Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Heika a the Dallas Stars Blog,
Les Jackson is all about trust and patience, and that strategy will probably be tested to its utmost by Fabian Brunnstrom.
The 23-year-old free agent from Sweden has a ton of potential, but he is a late bloomer and nobody is sure whether or not he can turn that potential into NHL scoring….
Barring a disaster, Brunnstrom will make the Stars out of camp and will take a regular shift with Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards or Mike Modano. He’s a natural left wing, but he can play right wing, and that should help Dave Tippett find the right place for him. But the bottom line is Jackson will push to keep Brunnstrom in the lineup and also push for him to get important minutes.
“At one point I thought I wasn’t going to play again,” he said. “I decided that, after the way things went in the playoffs, that I wasn’t ready to quit.”
“People say, ‘Oh, you’re old, you can’t play anymore,’ but I truly believe it was kind of a fluke season,” Roberts said. “Everybody has a year once and a while with injuries. I’m close to being 100 percent and really feel good coming in this year and having a good season.”
-more on Gary Roberts from Erin Chenderlin at TampaBayLightning.com…
from Mark Hermann of Newsday,
Anyone who has watched the team closely can tell you that the real trouble is that the Islanders haven’t been able to build a strong roster. It is easier to find a coach than a 40-goal scorer. Thus, they keep changing coaches. Thus, Gordon is here….
It wasn’t all that long ago that Gordon himself was a kid, growing up with the legacy of the 1980 Olympics, responding to the echo, “Do you believe in miracles?” The next miracle he can hope for is that management will keep its fingers out of the pie, except to sign solid players.
Owner Charles Wang must avoid the usual two-year itch. Be patient with him. Gordon knows what he is doing behind a bench. Winning AHL coach of the year is nothing to sneeze at because not only did Laviolette once win that award, so did Fred Shero, John Muckler, Jacques Demers and Marc Crawford (yet another candidate for this Islanders job). “Scott is the right coach for our team,” Snow said last night. What the Islanders really need is to build the team right for this coach.
from Empty Netters,
...That’s a challenge the Penguins face heading into the 2008-09 season. It was a challenge the Ducks faced last season after winning the Cup in 2006-07. As Dan Wood of the Orange County Register recently pointed out, a shorter summer in 2007 for the Ducks probably helped lead to their disappointing first-round loss in the 2008 playoffs to the Stars.
After winning the Cup on June 6, 2007, the Ducks enjoyed a brief 115 days off before starting up again on Sept. 29 in London. That was the shortest offseason for any NHL team. The Penguins will own that distinction this offseason by having only 122 days off since losing the Cup to the Red Wings on June 4.
more with a chart lisiting how many days a team will have enjoyed their summer vacation…
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
It took more than four weeks, but Islanders general manager Garth Snow finally identified the coach he hopes will become a close partner for many seasons to come. Scott Gordon, who was AHL coach of the year last season in Providence, has been named as the replacement for Ted Nolan, Newsday has learned.
added 9:21pm, via the NY Islanders,
“Scott has been one of the top up-and-coming coaches in hockey and with good reason,” said Snow. “Through his work in the minor leagues and most recently with Providence over the last eight years, he has gained an impeccable reputation. The entire Islanders organization looks forward to working with Scott.”
“Garth has given me an unbelievable opportunity to coach in the NHL with the Islanders,” said Gordon. “From my time coaching in Providence, I’ve seen firsthand the talented young players in this organization. I look at the direction and the vision for this team and see a bright future.”
All this trade talk, but yet, no trades!
from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,
Every season in the NHL is important, but some franchises are facing make-or-break campaigns in 2008-09. Here’s a rundown of which teams are looking at turning points in the near future.
Their on-ice advances last season were somewhat overshadowed by the fact the Coyotes can’t draw crowds. Phoenix has lost big money season after season; how long will the owners throw around good money? The Dogs have to make some noise in the standings and generate local buzz; otherwise…it might be back to Winnipeg.
from Lightning Strikes,
Given the team’s cap number, it is much more likely to swap players for minor-league depth or draft choices. That means the rumors about Bryan McCabe, Darryl Sydor and Pavel Kubina can stop.
I know it’s been mentioned a great deal around the Internet before, but it is worth repeating here: Nashville seems a likely trading partner. Think about it. The Predators have 13 draft picks next year and a ton of defensive depth that includes prospects such as Cody Franson, Alex Sulzer and Jonathon Blum.
Two things are at play: The Lightning believes it is set at forward, and, as Koules said, “We feel better about our kids (on defense) than anybody else.”
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
Call it the next step.
It’s the difference between playing against boys in junior hockey or in college and playing against men in the National Hockey League. It’s a daunting task. It’s a physical drain of growing into your body more quickly than ever before. It’s wanting it more than anything else you’ve ever done.
And with the most recent draft being considered in quality and depth right up there with the 1979 and 2003 drafts, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear Tampa Bay talking about where Steven Stamkos will fit in the Lightning lineup.
Another handful of players from the first round—including defensemen Drew Doughty (No. 2 by Los Angeles), Zach Bogosian (No. 3 by Atlanta) Alex Pietrangelo (No. 4 by St. Louis) and Luke Schenn (No. 5 by Toronto), plus forwards like left winger Nikita Filatov (No. 6 by Columbus), right winger Mikkel Boedker and left winger Viktor Tikhonov (Nos. 8 and 28 by Phoenix) and left winger Kyle Beach (No. 11 by Chicago)—are in the same situation as Stamkos.
from Crash the Crease,
During his career Wendel played taller and heavier then he actually was and that took a toll on his body, he did everything in his power to protect his teammates and anything for his team to win, if he had to score a hat-trick he would, if he had to fight Bob Probert he would, if he had to take on a much bigger Marty McSorley who just dropped Doug Gilmour with an elbow he would and he would do it very well.
There has not been many players in the history of the NHL who could do this on a night to night basis and there has been even fewer who could do it that actually would do it
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.
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