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Category: NHL-Teams

Blogging Standards

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

The Vancouver Canucks, who are hosting a six-team prospects tournament in this city on Lake Okanagan, say they will grant equal credentials to approved bloggers. But there will be a strict code of conduct that they must follow. Should bloggers - a contrarian, independent lot - breach those conditions, the Canucks say they will pull credentials and deny access. In short, bloggers will be held to the standards of MSM when it comes to libel, slander, seeking autographs etc.

That might be a problem as “blogger” has come to be synonymous for bending the rules on sourcing or taking liberties with research. Others complain that bloggers hiding behind anonymity don’t reveal their conflicts or connections to either management or players. Things that would never pass muster with an editor go viral on the internet.

Some feel that the threat of pulling credentials should suffice in keeping bloggers in line. Others, who note the lack of sourced material and accountability in many blogs, feel that more needs to be done. After all, if you sue a blogger for slander and win, what can you get? The person’s computer? The lack of risk and absence of assets as compensation makes pursuing a blogger moot. Hit-and-run has been the tactic of many blogs floating on the edge of respectability.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sharks Have All The Tools

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

In his place The Fish now call on Antero Nittymaki and, ta da, Antti Niemi, the man who put them out of the playoffs last season. The Sharks are now younger, cheaper and deeper in goal. Nabokov, on the other hand, was an absolute rock in the regular season.

We’ll see how this plays out.

But elsewhere it’s the usual suspects with the Sharks surrounded by the usual questions. Wilson might not be the most objective source on this subject but he believes his team made massive strides last season. And that’s of interest to the Canucks because the favourites in the West, in no particular order, are Vancouver, San Jose and Detroit.

“I’m excited for this franchise to get to this point and I think we’re now poised to be really successful,” he said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Alain Vigneault

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

WILLES: In the 40-year history of this franchise, I don’t think there’s ever been the level of expectation which surrounds this team. How does that change things for you?

VIGNEAULT: We’ve been talking about that and we embrace that. I’m as excited as anyone else. I believe in today’s NHL there are windows for teams to have success and I think we’re in that window. Since I’ve been here we’ve grown every year and we’ve improved our personnel. I think we’re ready. We need to take the next step. We all have the same aspirations. They want to win. I want to win. The city wants to win.

So where do you have to be better to take the next step?

Obviously our road record needs to be better and our defence needs to be better. We had a real good offensive season and a lot of guys had breakout years. That should give them confidence and now they have to be better. I have to be better. My coaches have to be better. Management has to be better. We all have to be better.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alain+vigneault

Becoming Successful On Long Island

from Brett Cyrgalis of the NY Post,

There’s a coach on Long Island who understands what it is to rebuild a franchise, who understands that losses are part of the process, even if they come by the score, and he sees the big picture when most everyone else is nearsighted.

Scott Gordon is entering his third year at the helm of the Islanders, a once-proud franchise that hasn’t been to playoffs in three years and hasn’t won a playoff series since 1993.

Now he sits in a place that a lot of coaches have, one that is on the cusp of turning a good young team into a successful team. When they take the ice for their first training camp session on Friday at Nassau Coliseum, the spotlight will be in a familiar place—far away from them—as most media outlets have pegged them to finish last in the Atlantic Division for a second straight year.

Instead, the pressure to succeed will be internal. Which is really nothing new for Gordon and his band of on-the-rise youngsters.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A New Standard Set For Player Contracts

from David Shoalts and Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The record $3-million (U.S.) fine and the loss of first- and third-round draft picks levied against the New Jersey Devils as punishment for the first version of Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract is all about NHL commissioner Gary Bettman delivering a hard message to owners and general managers: We warned you about trying to circumvent the salary cap, and these are the consequences.

There was also no coincidence in the timing of the announcement. It came on the eve of Tuesday’s board of governors meeting in New York because, according to an NHL source who requested anonymity, Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly wanted to make sure every team representative realized the new standard for player contracts recently negotiated with the NHL Players’ Association must be followed.

