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Category: NHL-Teams

The Reduction Of The European Player

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

Last season, there were only 229 European-born and/or -trained players in the NHL, the lowest number in a decade and a number that represented just 23.8 percent of NHL players.

There are a number of factors that help explain the dwindling number of European players on NHL rosters. Tops would be the formation of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia, now in its third year of existence. The KHL has provided a viable alternative to pro players of all nationalities, including European players, but especially Russian players, who can make good money playing good hockey without leaving home….

One of the reasons for this drop-off is connected to the change of rules in drafting of European players. Before the lockout, if an NHL team drafted a European player, the NHL club owned that player’s rights indefinitely. That player could develop more slowly in Europe without any pressure on NHL teams to rush into a contract or, conversely, walk away from the player. But since the lockout, European draftees are subject to the same rules as North American selections—they must be signed within two years or the team loses control of the player.

NHL clubs, always trying to protect themselves long-term, have increasingly turned to college players who remain their property while they are in school, possibly buying extra time before committing to a player.


Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Back In The Homeland

from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,

Hockey has given Shawn Thornton many things in life, but he never imagined it would bring him back to his roots.

Yet, there Thornton sat Thursday afternoon—after an overnight flight from Boston—in the city of his mother’s birth, peeling off a sweaty Boston Bruins jersey and ruminating exactly on what the game has given him.

Just since signing with Boston in 2007, Thornton has found a hockey home and been exposed to experiences he never believed to be possible.

“I’m pretty fortunate, my first exhibition game with Boston after I signed was in Newfoundland and I hadn’t been back there in five or six years and now this,” Thornton told NHL.com Thursday. “The timing has been pretty good for myself.”

Thornton played his first four pro seasons in the American Hockey League with the St. John’s Maple Leafs, which made that first trip such a powerful homecoming.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shawn+thornton

A Better Bouwmeester

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Will Bouwmeester ever do enough to justify a salary-cap charge of $6.68-million, third highest in the league behind Zdeno Chara ($7.5-million) and Brian Campbell ($7.14-million)? Probably not. But with one season under his belt in Calgary and his role clarified better than it was a year ago, expect to see Bouwmeester have far greater impact this time around than he did in his debut season with the Flames.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jay+bouwmeester

Points Before The Season Starts

from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,

• As much as I believe Edmonton’s Taylor Hall will be a superstar, his rookie teammate Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson might out-score him this season.

• I expect Drew Doughty to score 25 goals this season.

• Globe and Mail columnist Eric Duhatschek told me earlier this month that he believes the Flames could be better than we all think. And I believe in Eric’s ability to analyze a team’s strengths and weaknesses. But Calgary has been hard hit hard by injuries at center. The Flames need a good start, and these injuries won’t help.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Sather Knows How To Move Bad Contracts

from John Grigg of The Hockey News,

Sather is now reviled – for his managing, not his personality – by many in New York. So much so that “Fire Sather” chants at Madison Square Garden are not uncommon and there was even a ‘Fire Sather’ rally staged outside MSG last March.

The decisions his haters point to other than bad signings include a revolving door of coaches; the selection of Hugh Jessiman 12th overall in 2003 – the only first-rounder from that year who has yet to play an NHL game and those chosen later in Round 1 include 2010 Olympians Brent Seabrook, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards and Corey Perry; and trading away fan favorites Adam Graves and Brian Leetch.

But for all his perceived faults, you have to give Sather credit for at least one thing: he’s sly as a fox when it comes to divesting himself of bad contracts.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: glen+sather

Oilers Waive Souray & Gerber

Numerous tweets state the Oilers have put Sheldon Souray and Martin Gerber on waivers.

Any chance a team decides to put a claim in for either one of them?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+gerber, sheldon+souray

Afternoon Line

What I have a problem with the game coming to a screeching halt so two guys on their one shift of the night can slug it out for 30 seconds, and then the game can resume where it left off. That’s the role of fighting in the NHL today.

-Luke DeCock of the News & Observer.  More from Luke on this topic.

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

Modano Catching Up With Wings Tempo

from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,

Modano was asked if Wings coach Mike Babcock’s training camp regime is all that different from what’s he experienced in Dallas.

The Livonia native was surprisingly blunt in his comparisons to Stars’camps run the past three seasons by former coach Dave Tippett and current Dallas bench boss Marc Crawford.

“The last two or three years there’s been a real big difference,” Modano said.

“I think the pace and tempo is night and day from what we’re used to. Very similar to what Hitch (Ken Hitchcock) was doing in the last 90s early 2000, similar style.

“You needed to be in shape. You needed to skate hard to be effective.

“That’s kind of my situation now is to play a little catchup and try to refer back to those days how we played.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

Redden Arrives In Hartford

from Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant,

So you weren’t surprised by being waived? Not at all, he said.

“Statistically or whatever, I wasn’t doing what a lot of people thought I should have,” Redden said. “I always try to play the same game. Sometimes it doesn’t fit into what teams are looking for. I guess I have to accept that and just move on. It didn’t work out, especially with the salary cap. I wasn’t in their plans. I have to live with that.

“Anything can happen, but certainly [a return to the Rangers] is down on the list of expectations. To be honest, it didn’t go well there. I’ve got to come here and play as well as I can. Obviously, I want to get back to the NHL, but I can’t look down the road. This is the first step. I’m coming here with a fresh slate.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: wade+redden

Leino Starting Season On A High Note

from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Daily Times,

For Ville Leino, earning the trust of coaches in the NHL was a lengthy process.

He never had it in Detroit. He didn’t get it right away in Philadelphia after the Flyers acquired him prior to the Olympic break last season in exchange for Ole-Kristian Tollefsen.

And if it wasn’t for twin foot injuries to Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter early in last season’s playoffs, there’s a good chance Leino still might not have been noticed.

For 19 games last spring, Leino did just that. Partnered with Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell to complete the most dynamic line in the playoffs, Leino finished with 21 points in the postseason, an NHL record for rookies. Considering he had a hard time even getting on the ice for the Flyers prior to the postseason, that’s a pretty remarkable figure.

Now, Leino is set to be a fixture on a deep Flyers team with plans of going one step further than it did last season. He will start the season with Hartnell and Briere on what amounts to the Flyers’ second line, and he is being counted on to provide a good chunk of offense for the first time since his days playing in the Finnish Elite League.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ville+leino

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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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