Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brad Holland of NHL.com,
Before and after Red Wing practices, the players are allowed to skate around and work on their own skills, and Babcock has noticed that one of his younger players, Valtteri Filppula, has been following Datsyuk around the ice during these sessions while the veteran skater runs mini-clinics in stick, puck, and hand-eye skills.
“He and Filppula work together every day, pulling pucks off the wall, knocking down pucks, stealing pucks off each other: they play keep-away like you can’t believe,” Babcock said.
Almost unquestionably the best in the world in stick- and puck-skills, and Datsyuk still works harder than anyone else in the League. His efforts have produced amazing results, to the tune of a 225% increase in his takeaway totals in only three seasons.
Which begs the question: just how good is this guy going to get?
TSN.ca presents ‘30 Teams In 30 Days,’ a quick glimpse at each NHL club as the 2008-09 campaign approaches. Get the lowdown on every lineup, storylines to follow and Scott Cullen’s fantasy analysis. It continues today with the Carolina Hurricanes.
read on and a schedule when TSN will tackle your team.
“He’s really excited to play in front of Nick (Lidstrom), Rafi (Brian Rafalski) and Kronner (Niklas Kronwall) and all those guys.
“He’s very competitive. He’s anxious to play good hockey.
“It’s not that they didn’t play good hockey in Pittsburgh but, every time he played Detroit, our puck possession and style of hockey he loves it.”
-Red Wings forward Tomas Kopecky on Marian Hossa. Read more from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
Forward Steve Sullivan is making some progress from his back injury but is still not ready to rejoin the team, Trotz said.
Trotz said the Predators are preparing for a season without Sullivan — who hasn’t played since hurting his back in February of 2007 — and will consider his return a bonus.
more Nashville notes, including Barry Trotz fighting pneumonia symptoms…
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
If you want to know why the Maple Leafs gave up on and gave away Bryan McCabe, here it is in a nutshell:
McCabe got to pick where he wanted to play and he chose the Florida Panthers. Translation: He doesn’t give a hoot whether he wins or loses and the Leafs were well aware of that. Who would want an apparent leader who is happy playing for a team in a messed-up market that never contends?
more hockey topics discussed along with other sports notes.
“I admire Zack because he’s an agitator and he fights ... it’s not easy doing both. But he knows he’s not a true heavyweight. He’s trying to fill a role and he does a good job at it. Man, he had 25 fights last year. Even in my rookie year as an Oiler, I never did that. I fought 16, 17 times, tops. People should admire Zack for doing what he’s doing. If everybody had his heart. ...
-Georges Laraque on Edmonton’s Zack Stortini. More from Laraque from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
from Steven Noble of the Calgary Sun,
Mike Cammalleri has taken his Italian heritage and his family’s tomato sauce with him wherever he’s gone.
Now the new Flames sniper is looking forward to bringing it to Calgary—along with his goal-scoring touch.
“My dad has two brothers so those families and our family would all go to my grandparents’ house, we’d get 20 bushels of tomatoes and go in the garage from eight in the morning until six at night,” he says, recalling one of his favourite traditions.
“We take a lot of pride in knowing our top six forwards, who we believe are the best top six forwards in the league, all have three years or more on their contracts. But to be able to do that and have stability for a franchise, you need to spend money.”
-Oren Koules, Owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Read more on the Lightning from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times…
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
...But as much as those personnel changes are significant, Hull said the GMs are not just shuffling talent to put their fingerprint on the team – a desire he stated when he first took the job.
“I think we’re learning that’s not the goal,” Hull said. “You can’t just move people to put your own people in here. The goal is to create a team that can win the Stanley Cup.”
“You have to develop a plan and then trust that plan,” Jackson said. “You put coaches in place, and you trust those coaches. You put players in place, and you trust those players. It’s not about Brett or I; it’s about the players on the ice and the coaches who coach them. That’s where the game is won.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Have no fear, says Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi, the Kings will make it to the NHL’s salary “floor” of $40.7 million in player payroll before opening night.
However, the financial formula will not include, contrary to rumors in recent weeks, taking high-priced goalie Nikolai Khabibulin off Chicago’s hands, or dealing away budding superstar forward Anze Kopitar.
“Some of the stuff that goes around is just crazy,” said Lombardi. “Like Kopitar. We’re going to trade our best young player to get to the floor? If the people who start that stuff would put just two cents worth of brains into thinking about it first . . .
“But that’s the kind of stuff that gets out there, and then we had to respond to it, just to quell the masses.”
continued with numerous NHL topics discussed too…
I do find it laughable when Lombardi says he has to respond to trade rumors to quell the masses. The knowledgeable NHL fan knows the vast majority of trade rumors are made up and don’t have any chance of happening. But it only takes a few people, yes, even those who claim to be have trusted sources, to stir the pot and take advantage of those fans who will believe everything they read.
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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