Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the New York Rangers,
Question: What does it mean for the Rangers to be playing NHL games on the European continent?
Lundqvist: I think it’s good for the game and for the league. We have a lot of fans in Europe. With the time difference in the U.S., sometimes it’s hard to follow it. But I mean now you can pretty much watch every NHL game. When I was growing up, you couldn’t watch the games that much. So, it’s definitely good.
Question: Will the games in Prague be emotional for you personally because you’ll playing in Europe?
Lundqvist: Well, maybe it would be if I played in my home in Sweden, especially in Gothenburg. Playing in Prague I think it’s going to be fun, but it’s not going to be the same feeling…
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
So now, after a 111-day off-season, training camps for the 2008-09 season are about to get under way. The four teams that will open the season in Europe in the fall (Pittsburgh, the Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning) will start early next week; the rest of the league will follow on Friday. What’s new? What’s worth monitoring? Lots, but no storylines are more compelling than these 10.
1. The Lightning soap opera. Not since the days of Harold Ballard has an ownership group so captivated the NHL as those two wild and craaaaazy guys in Tampa, Oren Koules and Len Barrie. In less than six months on the job, they’re more well-known than two dozen of the corporate types who own the other teams in the league.
from the Buffalo News,
Sabres.com, which will be linked to the NHL Web site, NHL.com, also will have a feature that enables fans to call up every goal scored in every Sabres game and eventually every player shift or hit.
The online expansion could be bad news for local TV sports departments, which generally show the goals in each game. Viewers with a high speed internet connection won’t have to wait for the sports reports to see the goals.
In addition, the Sabres plan to put morning skates and interviews with coach Lindy Ruff online on game days. It also will introduce the team’s new jersey Sept. 20 online when it carries the Puck Drop festivities surrounding the first day of training camp.
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
After one season on Broadway, Gomez is settled. “Last year, I didn’t have my apartment ready; it was New York and all,” he said. “Now you know what to expect, how the fans are going to react. I’m not the new guy anymore.”
Just one with more responsibility.
“It’s a big year for a lot of us,” he said. “Talking to Chris and the guys all summer, the pressure’s on . . . The way we finished [losing in the second round of the playoffs] is still there, so it’s a big challenge. We’ve got to step up. We’ve got to be at our best.”
The Chicago Blackhawks today announced the team has acquired a second round draft choice in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft from the Montreal Canadiens (via the Toronto Maple Leafs) in exchange for center Robert Lang.
“Robert is a quality guy and we appreciate that he gave us everything that he had but this move gives one of our great young players an opportunity to step up,” Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon said. “We are excited about adding a second round draft pick in 2010 as we continue with our philosophy of building from within.”
Update 6:05pm ET (alanah): From the Habs—
Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today the acquisition of forward Robert Lang from the Chicago Blackhawks, in return for a second-round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft (acquired from Toronto along with Greg Pateryn, in return for Mikhaïl Grabovski, July 3, 2008).
The Canadiens also re-signed Patrice Brisebois today for one more year.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Radulov – caught in the middle of a fight that he couldn’t have anticipated and said to be weighing heavily on him – has, according to sources with knowledge of the situation, hinted that he would like to return to the NHL. That came to light in an interview between Paul Kelly, the NHLPA executive director, and Toronto radio personality Bill Watters on Thursday. What hasn’t been reported yet is Radulov’s preferred timetable – not necessarily now, but by the start of next season. That’s partly because the regular season is under way in the KHL; Radulov has already received substantial bonus monies up front and feels an obligation to play it out in Ufa, for this year anyway.
Ideally, he would like to negotiate some sort of settlement between the Predators and Ufa in the interim that would permit him to do just that - play a year in Russia and then return to the NHL for the start of the 2009-10.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
As training camps convene across the land, we continue with our tour of each division and the pressing questions that await each team. So far, we’ve covered the Northeast, Southeast, Northwest and Pacific. Now let’s dive into the Atlantic, where the going promises to be choppy for the majority of its five inhabitants.
Coming off a surprise trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren settled for a few minor roster tweaks, mostly cap-related, to improve his team’s chances in 2008-09. But even without a big move, his lineup looks to be much improved this season, thanks to the return of perennial All-Star Gagne, who can key the first-line offense.
Assuming, of course, that he’s physically able.
From Matt Kalman at the New England Hockey Journal,
Today after [Milan] Lucic and more than two dozen Bruins veterans, rookies and prospects took part in an hour-long captains’ practice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, the rugged left winger explained how this year is different from last year.
“Obviously, it’s a little bit different because you kind of know what to expect going into your second season,” said Lucic, whose play in last year’s training camp forced the Bruins to make the decision not to send him back to junior hockey. “And I think, obviously, the first season went pretty well for me and you just want to build on it, try to get better and better. That’s a big thing for me, just to get better every day.”
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nikita Filatov will be sidelined 10 to 14 days due to a lower leg injury and will miss the team’s rookie camp to be held in Traverse City, Michigan over the next five days, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today.
“Nikita has an old injury that is bothering him, so he will not accompany our rookie team to Traverse City for the NHL Prospects Tournament,” said Howson. “He’ll rehab the injury here and be re-evaluated in the next 10 days to two weeks.”
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Nicklas Backstrom suffered a sprained ankle yesterday when he collided with the goal, General Manager George McPhee confirmed moments ago. Backstrom stayed down for a few seconds, then skated off the rink gingerly.
Backstrom was seen walking with a pretty pronounced limp later in the day and he didn’t skate this morning.
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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