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Category: NHL-Teams

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.”

continued

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.”

continued

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.”

more

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

Exhibition Games Count For Wellwood

from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,

Tippett said players with NHL experience who are trying to get roster spots are judged on exhibition games, which start Tuesday for the Coyotes in Anaheim.

It all comes down to need.

“It’s just a matter of whether we have a need for that player with us right now,” Tippett said. “He’s been solid so far, but to judge those guys on a couple scrimmage games would be wrong. There’s young players you watch during a scrimmage game . . . We’ll have to evaluate him with how he fits with our group by the exhibition games.”

Tippett said when players such as Wellwood are battling for jobs it improves a team.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kyle+wellwood

Gaining Respect In Tampa

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

“The past two or three years, there’s been so many negative headlines about our team. I think that’s in the past now,” (Martin) St. Louis told ESPN.com. “It’s nice to be a Tampa Bay Lightning again. That means a lot.”

The reason for that optimism seemed perpetually on the move. Rookie GM Steve Yzerman chatted quietly with new owner Jeff Vinik and his management staff while watching players go through their first on-ice drills of training camp.

He met with the media.

He chatted with players and coaches.

“What Steve brings is a lot of respect back to the franchise,” St. Louis said.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Evening Line

“If anybody tells you at this time of year that they know exactly the way their team is going to look, I think they are trying to give some sense that they know a lot more than anyone else does.  I think it’s impossible to tell now.”

-Glen Sather, GM of the New York Rangers.  More from Sather by Jim Cerny at Rangers.com.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+sather

Watching Hockey In NoCal

from Roger Phillips at NHL.com,

Thirty-four years ago, the California Golden Seals skated off to Cleveland and then into oblivion, and everyone from Oakland to San Jose to San Francisco yawned, aside from what few hockey diehards existed in the region.

With that as a backdrop, it’s hard to imagine how much things have changed 10 years into the new millennium.

Saturday morning, the San Jose Sharks opened training camp at Sharks Ice—a rink with four surfaces, more than any other ice skating facility in the United States west of the Mississippi.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

With Mottau Still Available, Devils Have Options

Though Lou Lamoriello still has his work cut out to get the New Jersey Devils under the $59.4-million salary cap, one area with a little flexibility might be the blueline.

While no GM would want to give up a player like Bryce Salvador, rumored by many to be one of those moved for salary relief, knowing that an insurance policy like Mike Mottau is waiting could help ease the blow.

On Friday, Lamoriello wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a return for the former Hobey Baker-winning Boston College alum.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bryce+salvador, lou+lamoriello, mike+mottau

Would Columbus Be A Fit For Souray?

from Aaron Portzline of Puck-rakers,

The Dispatch has learned that there have been internal conversations within the Blue Jackets about trading for Souray, a three-time All-Star with record-setting power play ability and one of the most fear slap shots in the NHL.

The likely candidate to be traded by Columbus would be Mike Commodore, the club’s highest- paid defenseman.

To be clear, there is no deal on the table between the Blue Jackets and Oilers. If there have been talks between Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and Oilers GM Steve Tambellini, they have not been extensive or specific, The Dispatch has been told.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: sheldon+souray

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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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