Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Since pronouncing his mission statement at his now-famous opening press conference, Gillis hasn’t exactly dazzled this market with his offseason moves. Anyone who saw the Canucks play for more than a period last season was painfully aware the team needed to add two or three top-nine forwards to ease the burden on the twins.
His response? He exchanged Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison for Pavol Demitra and Steve Bernier, while virtually every team in the Western Conference improved themselves.
As a result, the twins are now as important to the Canucks as Roberto Luongo and, if you doubt that, consider what their lineup would look like without the Sedins.
Gillis might have had more ambitious plans this summer but, as the new season dawns, he’s left with one option.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Reports Calgary Flames forward Marcus Nilson has signed to play with CSKA Moscow are “not correct,” according to his agent.
However, J.P. Barry said he and the two clubs are trying to work out a way for Nilson to play in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.
“We’re exploring the possibility of him playing there,” Barry said yesterday. “We were hoping to do it quietly.”...
The Flames could have bought Nilson out of the final year of his two-year, US$2-million contract, but decided not to exercise that option. GM Darryl Sutter said the veterans would have to earn roster spots this season.
Still, it appears Nilson isn’t in the team’s plans, which is why Barry and the Flames are negotiating.
“It all started when Peter came on board,” Jacobs said. “It was a tough change because Harry (Sinden) had been the GM and led this organization and bringing Peter in, and subsequently Cam, it’s gone from an old organization to a young vibrant organization. And it needed it. I’m so proud to see the rejuvenation I’m seeing here. The sixth game (against Montreal) was very reminiscent of the old building. And the identity is very much like the identity of the old Bruins. It’s something we’re going to build on.”
-Boston Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs at the Bruins Town Hall Meeting last night. Read more about the Bruins at the Boston Herald.
from The Cult of Hockey,
The Oilers aren’t actively looking to make a trade right now, but do have their eye on one guy as a training camp invite. (Dan) Tencer (630CHED) guessed faceoff specialist Yanic Perreault, but Lowe shot that down and wouldn’t say who the player was.
Lowe said the team was looking for the right kind of enforcer, and this summer pursued Georqes Laraque and one other unnamed player, who went to another NHL team. “It’s got to be the right fit.”
Lowe said that tough guy Zack Stortini does put the fear of God into some people, but added, “Maybe not in Derek Boogaard and some of the heavyweights.”
more Oilers talk…
from Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
Wonder why Todd Bertuzzi wound up with No. 7 with the Flames when he’s always worn either 4 or 44 as an NHLer (and before that as an OHL star)? Roger Millions of Sportsnet asked Bertuzzi that very question today at the Flames’ charity golf tournament luncheon and this was the response:
“Obviously, I’ve always worn 4. I think it was just time for a change. Me and a couple of buddies were having a beer and trying to figure out what to do (about his sweater number) and one of the players that came up who I’ve always idolized is Phil Esposito. So I thought I’d go with it and see where that goes.”
from the blog of Craig Custance at the Sporting News,
...I got it today from Michael Peca. He flat out said that this is a 100-point team right now in Columbus. Last year, they had trouble getting the puck to their forwards. That’s been solved with a revamped blue line. Rick Nash has never had an equally skilled player to get him the puck. Enter Kristian Huselius.
You could tell that Peca loves the acquisition of R.J. Umberger, who he thinks would do well skating with Nash and Huselius.
“I think we have a great blend of youth and experience, size and skill,” Peca said. “There are just a lot of things to be upbeat and excited about.”
more and a few other hockey notes. Nice to see Craig also mention the Dwayne episode too, a first from a MSM today.
From the Pittsburgh Penguins,
As a show of their appreciation for tremendous fan support, Penguins players once again hand-delivered season tickets to 35 season ticket-holders throughout the Pittsburgh area. Also this year, head coach Michel Therrien joined Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Marc-Andre Fleury, Pascal Dupuis, Sergei Gonchar, Jeff Taffe, Brooks Orpik, Maxime Talbot and Tyler Kennedy in making stops around Western Pa. to distribute season tickets.
“I don’t think there are a lot of teams that do this in any sport. It’s a pretty unique thing we do. As players, we appreciate it and it’s a way to kind of give back more on a personal level. I think people appreciate that,” Crosby said.
From Mike Vogel at the Washington Capitals,
Virtually every kid in America has played catch with a baseball and a glove, and tried to hit pitched balls. Almost all have shot a few hoops in their day, and almost all have thrown a football around. But not nearly as many have laced up a pair of hockey skates, taken to the ice shot a few pucks around. That may be why ice hockey is among the least understood of the major sports; some of the people writing about it have never played the sport.
With that in mind, the Washington Capitals hosted the team’s first media fantasy camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday. A large contingent of print and electronic media from both local and national media outlets took to the ice for some instruction in the finer points of the game from several Caps players and coaches.
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
It’s nice to see Chris Chelios back for another season with the Detroit Red Wings.
At 46, Chelios is the oldest NHL player since Gordie Howe retired in 1980 at age 52. Now entering his 25th season, Chelios will one day retire with a number of standards that will never be matched.
Here are 10 of them. (Note: some are projected. Chelios will keep playing until 50.)
10. Win Stanley Cup titles 16 years apart: 1986 in Montreal and 2002 in Detroit.
continued and watch my favorite Chelios moment below (sorry Alanah)...
from Kevin Allen of Mucking & Grinding,
With training camp now just a week away, here’s what you should expect to happen over the next few days:
1. The Atlanta Thrashers hope to land another defenseman, possibly even unrestricted free agent Marek Malik, although they are considering other options. They still plan to give rookie Zach Bogosian the opportunity to make the team.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org