Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Sidney Crosby’s offseason training gets serious Monday when he hits the ice. The only day he plans to take off between then and Sept. 17—the opening of Penguins’ training camp—is Thursday, his 21st birthday.
Yep, Sid’s days as a Kid are numbered. He will celebrate with some junior hockey friends at a barbecue at his home in Nova Scotia….
Q: So what adult beverage does “Sid the Kid” drink?
A: Jack Daniels or Crown Royal.
Q: Of what you have yet to accomplish before your 21st birthday, what stands out most?
A: Not finishing the deal. It’s hard not to think about it. Everybody I see brings it up. I’m reminded by it everywhere. You always see things on TV where guys had the Cup in their hometown. It’s a constant reminder. The memory of losing is not something that just goes away.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Slap Shots has been told by a well-placed individual familiar with the thinking on Sixth Avenue that the NHL will look into the circumstances behind the loan from AEG to Del Baggio, and loans of up to $20 million to Del Baggio from outgoing Nashville owner and current Minnesota owner Craig Leipold.
Think of it. Had Del Baggio remained a part of the group purchasing Nashville, the Kings and the Wild would have had a financial investment in the Predators, and apparently without the knowledge of Gary Bettman or any other member of the Board of Governors.
Reporters from The Tennessean have done a remarkable job in uncovering details of the entangling financial alliances among those invested in the sale of the Predators, one of the NHL’s chronic problem franchises.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
Former Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford and current Islanders assistant Gerard Gallant are among the final candidates expected to be interviewed over the next three days, according to an NHL source….
Except for Quenneville, all the other candidates have shown their interest in the Islanders’ job. Snow has made it clear that he’s seeking a long-term partner willing to focus on developing a contender by playing the young prospects and building through the draft.
from the Sunday Star Times (New Zealand),
Rachel Hunter must be keen on this one - she’s bringing him home! The 38-year-old bombshell has been dating 26-year-old Canadian ice hockey star Jarret Stoll for two years and when she comes back to New Zealand in a few weeks with her kids Liam and Renee, he’ll be coming with them.
The pair are rumoured to have bought a house together in LA and Rachel has even been talking about more babies.
According to friends, Jarret is a lovely guy and absolutely besotted with her, while she’s been quoted in New Idea saying: “I think I would like more children. I wouldn’t want to adopt though. I think I have two years left to have a child naturally if I want to.”
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
When you make a living working on Wall Street, these stories can be useful.
So he watched as guests explained the dramatic changes they had made in their lives to find dream jobs. And it got Sulliman thinking.
When he wasn’t raising five daughters with his wife, Barbara, he was selling commercial insurance….
Sulliman confided in Maloney, who is now his brother-in-law. He said he wanted to get back in the game. He’d coach anywhere. Junior hockey. College hockey. He didn’t care; he just wanted back in the game.
Sulliman still had plenty of connections and planned phone calls to current general managers such as Lou Lamoriello and Paul Holmgren.
Maloney told him to wait. He didn’t say why—just wait.
“(Maloney’s) a chess player; he’s always thinking ahead,” Sulliman says.
The Blue Jackets have invited defenseman Richard Matvichuk to training camp as a non-roster tryout. The team is still awaiting word on whether the 35-year-old Matvichuk will accept.
He most notably made two Stanley Cup finals appearances with Ken Hitchcock in Dallas in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, but has played in only one NHL regular-season game in the past two years.
Matvichuk missed all but one game of the 2006-07 season recovering from back surgery. Last season, he played 42 games with New Jersey’s AHL affiliate Lowell, contributing a goal and three assists.
from Ryan Garner of the Vallejo Times-Herald,
Two months from the start of the NHL season I’m trying to see the logic in the San Jose Sharks’ recent offseason moves, but I just can’t.
Crafting a Stanley Cup-winning team carries a high degree of difficulty; almost as difficult as touching your ear with your elbow. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson deserves credit for molding a competitive roster, but his latest moves indicate a growing sense of desperation that could have adverse effects on the franchise for years to come….
In short, when you consider what the Sharks have given up to stabilize a defense that wasn’t the team’s most pressing need to begin with, Doug Wilson took the incredibly long way around to make the team worse down the road, limit his salary flexibility, and sacrifice more of the future in pursuit of the Sharks’ first Stanley Cup.
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Citizen,
Look no further than the last two Stanley Cup champions to see what every coach preaches: Successful teams get offence from their defence.
The Red Wings’ “Top 6” (Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart, Brett Lebda and Andreas Lilja) combined for 209 points during the 2007-08 regular season. And that’s with missing 49 games between them.
The year before, the Ducks were the beneficiaries of 206 points from six of their most- used blueliners (Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Francois Beauchemin, Sean O’Donnell, Joe DiPenta and Kent Huskins).
The Senators stack up like peanuts to coconuts by comparison.
from the CP,
Steve Yzerman and Joe Nieuwendyk were forced into retirement by injuries and never really had to wrestle with the decision about when to call it a career.
So when they see players like Mats Sundin or Joe Sakic struggling to make up their minds, they have one simple piece of advice.
“If there’s any doubt and guys aren’t sure, I think they should be playing,” Yzerman told The Canadian Press on Friday. “You can be retired for the rest of your life. You’ll know when you’re done.
“If you’re not 100 per cent certain that you don’t want to play anymore, then the decision is that you should be playing.”
Added Nieuwendyk: “People always told me: ‘Play as long as you can.’ I think these guys you’re talking about still have some good years left in them.”
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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