Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Cerny’s Rink Rap,
This Flyers team is going to be an absolute bitch to play against this year, adding Pronger and Laperriere to the rugged and abrasive group that consists of Daniel Carcillo, Scott Hartnell, Riley Cote, Arron Asham, and Braydon Coburn.
But like the Broad Street Bully Flyers of the mid-‘70’s, this group is not just filthy. They are filthy good.
The team toughness is there in spades. However, so is the explosive offensive talent.
“We want to do more than stay in th mix. I’d like to chase Detroit. I’m tired of watching Detroit in first place. I’d like to chase them. Somewhere along the line someone has to make them bleed and it might as well be us.”
-Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock. More from Ken by Tom Reed of Puck-rakers…
via Elliotte Friedman’s Twitter,
Zetterberg was supposed to be at NHL Media event but tweaked groin and needed further examination.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
We’ll say this: if the NHLPA pulls its collective head out of its butt before this deal sneaks past, they should be making some phone calls. Considering Burke’s complaints that Lowe overpaid for Penner, thus raising the salary bar for those of his ilk, then the PA should be eager to know if any discussions between GMs involves establishing a perhaps more cost-effective level for Kessel.
In fact, we’re e-mailing this column straight to our choice as the next union leader, Bonnie Lindros.
Burke is one of the most competitive men we’ve ever met. He sweats while watching a rugby game on TV — we’ve seen it.
But does warning a fellow GM that you intend to legally acquire one of his players have any place in the same sentence with the word “competitiveness?”
In this case, might the words “honourable” and “collusion” amount to the same thing?
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Coach Joel Quenneville’s primary goal is to win the Central Division, which won’t be easy despite the losses of Marian Hossa, Mikael Samuelsson, Jiri Hudler and Tomas Kopecky in Detroit.
The Red Wings have won eight straight division titles and still are loaded with Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Lidstrom, Johan Franzen and Dan Cleary. The Wing certainly need some kids to come through, however.
Will this be the year age catches up to Lidstrom, who is 39? And goalie Chris Osgood turns 37 in November.
The Hawks haven’t won a division title since capturing the Norris Division in 1992-93.
more Blackhawks topics…
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
The Red Wings, old and young, turn out to be a bunch of Luddites. When the topic of using Twitter, not one Wing asked wanted anything to do with it.
After the skate this morning, Kirk Maltby said he wasn’t even sure what it was for the longest time. He yelled out to Kris Draper to hear if he used it. Draper scoffed, smiled, and said something along the lines of that he may twitter, but not on his phone. I asked Justin Abdelkader – he, after all, is only 22, and spent three years at Michigan State University – and he wasn’t the least bit enthused, either.
Training camps are about to begin and John Grigg of The Hockey News takes a look at the Top 10 battles within the camps…
1. Jose Theodore vs. Semyon Varlamov, Washington
Whoever wins this battle of the netminders will have a great team to play behind and should approach 40 wins. As in Anaheim, you have to give the more expensive Theodore the upper hand to begin, but Varlamov showed talent and mettle in the playoffs. Theodore also has traditionally not done well under pressure and a summer of personal tragedy will surely add another distraction. The safe money is on Theodore to begin the year as the starter and for Varlamov to finish it. But we’d put everything on Varlamov.
from Kevin Mitchell of the Vernon Morning Star,
Flip-flops, T-shirt and shorts is the season-long regular practice-day attire for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
After four years in much colder Michigan, and two seasons in the just-as-cold minors, Vernon’s Andrew Ebbett soaked up the sun in 48 games with Anaheim last year. Even got a regular shift in 13 playoff games.
Now, he wants a steady diet of Southern California hockey.
“I have a year left on my contract so hopefully we can get a long-term deal done in October and November,” said Ebbett…
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
Two snipers, one question: Dany Heatley or Phil Kessel?
Who would you take?
With NHL training camps inching closer by the day, there are, by my math, roughly 90-plus goals worth of uncertainty still floating around out there in the unhappy Senator and unsigned RFA Bruin.
Will one or both be wearing new uniforms when the season starts? Probably not. It seems more certain with each day that Heatley will begin the year in Ottawa and, despite some draft pick shuffling in Toronto, Kessel remains a valued commodity in Boston.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
More than four years removed from the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014, the battle lines have already been drawn by one of the NHL’s biggest stars regarding NHL participation.
Two-time Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin told ESPN.com during an interview here Wednesday that he will risk suspension and play for his country regardless of whether the NHL is formally involved or not.
“Nobody can say to me you can’t play for your country in the Olympic Games,” Ovechkin said.
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 email@example.com