Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
The Rangers might want to get Brendan Shanahan in uniform, at least for opening night. He and Cam Neely share the NHL record with hat tricks in two different season opening games, Shanny’s coming in St. Louis in 1993 and Detroit in 2001. He’s just about due again.
more hockey bits…
from Mick Kern at the NHL Home Ice Blog,
Everyone thinks his or her man should be included in a list of top goaltenders. Red Wings’ fans are easily riled when Chris Osgood is not included in any Top Five list for last year, yet these are the same folk who weren’t all that enamoured with him during his first tour-of-duty in Detroit. Similar passions are stirred when the likes of Tim Thomas doesn’t crack the Top Ten, or Twenty.
Trying to come up with the Top Thirty N.H.L. Goaltenders of All-Time meant that some very good netminders were not going to make the cut. So many different factors went into determining these rankings.
“I think we need to give him some breathing room right now to see if the change is going to affect him positively or negatively. We’re going to find that out within the first month and from there we’ll have a plan which way to go from.
“I really believe Patty Marleau is going to have a really good year. I think he’s excited about a fresh start and we have to let that evolve a little bit. I can’t be in his kitchen on an hourly basis. We have to let him breathe and let him play his game.”
-Sharks coach Todd McLellan on Patrick Marleau. More on Marleau by David Pollak at Working the Corners.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
If you’ve ever seen the “Seinfeld” episode where the manager of the Chinese restaurant keeps telling Jerry and friends they will be seated in “Oh, five, 10 minutes,” you know how the Lightning, and especially hockey ops chief Brian Lawton, felt Sunday morning….
The person in charge of the charter, a Czech gentleman who spoke with a thick English accent and was receiving phone calls every 30 seconds, it seemed, assured Lawton the plane would be coming, and he really said this, in five or 10 minutes. He said there was a maintenance issue and the plane was parked at another terminal.
Well, five or 10 minutes go by and Lawton asks again. This time he is told seven minutes. Seven minutes later, we’re told, I’m not kidding, five or 10 minutes. On the next go-round, the Czech Airlines guy says he has word from the control tower that the plane is on the move. How long will it take to arrive? No joke, five or 10 minutes. He scurries out of the office to take yet another phone call.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
The Oilers Dustin Penner has just a bit of Mahovlich in his game, but it’s enough that it’s worth mentioning….
Penner does have Mahovlich-like reach and range, something that 6-foot, 5-inch Petee, the Little M, employed to his great advantage for the Montreal Candiens as a penalty killer, and something we should see more of from Penner if he continues to kill penalties this year, as he has been doing in the preseason.
Big, mobile guys with long reaches, such as Big Pete, such as Penner, present huge obstacles on all parts of the ice for power play specialists, much more so than little guys like, say, Todd Marchant.
from Dan Wood at Ducks Blog,
Right wing Teemu Selanne is scheduled to be in the Ducks’ lineup for Sunday’s 5 p.m. exhibition game against the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center after signing a two-year, $5.25 million contract earlier in the day.
Two years? Perhaps next summer, unlike the past two, we won’t have to endure persistent and ridiculous Internet rumors that Selanne is headed to play in Montreal, Dallas, Sweden, Russia, Timbuktu or wherever else….
The signing of Selanne once again pushes the Ducks above the NHL’s $56.7 million salary ceiling for this season, by about $1.225 million…
The Ducks’ current salary-cap projection includes having rookie winger Bobby Ryan on the NHL roster, which isn’t a given, but appears more likely than not. Were the Ducks to assign Ryan to their American League affiliate, the Iowa Chops, the Ducks would slide more than $500,000 beneath the cap with that move alone.
added 7:03pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The pertinent numbers: Selanne will earn $3.25 million in the first year of the deal and $2 million in the second. It’s a total package of $5.25 million, with no performance bonuses, so the annual salary-cap charge is $2.625 million – reasonable by today’s standards for a player of Selanne’s caliber, who will play in the Ducks’ top six.
Presumably, the Ducks are convinced of his commitment too, because if Selanne decides not to play next year, they take a salary-cap hit anyway (a function of his being over the age of 35).
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
BERLIN—It looks like the NHL is going for reinforcements in its European invasion.
With four teams in Europe to kick off the 2008-09 regular season this week it’s possible that number could double next fall, the head of the National Hockey League’s Players’ Association, Paul Kelly, said Sunday.
The number of teams taking part in what is now a two-year tradition of starting the regular season in Europe will grow next fall to six teams presumably in three cities and maybe as many as eight teams, Kelly said before the Tampa Bay Lightning faced off against Berlin in an exhibition game Sunday.
from Cris Kuc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
First, veteran goalie Nikolai Khabibulin will not play tonight. He had been scheduled to see his first action of the preseason. Savard’s explantation for the switch was the team wanted to get a good look at free-agent signee Antti Niemi.
With rumors of the Hawks looking to move Khabibulin since the signing of Cristobal Huet, there’s always cause for a pause when a change is made without a definitive explanation. If something is going on, it makes you wonder if it wouldn’t be better to see Khabibulin in the lineup so teams can take a look at him.
more on Chicago…
from the San Jose Sharks,
Team Teal wasn’t quite up to snuff in the first two periods, falling behind 3-0 and taking way too many penalties. They rallied in the third with an impressive final stanza, but it was too little too late.
“The team wasn’t prepared and it’s squarely on my shoulders and on the leadership’s shoulders,” said McLellan. “We had a little discussion between the second and the third. We had to manufacture a moment to get them going and that was unacceptable.”
from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,
NHL players certainly are not immune. Eventually, the rush of speeding up ice, the sensation of delivering a hard body check, the thrill of scoring a big goal or making an important save and the jolt of energy felt from the home crowd fades, ultimately disappearing to memory.
Most face the end of their careers either seeing that they’re unable to keep up with younger players or having someone make the decision for them. Some are lucky to call it a day on their own terms.
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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