Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason Kay of the Hockey News,
In places such as Chicago, Anaheim, Atlanta, Columbus, Boston, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington (and all of Canada, of course) there is a belief among our correspondents that excitement is high in the markets they cover, never mind this is prime time for MLB playoffs, the NFL season is in full swing and the global economy is in a free-fall.
However, a couple lines in one of the stories triggered alarm bells for me. Call it my DEW (Distant Early Warning) sensor going off, but I have a modicum of concern for a team in hockey’s heartland: the Buffalo Sabres.
“Buffalo just doesn’t seem as psycho about the Sabres,” writes our contributor John Vogl.
from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,
Marian Gaborik’s long-term future with the Wild never has been more uncertain.
General Manager Doug Risebrough told the Star Tribune on Friday that he does not expect to sign Gaborik, who is one season from unrestricted free agency, to a contract extension by the start of the season.
“Not making any headway,” said Risebrough, who last month said it would be prudent to sign Gaborik, the team’s all-time leading scorer, to an extension by next Saturday’s season opener. “I was trying to do something before the season. It’s not happening. ... It’s not going to happen by the start of the season.”
Asked if he’ll react by putting Gaborik on the trading block, Risebrough said, “That, I’ll have to determine.”
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
Coyotes fans will wonder if Olli Jokinen can get their team over the hump while Chicago fans are hopeful Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews has finally gotten their team on the right track.
Will Joe Sakic lead the Avalanche back to another Stanley Cup title?
Can Alex Ovechkin hit 60 goals again? What about 70?
Will the Patrick Marleau and the Sharks ever get to a Cup final?
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
“Pittsburgh was smart to pick up Miro Satan because he’s a more complete player than Marian Hossa,” Adler says. “Hossa is a scorer, but so is Satan, except Satan knows even how to backcheck, AND he’ll know how to get Crosby into scoring positions and get the puck to him.
“Satan slowed down at the Island last season (just 16 goals in 80 games), but that doesn’t mean he he hasn’t got it any longer ... The Islanders stunk last season, that’s all.”
So two veteran hockey observers think Satan can do it. I’m not so sure, and I’ll get into that in a moment. It’s worth noting now, though, that Satan has defied negative expectations in the past.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Brian Burke has some words of warning for NHL opponents trying to ape the success of the Detroit Red Wings, the team that followed his Anaheim Ducks as Stanley Cup champions on a steamy night in Pittsburgh last June.
“To me, if you want to play Detroit’s style, you better have some players that can do it,” said Burke, the Ducks’ garrulous general manager. “A lot of teams don’t.
“That’s why I think it’s easier to fix the snarl on your team than it is to fix the skill. If you put players in your lineup like [Henrik] Zetterberg, [Pavel] Datsyuk and [Nicklas] Lidstrom, then, yeah, you can play Detroit’s way. But those guys are hard to find.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
What in the world could coach Tom Renney be thinking? How on earth could he deny Prucha, who has been among the most energetic Rangers throughout training camp, a uniform in his homeland and hand one instead to Fredrik Sjostrom, Nigel Dawes or Aaron Voros, three players whose preseason work was lukewarm, at best?
If No. 25 does not play today, and that certainly appeared the plan yesterday when Prucha remained on the ice late following practice and then stormed away from the O2 Arena, this will be nothing less than humiliation, and coming from a coach who is nothing but decent, kind and caring.
It doesn’t compute. None of it computes. This entire disjointed training camp does not compute.
added 7:43am, from Steve Zipay of Blue Notes at Newsday,
Good morning, all…Yesterday, Czech Republic native Petr Prucha believed he wasn’t going to dress for tonight’s game against Tampa.
This morning, however, Prucha and assistant coach Perry Pearn had a heart-to-heart discussion along the boards near the red line at the morning skate here at O2 Arena, and a visibly relieved Prucha will play tonight, likely on the third-line with center Lauri Korpikoski and Ryan Callahan.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
Call it pre-season, but don’t call it boring. Not with five fights in the second period, much to the delight of 19,289 spectators at the Pengrowth Sattledome.
The fight card featured Robyn Regehr vs. Zach Stortini, Jim Vandermeer vs. Steve MacIntyre, and Ethan Moreau vs. Andre Roy….
With Jason Strudwick already headed to the penalty box for hooking, MacIntyre tried to pick a fight with Jamie Lundmark . The Oilers enforcer earned a roughing penalty for his efforts, as the Flames centre refused to go. Clearly enraged, MacTavish verbally sparred with the officials before refusing to send out his players to kill the penalties - a move that saw the Oilers coach receive a game misconduct.
Fox Sports has a photoshow of the top 10 NHL goalies:
10. Marc-Andre Fleury
9. Vesa Toskala
8. Rick Dipietro
more and my question is, who voted?
From Peter O’Neil of Canwest in the Leader Post,
Former Ottawa Senators defencemen Wade Redden and Andrej Meszaros rejected Friday speculation that their former team’s collapse last year was linked to excessive partying.
The two players, who will play against each other here Saturday when Redden’s New York Rangers face the Tampa Bay Lightning, also said they never witnessed inappropriate off-season behaviour involving former teammate Ray Emery, who was asked during an interview with ESPN.com in August about whether he used recreational drugs.
Both players cited other reasons - Redden spoke of a failure to maintain the team’s historic commitment to team defence, while Meszaros suggested that exhaustion over the long playoff run the year before ultimately led to Ottawa’s second-half flop.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The senior (Jeremy) Jacobs remains optimistic that the players will not opt out of the CBA. Based on all-too-familiar history, NHL players without a collectively bargained deal usually end up locked-out, and out of work.
‘‘Pragmatically,’’ said Jacobs, who is also director of the league’s Board of Governors, ‘‘I think they should continue the course they’ve got—they’ve never been richer.’‘
Recognizing that, added Jacobs, he doesn’t have a firm read what the players will do in the weeks and months ahead.
more on Jacobs and the Bruins…
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