Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Greg Logan of On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
I don’t think the Islanders are putting up a smokescreen. I believe their interest in Brampton center Matt Duchene is real. At the beginning of the season, I think he was considered a cut below the top two. But as the season progressed and Duchene combined with Cody Hodgson, last year’s No. 10 pick, to lead Brampton to the Ontario Hockey League finals before losing to Windsor, I sensed the stealth pick might be making a run up a lot of draft boards.
Suddenly, Duchene’s comparables became “Steve Yzerman” and “Joe Sakic.” While the critiques of Tavares focus on his one-dimensional play and less than stellar skating ability, Duchene now is portrayed as the “most complete” player in the draft….
My gut feeling is that the Islanders will pick Matt Duchene and worry about the fallout from the fans later.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Today is Make it Seven Day in Hamilton. Yesterday, was send a letter to Gary Bettman Day. We’re not certain, at this time, what tomorrow may bring.
We do know this much: Every day seems to be Annoy the National Hockey League Day for Jim Balsillie.
It’s as if he can’t help himself. The harder he pushes, the farther away the NHL gets from him, and by extension, from southern Ontario.
He may not know this because he may not know the NHL people all that well: But I can tell you with almost certainty that they hate him. More and more with each passing day, they hate his publicity stunts. They hate his overt public relations campaigns. They hate the way he disregards whatever may be going on around the NHL—like last night’s award show, for example—and continues in his bull-in-a-china-shop kind of way, blinded by everything but his own ego, hell-bent to bring a seventh NHL team to Hamilton.
When all of this first came out, Balsillie wants to buy the Yotes, I was leaning towards saying, ok, fine with me, but all the marketing spins he has come out with has completely turned me off. Not sure what he is trying to do, but it sure isn’t working for me.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
...But the issue isn’t whether the Canucks will collapse if they fail to sign the Sedins. The issue is whether they will be better positioned to win the Stanley Cup if they don’t sign the twins. That, after all, is supposed to be the goal here and, to that end, things become pretty clear.
If the recent history of the NHL has taught us anything, it’s that any attempt to assemble core players through free agency is a loser’s game. This was true in the pre-cap world when the Detroits, New Jerseys and Colorados were largely home-grown enterprises. It’s certainly true in the salary-cap world, where it’s a given that free agency represents the most inefficient, and dangerous, method of team-building.
Teams might be able to fill one or two holes in their lineups by dipping into the free-agent pool.
But no one in their right mind would try to sign their best players that way.
Most of us know some ot the NHL players participated in the PokerStars.net Charity Shootout on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
The winner was supposed to be kept a secret, since it will be shown on ESPN on a later date, but our very own commish broke the news on his radio show yesterday that Scott Hartnell won the event.
I also found this story on the Hartnell win this morning….
The day after the NHL Awards are announced, emails start flowing in asking for a breakdown of the voting for each trophy.
Below you have your answers…
Jean Beliveau receiving the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award.
I have been a strong believer the NHL needs to honor the great players of the past and involve these types of players in any way possible.
from Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal via the Montreal Gazette,
Alexander Ovechkin and Pavel Datsyuk led a Russian assault on the podium at the NHL Awards and will be leaving Las Vegas with armloads of hardware and winning smiles.
Ovechkin copped the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player and the Lester B. Pearson as most outstanding player, in a vote by his peers, while Datsyuk waltzed off with the Selke Trophy as best defensive forward and the Lady Byng Trophy as the league’s most gentlemanly and sportsmanlike player.
“It’s pretty important when people and players give you this. I don’t want to stop. I want to be the best next year,” said Ovechkin, the Washington left-winger who easily outpolled countrymen Datsyuk and Evgeni Malkin. It was a repeat Hart win for Ovechkin and the fourth straight Lady Byng for Datsyuk and his second Selke. It was a big night worthy of celebration.
via E.J. Hradek of ESPN The Magazine,
The NHL is hoping to double down on the success of its Winter Classic by planning a second outdoor game for Jan. 1, 2010, according to multiple league sources.
The back-end of the outdoor doubleheader would be hosted by the Flames in Calgary’s McMahon Stadium, the site of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 1988 Winter Olympics. The opponent is unknown but figures to be one of the other five Canadian-based franchises.
via Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Penguins center Evgeni tonight was named the center on the NHL’s first-team all-star team.
Malkin, who won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer with 113 points, joins right winger Jarome Iginla of Calgary, left winger Alex Ovechkin of Washington, defensemen Zdeno Chara of Boston and Mike Green of Washington, and goaltender Tim Thomas of Boston on the first team.
added 9:54pm, 2nd team All-Stars-
G - Steve Mason, Columbus Blue Jackets
D - Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
D - Dan Boyle, San Jose Sharks
C - Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
RW - Marian Hossa, Detroit Red Wings
LW - Zach Parise, New Jersey Devils
Western Conference players have taken five of six places on the 2008-09 NHL All-Rookie Team, the League announced today. An All-West forward line features St. Louis Blues center Patrik Berglund, Anaheim Ducks right wing Bobby Ryan and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Kris Versteeg, and is joined by Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. The lone selection from the Eastern Conference is Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn.
added 6/19/09, I have added the voting breakdown by position below…
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
“I’m at a point where the decision, I know will be the right one,” Brodeur said. “Like I’ve said in the past, I have a lot of faith in Lou and the hockey people that we have to bring in the right guy under the right circumstances. I thought we did some great things last year with some of the young players playing the way they played and my concern is to make sure that we don’t stop there. We need these kids to continue to grow.
“It doesn’t matter who the coach is to me. It won’t change much and for the older players it won’t change much. But it’s for the kids, the future prospects and how they need to learn. Like I said, I’m anxious becuase that’s what we do. I play hockey and it would be nice to know who is going to be the head of our team.”
Brodeur said the style Sutter implemented helped the Devils, particularly the young players, progress as a team..
“Brent brought a system that helped these guys to be able to go in and gain more and be more active on the offensive side of the puck,” Brodeur said .“It’s something that we gained confiedence in doing that and, for us as a team, by doing that we showed ourselves that we’re capable fo playing a certain way to compete with the top teams and we’ve just got to continue that way.”
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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