Kukla's Korner Hockey
The off-ice action will soon pick up. Read about at my NHL.com blog today.
added 10:25am, Kane and Toews alsd visited ESPN SportsCenter. Watch the video below…
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
The weather is warming up in Montreal, the jazz festival starts soon, and here’s what I was asked by three store clerks who recognized me on the weekend:
“Should the Canadiens keep Jaroslav Halak or Carey Price/”
And the HIO hockey genius answered: “Man, do I LOOK like Pierre Gauthier?”
I don’t. For one thing, I’ve got 100 pounds easy on the Canadiens vegetarian, ultra health-conscious general manager.
But that doesn’t count the weighty decisions he has to make over the next few weeks.
So tell us, Commentariat, what should Gauthier do?
from Dirk Hoag of On The Forecheck,
With Blake Geoffrion expected to sign his entry-level NHL contract soon, the Nashville Predators are going to welcome the most heralded rookie in franchise history….
When he eventually makes his debut with the Nashville Predators, he will become a 4th-generation NHL player. His father Danny was a 1st-round draft choice by the Montreal Canadiens and played three seasons with various teams, while his grandfather (Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion) and great-grandfather (Howie Morenz) stand among the all-time titans of the sport….
Has anyone ever entered the world of professional sports with such an accomplished family tree, and the personal awards to back it up?
from Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Daily News,
When they begin Year 36 A.C. with training camp in September, the Flyers will try to reverse a disturbing hex on the Cup loser. In the last 40-plus years, just two teams have returned to win the championship. The Penguins did it last year, Edmonton did it in 1984 and that’s it for the expansion era. Those teams had Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky, respectively. They also knew who their goaltenders were going to be.
The Flyers’ No. 1 goalie might not even be on their roster right now. Michael Leighton is an unrestricted free agent coming off a disappointing final series against Chicago. Brian Boucher is a backup at this stage of his career. Johan Backlund, 29 in July, has as many wins in the NHL (zero) as former wrestling star Bob Backlund.
While saying that “Michael has given himself every opportunity to be considered a No. 1,” Laviolette pointed out that general manager Paul Holmgren makes the personnel decisions. Of his goaltenders, Holmgren said the other day only that, “We’re going through a careful evaluation process.”
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
I think all our contracts are pretty good,” general manager Ken Holland said Monday. “Put our players on the open market, they’d get what they make—or in some cases get more than what they make.”
Beginning today, NHL teams can buy out the contracts of players they no longer want. Players over 26 are bought out at two-thirds of the remaining amount, while younger ones get one-third. In both scenarios teams get double the time remaining to absorb the hit to the salary cap, meaning if a player has two years left, they can spread the dollar amount out over four years.
The Wings haven’t used buyouts since 2005, when the newly instituted salary cap forced teams to drastically whittle payrolls.
more on the Wings…
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
While Phaneuf repeatedly said during his coronation he won’t change anything now that he’s captain, Wilson has already cautioned Phaneuf that he may have to tone down his vocal presence.
“A woodpecker gets annoying after a while,” said Wilson. “We hear (Phaneuf) all the way down in the coaches’ office. Over 82 games, that can wear people down.”
The 25-year-old defenceman is blunt to a fault. The way some explain it, just like it was always Manny just being Manny, sometimes Dion is just Dion. He’s shocked to find things he says rub others the wrong way.
Before, Phaneuf could shrug and be the rebel. Now, he has to care. He’s the captain, and for all the players, some of whom won’t necessarily want to follow his every lead or make anything close to his $7 million salary next season.
All the goals, hits and saves from the matchup between Chicago and Philadelphia.
from Bob Verdi of Blackhawks.com,
The Blackhawks couldn’t wait to win the Stanley Cup for themselves or their fans. The 35-pound silver jug is coming to an establishment near you, because that is the creed of hockey players. They have this inherent quality about them, an earthy and genuine side. They stand for more than the National Anthem, and that’s what separates them from the pack.
Fans have lost faith in so many of their sports heroes. The pedestal exists no more. You still like the games, but not so often the athletes who play them. Hockey people are different, though, always have been. And when they win a Stanley Cup and want you to share it, that’s why you can’t move on a Friday in June in downtown Chicago. You just show up to return the commitment you’ve been shown, by the men and women who work for the Blackhawks and the boys of winter who made it happen, a home parade televised locally.
It was quite a story, and not just a hockey story. It was about mutual admiration, another direct descendant of respect
from Stu Hackel of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
Every Sunday on TSN, the host Dave Hodge convenes a panel of sports reporters to review the week on “The Reporters,” and unlike ESPN’s Sunday morning “Sports Reporters” show, the TSN program regularly discusses hockey. After the half-hour program, Hodge leads his panel in an extra segment that is seen on TSN’s Web site, and this week’s “Reporters via Podcast” episode expanded on a point Hodge made during the telecast’s discussion of the just-concluded final (video), as he asked the question, “Was this the best season for hockey ever?” (video)
In the show and on the podcast, Hodge submitted the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, alongside the tournament during the Vancouver Games and the world junior tournament as evidence supporting the greatness of 2009-10.
Damien Cox of The Toronto Star agreed, saying the season had “a bit of everything,” including the Coyotes’ remarkable turnaround, the head shot debate and a down-to-the-wire race for top scorer and top goal scorer.
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 email@example.com