Kukla's Korner Hockey
DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward Milan Hejduk to a one-year contract extension through the 2010-11 season.
Hejduk, who is entering his 11th season in the NHL, has spent his entire career with the Colorado Avalanche. Originally selected by the Quebec Nordiques in the fourth round (87th overall) of the 1994 Entry Draft, Hejduk has recorded 312 goals and 345 assists for 657 points in 783 career games. He ranks fourth in franchise history in both games played and goals, and sits fifth in points. Hejduk is the franchise’s all-time leader in regular season overtime goals with nine and his 52 career game-winning tallies rank second in franchise history behind only Joe Sakic (86).
“Milan has been an integral part of this organization over the past 10 seasons,” said Avalanche General Manager Greg Sherman. “We are pleased to have him under contract and are counting on his leadership both on and off the ice to help this team move forward into the future.”
from Scott Morrison of CBC Sports,
For the past couple of seasons, the Coyotes have been building with youth and were improving with that youth. No, they didn’t make the playoffs over the four years, but remember back to the middle of last season when Gretzky had his team sitting fifth in the Western Conference and was being touted as a coach of the year candidate, and a Team Canada Olympic coaching candidate.
Now, that’s not to say he was among the very best coaches in the league, but Gretzky learned and adjusted over those four years and he got better. Indeed, he was a smarter and better coach the last game he worked than he was the first.
added 3:03pm, from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Will Gretzky’s failure as a head coach tarnish his legacy as hockey’s greatest player or does the Phoenix disaster just become a footnote.
That was the topic of conversation last year with somebody who spent as much time on the ice with Gretzky as anybody. Longtime referee Don Koharski shot down any thoughts that Gretzky’s failure as a coach might erode his image as a player.
“You’ll never forget him for his greatness on the ice,” Koharski said at the time. “Not a hockey fan or sports fan in the world will ever forget what he did for the game on the ice. All the naysayers out there are probably ready to pounce on him for his coaching career. But his coaching career isn’t going to be what he’s famous for.”
The failure in the desert made sure of that.
NEW YORK (Sept. 24, 2009) – National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman today released this statement following the resignation of Wayne Gretzky as the Phoenix Coyotes’ Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations:
“As always, Wayne placed the welfare of the team ahead of his own in making this extremely difficult decision. While the Coyotes have not had the degree of on-ice success that always has been Wayne’s objective, there can be no question he has played a vital role in the youth movement that has positioned the Coyotes for success in the future.
“We have nothing but admiration for all that Wayne has done for the game, and are extremely hopeful there will be a prominent role for Wayne with the Coyotes if the League’s bid for the Club is successful. We look forward to his continued involvement.”
from Ben Kuzma of the White Towel at the Vancouver Province,
With Mathieu Schneider and Pavol Demitra going on long-term injury reserve, the Vancouver Canucks have found wiggle room under the salary cap ceiling.
Schneider confirmed Thursday morning that offseason shoulder surgery will keep the 40-year-old defenceman from opening the regular season on Oct. 1 at Calgary. Although he has been practising, Schneider has not been able to take contact. The news is worse for Demitra, who hasn’t even healed enough to practice. Offseason shoulder surgery could keep the winger sidelined until November.
The Phoenix Coyotes will hold a press conference today at 3:00 p.m. MST to make a major announcement regarding the team’s hockey operations department. Members of the Coyotes’ front office and coaching staff, as well as Captain Shane Doan will be available.
added 2:!6pm, via TSN, T
he Phoenix Coyotes appear to have found their new head coach.
Sources say Dave Tippett will be named head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes at a 3 pm local news conference.
added 2:20pm, In the meantime, the Coyotes have released a :30 second “Thank You Wayne” video tribute. Watch below..
added 5;50pm, watch the press conference below (2nd video0.
from Rocky Bonanno of NHL.com,
In “Field of Dreams,” the iconic 1989 film, ghosts of famous baseball players appear to Ray Kinsella, played by actor Kevin Costner, in an Iowa corn field. Boston Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay had a similar experience with a famous hockey player earlier this year.
