Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press,
Craig Leipold, who on Saturday begins his first full season as owner of the Wild, figures he has a playoff team.
“I think it’s very fair to say we’re a playoff team,” said Leipold, a former owner of the Nashville Predators. “We have the same players basically (as last season’s division champions). My expectations are high, and I think we’re going to go a long way. I like this team — there is high energy — and I think everyone on the team would be disappointed if we didn’t make the playoffs.”
As for the contract extension stalemate with all-star player Marian Gaborik, Leipold said he still hopes to sign the team’s top scorer, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Gaborik’s future in Minnesota is basically up to Gaborik, Leipold said.
a few more hockey related bits…
The nine new coaches aren’t going to be let go so capriciously, and there are at least that number who either earned another full season after 2007-08 success or are entrenched veterans — Boudreau and Claude Julien being in the first category, and Lindy Ruff and Dave Tippett among those in the latter group.
That only leaves, at most, about a dozen candidates who could be sent packing before the season is out. Here are five of those candidates:
Peter Laviolette, Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes have yet to reappear in the playoffs since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
It’s an ironic and somewhat startling move that reveals much about this coach: a calculated decision to do away with the role he personified during a stellar 19-year playing career.
As the Montreal Canadiens kick off their 100th season, Guy Carbonneau is electing not to ice a line of specialized checking forwards.
Instead, he will throw his lot in with a rotation of three offensive lines that will share more or less equal slices of ice time, and an aggressive, physical “energy” line that will likely play only sparingly.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
When Palin drops the puck, there inevitably will be photos taken of the Ranger and Flyer participating in the ceremonial draw. When circulated throughout the Internet, these photos are likely to imply endorsement. If the Governor of Alaska is presented with a Flyers’ jersey—or appears wearing one—it will represent the implied endorsement of the NHL team.
Snider’s Comcast may own the Flyers, but he, like all NHL owners, are merely leasing their teams and their teams’ trademarks from the league. The Flyers logo and the Rangers logo are property of the NHL. Snider has no right to use these teams and these players as props to further his own political agenda.
The Flyers’ colors have historically been orange and black. The owner is now attempting to use this storied franchise in order to turn his home state red.
from Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel,
Watch Jay Bouwmeester. He’ll tell the whole story of this Panthers season. Everyone wonders if keeping a failed coach as general manager makes sense, if trading the top scorer was smart, if there’s finally a blueprint to the playoffs and not another skate through the wilderness.
He’ll answer your questions.
We talk a lot these days about how pro athletes don’t care enough, how they put money before winning or get long-term contracts and quit working. Bouwmeester did exactly what fans want star athletes to do.
“Oh, I’m sure there’s a lot of people with crayons right now writing down a parade route. But it’s one game, and it’s part of the process. Tonight, we were fortunate enough to not make many mistakes and our attention to detail was pretty good. I’m really proud of the group, they paid attention. We’ve really only had eight practices and to have the game figured out somewhat tells you a lot about our players.
“They bought in, and we’ve had a lot of fun. They’re having a great time in there right now and they should—they beat the Stanley Cup champions. It’s a tremendous accomplishment and it can only do good things for our confidence, I hope.”
-Leafs coach Ron Wilson after defeating Detroit last night. More on the Leafs/Wings from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
Behind the scenes look at auditions for the LA Kings Ice Crew.
from Dave Staples at The Cult of Hockey,
Yes, Metallurg Magnitogorsk WAS offering Evgeni Malkin $11 million U.S., but he told them to forget it ... In a wide-ranging interview with the Russian Sovetskii Sport publication, Malkin said he told Metallurg he had a new, valid contract with the penguins, and “I’m not Radulov.”..
Asked about the assistant captain logo he now sports, he smiled: “Coach Therrien came up and said I should be wearing it ... I said I wasn’t sure about my English, and he told me you have to start one day, might as well do it now.”
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,
Nicklas Lidstrom smiled and waved to the Joe Louis Arena crowd.
Coach Mike Babcock fought the urge to cry as he accepted their accolades.
One by one, the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings walked the red carpet to be recognized for their achievement of last season.
from Brian Compton of NHL.com,
For anyone involved with the Detroit Red Wings’ run to the 2008 Stanley Cup championship, Thursday night’s pre-game festivities at Joe Louis Arena will be an unforgettable experience.
For 5 players on the Wings’ roster, it will be the fourth time they get to partake in such a special event. Remarkably, in an age that features constant movement and salary cap casualties, 5 men have been in Motown for the 4 Stanley Cups that have been won since 1997.
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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