Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Radulov – caught in the middle of a fight that he couldn’t have anticipated and said to be weighing heavily on him – has, according to sources with knowledge of the situation, hinted that he would like to return to the NHL. That came to light in an interview between Paul Kelly, the NHLPA executive director, and Toronto radio personality Bill Watters on Thursday. What hasn’t been reported yet is Radulov’s preferred timetable – not necessarily now, but by the start of next season. That’s partly because the regular season is under way in the KHL; Radulov has already received substantial bonus monies up front and feels an obligation to play it out in Ufa, for this year anyway.
Ideally, he would like to negotiate some sort of settlement between the Predators and Ufa in the interim that would permit him to do just that - play a year in Russia and then return to the NHL for the start of the 2009-10.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
As training camps convene across the land, we continue with our tour of each division and the pressing questions that await each team. So far, we’ve covered the Northeast, Southeast, Northwest and Pacific. Now let’s dive into the Atlantic, where the going promises to be choppy for the majority of its five inhabitants.
Coming off a surprise trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren settled for a few minor roster tweaks, mostly cap-related, to improve his team’s chances in 2008-09. But even without a big move, his lineup looks to be much improved this season, thanks to the return of perennial All-Star Gagne, who can key the first-line offense.
Assuming, of course, that he’s physically able.
From Matt Kalman at the New England Hockey Journal,
Today after [Milan] Lucic and more than two dozen Bruins veterans, rookies and prospects took part in an hour-long captains’ practice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, the rugged left winger explained how this year is different from last year.
“Obviously, it’s a little bit different because you kind of know what to expect going into your second season,” said Lucic, whose play in last year’s training camp forced the Bruins to make the decision not to send him back to junior hockey. “And I think, obviously, the first season went pretty well for me and you just want to build on it, try to get better and better. That’s a big thing for me, just to get better every day.”
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nikita Filatov will be sidelined 10 to 14 days due to a lower leg injury and will miss the team’s rookie camp to be held in Traverse City, Michigan over the next five days, club General Manager Scott Howson announced today.
“Nikita has an old injury that is bothering him, so he will not accompany our rookie team to Traverse City for the NHL Prospects Tournament,” said Howson. “He’ll rehab the injury here and be re-evaluated in the next 10 days to two weeks.”
from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
Nicklas Backstrom suffered a sprained ankle yesterday when he collided with the goal, General Manager George McPhee confirmed moments ago. Backstrom stayed down for a few seconds, then skated off the rink gingerly.
Backstrom was seen walking with a pretty pronounced limp later in the day and he didn’t skate this morning.
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
When the Predators’ season ended last April, owner David Freeman looked forward to an offseason in which the organization could hone its marketing skills and cement local business ties….
“This is going to be a year where our goals are higher and our expectations are higher,’’ Freeman said. “Just hitting 14,000 is not going to put a smile on our face and neither will losing in the first round of the playoffs. This is the year we hope to take that next step.
“We’re trying to build a franchise with long-term stability and long-term prosperity. We know that winning is important and we know that having a full house is important.’’
Craig Custance of the Sporting News did an interview with… any guesses?
SN: So what else do you have in the mix?
Current Player: What don’t I have going on? I’m thinking of starting a NASCAR team with my buddies, or starting one up myself or buying into an existing team. I like to dabble in a lot of different things. I enjoy life, I like meeting new people. I’m an action junkie.
read on to find out who it is and a very interesting interview too…
From Mike Toth at Sportsnet.ca:
With Cliff Fletcher at the helm, the Leafs have suddenly become Ontario’s answer to the Calgary Flames, as no fewer than six members of the 1989 Stanley Cup squad have switched their allegiances from “The ‘C’ of Red” to the Blue & White. In addition to Fletcher, the architect of that Calgary triumph, Toronto’s management and coaching line-up includes Al Coates, Joe Nieuwendyk, Tom Watt, Doug Gilmour and Tim Hunter, with all of them expected to play a key role in Fletcher’s long-range plan to transform the lousy Leafs into serious contenders.
And can you really blame Fletcher for being so attracted to Flames?
After all, when Cliff exited Calgary to take over the Leafs for the first time in the early-90’s, he immediately fleeced his former team by pulling off the “Killer” trade that made Gilmour’s gang the toast of Toronto.
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
“We lost some very good players that were big parts of our team—and they’re going to help the teams they went to, no question—but the people we brought in are very good also,” said Iginla of the new-look Flames.
“I’d say that we’re probably a little grittier, and maybe a little bigger, but I think we still have that skilled side.”
Too many goals against was what plagued the Flames last year, so the team hopes the grittier, defensively conscious additions will make the difference after a third consecutive first-round playoff exit.
“You’ve got to be able to play more than one-dimensional,” said Iginla.
“I think it’s gonna be great, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
But if you think the seriousness of the injury has made the power forward shy away from the heavy going, think again.
“You learn to play the game a certain way, and if that style’s been successful and you’ve come all this way, it’s hard to change,” Cole said earlier this week as he skated with several other NHLers at Kinsmen Arena, preparing for the opening of the Oilers’ main training camp on Friday, Sept. 19.
“I’ve always played a hard-nosed style.” Cole was apprehensive in his first playoff game after breaking his neck. His Carolina teammates had unexpectedly lost Game 5 of the final in overtime on Fernando Pisani’s short-handed goal and had to fly clear across the continent after coming tantalizingly close to winning the series on home ice.
“It wasn’t an ideal situation to play my first game,” confessed Cole.
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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