Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
The recent promotion of little-known Cory Clouston to the job as head coach of the Ottawa Senators undoubtedly caught some hockey observers by surprise.
It shouldn’t have. The Senators were simply following an NHL trend that has franchises eschewing the old boys’ network of coaches and, instead, grabbing for what they hope will be the next bright mind from the AHL or junior ranks.
Ten of the 30 NHL teams have coaches whose previous jobs had them standing behind AHL benches. That’s up from two 10 years ago. Another two teams – Florida with Peter DeBoer and New Jersey with Brent Sutter – are coached by men hired directly from major junior hockey.
That has left some seasoned and decorated coaches, big names such as Pat Quinn, Bob Hartley, Marc Crawford and John Tortorella (the latter three all Stanley Cup winners) on the outside looking in, waiting for their next opportunity.
Just so I have this straight, NHL: A Corey Perry elbow to the head gets four games, biting another player gets two, uttering the phrase “sloppy seconds” to reporters gets six and an elbow to the face that breaks another player’s nose gets ignored. Okay, got it.
I can’t help but think if the same hit had been delivered by a guy wearing a Ducks uniform (more to the point, wearing a Ducks uniform with the number 25 on the back), that he would have gotten docked at least four games. But maybe that’s just me.
Then again, it’s probably not just me.
-Adam Brady of Duck Blog at AnaheimDucks.com where you can read more on the Ducks.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA—- Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have activated right wing Peter Mueller from Injured Reserve while left wing Jeff Hoggan has been re-assigned to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage.
Mueller, 20, has recorded 12-18-30 in 48 games with the Coyotes this season to rank 3rd on the team in both points and goals. Mueller has missed the last seven games since being placed on Injured Reserve.
“Well without beating around the bush i will get straight ot the point. There have been many, many trade rumors regarding my name over the past month or so. Let’s get something straight i have not asked for a trade nor will i ask for a trade. In my opinion i believe the rumors are part of an overzealous group of reporters who are putting the Ducks in the “sellers” category at the trade deadline and trying to drum up fan interest in there stories and TV shows.<..."
-Chris Pronger. More at ChrisPronger.com
The Buffalo Sabres discuss the tragic plane crash in Clarence as they prepare for tonight’s game.
The Sabres will also be observing a moment of silence to respect those lost in the tragedy of Flight 3407 prior to tonight’s game vs. San Jose.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
“I’ve played against Kyle numerous times and I’ve seen him play, he’s going to have a heck of a career,” Anaheim Ducks rookie Bobby Ryan told ESPN.com. “Depending on how long he’s down there, he’s going to be able to learn to be a pro in a less stressful environment and that’s certainly going to do nothing but good things for him.”
Ryan, who has exploded with a huge rookie season since his mid-November call-up from the AHL, understands how Turris may be feeling right now, given the high expectations. Turris went third overall in the 2007 NHL draft, while Ryan went second overall in 2005. Be patient, Ryan’s advice was to Turris.
“I think it’s a very important step to take, to spend some time in the minor leagues,” continued Ryan, who turns 22 next month. “You learn a little bit about yourself and you learn a little bit about yourself as a player. There’s ups and downs with that. It’s emotional. You want to play at the highest level, but there is a time frame that you spend down there [in the AHL] and you get to breathe a little easier and certainly progress.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail, .
..Even Steve Yzerman, the team’s executive director, confirmed as much. When asked about the scrutiny and attention, even a year away, he said he’s been monitoring the coverage on television and the Internet and doesn’t mind it at all.
“It’s a good thing that people are interested,” said Yzerman. “I love sitting and listening to people’s opinions on who should be there and who should be coaching and this and that. More information is good.”
That’s just as well, since the discussion will continue right up until the team is selected – early December is the projection, which would give the organizers enough time to do accreditation, security checks, drug tests and deal with all the minutiae in terms of protocols that come into play when preparing for a competition of this magnitude.
Of all the questions percolating about the roster selections, the most intriguing may revolve around the availability of Scott Niedermayer.
more plus additional NHL notes…
from Scott Cullen of TSN,
Early in the season, we took a look at which line deserved to be called the best in the NHL. Now that the NHL season is well into the second half, it’s a good time to take a deeper look at which lines have been best.
Given that some lines have played together much more than others, I’ve set a minimum number of 400 even-strength shifts to qualify a line for this list.
While the most value of a line comes from even-strength production, that doesn’t mean that other production is irrelevant in determining the value of an individual player, so overall production (including power play and shorthanded) counts towards an individual player’s rating.
continued and more hockey topics discussed…
from Elliotte Friedman of Blogs and Hockey at CBC,
It was the NHL lockout, and the co-owner of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans needed somewhere to practice. So, he went back to Washington, and met the team’s goalie. His name was Carey Price.
“I remember thinking, ‘When I was 18, I was nowhere near as polished as this guy,’” Olaf Kolzig said Friday. “I knew right there how good he was going to be. Goalies don’t mature until their mid-20s. To see where he was then ... you could see how special he was going to be at 25.”
We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of Cristobal Huet’s trade from Montreal, the day Bob Gainey made Price his number one man. Ron Tugnutt remembers watching as Price led the Canadiens to a stunning regular-season Eastern Conference crown.
“I said, ‘This is the guy who will lead Team Canada for years.’ His footwork is incredible.”
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Having previously examined the needs of those jockeying for postseason berths in the NHL’s two conferences as the trade deadline approaches, here’s a look at the needs of the top seeds in the conferences.
Detroit Red Wings: The defending Stanley Cup champions are sticking close to the Conference-leading Sharks in the standings. Offensively they’re still powerful, leading the league in goals and power-play percentage. Injuries have taken a bit of a toll as defenseman Brad Stuart and workhorse forward Tomas Holmstrom are out indefinitely although both should return in time for the playoffs. The real area of concern is between the pipes, where playoff hero Chris Osgood has struggled this season although they’ve gotten good goaltending from backup Ty Conklin. They rank 18th in goals against despite giving up the fifth-fewest shots, but GM Ken Holland insists he’s not in the market for a goalie.
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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