Kukla's Korner Hockey
Adam Proteau of the Hockey News makes his Western Conference picks. Let’s look at some “bubble” teams.
9. Phoenix Coyotes
Always-Look-On-The Bright-Side Adam Says: The acquisition of Olli Jokinen adds veteran scoring power to Phoenix’s top line, while also allowing some of the pressure to be removed from the shoulders of captain Shane Doan. Meanwhile, 28-year-old Ilya Bryzgalov is just entering the prime of his career; he probably won’t get a lot of press yet again, but should be a force for the Coyotes in net for years to come….
10. Nashville Predators
Always-Look-On-The Bright-Side Adam Says: By my count, Nashville’s management duo of GM David Poile and coach Barry Trotz have been together longer than Lewis and Martin, Lewis and Clark, and many other famous old-time partnerships that kids these days have no idea about. That longevity goes a long way to explaining why the Preds continue to ice hungry teams regardless of the number of high-end stars on the roster.
read on for all of the WC picks…
from the CP via TSN,
School is nearly back in session for NHL teams.
The majority of training camps open Friday and there’s no shortage of excitement to be found around the league. Believe it or not, there might not be any team more anxious to get back at it than the defending Stanley Cup champions.
“It’s kind of like school - every kid will tell you he doesn’t like school and yet every kid’s dying to go because they want to see their friends,” Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told The Canadian Press in an interview. “The greatest thing about hockey besides the game is the interaction between the guys.
“I can tell you our guys are all excited.”
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
With the continued absence of injured Steve Sullivan, the recent defection of Alexander Radulov, the departure of Darcy Hordichuk and the news that Jed Ortmeyer will miss at least the next month — and likely longer — due to a blood clot, there are spots for the taking.
Players who haven’t seen a moment of NHL action, such as Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Jones, are being considered for some of the roles, as are American Hockey League veterans Rich Peverley, Antti Pihlstrom, Josh Gratton and Michael Ryan.
“We’ve got a lot of things to look at,” Predators General Manager David Poile said. “ … I’m always looking for that great surprise. There’s always something like that that happens in training camp.’’
from WGR 550,
The Sabres have signed forward Jason Pominville to a multi-year contract extension. The 26-year old was entering the final year of his contract, but will now be with the team long-term. Financial terms were not given.
added 3:15pm, via the Buffalo Sabres,
Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced today the Sabres have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension with right winger Jason Pominville, keeping him in Buffalo through the 2013-14 season.
from Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
Here’s a list of those who have come to camp this week hoping, in some cases against hope, for another opportunity to find themselves worthy of a smile from the Powers That Be.
Martin Gerber and Alex Auld, Ottawa Senators
Or is it Alex Gerber and Martin Auld? The Senators will try to cobble a Frankenstein goaltender out of the bits of two still-young men who separately once held great promise but can’t seem to make the pieces of their game fit. The gods wreaked havoc with goalie Ray Emery’s head last season and had so much fun that they also messed with the minds of Gerber and, in the offseason, the defense that will play in front of him. Sens GM Bryan Murray brought in Auld to provide support for the always fragile Gerber, but Auld is a bit of a mind-games victim himself.
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Hatcher’s name will appear on the roster for the first game of the season and then immediately be moved to the long-term injury list.
The move allows the Flyers to create some breathing room by subtracting his $3.5 million salary from the overall cap total and gives Hatcher time to continue trying to rehab his degenerated right knee.
from Loose Change of the Hockey News,
When you hear:
“I like the makeup of this team.”
It translates to: We really can’t hit or fight, which I think has a lot to do with that unexpected Revlon sponsorship.
“Patterson needs a couple of more weeks before he’s game ready.”
Translation: Patterson’s a whale. He sweats when he blinks.
via the St. Louis Blues,
St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that defenseman Erik Johnson injured his right knee in a non-hockey related incident and will be sidelined for the first three days of training camp.
Johnson will be re-evaluated over the weekend and his status will be updated prior to Tuesday’s preseason game with the Dallas Stars.
Montreal Canaidens coach Guy Carbonneau took part in a tele-conference today…
Q Could you talk a little bit about how Lang and Tanguay will fit into your team format?
GUY CARBONNEAU: I think their style of play will fit really well. We proved last year that we can be a good solid offensive team. We’re a team that wants to use our speed. Maybe we’re not kind of like Detroit or Dallas that wants to be a puck control team. Not that we want to get rid of it. But we want to make plays to get the puck quick out of our zone and go into the offense. And I think those two guys are going to fit really well.
from Rory Boylen of the Hockey News,
When I was thinking about what their trade negotiations for Meszaros with Ottawa GM Bryan Murray must have been like, I couldn’t help but think of one of my favorite skits from Saturday Night Live.
Len Barrie: Excuse me, sorry to interrupt your day of business. But I was just wondering something. I am Len Barrie, and this is my partner, Oren. We have too many forwards on our professional hockey team and we need a defenseman. Can you help?
Bryan Murray: Um, sorry, no. I’m not looking to make any moves at the moment.
LB: You must know we usually have lots of defense, because we have lots of money to spend. But both my partner Oren and I enjoy trying many things.
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