Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Lord Stanley’s Blog,
Rod Brind’Amour underwent successful surgery on his left knee this morning to repair torn cartilage, but the Canes’ captain is expected to be on the ice before the team’s season opener.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Every season, I try to identify an “it” team. You know, that team that improves so much, or comes out of nowhere, etc.
Last season, I predicted the Washington Capitals would finally get back into the playoffs (so did my ESPN.com colleague Scott Burnside). OK, so it took until the final week of the regular season, but they did indeed make the big dance and were a great story around the league.
This season, I think it’s a no-brainer—the Edmonton Oilers.
from the Montreal Gazette,
With National Hockey League teams opening training camp this week, here’s a look at how the Eastern Conference teams stack up.
Stories to watch: Buffalo seemingly keeps losing players and not replacing them. Last summer, Daniel Brière and Chris Drury bolted. They shipped Brian Campbell out at the trade deadline for Steve Bernier. Bernier was traded to the Canucks for a pair of draft picks this summer. ... Will fans continue to flock to the HSBC Arena given the team’s propensity for dumping high-priced talent?
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
“It reminds a bit of two years ago when I got here,” Luongo said Monday following his first informal skate with teammates at Burnaby 8-Rinks.
“There were a lot of new faces and a lot of people didn’t know what to expect and we ended up having a great season. I get that same feeling a bit this year.
“I think guys are going to be excited to play and once we all get together and play as a team, I think we’re capable of great things.”
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
...In any event, the new Toronto bench boss turned some heads when he suggested that the fight for spots in the starting lineup on defence will be so heated at training camp this weekend that certain favourites, guys who were regulars last season, may end up starting the season with the AHL Marlies.
“If there’s one area where I think we’re fairly deep, or relatively strong, it’s on the back end,” Wilson said. “These guys are going to compete and there’s probably going to be a shock or two at the end of training camp as far as who’s not going to be here, and Cliff (Fletcher) is going to have to make some decisions as far as where people play.
“But it’s wide open and everybody will get a chance.”
Marian Hossa talks on why he chose to play for the Wings.
Watch the video below…
from Dan Martin of the NY Post,
Scott Gordon didn’t take long to make his presence known on the ice yesterday, his first day on the ice as Islanders head coach.
He stopped practice several times and with a booming voice that echoed throughout the team’s practice facility at Iceworks in Syosset, clearly let his players know when he was displeased.
“I don’t want to watch bad . . . I don’t want to watch mistakes,” said Gordon, explaining his hands-on style that was displayed in front of GM Garth Snow and team owner Charles Wang. “That’s just me. If something is done wrong I want to fix it.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
In working out the final details of Tampa Bay’s season-opening games against the New York Rangers in Prague, Czech Republic, the Lightning purposely extended the trip to give players more time to bond.
“We are not an expansion team but we have made a number of changes to our roster, and it’s imperative for us to jell as soon as possible,” Lawton said. “There is no better way to do this than in this type of environment.”
from Corey Masisek of the Washington Times,
Despite their own issues with keeping Russian players on this side of the pond, the Caps are not going to shy away from drafting a player if Moscow or St. Petersburg shows up on his passport.
Keith Smiley / The Washington Times Right wing Dmitry Kugryshev was the Caps’ latest Russian draft pick.
“Some teams like the Detroit Red Wings have a lot of Swedes. Some teams have a lot of Finns,” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We’re fortunate to have some very good Russians, and we have one that we know is going to be here for a long time.”...
“We have him, and I wouldn’t be afraid to take Russians,” Boudreau said. “If it is good enough for Alex Ovechkin, wouldn’t it be good enough for you?”
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
While many of the team draft tables around him were already empty, Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill had a name ready when it came time for the last pick of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
That final selection, commonly called Mr. Irrelevant, has turned out to be anything but irrelevant.
Defenceman Jonathan Ericsson, now the first name mentioned when it comes to the Wings’ top prospects, is the team’s most intriguing storyline heading into training this week.
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.
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