Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Speaks of EdmontonOilers.com,
Less than 24 hours after winning the top pick in the NHL Draft Lottery, Oilers GM Steve Tambellini was back in Edmonton for his end-of-season press conference at Rexall Place.
Media packed the conference room and questioned Tambellini on a number of topics, including the upcoming draft, what went wrong this past season, the status of certain high-profile player personnel, and prospect development.
Here are the highlights:
“We have good people, good players, but we have to make some change,” he said. “Going into this year’s draft, you know there will be potentially more change. We’re going to try to do some things there as far as moving bodies.
“If I was to stand up here in front of all of you and say, ‘If I make one trade, if I make one good free agent signing then things are going to be better,’ that’s not true. I’m not going to be the person to tell you that there’s a quick fix,” he stated.
“If they don’t want me here and they want to move in a direction or rebuild or believed they could do better, I would look at it. Absolutely. ou want to play where you’re wanted and have people believe in you. But I don’t think that’s the case (in Calgary).
“Obviously, they have decisions to make. If they want me here, yeah, I do want to be here. Again, it’s not because it’s just easy or it’s comfortable. I want to win. I want to win and there’s only so many years, and the years go by fast. I believe with some adjustments we can be a lot better team this year.”
-Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames. More from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail.
The best of the best from the NHL regular season.
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
Well the 8 Cities in 8 Days Tour trip is underway. I left my New Jersey home at 2:15 Tuesday afternoon and pulled into my Pittsburgh hotel at about 8 p.m., which was pretty good time considering the boondoggle at the 78 tollbooth in Easton Pa., where construction at the toll plaza resulted in a 30-minute delay. (It didn’t help that I forgot my EZ Pass either….
The complete route
Matawan to Pittsburgh—365 miles
Pit to Buf—219 miles
Buf to Newark—389 miles
Newark to Washington—219 miles
Washington to Philadelphia—139 miles
Philadelphia to Boston—312 miles
Boston to Ottawa—439 miles
Ottawa to Montreal—100 miles
Montreal to Matawan—431 miles
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Claiming he had absolutely no fear of being fired if his vision for the Maple Leafs does not come to fruition in the near future, general manager Brian Burke unveiled his off-season shopping list Wednesday.
To that end, his wish list includes:
1. A Top-6 forward;
2. Adding more size to the roster;
3. Augmenting team toughness.
Easier said than done.
But Burke maintains he will stick to his plan of building from the net out. In other words, most of the focus this summer will be on the forward ranks, with the blue line and goaltending corps seemingly set.
via the CP at TSN,
Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brian Campbell has returned to practice for the first time since he broke a collarbone and a rib after a hit from Washington’s Alex Ovechkin on March 14.
The Blackhawks initially said Campbell would miss seven or eight weeks.
Campbell says he still doesn’t have a timetable to return. He won’t play Friday when the Blackhawks open the playoffs at home against Nashville.
Chris Kuc tweeted this about an hour ago…
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he hopes defenseman Brian Campbell can return sometime during first-round series.
from John Grigg of The Hockey News,
This is THN.com’s Top 10 dark horse playoff performers.
10. Jason Williams, Detroit
The hard-luck Williams, 29, averaged just 56 games played the past three seasons due to injury. But he’s a seasoned veteran and one-time 20-goal scorer who played his first NHL game eight seasons ago. And Detroit will need scoring from all corners to succeed.
9. Tyler Ennis, Buffalo
Picking a raw rookie with just 10 NHL games under his belt goes against the grain a little bit. But Ennis, 20, had nine points in those 10 games and if any of Buffalo’s forwards can’t get or stay healthy, Ennis will jump into a top-six role, where the points can come in bunches.
8. Tomas Kopecky, Chicago
Kopecky, 28, is a bit of a late bloomer, but has been around successful playoff teams in Detroit. He left the Wings to play a bigger role somewhere else and although he hasn’t lit Chicago on fire, Kopecky will be out to prove he has more to offer than Detroit let him show in past post-seasons.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
As the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs get under way Wednesday night, here are 10 storylines we’ll be watching this postseason:
1. Beware betting against those Coyotes
By now, you’ve likely seen almost every hockey pundit (including me) pick the red-hot veteran Red Wings to beat upstart Phoenix in the first round. But wouldn’t it just be like the Coyotes to once again prove us all wrong? All season long, people have been waiting for them to fall apart. Hasn’t happened. Not even close. Now, they’re given very little chance against hockey’s model franchise. Could there be another great story out of the desert?
2. League discipline/head shots
Under the newly approved fast-tracked rule, NHL senior vice president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell has the power to suspend players for blind-side hits to the head. The postseason rule of thumb has always been that one playoff game was worth four or five in the regular season when it comes to suspensions. How will Campbell react to the first blind-side head shot incident?
Dave Strader and Tyson Nash break down the series between Detroit and Phoenix.
“I want to be on a winning team. It’s three years of this and (we’re going) back to square one, so I want to be on a winning team. That’s the biggest thing. I’m not getting any younger. We’ll see how it all shakes out this summer.”
-Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning. More from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times.
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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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