathan+horton

Like Father, Like Son

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

For Niklas Hagman, having a father who blazed a trail from Finland to the National Hockey League was motivation enough to follow in his footsteps.

Matti Hagman was the first Finnish born and trained player to make it to the NHL — playing with the Boston Bruins, Quebec Nordiques and Edmonton Oilers in the late ’70s and early ’80s — before finishing his hockey career in his homeland

Born in 1979, Niklas Hagman was too young to remember his dad’s final NHL days in Edmonton, but he grew up in locker-rooms overseas and couldn’t deny his love for the game he was raised around.

“I pretty much grew up at the rink. I was one of the little boys that are running around in the equipment room and all that stuff when there were optional skates and guys bring their kids. I was one of them when I was small,” Hagman said Sunday after stepping onto the ice for the first time at Calgary Flames training camp after missing Saturday’s session with the flu. “I knew right away that I wanted to be a hockey player. It was a huge influence.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: niklas+hagman

James van Riemsdyk Bulks Up, Hopes To Be More Consistent

from Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

For James van Riemsdyk, it’s all about consistency.

The Flyers’ second-year left winger wants to improve his production, and it’s showing in his high-intensity performances during the first two days of training camp at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees.

“I made a really good transition [to the NHL] off the bat,” he said. “But I don’t know what it was. Maybe it could have been a little bit of mental, a little bit of physical. Towards the second half of the year, I started to struggle a little bit and maybe wasn’t as consistent as I was earlier on.”

The second overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft finished his up-and-down rookie season with 15 goals and 35 points.

Not satisfied with those numbers, van Riemsdyk spent the summer in Darien, Conn., working on his strength. He added only six pounds to his now 206-pound frame, but he bulked up.

“You could either use that experience you had to be comfortable, or get right back to work,” he said of his decision to train over the summer. “And my approach was to get right back to work.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: james+van+riemsdyk

The Bigger, Stronger Patrick Kane

from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,

This summer Kane went to work on bettering his release of the puck with the hopes of producing even bigger offensive numbers in his fourth year with the Blackhawks.

“I actually hired a guy I worked with when I was 11 or 12 years old who is really good with skills,” Kane said. “He actually helped me a lot, not only with my shot, but with the release of your shot, the way to get it off even quicker.

“We worked on skating and things like that. You’re obviously trying to get stronger and get faster. I think I made a big improvement on that last year.”

Kane’s not going to predict a 100-point season, but it’s obviously on his radar. The Hawks haven’t had a 100-point scorer since Jeremy Roenick in 1993-94.

“I’m not going to be the one to say it, but I think that’s kind of my job for the team - to produce points, create plays and create offense,” Kane said. “That’s definitely a number you want to hit, but you want to improve your all-around game - be on the ice in all situations and hopefully prove myself more.”


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

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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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