Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
So we’ve been doing research for All Decade lists that will appear in this space next week, in the final Slap Shots of the 2000s, but while reviewing the best and worst first-overall Entry Draft selections, this single Draft Day deserves special mention:
It was June 24, 2000 in Calgary, when Mike Milbury went Mad. Holding the first overall selection, the Islanders’ GM first traded young netminder Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen to the Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha, thus opening a hole in goal that Milbury filled by selecting Rick DiPietro at No. 1 overall, ahead of Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik.
Thus, instead of the Islanders presenting a lineup that would have included Luongo, Jokinen and either Heatley or Gaborik, Milbury chose one with Parrish, Kvasha and DiPietro.
more topics from Larry, includeing Bill Guerin should be Team USA captain…
The conversation on the HNIC Hotstove turned to head shots, Team Canada, the Wild Fire, a few players who are available for trade in the NHL, Marty Turco contract, Carey Price contract, the Coyotes and Islanders situation.
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
National Hockey League dressing rooms are all melting pots. Players are players. Objectives and thinking are pretty uniform. There are no national flags on the jerseys.
If there were, the Canucks’ practice would resemble the United Nations General Assembly. Or at least NATO.
There are Canucks from Canada and the United States, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Slovakia.
But Christmas — and Hanukkah for American defenceman Mathieu Schneider — is one of the few times during the winter when the diversity of the Canucks, or any team, becomes a little more apparent.
No penalty on the hit.
added 10:39pm, better quality video of the hit is below…
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
There are days, Zenon Konopka admitted — like the one in Detroit when his neck and wrist were packed in ice and he could not speak clearly because of the stitches in his mouth — that he wonders what his body will feel like at age 50.
It is bad enough, he said, at 28.
“It’s a concern,” Konopka said. “But life’s too short. Everything in your life is in the now.”
And for now, his body is his most reliable tool and one of the Lightning’s most important weapons.
Tampa Bay does not have a heavyweight enforcer. Instead, it relies on Konopka, a middleweight, really, but who is willing to take on anyone.
Bryan Bickell was assigned to Rockford again today.
We know the Blackhawks are trying to save cap money any way they can so I guess Bickell is probably thankful only 90 miles separates Chicago and Rockford.
To see more stats on Bickell, head to TSN Player Page.
from Mark Sutciliffe of the Ottawa Citizen,
It’s no surprise the Ottawa Senators are embarking on a new sales strategy that includes special offers such as free parking for season’s ticket holders. According to an internal National Hockey League report obtained by the Citizen, the Senators have experienced a dramatic decline in paid attendance over the first two months of the season.
As of the end of November, the Senators’ paid ticket sales had dropped by almost 4,000 per game, according to the NHL report. Through the first two months of the season, the Senators had sold 14,023 tickets per game, down from 17,927 last year.
The 22.8-per-cent drop is third-highest in the league, behind only the Phoenix Coyotes and the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the 30-team league, the Senators have fallen from seventh place in paid attendance to 19th.
The Saturday before Christmas brings hockey fans a full day of action, with a 12-game schedule that runs from early afternoon until late at night.
The action starts at 1 p.m., when the New York Rangers visit the Wachovia Center for their first meeting of the season with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers are coming off a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday, while the struggling Flyers lost 3-2 in a shootout to Pittsburgh the same night.
That game figures to be in the third period when the day’s next game gets under way—the Dallas Stars host the Detroit Red Wings at 3 p.m.
from Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch,
Blue Jackets prospect Nikita Filatov regrets some of the comments he made after leaving the club a month ago, while saying that others were taken out of context.
But the 19-year-old winger, who went home to Russia unhappy after being unable to earn substantial ice time under coach Ken Hitchcock, stands by one of his primary reasons for departing.
“I got my own opinion about Hitch and about what I think he thinks of me,” Filatov wrote in an e-mail to The Dispatch. “I am not going to let everybody know about it. I think it’s pretty clear that he didn’t give (me) a chance and opportunity to prove that I can play.”
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
There is no doubt this will be one of the most unique days in Wild history. Players are expected to arrive at the arena early to try to piece together equipment for the game.
“I thought it was a joke, but it’s not,” said winger Martin Havlat, who says all of his equipment was destroyed. “This is not going to be easy to play.”
There are two areas of concern: comfort and safety.
Hockey is one sport where broken-in and properly fitted equipment is critical. Players are notoriously fussy about their gear, and if it doesn’t feel right, players typically don’t play right. Also, helmets and knee braces must be custom fit.
Defensemen, such as shot-blocking specialist Greg Zanon, have modified their equipment over several years in order to protect certain places. Center Eric Belanger wears a custom-made brace for his right foot after breaking it two seasons ago.
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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