Kukla's Korner Hockey
There isn’t a team in the National Hockey League has been run more successfully over the last 15 years than the Detroit Red Wings, and the team proved its worth on and off the ice once again last spring, winning their fourth Stanley Cup in 11 seasons.
And they have what it takes to do it again this season.
No team has won back-to-back Stanley Cups since the Wings did it in 1997 and 1998, but this year’s addition of the team - which kept the core of its lineup intact over the summer and even made some dramatic improvements - doesn’t seem to have any obvious weaknesses on paper.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
Center Kevyn Adams, who played 27 games with the Hawks last season, and left wing Geoff Sanderson, who appeared in 41 games with the Edmonton Oilers, have been invited to training camp, which begins Sept. 20. Tallon said “there’s a good possibility” Adams will be re-signed to add leadership and strong defense as a fourth-line center.
“It’s time to give our kids a good opportunity,” Tallon said. “We have Kontiola, Bolland and we can put [Patrick] Sharp [at center]. We have a lot of depth [and] we feel we wanted to go younger. Lang was good for us, but I’m confident those kids are ready.”
The departure of Lang, who has recorded at least 50 points in eight consecutive seasons, puts a dent in the Hawks’ offense, which will be counting on the healthy return of winger Martin Havlat from shoulder surgery. He played just 35 games in ‘07-08.
from Wayne Fish of phillyBurbs,
This season’s short training camp should at least afford the Flyers a chance to tinker with a new first line: Namely, center Daniel Briere moving to right wing alongside Mike Richards.
Coach John Stevens tried this alignment late in the conference finals against Pittsburgh last May and the reviews were generally good.
Now, with Simon Gagne returning from concussion leave, a Gagne-Richards-Briere unit looks like a natural.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
Lang will be reunited in Montreal with Alex Kovalev, with whom he enjoyed great productivity in Pittsburgh. In his best NHL season, Lang scored 32 and assisted on 48 more in 2000-01 with the Penguins; linemate Kovalev had a career-high 44 goals and 51 assists that year.
“Montreal is a great hockey town and you can’t really be in a better place to play,” Lang said. “Alex and I had a great time together in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, we can revisit (that) chemistry.”
He sees his role as that of an experienced skater who will be “a good fit (on a club with) a lot of talent, speed, excitement and skill.”
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Ducks General Manager Brian Burke said Friday from his Anaheim office that he and his King counterpart, Dean Lombardi, have discussed a trade “but nothing lines up yet.”
Lombardi, reached at the Kings’ training base in El Segundo, wouldn’t confirm he had talked to the Ducks. Speaking generally, he said he’s still looking for an experienced defenseman and has been getting a lot of phone calls from fellow GMs.
“I’m a fairly popular guy because I have all this space and a lot of teams are pushing the cap,” he said.
“I’ve always said there are three levels of deals—kick the tires, matching needs and the finer strokes. We have a number of things at level B but we’re still not quite there. Something can always come up during camp. We’re OK right now.”
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
In his year and a half with Saint-Hyacinthe of the Quebec-based North American Hockey League, Sean McMorrow racked up an eye-popping, knuckle-bruising 693 penalty minutes.
He had 87 fights in 48 games last season, and is now trying to earn a job with the Edmonton Oilers.
“My first year of pro, I played with the Rochester Americans and I lead the AHL that year in fights with 41,” McMorrow said. “I never thought I would get more than that.
If you want to check out some of the fights Sean has been involved in, check out this YouTube page.
from the New York Rangers,
Question: What does it mean for the Rangers to be playing NHL games on the European continent?
Lundqvist: I think it’s good for the game and for the league. We have a lot of fans in Europe. With the time difference in the U.S., sometimes it’s hard to follow it. But I mean now you can pretty much watch every NHL game. When I was growing up, you couldn’t watch the games that much. So, it’s definitely good.
Question: Will the games in Prague be emotional for you personally because you’ll playing in Europe?
Lundqvist: Well, maybe it would be if I played in my home in Sweden, especially in Gothenburg. Playing in Prague I think it’s going to be fun, but it’s not going to be the same feeling…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So now, after a 111-day off-season, training camps for the 2008-09 season are about to get under way. The four teams that will open the season in Europe in the fall (Pittsburgh, the Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning) will start early next week; the rest of the league will follow on Friday. What’s new? What’s worth monitoring? Lots, but no storylines are more compelling than these 10.
1. The Lightning soap opera. Not since the days of Harold Ballard has an ownership group so captivated the NHL as those two wild and craaaaazy guys in Tampa, Oren Koules and Len Barrie. In less than six months on the job, they’re more well-known than two dozen of the corporate types who own the other teams in the league.
from the Buffalo News,
Sabres.com, which will be linked to the NHL Web site, NHL.com, also will have a feature that enables fans to call up every goal scored in every Sabres game and eventually every player shift or hit.
The online expansion could be bad news for local TV sports departments, which generally show the goals in each game. Viewers with a high speed internet connection won’t have to wait for the sports reports to see the goals.
In addition, the Sabres plan to put morning skates and interviews with coach Lindy Ruff online on game days. It also will introduce the team’s new jersey Sept. 20 online when it carries the Puck Drop festivities surrounding the first day of training camp.
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
After one season on Broadway, Gomez is settled. “Last year, I didn’t have my apartment ready; it was New York and all,” he said. “Now you know what to expect, how the fans are going to react. I’m not the new guy anymore.”
Just one with more responsibility.
“It’s a big year for a lot of us,” he said. “Talking to Chris and the guys all summer, the pressure’s on . . . The way we finished [losing in the second round of the playoffs] is still there, so it’s a big challenge. We’ve got to step up. We’ve got to be at our best.”
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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