That was the nearly unanimous opinion of a group of NHL governors, GMs and player agents – all of whom requested anonymity because they did not want to provoke the ire of Bettman, who decreed there would be no official comment from the league. An equal number of governors and GMs declined to make any comment at all.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Craig Leipold

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Q With a team-record payroll of more than $57 million (a few million from the salary-cap ceiling), you could not have been happy with a 13th-place finish. What are your expectations this year?

A: I’m not happy. It’s been a very long offseason. We are committed to winning, and winning means playoffs—and a run in the playoffs. Last year was a bad year. We got off to a surprisingly bad start. We had a decent run in the middle. And then we had a bad ending. We need to have a little bit of luck this year in terms of injuries. If we have a normal injury kind of year, I would expect our team to be a strong playoff team, one that will have a run in the playoffs—whatever that means, however you define that. I know how I define it. All of us were not happy with how we ended last year and where we were in the standings last year. That’s just not acceptable. I’m not proud at all that we didn’t make the playoffs the last two years.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+leipold

Limited Excitement

from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,

What is the Jackets’ culture? Winning is about 36 percent of it.

In three days, the team opens training camp in preparation for its 10th season. The lack of excitement is overwhelming.

The biggest events of the summer:

• Scott Arniel, who is a household name in exactly one household, was hired as the new coach.

• Bob Boughner left his junior-league franchise to join Arniel’s staff, and it was presented as an unbelievable coup, as if Dean Acheson were just added to the cabinet.

• Ethan Moreau, a forward who will turn 35 next week, was claimed off waivers.

Granted, hiring a new coach is not inconsequential. It should also be said that the Jackets already have roughly $54 million committed to the payroll, management believes in its roster, and general manager Scott Howson has hinted he might make a move for a defenseman. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink, zzzzzz


Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, | KK Hockey | Permalink

A Different Aaron Downey

from George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press,

Downey, 36, made some big changes in his life. He trimmed 15 pounds off his muscular frame.

“For me to be able to continue my career as a banger and energy guy, I had to re-create myself,” Downey said Tuesday at City Ice Arena in Detroit. “I had to rebuild the body, had to get faster and had to work on my game.”

More important, Downey worked to change his lifestyle, which he said he believes had an effect on his on-ice performance.

“I wasn’t happy,” said Downey, an unrestricted free agent who is trying out with the Red Wings. “I was happy with my career, but ... I had a lot of off-ice issues that no one’s really seen. I kept a lot of things hidden, and I faced them.

“I’m not about chasing women. I’m not about going to the bars anymore.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aaron+downey

What Happened With Belanger Signing With The Capitals?

from Katie Carerra of the Washington Post,

Last month, the Capitals appeared to have an agreement in place that would bring Belanger back to Washington, pending the completion of a trade. The team never confirmed that it had an arrangement with Belanger, and on Tuesday, Capitals General Manager George McPhee declined to comment while a team spokesman reiterated that Washington never had a contract agreement with Belanger.

Belanger’s agent, Joe Tacopina, said the Capitals did have a deal to bring back Belanger and even helped him sign a lease for a house in Washington and enroll his two daughters in area schools.

“It’s just disingenuous,” Tacopina said. “Despite a two-way commitment and requesting Eric to commit to them and take himself out of the [free agent] mix, when they wound up not being able to make the trade several weeks later, they decided they couldn’t sign him.”

more and Richard Labbe of CyberPresse (translated) has a story on this topic too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+belanger

Training Camp Health Report

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

Injury news — both good and bad — is front and center around the league: The Philadelphia Flyers will open camp without Chris Pronger (knee) and the Pittsburgh Penguins will be without Jordan Staal (foot). The Anaheim Ducks will be without Joffrey Lupul, who is being treated for an infection resulting from back surgery, and the Vancouver Canucks will miss hot young prospect Cody Hodgson (back).

Staal has a chance to be ready for the start of the season, while Lupul is expected to miss the start of the season. There is no official timetable for Pronger’s return, and Hodgson’s injury status seems unknown.

The Wild are among several teams with a key player expected to show up at camp after recovering from a long-term injury, including forward Scottie Upshall (Phoenix Coyotes), plus defensemen Willie Mitchell (Los Angeles Kings), Craig Rivet (Buffalo Sabres) and Mike Komisarek (Toronto Maple Leafs).


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com


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