Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
While every team went to the market with an eye on getting better for 2008-09, head coaches of roughly one-third of the NHL family signed contract extensions during the offseason.
Randy Carlyle in Anaheim, Ken Hitchcock in Columbus, Dave Tippett in Dallas, Mike Babcock in Detroit, Jacques Lemaire in Minnesota ... the list goes on and on.
Anything wrong with this picture?
Not really, except that Guy Carbonneau, who led the Canadiens to No. 1 overall in the Eastern Conference last season, is entering the final year of his contract - yet remains unsigned, for now.
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“Hopefully, I can fulfill everybody’s expectations,” Satan said yesterday as the team was finishing up its preseason physicals and medical tests.
Those expectations run fairly high for Satan, who signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract as a free agent over the summer.
For one thing, Satan is penciled in as the replacement for Marian Hossa, who signed with Detroit. That makes him the top candidate to be the new right winger for captain and top-line center Sidney Crosby. Coach Michel Therrien has said Satan will see time on that line.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
Having an intimidating force such as nasty Chris Pronger on the team did give the Oilers’ team toughness during that playoff run—each Oiler played as if he was three inches taller and 30 pounds heavier. But when Pronger left, so did much of team’s edge.
Since then, in the past two years, Hemsky has taken a number of savage hits, many of them illegal late hits, partly because of his propensity to overhandle the puck, which gives time for various thugs to line him up, but also because other teams have feared no retribution.
There’s been no Dave Semenko, no Dave Brown, no Laraque to come over the boards and take revenge. Unless that changes this season, I’m hesitant to predict that Hemsky will play more than 50 or 60 games.
more on the Oilers…
via Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Talking to some of my Swedish buds, there is growing optimism that Peter Forsberg will be able to play this season - and maybe sooner than the Christmas-at-the-earliest previous scenario.
As Foppa himself would say, though, “we’ll see.” But the people I’ve talked to say his foot is doing better than expected, and that he’s itching to continue his career.
more on the Avs…
from Dan Wood of Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
What appears clear is that unless the Ducks are fortunate and another club claims Schneider, or they go an entirely different direction and trade another player or group of players, it is going to be very difficult to clear enough cap space to sign Selanne. It could come down to the Ducks being able to offer Selanne little more than the NHL’s minimum salary, say $500,000, which might prove once and for all Selanne’s long-held contention that money is nowhere near the top of his priority list.
from Andrew Gross of the Record,
Renney is not ready to name a new captain yet but hopes to before the start of the season. When Mark Messier left, Renney ultimately decided not to have a captain for the 2005-06 season, instead naming Jagr to be one of three alternates.
“I think you have to leave it to evolution,” Renney said. “There are a half-dozen guys in there that could captain a team. I wouldn’t rule it out [having three alternates] but my hope would be that’s not what we would do.”
more on the Rangers…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
As NHL training camps open up this week, we take a look at where each team stands. Here is our take, and questions, on the Western Conference.
San Jose Sharks
• The clock ran out on Wilson the coach; is this the last hurrah for Wilson the GM if the Sharks don’t take a significant step closer to a championship?
• Can Jonathan Cheechoo, whose goal production has dipped from 56 to 37 to 23 since winning the Rocket Richard Trophy for most goals, get back to star-scoring level?
from a press release from ErekAlert for the Univ. of Alberta,
Researchers in the University of Alberta Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation looked at an NHL team over a 26-year cycle and discovered players have become bigger and fitter.
The research team studied 703 players from a Canadian-based NHL team from 1979 to 2005. The physiological profile derived from their research shows that over the 26 seasons, defencemen became taller and heavier as body mass increased; forwards got younger and had higher peak aerobic power outputs for cardio-respiratory endurance, while goalies were shorter and more flexible and had lower peak aerobic power outputs. All players combined (defence, forwards and goaltenders) increased body mass, height and anaerobic power over the 26 years.
via Kevin Allen at Mucking & Grinding,
The Anaheim Ducks, needing to trim payroll, have placed defenseman Mathieu Schneider on waivers with the expectation that a team will claim him and $5.75 million salary for this season.
Once they move Schneider off the books, the Ducks are expected to re-sign Teemu Selanne.
via Lord Stanley’s Blog,
Rod Brind’Amour underwent successful surgery on his left knee this morning to repair torn cartilage, but the Canes’ captain is expected to be on the ice before the team’s season opener.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org