Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Canucks Nation Blog at the Vancouver Province,
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault didn’t say Kyle Wellwood is a lost cause but he did leave some tread marks on the waiver-wire pickup after he drove the bus over him.
AV took direct aim at Wellwood’s fitness level after the two-day training camp in Whislter.
“His commitment to conditioning and being a professional athlete probably wasn’t where it needed to be for him to have success,” said Vigneault. “His test results showed from early July [to training camp] significant improvements. That being said, it’s still not NHL calibre.”
Ouch. And that wasn’t the only shot that Wellwood absorbed.
added 9:17pm, More on this from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
“I didn’t want to leave,” he said. “I signed to play there. I wanted to win there. But circumstances change.
“We didn’t make the playoffs for three years, they bought Darcy out, they bought Razor [Raycroft] out. Who knew if Mats was going to come back or not? When we looked at it, we thought it was time for a fresh start.”
McCabe told Fletcher the Panthers were his top choice. He said the acquisition of defencemen Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes, plus the presence of Jay Bouwmeester, meant he would be joining an up-and-coming defence corps.
via the San Jose Sharks,
Sharks center Torrey Mitchell sustained a complete non-displaced Tibia/Fibula fracture (two lower leg bones) in a practice session this morning according to Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson. The injury is commonly known as a Tib-Fib or Boot Top fracture.
The time frame for Mitchell’s return to the ice is approximately eight weeks
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
There are 111 NHL pre-season games this year, an average of 7.4 per team. That’s 4,440 man games. Is that really necessary to get a player prepared for the regular season?
The whole idea behind pre-season games in the first place was to get the players in shape and sort out a half-dozen roster spots per team. Well, those reasons are gone.
Players are long since in shape for training camp and the dawn of the salary cap era means rosters are pretty much determined, save for two or three openings, by August.
from the St. Louis Blues,
The jersey features navy blue as its base color behind a new logo incorporating the time-honored BlueNote and the Gateway Arch.
“I think it mixes both the past and the future, but at the same time, it’s not as if we’re messing with (a good thing) too much,” said Boyes, who modeled the jersey for a top-secret photo shoot earlier this weekend. “We’re leaning more on something different, but at the same time, we’re not changing the whole thing.”
more with additional pictures…
from Rob Parent of the Delco Times,
Simon Gagne doesn’t know what evil lurks in the shadows of the preseason. When it comes to the hearts of hockey players, however, Gagne has been there, been done in by that before.
“It’s going to come,” Gagne the concussed elder Flyers statesman said Saturday as the team opened training camp. “I will be confident ... I’m going to look for it.”
What Simon says he seeks is a hit - another big one. The type that Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester laid on him in the early days of the 2007-08 season, sending Gagne down a long and arduous path toward an aborted season and a series of career questions that continue today.
As in ... can he still have a career?
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily Herald,
A year ago some questioned whether Kane’s size would prevent him from being the dynamic player on the NHL level that he was in juniors.
But Kane answered those questions by scoring 21 goals, leading the Blackhawks in scoring with 72 points, and winning the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
“People talk about a sophomore slump, but for us we were playing against the best players all year, the (Nicklas) Lidstroms, (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg, so we have a year under our belt for that, and we have a lot of confidence,” Kane said of himself and second-year center Jonathan Toews. “People were keying on us all year. We just have to go out and play hockey.”
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
(Jiri) Fischer laughingly describes his job as a hockey season with no home games, where no day and no week is the same. He travels mostly within North America and relishes every moment he’s home in metro Detroit, where he and his wife are raising their 2-year-old son. The boy has become another example of how Fischer has changed.
“Before, I wanted to raise a hockey player,” he said. “Now I just want to raise a happy kid, a kid that I can be proud of. Priorities certainly have shifted from my career life. Sometimes, we get so career-focused and we let other things become important, and I believe it’s just not worth it in the end.”
I’m an old guy now,” I think I’ve gotten to that realization that ‘Hey, I can’t stop that one that went in last night. I’ve got to stop the next one that’s coming at me.’ It’s a different look at it when you get a little bit older, you’ve got to respect the game a little more.”
-Blues goaltender Manny Legace. More on Manny from Norm Sanders of the Belleville News Democrat.
from Bud Barth of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
“Somewhere in there, right after the surgery, I hit my low point,” admitted (Manny) Fernandez, who is still bitter over being advised against surgery in Minnesota. “It was overwhelming — too much happening too fast.”
In all, Fernandez has dressed for only 15 of his teams’ last 108 games the past 20 months, and has played in just four of them — the bum knee being directly or indirectly responsible for all 93 missed games.
You can forget an awful lot in that time, but some of it is starting to come back as Fernandez prepares for the 2008-09 season.
“Every day, it seems like I make one save that kind of reminds me of what I used to be, so that’s good,” he said on Friday…
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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