Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
1. Is Blake Wheeler ready to start his pro career in the NHL?
2. Are we willing to place Peter Schaefer and Jeremy Reich on waivers?
3. Can we afford to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade, with Marc Savard and Phil Kessel being two candidates, to get some defensive help and open up space up front?
My answers: Yes, yes, no…
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin could be headed to Russia after clearing waivers earlier this week.
In order to shed payroll, the Blackhawks are to prepared to loan their high-priced former all-star to a club in the Continental Hockey League (KHL), Sportsnet has learned.
from Tracey Myers of the Star-Telegram,
Brad Richards didn’t speak endlessly of his newfound peace at the start of training camp. But the few words he used spoke volumes for how he felt.
Comfortable. Excited. More excited, he said, than he’s been in a long time. He’s in tune with the Dallas Stars’ system. He’s close with his no-longer-new teammates. He gets it all — and then some.
“You get the jokes now, too,” he added. “I didn’t have a clue of them last year on the inside jokes. Now I’m starting to get them.”
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
Youngsters like Darren Helm, Ville Leino, Jonathan Ericsson and Justin Abdelkader have shown they’re NHL-calibre players, but the economics of the salary cap are proving just as big an obstacle as a veteran lineup to earning a spot on Detroit’s NHL roster….
“What I mean by that is the best players are going to play on this team. If there’s a cap issue, that’s only momentary.
“You can always find ways to do things to make it work. That’s what you do. The best players play. If you come out and earn a job, you get a job.”
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
“Toward the end of the season, I think we got it going a little bit,” Kariya said. “We started shooting the puck more and started getting more traffic and scoring some ugly goals. That’s what you need as a power play. There’s going to be times when the tic-tac-toe plays are there, but a lot of times, it’s a shot or a rebound that’s going to score goals.”
Kariya is back at one of the point positions this season.
“I think having Paul back there is huge for us,” Tkachuk said. “He can move laterally so well on the blue line ... I think we got a little stale last year by playing on the perimeter. We’re attacking with shots and attacking the seams a lot better this year because we’ve got the five forwards out there.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
He can’t wear a ‘C’ on his jersey, but Roberto Luongo doesn’t see how the league could stop him from putting one on his mask.
League rules prohibit a goalie from being a captain, and during games the NHL will not recognize Luongo, the first netminder to captain a team since 1948, in the role.
Because of the rule, the NHL also does not permit a goalie to wear a ‘C’ on his jersey. But Luongo said he has given some thought to painting one on his mask
“It could mean anything, it could be C for Canucks,” Luongo said..
from James Duthie of The Good, The Bad And The Duthie,
I believe there is a place (allbeit a small one) for fighting in hockey. But the amount of fisticuffs in the pre-season is just plain silly. Toronto’s Ryan Hollweg was in three scraps last night against St. Louis. Fist-trick! If you are trying to send a message to your opponent, or impress your coach, wouldn’t one or two suffice?
more hockey bits…
from the CP,
Asked to pick a Stanley Cup winner, Cherry sees no reason why the Red Wings can’t repeat as champions.
“I don’t see anything tripping them up along the way,” he said. “I see no weaknesses in them at all. If you are betting, you have to bet on Detroit again this year.”
Cherry considers Luongo the best goaltender in the world, but still found the Canucks naming him as captain a head-scratching move.
“Making the goaltender a captain is silly,” he snorted. “If he is the leader, he doesn’t need the captain.”
Update 6pm ET: Conference call transcript posted at MLive.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
He insists a trade request has never creeped into his head?
“No, not really. I like everything here,” Kovalchuk said. “It’s a great city, my family loves it here. I feel very comfortable in the locker room and with management, trainers, everybody. I don’t have any problems. If we’re going to play well, I want to stay here. I want to win the Cup and bring it here because I was drafted by this team.”
It’s a different situation, he explains, than that of former teammate Hossa, who made headlines when he passed on huge money to join the Detroit Red Wings for one season so he can try to win the Stanley Cup.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Durability is one of – if not - the most important criteria in determining where to put a player on your draft list. Take Martin Havlat for example – and the surprise is that so many choose to do so, even if Havlat has proven to be shockingly injury prone throughout his career. Two years ago, he produced 57 points in 56 games and was the dynamic offensive force the Chicago Blackhawks felt they needed to get their organization turned around.
more ‘fantasy’ talk from Eric…
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.
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