Jogging out to his spot in left field to start the top of the seventh inning, Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr suddenly appeared in front of Bay, a native of Trail, British Columbia, on the warning track. Orr hadn’t actually appeared out of nowhere—he was hiding inside the fabled Green Monster left field wall, waiting for Bay. The scene of No. 4 meeting No. 44 played out before a crowd of 38,196 on hand at Fenway Park to see the Red Sox defeat the Florida Marlins, 6-1, on June 17.
“In happened in the middle of the game, actually. He was in the Green Monster and stepped out when I went back into the field. I don’t think it was his idea, he was kind of forced out there,” Bay recalled. “He said hi to me, but there was no real chit chat because of the situation, but very cool nonetheless.
Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that Head Coach Alain Vigneault has agreed to terms on a new contract that extends through the 2012.2013 season.
“This is a significant announcement for our hockey club,” said Mike Gillis. “Alain and his staff have done an excellent job leading our team to two Division titles in three years. I believe strongly in the partnership between management, coaches and players and we are all committed to building a championship team here in Vancouver.”
“This is an exciting day for me and my coaching staff,” said Alain Vigneault. “Having the opportunity to work with the Aquilini family, Mike and his staff and our players has been very rewarding. I love working and coaching in this tremendous hockey city and look forward to continuing to build on our previous success.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
3. Detroit. In the same way many now refuse to believe in the Sharks as a bona fide Stanley Cup threat until they prove themselves worthy of that belief, I also won’t assume Detroit will take a huge step back in the standings until it actually happens. Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom remain too spectacularly talented for me to see the Red Wings any other way.
4. Vancouver. The Canucks surprised many – including me – last year by surviving a tepid start to the year and a brutal 2-10 record in January to win the Northwest Division and take Chicago to the limit in the second round of the playoffs. GM Mike Gillis has done well to increase the depth of a defense corps that was stellar to begin with; now the question becomes whether or not the Sedins and Roberto Luongo can justify their lucrative new contracts – and whether Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler can at least replicate their breakout seasons.
A major announcement addressing Wayne Gretzky’s future in Phoenix is expected within the hour.
The announcement will be posted on Gretzky.com.
I will update this post when the annoucement is made.
added 11:28am, Of course, Gretzky.com crashes!
added 11:52, Follow the original TSN link which has or will shortly state Gretzky has resigned as Phoenix coach.
added 11:55am, See released statement from Gretzky below…
added 12:03pm via Bob McKenzie’s Twitter,
just rumors at this point but dave tippett’s name is mentioned prominently as the next Phx coach
added 1:11pm, via Elliotte Friedman’s Twitter,
Tippett played with Samuelsson in Hartford, played under King with Olympic team, knows division. Looks like a done deal.
added 1:22pm, Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail with his views and also states Tippett looks like the coach.
from Joe Haggerty of WEEI,
Kovalchuk’s agent Jay Grossman and Atlanta general manager Don Waddell are actively discussing a potential contract extension for the player who is the NHL’s leading scorer since the beginning of the 2001 season, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Russian takes a wait-and-see approach before signing on the dotted line.
If the 26-year-old rugged scoring machine isn’t locked up by the Thrashers, then pay close attention to the Bruins’ interest level throughout the season after they stockpiled draft picks in the Phil Kessel deal. B’s GM Peter Chiarelli now has seven picks in the first two rounds of the next two drafts, and he owns five of the first 60 picks in next summer’s well-stocked draft rife with blue-chip talent.
from Mark Emmons of the Mercury News via the Santa Barbara News-Press, T
he letter is just a thin piece of embroidered fabric, a couple of inches long. It doesn’t look like anything special when pulled out of an equipment-room drawer.
But when stitched onto the uniform of a designated Shark, the ‘‘C’’ will be positioned on the upper left chest, right over the heart - fitting because a hockey captain is expected to have a huge one.
No sport has created a greater mythology around the role of captain. In other leagues, the position is a mostly honorary title like the players who handle the pre-game coin flip duties in football.
In hockey, it means something.
‘‘It’s always been that way and it always will be because our sport is different,’’ said Sharks defenseman Rob Blake, who was a longtime captain with the Los Angeles Kings. ‘‘There needs to be an ultimate voice in the room that everyone else responds to, and it belongs to the captain.’‘
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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