Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Tony Gallagher at Canwest via the National Post,
Now that the Stanley Cup has been awarded to the Detroit Red Wings and any emotion from any one particular game has faded, we would be remiss if we didn’t seriously ask some questions about what actually took place in that final series with respect to the officiating.
From Steve Tilley via the Ottawa Sun,
Sun Media can exclusively reveal that the high-scoring, hard-hitting Calgary Flames defenceman will be the cover athlete for NHL 09, slated for release in September for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 game consoles.
“There are always a lot of options for who we want on our cover, and Phaneuf was a perfect choice for us this year,” said David Littman, lead producer of NHL 09. As with recent years, the game is being developed at EA Canada’s sprawling studio near Vancouver.
“He was very positive, and he was pretty pumped about being able to be on the cover,” Littman said of the Edmonton-born Phaneuf, 23, who has played three standout NHL seasons so far with the Flames.
Note: If you’re the superstitious-type, here’s a recap on the “EA Sports NHL Curse” from Sports Illustrated. Perhaps Phaneuf will be one of the lucky ones.
From the Ottawa Senators via Marketwire.ca:
The National Hockey League Coaches’ Assocation and the Ottawa Senators will present the 2008 NHL Coaches’ Seminar on Thursday, June 19, at the University of Ottawa.
The clinic runs from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and participants will have the opportunity to watch, listen and learn from some of the best coaching minds the NHL has to offer. All presentations will be made by NHL coaches and will cover topics such as skill development, tactics, strategy and systems play. Participants will also receive a seminar handbook.
The day begins with presentations by the guest coaches, highlighted by a welcome from Hall Of Fame coach Scotty Bowman.
From Aaron Portzline at Puck-rakers in the Columbus Dispatch:
David Poile is the NHL’s quiet genius.
Last summer, when the Nashville Predators were being purged in advance of a franchise sale and possible relocation, Poile, the general manager, was forced to orchestrate nothing short of a fire sale.
It was the most painful time in his professional career, parting with lots of players he either drafted (Scott Hartnell, Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent) or signed as little-known free agents (Tomas Vokoun, Kimmo Timonen, etc.).
Poile, though, emerged with enough building blocks in place to carry on. He made smart trades and got commodities in return. He signed bargain-basement free agents to fill out the roster, and he continued to stress drafting and development.
Note: For more of Portzline’s off-season team breakdowns, check this KK post for numerous links
Update 7:45pm ET: More on Nashville and payroll issues at the Tennessean.
From Ansar Khan at MLive:
Wings general manager Ken Holland revealed that Johan Franzen had a subdural hematoma. It’s a form of brain injury in which blood gathers between the dura (the outer protective covering of the brain) and the arachnoid (the middle layer of the meninges). It usually results from tears in a vein. They had to wait for the blood to dissipate before clearing Franzen to play again. There is no long-term concerns. He should be fine, Holland said.
and more including updates on Chelios and McCarty
Note: Wiki’s contribution on the subject of subdural hematomas
Update 11:23am ET, June 8th: From the AP via MLive:
The Detroit Red Wings’ Johan Franzen says it was “a little bit scary” when he sustained a subdural hematoma that kept him out of six games of the NHL playoffs. He says blood pooled between his skull and brain and took two to three weeks to be absorbed.
General manager Ken Holland tells the Detroit Free Press he thinks Franzen was injured during the second-round series against Colorado.
*with thanks to a KK reader for the pointer.
Note: original post-time was 7:49pm ET, June 7th.
From Aaron Portzline at the Columbus Dispatch,
The Hockey News projects that four of the first six picks will be defensemen, which hasn’t happened since the 1982 entry draft.
In fact, no more than three defensemen have been taken among the top 10 picks in the last 10 drafts.
“This is the finest crop in the history of the draft,” said Grant McCagg, who covers the draft year-round for McKeen’s Hockey, an online news service.
“And it comes at the right time for a lot of clubs, too. There is a real shortage in the league right now when it comes to defensemen who can carry the puck. Lots of teams are looking for one or two of those guys. That makes this even more attractive.”
*Related article previously on KK
From Brian Biggane at the Palm Beach Post,
Chicago Assistant General Manager Rick Dudley, who served as Panthers GM from 2002-04, said the rules changes adopted after the lockout have made it easier for young players to succeed in the NHL.
“They don’t have to learn how to deal with the clutching and grabbing, the things wily older players developed over the course of time,” Dudley said. “Today’s game is more about speed and skill as opposed to that.”
Dudley is familiar with the group of youngsters in the Florida system and feels they might also put up significant numbers if given the chance.
“Would I be surprised if Matthias and Frolik played significant roles this year in Florida?” he asked. “I would not. We almost made the playoffs with an incredibly young group. Look at what Pittsburgh did with young guys like (Sidney) Crosby, (Evgeni) Malkin and (Marc-Andre) Fleury. Had Pittsburgh run into a clutch-and-grab team they may have had more problems.”
From Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
So, tell me: How can the New York Rangers spend the $4.5-5M it will surely take to land Pittsburgh’s heavy-hitting impending free agent defenseman Brooks Orpik following his breakout tournament, when it likely will cost around the same $5M per to re-sign Michal Rozsival ?
Yes, Rozsival had a disappointing season. But factor in mitigating circumstances - not excuses - that featured a wonky knee, an insecure response to playing out his contract and collateral concern over partner and friend Marek Malik’s downward spiral out of the lineup. Now weigh those against the upside Rozsival displayed the previous two seasons, and most notably in the 2007 playoffs. Is Glen Sather not wiser to pony up for No. 3 rather than get into a bidding war for Orpik . . . if he even hits the market, that is?
Update 1:13pm ET: Patrick Hoffman at The Hockey News has more on Rangers off-season issues, with a focus on Sean Avery.
From George Sipple at the Free Press,
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland will be on the golf links soon, but he has some business to take care of the next few days. Holland hopes to meet with goaltender Dominik Hasek and forward Dallas Drake to gauge their interest in returning next season before he leaves for Thursday’s NHL awards show in Toronto.
Holland also will talk with defenseman Chris Chelios, who needs to have his injured knee scoped in the off-season.
“I have every intention of coming back,” Chelios said. “It’s never been a money issue, so we’ll figure it out and hopefully we’ll be back in this stall again.”
From Kent Youngblood at the Star-Tribune,
Winger Branko Radivojevic, who spent the past two seasons with the Wild, has signed a two-year deal to play with Spartak in the Russian Premiere League.
Radivojevic came to the Wild from Philadelphia as a free agent before the 2006-07 season. In two seasons in Minnesota he totaled 18 goals and 41 points, becoming one of the team’s most reliable checking forwards.
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