Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce MacLeod of the Macomb Daily,
One difference between Kindl and Ericsson is this. Ericsson came to the Red Wings as the final pick of the entire NHL draft. Kindl was the 19th overall selection in the 2005 NHL draft.
That makes Kindl the Red Wings’ highest draft pick in the past 18 years. You have to go back to Martin Lapointe being taken 10th overall in 1991 to find a higher-drafted Red Wing.
“He certainly has a great chance,” said Jiri Fischer, the Red Wings’ director of player development, who was the 25th overall pick in 1998. “In our organization, everybody has to earn the chance, then everybody has to grab the chance. I think he’s on the right path, the way he’s been working and progressing. I’m hoping he’s going to have a good camp and good season as he did last year, as long as he keeps working.”
Kindl has always been an impact offensive defenseman. He generated offense as a youth in his native Czech Republic and in juniors with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League.
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
The Panthers are close to signing free-agent defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and a deal is imminent, an NHL source said Sunday.
According to the source, the team and Seidenberg’s agent, J.P. Barry, have been feverishly negotiating and have agreed to a one-year contract. They just need to settle on salary before the contract is finalized, which could happen as early as today.
Seidenberg’s signing would be a boon for the Panthers.
added 10:17am, TSN reporting 1yr for $2.25M.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
But this autumn, the “Cirque Georges Laraque,” as he calls it, has pulled down the big top. If you want the Ringling Brothers, he said on the eve of Canadiens training camp, you’ll need to go elsewhere.
Inside and out, this is a new Laraque, one who aims to focus purely on hockey and his role on a virtually new team.
He dropped 20 pounds over the summer, his current 245 the lightest he’s been since he was drafted into the NHL by Edmonton in 1995.
He dramatically changed his diet. As a vegan, Laraque now eats no meat, fish or dairy products.
He says he’ll no longer be the go-to guy for an insatiable media machine whose talk-shows and frothing panelists covet him for the ratings spike he provides.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Reluctantly, in the aftermath of the San Jose Sharks’ bold trade for Dany Heatley, it might be time to jump back on the bandwagon of the NHL’s perennial underachievers.
The Sharks, who generally follow an exceptional regular season with a do-nothing playoff, have been hinting about major changes since their first-round pratfall to the Anaheim Ducks last spring.
That it took until the eve of training camp for Sharks general manager Doug Wilson to pull off a deal speaks to the warring factions inside the organization, the unwillingness to gut a team that finished with 115 points to win the President’s Trophy last season against the clear sense that something needed to be done to rouse his remaining players to attention.
In the 28-year-old Heatley, a two-time 50-goal scorer who had demanded a trade from the Ottawa Senators in the spring, they may just have found the missing piece of the puzzle.
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
General manager Ken Holland confirmed that defenseman Andreas Lilja will start the season on long-term injured reserve. Lilja, who hasn’t been cleared for contact due to headaches and concussion-like symptoms, isn’t even allowed to skate with the team in practices. Lilja said he hopes to skate on his own Monday.
Lilja on IR puts the Wings under the salary cap, so there’s no need to trade a defenseman for the time being.
“Lils has had a setback,’’ Babcock said. “It doesn’t look to me like he’s in the picture at all.’‘
more from the Wings first day of training camp in Traverse City.
via Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
Jarret Stoll is not on the ice today, as he recovers from a surprising bout with arthritis. Stoll said he has been taking medication and receiving shots for the pain in his right wrist and said “by no means am I expecting to miss the start of the season.” Stoll said he wanted to skate today but was held back, and said he wants to play in exhibition games next week.
from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Kari Lehtonen did not take part in Sunday’s practice, the Thrashers’ first of training camp. The goalie is recovering from off-season back surgery.
Lehtonen was not expected to miss training camp following the surgery, but coach John Anderson said Sunday he did not have a timetable for Lehtonen’s return.
“Backs are a little iffy, so right now I wouldn’t want to speculate,” Anderson said. “The trainer has to tell me how he feels. The sooner the better, but right now no one knows.”
In Lehtonen’s absence, Johan Hedberg, Ondrej Pavelec, Drew MacIntyre and Manny Legace practiced in goal.
“Right now, he’s not in the mix,” Anderson said of Lehtonen. “Saying he’s No. 1, that’s not true. I’ll put him in when he’s actually ready, but right now the No. 1 job is up for grabs. Right now there are four guys that look really good out there.
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Q: Bruce Boudreau and George McPhee both said [yesterday] that you are exploring your options in Europe. What’s the situation?
A: “I come here and I want to play in the NHL and I’m looking forward to the season. I feel unbelievable good. I’m in good shape. I’m just looking forward to the season.”
Q: So you don’t have an agent trying to find something for you in Europe?
A: “I’m coming here with the intention of playing for the Capitals. I have two years left on the deal.”
from Sam McCaig of The Hockey News,
So here it is, the Three-Star case for the Flyers as Stanley Cup champions this coming June:
1. The Pronger Effect
Not only is Chris Pronger still one of the most dominant, devastating defensemen in the game today, Stanley Cup finals have a way of following him around; especially in his first season with a new team. At least, that’s been the case in the post-lockout NHL and it’s a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, so that’s all the matters.
After nine seasons in St. Louis, Pronger showed up in Edmonton in 2005-06 and led the Oilers to the Cup final against Carolina. Edmonton lost in six games, but the Oilers wouldn’t have come close to advancing that far without the ultra-talented, ultra-snarly defenseman.
The next season, after an auspicious exit from Edmonton (let’s just say, don’t expect Pronger to return to the Oilers a la Mike Comrie anytime soon), he showed up in Anaheim on a blueline that also featured Scott Niedermayer and the pair of future Hall of Famers led the fighty Ducks to a Stanley Cup championship.
Now, Pronger is with his third new team since the lockout. And neither the ’06 Oilers nor the ’07 Ducks were as good as the Flyers – at least on paper – appear to be.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Word is that any day now the Vancouver Canucks are going to give head coach Alain Vigneault a three-year extension on his contract on top of the year he has left.
Now Vigneault is a good NHL coach and has done some fine work here in his three years, but why would general manager Mike Gillis be so generous when there appears to be absolutely no pressing reason why a coach needs what is essentially a four-year deal?
Isn’t that what Brian Burke did with Marc Crawford? He gave his coach a three-year extension and the club ended up dining on a year of that salary. And clearly by the way the Crawford era ended here, that decision should have been made a year earlier, meaning they would have eaten two years of that deal.
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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