Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
Both were high-end draft picks. And both were considered the future of the franchise.
But after impressive rookie campaigns, Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner are now considered integral parts of the Edmonton Oilers lineup heading into this season.
Expectations will be high as they attempt to avoid the dreaded sophomore jinx.
“A lot of the sophomore jinx has to do with guys forgetting how hard they worked to get here going into their rookie year,” said Gagner.
“All of us that are going to be sophomore’s this year know how hard we have to work. We have worked hard this summer trying to make sure it doesn’t happen.
“That’s all you can really do. Once the season starts, you have to stay focused and mentally prepared, not letting things get to you and try and handle the things you can control. Hopefully that helps you get through it.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Ryder, 28, will travel south to Boston next week, checking out places to live after signing on with the Bruins as an unrestricted free agent July 1, getting a $12 million payday (over the next three seasons). After back-to-back 30-goal seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, he slumped to a career low of 14 in 2007-08, the hard-hitting onetime sniper becoming a forgotten part in Guy Carbonneau’s up-tempo bleu-blanc-rouge offense.
“A weird year, I’ll tell you that,” said Ryder, sitting in the lobby of a downtown hotel last week, not far from the condo he owns here. “I started out on a line [with top forwards Saku Koivu and Chris Higgins], got pushed back in the lineup, and then all of a sudden, I was out of the lineup.
“To be honest, I still don’t know what happened. All I ever heard from the coaches was, ‘Shoot the puck . . . work hard . . . it will all work out.’ But . . .”
much more on Ryder…
“‘We’re going to do what’s best for the Chicago Blackhawks,’’ Tallon said. ‘‘If it’s keeping Khabibulin, we’ll do it. Right now we’re sitting tight.
‘‘Winning is the bottom line, and the No. 1 position to win is great goaltending. If you don’t have that, you’re going to struggle. If it doesn’t work out with the number of games [each goalie] plays or someone not wanting to be here, then we’ll have a look at it.’‘
-Dale Tallon at the Chicago Sun-Times. Read more on this topic including comments from Huet.
from Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
This was just a casual skate-around, but Foppa is slated to play in a charity game with a Swedish team named the Icebreakers this week. And, it makes me wonder how bad his foot problems are at the moment, if he’s doing this stuff.
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has signed left wing Ryane Clowe to a one-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Clowe, 25, was limited to 15 games due to a knee injury he suffered in Columbus on Oct. 29. He returned to the line-up with only four games remaining in the regular season and finished with eight points (three goals, five assists).
In the 2008 playoffs, Clowe finished tied for the teams goal scoring lead (five) and his nine points was ranked second on the Sharks.
—via press release
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
On the premise that it would be excessively presumptuous to rank them 1 through 30—after all, we’re not talking about uniforms—the rankings are done in groups. They are also purely subjective.
The Elite ...
... or the men who get the most out of their rosters, regardless of how good (or otherwise) those rosters are.
Mike Babcock, Detroit
He could become, if he hasn’t already, the prototype for the modern-era coach. Babcock didn’t play in the NHL, but he has a broad coaching background on the major-junior, Canadian college (briefly) and American Hockey League levels before stepping up, and up to the challenge. Yes, he’s been blessed to be in organizations with considerable talent, but he has proven to be adaptive in the evolving NHL—and that might be the most important quality for a coach in this era.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The International Ice Hockey Federation plans to determine the status of Predators forward Alexander Radulov by mid-August, an IIHF spokesman said Monday….
The IIHF said it would investigate the Radulov matter, as well as the transfer of five other players between the NHL and KHL. The IIHF had requested that all involved parties submit relevant information to the organization by last Thursday.
“We are in the process of investigating the submitted documentation,’’ IIHF spokesman Szymon Szemberg said via e-mail. “It is our ambition to have something to communicate in mid-August.’’
from David Boclair of the Daily News Journal,
Thus the best compromise is for the Predators to allow him (Radulov) to walk with the understanding that his contract with them, which has one year remaining at $984,200, will be frozen. If or when he decides to return to the NHL, it will be with Nashville under the terms of that remaining year.
Such a move would create some much-needed goodwill with the player, protect the franchise’s investment in that player and eliminate an unwelcome distraction from both the locker room and the board room.
Of course, that assumes both sides are willing to compromise — and at this time, that’s assuming a lot.
I wish every hockey fan could have at least one conversation about hockey with Scotty Bowman. I’m telling you, there is absolutely nothing like it. It’s like you are talking to the actual NHL itself - if it could be humanized - when you do. He’s done it all, he’s seen it all, and he remembers it all.
-Adrian Dater of All Things Avs where you can read more about Scotty and Stan Bowman…
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
The consensus among Canadiens fans is that if Sundin signs, the Habs will be holding a parade in June. Detroit, Schmeetroit. Who cares if the Red Wings were already the best team in hockey before they inked Marian Hossa? In the unrealistic way of fans everywhere, they see the equation this way: good regular-season team adds Alex Tanguay, Georges Laraque and Sundin, great playoff team wins the Stanley Cup.
Uh-huh. I’ll believe that when Sidney Crosby checks into an ashram and Henrik Zetterberg decides he’d rather play backgammon for a living. Even with the additions, the Canadiens aren’t a slam dunk to win anything - but with or without Sundin, Bob Gainey has already molded the Habs into one of those quality organizations that will have a chance to win it all. Like Dallas, Detroit, Anaheim, San Jose and Pittsburgh.
Even without Sundin, the Canadiens are, on paper, one of the top five or six teams in the league - and they do need another impact forward to get over the hump and stage another parade.
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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