Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,
Everyone knows the importance of role players to a team’s overall success. We don’t talk about them much—especially at this time of year as we load up our fantasy teams with offensive talent. But after the great response to the piece here a few weeks ago that focused on Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot, I dug a little deeper to see who were the five most productive players in limited minutes….
With that in mind, here are my top five role-player contributors:
5. Kyle Brodziak, Wild
Playing just 12:43 per game, Brodziak netted 11 goals—three of which were game-winners. He won 51.6% of his face-offs and over his two seasons in Edmonton, exhibited remarkable consistency. He signed with the Wild for this season, but a change of scenery shouldn’t effect his night-in, night-out unsung contributions.
via the San Jose Sharks,
The San Jose Sharks have named Rob Blake as their captain for the coming season. Joining Blake in official leadership roles are alternate captains Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle.
Scott Burnside: 10 rookies/sophomores to watch this season
We all know about John Tavares on Long Island. Watching the No. 1 pick in the June draft will be a given, as will be keeping an eye on the second overall pick, Victor Hedman, in Tampa Bay. But here are some other rookies and sophomores to keep an eye on this season:
Steve Mason, G, Columbus Blue Jackets
Full value for rookie of the year honors last season, Mason was the main ingredient in Columbus’ first drive to the playoffs. But can he replicate those gaudy numbers in his second NHL season? He’d better.
Pierre LeBrun: 10 players with something to prove this season
Steve Sullivan, C, Nashville Predators
The Timmins Tornado was the comeback story of the year last season after returning in January from a career-threatening back injury that had sidelined him for two years. He put up 32 points (11-21) in 41 games, showing enough spark for the Preds to sign him to a $7.5 million, two-year deal in July.
more players in each category…
from Paul Lukas of ESPN Page 2,
It happens every year: You’re all pumped up for October baseball, you’ve finally broken in your favorite sofa cushion for Sunday football viewing, and then you suddenly see a bunch of guys scooting around on skates and you’re all, “What the hell is that?”
That, dear reader, is hockey, and it has sneaked up on us yet again. Fortunately, Uni Watch is here at the ready, poised to break down all of this season’s uniform changes and other aesthetic adjustments. So with the NHL season set to begin Thursday night, grab yourself a hat to throw onto the ice (or an octopus, if you’re from Motown), and let’s get started:
• No official confirmation on this, but reliable sources indicate that the Avalanche will unveil an alternate jersey in November…
Stockholm, SWEDEN —The Detroit Red Wings complete their preseason schedule today by visiting Färjestad BK in Karlstad, Sweden. The game can be seen online as NHL.com will present a live stream of the contest at 1:00 pm ET.
If the video is available to embed, I will add it to this post near game time.
added 12:52pm, Live stream of the game below and bumped this post to the top of page, original post time was 11:56am.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Off the ice, all the long-time SportsCentre watchers will remember Sundin was a player that stuck closely to the party line – whatever the issue. You always had the sense that he had more to say, but he wouldn’t permit himself to venture onto controversial ground. Maybe all those years as Leafs’ captain turns you into that – and makes your first instinct to defuse any potential controversies by being as bland as humanly possible.
Too bad. I’d like to have heard more from Sundin over the years because there seemed to be a lot of depth there. He was uniquely positioned in the Centre Of The Hockey Universe to push for the changes that Brendan Shanahan and others eventually put into place.
from Lester Munson of ESPN,
Chelios and others have questioned the validity of Kelly’s dismissal, arguing that excluding Kelly from board meetings violated the union’s complex constitution. Kelly and a battery of six lawyers are examining the circumstances of the meeting and other union actions to determine whether Kelly will challenge it, sources said.
Three teams (Carolina, Ottawa, and San Jose) had no representatives at the meeting where Kelly was dismissed. The five teams who voted against Kelly’s dismissal were Anaheim (George Parros), Columbus (TK Malholta), Detroit (Chelios), Edmonton (Sean Horcoff), and Chicago (Adam Buresh). Even as he serves as the group’s interim leader, Penny is under attack by a number of players and agents. As the union’s top lawyer, he has lost four consecutive player grievances. During his time with the union, he has lost more grievances than he has won.
Both Hargrove and Pink were heavily involved in the efforts that led to Kelly’s dismissal. Hargrove is a former official of the auto workers union in Canada, and Pink was a candidate for executive director when the union selected Kelly. The anti-Kelly faction also included former union ombudsman Eric Lindros and union pension chief Kim Murdock.
from Michael Hurley of NESN,
With the puck ready to drop on Thursday evening, here are the top 10 reasons to watch the Bruins this season.
10. Fists will be flying
If the preseason is any indication, gloves will be dropping all over the ice this year. Peter Chiarelli added Steve Begin to the mix, joining Milan Lucic and Shawn Thornton as the resident tough guys. Byron Bitz won’t be afraid to join in from time to time as well.
In eight preseason games, Bruins players engaged in 14 fights….
1. These guys have playoff experience
Having a strong season in the regular season is all well and good, but the playoffs are when the games really matter. Having the best record in the conference didn’t win the Bruins anything last season, but their 11 games in the postseason provided valuable bits of learning that will prove to be invaluable this year….
“I was told by a lot of people in hockey that they felt he was one of the most ready guys in the draft to step in. And you can see why. …He’s got a real confidence to him, which is critical for young defensemen. It’s unwavering. He’ll make a mistake and have no fear of going back out there the next shift and trying things again.
“That type of confidence, you have to have that if you’re going to try and step into this league at 18, 19, especially as a defenseman. ...Now he’s got nine games to prove he can handle the next test which is NHL regular season hockey. Exhibition games are a version of American League hockey and there’s another level it goes to on Friday night.”
-Panthers Coach Pete DeBoer on rookie defenseman Dmitry Kulikov via Steve Gorten of the SunSentinel.
Sergei Kostitsyn was demoted by the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday and now his days with the club may be over.
According to RDS, Kostitsyn has been suspended by the Canadiens for refusing to report to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL. In return, Kostitsyn has asked for a trade.
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