Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ryan Dixon of the Hockey News,
He took some time to talk with THN.com about a variety of topics, including how he spent his summer, his connection with an old minor hockey coach and his thoughts on the Blue Jackets’ busy off-season….
THN.com: It has been a busy off-season for the Jackets, adding players such as Kristian Huselius and R.J. Umberger. What’s your take on your team’s moves this summer?
RN: It’s been good. We added a lot of depth to our team and a lot of strength. It should be good, we got some scoring up front. I guess you’ll never really know until the season starts and you see how guys gel together, but on paper it looks pretty good.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
But during the 2008 Beijing Games, we’ve figured out that studio gymnastics commentator Bela “Bananas” Karolyi can become just as outraged as Don “Grapes” Cherry. We’ve also enjoyed pondering how hockey players also could have participated in the Summer Olympics:
Synchronized diving: Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks, Sweden
Diving would be prime gold-medal territory for Sweden if Swedish fans could get past the fact that the event, which debuted at the Sydney Games in 2000, is one of the most ridiculous-looking sports on the Olympic docket. That’s saying a lot given the competition….
Given the Sedin brothers’ ability to dive—they aren’t the best in the league from Ornskoldsvik, but certainly are the best twins in the league from anywhere—and the fact that Sweden didn’t have a two-man team in the finals at Beijing, they would have been natural candidates to quickly pick up such maneuvers as the back 2½ somersault pike from the 3-meter springboard.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Even as he summered on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Finger was well aware he was being ripped by some parties in Toronto, his new hockey home.
So be it. In fact, despite having not played a single game as a Maple Leaf as of yet, he understands where the naysayers are coming from.
“Of course I paid attention to what was going on,” Finger said. “Some people might say the criticism of me is unfair but I wouldn’t. I can see why some things would be said about me. I’m coming from the Western Conference. I’ve played fewer than 100 NHL games in my career….”
from Neil Hodge of the Times & Transcript,
Marc Denis has fallen upon hard times in his National Hockey League career and it’s unclear what the future holds for the 31-year-old goaltender. The Tampa Bay Lightning cut ties with him in late June when they decided to buy out the final year of a contract that was scheduled to pay him $3 million next season.
That made him a free agent and one week later he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Montreal Canadiens where he’s expected to battle for the backup job. His paycheque next season will depend on whether he’s in the NHL or American Hockey League.
“To me, this is the start of the process to rebuild my game,’’ he said yesterday following a workout at the Tim Hortons 4-Ice Centre. “Some might say that I’ve lost some parts of my game over the course of the last two seasons.
from Ben Wright at AtlantaThrashers.com,
Thrashers General Manager and Executive Vice President Don Waddell recently sat down with atlantathrashers.com for an exclusive one-on-one interview to discuss the reshaping of the team. Here is what the Thrashers general manager had to say.
Q. If training camp started today would you be happy to go into it with this group of players?
A. I’d be 100% content. First of all we’re going to have some younger players in the lineup and that’s a great opportunity for them and for our franchise. You look at defense with Enstrom being a second year player and Nic Havelid coming off a very good season last year. Adding a guy like Hainsey back there who can really move the puck will make a big difference. We’ve seen what Boris Valabik did in those last games down the stretch when he was here. Along with Ex and Kenny Klee we’re better on defense.
“We made strides by signing different players to long-term deals. We just signed (Joffrey) Lupul, (Jeff) Carter’s here for a couple of years and the players we have, everyone gets along so the (dressing) room’s doing well. I think we’re just going to evolve as a team as we get older,” said the Flyers alternate captain and No. 1 centre.
“We made good strides last year in the playoffs and hopefully we can just move forward from there.”
-Mike Richards in Thunder Bay’s Source where you can read more from Mike…
From the Vancouver Sun,
Vancouver police are investigating a hit-and-run that may have involved the captain of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team.
Media is reporting Ethan Moreau was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a collision that occurred downtown very early on Thursday, Aug. 14.
Const. Jana McGuinness, a spokeswoman for the Vancouver police, wouldn’t confirm the hockey player was in a vehicle that backed into a motorcycle shortly after midnight on the 800-block of Burrard Street.
Update 4:33pm ET: From Sportsnet, confirmation—
Alan Watt, vice-president of communications for the Oilers, confirmed to Sun Media that Moreau was in the vehicle but that he was not the driver.
from Chris Pinkert of StLouisBlues.com,
(David) Perron admits that having limited playing time as a rookie was hard. He says he wanted to play every game, but insists that learning to deal with adversity is a big part of becoming a pro.
“You just let the coaches make the decision and when you’re on the ice, you play hockey and do your best,” he said. “That’s how I managed to play better in the last part of the season.”
Perron is using the summer to improve his game in hopes of contributing more this upcoming season. As he continued to autograph team posters, he said he’d like to improve his all-around skill, have a quicker shot and a better one timer. He wants to get stronger without losing his agility, and of course, he’d like to score more goals.
From Craig Custance at the Sporting News,
SN: What was the reaction in Tampa from fans when you were hired?
Melrose: A lot of people there were still mad at me for 2004. Supposedly, I made derogatory remarks about Tampa Bay. If people remember you saying it, it doesn’t matter if you said it. That was fun. [...]
SN: So what did you supposedly say in 2004 that has fans in Tampa so riled up?
Melrose: That Tampa didn’t have a chance (in the Stanley Cup final), not nearly as good as Calgary. That was nuts—I picked Tampa Bay. I don’t know what was going on. If they think you said it, you said it.
Q. Why do you have a special knack against Washington, scoring every third of your goals in the regular season?
A. I don’t know, it just happens. Although it’s a pity that [Glen Hanlon] left Washington. I would have scored not three but six against them. Let him see who is “too young for the national team.”
Q: Do you remember the most original question American journalists have asked you?
A. You should not expect originality from them. Every other time they ask the same: “How do you like to play with your brother?”
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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