Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
Tonight the Stanley Cup Champeens are in town for the last of a brutal five-games-in-five-nights stretch, and looks like Sidney Crosby will play against his childhood favourites.
It would be interesting if Jacques Martin decides to throw Eric Neilson into the fray. Fredericton’s Fists of Fury seems to have self-detaching gloves, which leaped off his hands three times against the Sens last Friday, and again in Saturday’s rematch.
But there’s another story-within-the-story involving Neilson.
According to our friends at Radio-Canada, who have a good memory for such things, Neilson and a then-15-year-old Crosby were billeted together in Rimouski during their junior days. Neilson’s listed position on that Oceanic team, you’ll have guessed, was guy-who-makes-sure-nothing-bad-happens-to-Sid.
The Semenko to his Gretzky, if you will.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
On the ice, the Detroit Red Wings and Farjestads BK, a Swedish Elite League sensation, are worlds apart. One has world-class talent; the other has players who admire that world-class talent.
That much will probably show on Sept. 30 when the Red Wings visit Karlstad, Sweden to play an exhibition game against FBK.
“Some people can’t even believe we’re able to bring them here to Karlstad,” FBK’s President, former NHLer Hakan Loob, told NHL.com.
It actually fits that the Wings and FBK will play an exhibition game. At least off the ice it’s as if these two organizations were separated at birth. They have each experienced wild success by following business philosophies that are strikingly similar.
“I think there is a comparison to be made,” Loob admitted.
from Damian Cox of the Spin at the Toronto Star,
Kessel, says Chiarelli, demanded a trade and wouldn’t negotiate a contract, so that was that. Indications are that was indeed the situation, and Kessel’s statement that he “never once” demanded a trade was really just semantics. Whether his agent made the demand or whether his unwillingness to talk contract was a passive aggressive strategy, it really doesn’t matter now.
Clearly, Julien’s coaching style was part of the issue, and so the most fascinating part of Kessel’s career as a Leaf when it begins in two months or so will be how he and Ron Wilson are able to forge a working relationship. Wilson’s a demanding coach, and he can be caustic and pointed in his public and private remarks when he feels it is warranted. San Jose officials make no bones about the fact they believe Wilson’s riding of Patrick Marleau retarded Marleau’s development.
Understand this. While Wilson and Burke are friends from years back, Burke now has more personal prestige invested in Kessel being successful than in Wilson, a coach Burke didn’t hire. The Leaf GM will hope Wilson and Kessel get along very well, but it’s a great deal more difficult to find top six forwards than head coaches.
from Spectors’ Hockey,
Mike Kiley posts a Los Angeles blogger is reporting a rumor that has the LA Kings dealing forward Alexander Frolov to the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Kris Versteeg and defenseman Cam Barker. Kiley doubts the Blackhawks would part with Barker without getting a quality defenseman in return.
Agent Allan Walsh (via his Twitter account) said he’s been told the Frolov rumor is “pure fantasy”, adding “people should really be questioning “sources” and wonder how this BS gets started.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Walsh’s response pretty much says all we need to know about this. I think the basis for the Frolov rumors is his UFA status next summer. If the Kings are out of the playoff race by the March deadline and if his contract talks aren’t going anywhere with the Kings I could see Frolov getting shopped but not before then.
more rumor talk…
from George Richards of the Miami Herald,
Every offseason, it seemed, brought more drama from changes in management and coaching, to star players being shipped out. Bouwmeester had seen enough.
``The biggest part of it was all the changes and turnover,’’ Bouwmeester said. ``It’s hard to build something and be consistent when that is always going on. I know Pete [DeBoer] is a real good coach, and he did a good job last year and will continue to do so. . . . I was there for six, seven years and had four head coaches and just as many GMs. It’s hard to build something when someone new wants to come in and start over.’‘
Bouwmeester, who is from nearby Edmonton, is back in his element. The players’ parking lot in Calgary has its share of fancy sports cars, but a good number of players share Bouwmeester’s style and drive Chevy or Ford trucks.
Olli Jokinen isn’t one of those players. And unlike Bouwmeester, Jokinen didn’t want out of South Florida.
from George Johnson of the Calgary Herald,
He’s becoming a kind of rash, this audacious little beggar. And those inside the Calgary Flames’ family who figured the Theo Fleury experiment was nothing more than an annoying lark, a stunt, a PR nuisance destined to quickly run its course, are starting to break out in hives.
“When he got the puck at the dot, I knew he’d score,’’ laughed former teammate Cory Stillman, sitting out for Florida on Sunday night. “Theo doesn’t miss those chances.’‘
Ho hum. Another day at the office. A goal. An assist. Another standing ovation.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Kyle Quincey is one of only two ex-Detroit Red Wings to play for the Avalanche. While Todd Gill was the other, he essentially quit the team midway through his one season in Denver, 2001-02.
The Avs have plans to keep Quincey in a burgundy and blue uniform a lot longer than one year, and they certainly won’t mind if Quincey lays a bunch of big hits on the Red Wings like the kind he did in his preseason Avs debut Sunday night….
Quincey posted 38 points for the Kings last season, an excellent offensive number for any defenseman. He showed some reasons why Sunday, moving the puck quickly. He also has a big slap shot, although only four of his 38 points with the Kings came on goals.
“He’s got a lot of poise with the puck,” Avs coach Joe Sacco said. “When he’s in situations where he thinks he’s in trouble, he seems to get himself out of trouble. We’re looking for him to have a positive impact on our club.”
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
The last thing Dion Phaneuf has to prove to anybody is that he’s tough.
And the last place the Flames need him is in the penalty box or on the surgeon’s table.
So it’s laughable to hear that after establishing himself as the NHL’s hardest hitter the last four years, Phaneuf is being criticized for refusing to fight a no-name knucklehead in a meaningless exhibition game.
Phaneuf is maturing to the point he knows every team in the league would rather have him off the ice and is justified in being selective in terms of when to punctuate his hits with fights.
While this space has long embraced fighting in the game, it’s embarrassing for critics who flooded sports talk radio phone lines to be so lacking in hockey knowledge to suggest every time he lays a forward out cleanly, he needs to follow it up with his fists.
from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News,
Franzen’s goal production has climbed in each of the last three seasons—from 10 to 27 to 34. Who’s to say he can’t score 40 this season?
“I want to take a step forward, that’s for sure,” said Franzen, whose role could be expanded to being on the No. 1 power-play unit this year. “I don’t know exactly what my role will be but so far I seem to be more free, with a role on the power play.I just have to keep working on my shot and on getting open and trying to bury pucks when I get a chance. Because I think I am going to get a lot of chances.”
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel via the Santa Barbara News-Press,
They were the young trio of forwards Florida Panthers fans fell in love with during the 2007-08 season, so much so that the team had a contest to name their line.
Center Stephen Weiss and wingers David Booth and Nathan Horton became known as the ‘‘Sunrise Express,’’ a nickname not so loved by Weiss, but, he joked, ‘‘It’s better than people calling us the three bums.’‘
Not likely. From the moment they got together, they were the team’s best line. Before last season started, though, the line was broken up. Horton was moved to center on another line out of necessity, and while Weiss and Booth still achieved success, their line lacked the chemistry it had with Horton.
Now the Sunrise Express is back together, and there’s a chance the Panthers will finally have a stable, cohesive No. 1 line for an extended period of time. Booth, 24, signed a six-year deal in July. Weiss, 26, and Horton, 24, did the same two summers ago.
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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