Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
The franchise’s most marketable player lauded the offseason roster makeover but made no declarations about his long-range future here other than to express his continued affinity for his adopted hometown. He labeled the coming season a “huge year” in terms of franchise growth.
“It’s always in your head obviously about (where) your following years will be,” said Nash, who scored 38 goals last season. “I’m happy in Columbus; I love it in Columbus. I would stay here if everything lined up right.”
Reaching the playoffs for the first time in franchise history might make Nash’s decision easier and possibly curb speculation that he plans to bolt for a larger market such as Toronto.
“I’m there to win a cup — that’s the most important thing on my mind,” said Asham. “Last year with the Devils, we came up short in the first round and that’s definitely disappointing, but this is a new start and I think we have the guts to do it.”
“I think it’s going to be good, I think Philly definitely fits my game. They’re a rough-tough hockey team. I’m definitely going there excited. They had a great run last year in the playoffs and my goal right now is to win a Stanley Cup before my career is over, and I’m running out of years. I think Philly is my best chance.”
-more from Aaron Asham at the Portage Daily Graphic…
from Greatest Hockey Legends,
Now, on to Doug’s question. Is Nicklas Lidstrom better than Doug Harvey?
I think history tends to nicely accept that Doug Harvey is the second best defenseman of all time, behind Bobby Orr, of course. In fact, most of the so called experts tend to place Harvey in top ten players of all time, regardless of position….
Doug Harvey was the epitome of hockey grace, and one of the few players in hockey history that could truly take control of a game all by himself.
Now that is awfully hard to compete against. Lidstrom is catching up, with more seasons ahead. He’s got 4 Stanley Cup championships and 6 Norris Trophies. His career offensive numbers dwarf Harvey’s, mind you that is due much to the very different eras each played in. Both are classic and near flawless defenders and both are dominant at both ends of the ice.
from Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal,
Cole and his wife had just made a quick trip to Edmonton from their home in upstate New York.
They will return in August with their two children, aged seven and four.
“This is more about opportunity. There’s going to be a tremendous opportunity for me to play with two tremendous hockey players, and that’s not to say I wasn’t in Carolina, but I’m looking to play a bigger role, more of a leadership role,” said Cole.
“I’m going from a team where I was maybe in the middle of the road, maybe even one of the younger guys, to being the old goat in the room. I’m excited about everything.”
from the Register Pajaronian,
Tuning his mandolin and setting up microphones for his evening show at the Bargetto Winery in Soquel Thursday, Mark Smith — better known to San Jose Sharks fans as simply ‘Smitty’ — hardly resembled the player fans had come to love during his six years with the team.
Gone is the teal-and-purple-dyed Mohawk he once proudly sported. Gone is the mean streak that earned him 97 penalty minutes one season. Gone is the blue-collar, tough-as-nails fourth-line center who earned his way into the NHL with more black eyes and bruises than goals and assists….
This is the new Smitty — the version 2.0 Smitty. And it’s who he wants to be now.
“I think moving to California and being in the lifestyle and the surroundings, you kind of take that on yourself,” he said behind a pair of red-rimmed sunglasses. “It impacted me in a big way. I’ve always liked the acoustic guitar and being able to just take off and go to the beach and play. But yeah, it definitely contradicts the way I play the game of hockey.”
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
When bought-out players hit the market this June, potential “bargains” became available.
Among those with severance packages, so to speak, Todd Bertuzzi signed with Calgary, Darcy Tucker and Andrew Raycroft went to Colorado, and Marc Denis agreed to a deal with his hometown Canadiens….
The X factor is how ruthless or passive the player and his agent are when negotiating the next deal, given the buyout money coming in. The emergence of Russian hockey as a financially viable alternative also has changed the picture.
The contrasts involving the goaltenders who fell out of favor: Denis’ two-way deal with the Canadiens was a two-way street without much risk, but Emery will be getting about $2 million from Atlant Mytishchi next season.
By definition, the bought-out players have been judged to underachieve and not deliver sufficient bang for the bucks.
What did you think of the offseason moves the team made?
“Obviously, they’re very good moves. When you can add a Brian Rolston, a forward that can play on your top lines and be a guy that can be a quarterback on your power play, it’s a signifcant transaction for you. And with Bobby (Holik), you’re getting a guy that can give you eight, 10 quality minutes and take key faceoffs for you. He has the experience, obviously, and he’s a big man. On top of all of that, you’ve got two guys that were here and both wanted to come back and are excited about being back. And, also the fact what they bring inside the dressing room and the leadership qualities they both have.”
-Brent Sutter at Fire & Ice where you can read more from Sutter on the Devils…
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Now, could the Blues surprise and defy their cynics? Of course they could. However, when it comes to predictions, it’s all about the likelihood of something happening, not the best-case scenario. And to the majority of us here at THN, the likelihood is the Blues will be on the outside of the playoff picture for the fourth consecutive season.
The truth is, a complete reversal of fortune such as the Philadelphia Flyers enjoyed last season is more an aberration than a reasonable expectation. Once you’ve cleared the decks – the way the Blues did during a bumpy change in ownership that began in 2005 – the subsequent restoration project almost inevitably requires years to complete.
All this is just something to bear in mind when our collective and individual predictions are before your eyes.
After 16 years, Drake has his day with the Stanley Cup.
Watch the video below…
Just in case you missed the Dallas Stars Ice Girls Auditions…
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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