Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Frei of All Things Colorado Sports at the Denver Post,
Do I think the Avalanche should be considering taking measures to upgrade in goal? Absolutely. And they should be considering that possibility, whether it’s the drastic step of using all the available cap space (and a little more) to land Khabibulin or anything else. (Budaj to Chicago as Huet’s backup to clear the cap room and give Chicago a No. 2? Well, that would make sense except for the fact that Budaj would be playing for Joel Quenneville, which raises all sorts of issues.)
But for now, Budaj’s far from the only problem.
via Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
Jack Johnson was expected to be out until after the all-star break, as he recovers from surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his shoulder, but Johnson’s recovery is going faster than expected and he might return a month ahead of schedule. That could put him in line for a late-December return, but that depends on his continued progress.
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
It’s hard to believe it was 16 years ago that Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne and St. Louis Blues center Keith Tkachuk were part of a tremendous rookie class with the former Winnipeg Jets….
“I’m glad I had the opportunity to go through that first season with him,” Tkachuk said. “It was one of the most phenomenal things I’ve ever seen. He was outstanding. No one knew anything about him. He just came in and dominated. No one could keep up with his speed, and everything he touched, everything he shot, went in.”
Brian Kamenetzky at SportsHubLA has a new podcast out:
To gain more insight into the Ducks, I spoke with Hall of Fame hockey writer Helene Elliott of the LA Times. Among other topics, we talked about Anaheim’s lack of a reliable fourth defenseman behind Pronger, Niedermayer, and Francois Beauchamin, their future under GM Brian Burke, and the possibility of bringing in Mats Sundin.
Check it out here. Notable is Elliott’s contention that she doesn’t feel Sundin is the guy to put the Ducks over the top this season. Sundin talk starts at about the 9 minute mark.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
There is a rather delicious irony in the fact the Phoenix Coyotes are scheduled to host the Florida Panthers Saturday night.
Barring an injury, Olli Jokinen of the Coyotes will play his 735th career game that night against his former team. That appearance will eclipse the all-time dubious NHL record, currently held by former Panthers assistant coach Guy Charron, for most NHL career games played without appearing in a playoff game.
Charron wasn’t aware of the impending history when contacted by The Hockey News Wednesday morning and it’s clear it’s an aspect of his playing career he has grown weary of discussing.
From Darren Dreger at TSN:
Veteran free-agent forward Glen Murray will have additional ankle surgery on November 11th. It’s the same ankle that was surgically repaired in Boston in April.
This follow up surgery, according to Murray’s agent Anton Thun is to repair a secondary injury that Murray did not become fully aware of until September when he started to feel pain.
Following initial surgery at the end of last season, the Boston Bruins opted to buy the 35-year old Murray out of the final year of his contract, paying two-thirds, or $2.76 million of the $4.1 million owing.
Murray is physically unable to play and because the secondary injury was discovered after the buyout he and Thun are conducting an investigation to prove this injury is pre-existing and should have prohibited the Bruins from buying him out.
Dreger also states that Murray will be filing a grievance with the NHLPA.
from Eric Stephens at NHL.com,
Goodbye, Los Angeles. Hello, San Jose.
“To be honest with you, I knew I wanted to play after last season,” (Rob) Blake said. “I started to feel better over the summer and I wanted to continue to play. When the option wasn’t there with L.A., I had to look elsewhere. With San Jose being in close proximity, but also being a very hungry team, I looked at it and thought it would be a good fit.
“When I had to look elsewhere, it was ‘Where do I think I can go that has the most opportunity to win?’ At this stage, I follow that.”
from Scott Morrison of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
Okay, we’ve already turned the page on the first month of the NHL season, which is time enough for some patterns to develop.
But will they last?
Meaning, some teams you expected to be near the top of the conference standings are and some teams you expected to be at the bottom haven’t disappointed, either.
For instance, despite a coaching change in San Jose, it figured the Sharks would be strong. Same with the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.
In the East, the New York Rangers, at least until they were upended by the Maple Leafs, were on a mighty roll. It figured they would be a leading contender, but perhaps not as good as they were showing.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Shortly after a first-period video tribute to his career as a Flame, Theo Fleury waved from the owners’ box to acknowledge the hearty applause. And while the gesture was an honourable one the club has made a conscious effort to do more of as it approaches its 30th anniversary, it fell short of the true honour awaiting the Little Big Man.
The next time he’s highlighted at the ‘Dome the 5-foot-6 mighty mite should be looking up—way up—to his jersey being hoisted to the rafters. His No. 14 should be retired.
Update 12:25pm ET (alanah): More on Fleury today, as he speaks about his life and addictions to Christianity.ca:
A loner for much of his life, Fleury learned to escape the pressures of fame and success by turning to his two drugs of choice: alcohol and cocaine. “There’s a lot of pressure that goes along with being a professional athlete. I grew up in a small community so when you live in a city like New York that never shuts down, it’s 24 hours of fun all the time.
He continues, “The NHL isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. It’s not all glamour and fame – people don’t see the sacrifices your family has to make, the hotels and the bus… I owe everything to hockey, everything I have is from hockey, but there’s a heavy price to be paid for choosing that profession.”
from Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger,
The Devils have a new starting goaltender for the first time in 15 years, which is major news in the NHL that no doubt barely created a ripple on the streets surrounding the team’s new arena. Even in their second season in downtown Newark, the Devils sometimes feel like they were dropped in from another planet. Would it be any different if residents found out that new goalie was black?
Would that matter?
Kevin Weekes considered that question Tuesday and decided that, well, it couldn’t hurt. He is an outspoken advocate for diversity in his sport who will take a major role on a team struggling to make inroads in a mostly black city. He is living proof that hockey, despite its reputation, excludes no one.
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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