Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Sandberg of ChicagoBlackhawks.com,
After fans had a chance to meet current and former Blackhawks players during the Blackhawks Night festivities at U.S. Cellular Field Tuesday, one thing was abundantly clear: anticipation and excitement for the upcoming season has reached a fever pitch.
More than 1,000 season ticketholders came out in support for the event, the first of its kind for the team and professional sports in Chicago….
When Steve from Lisle, Ill., was asked to answer his ‘One Goal’ for the upcoming season, the life-long Hawks fan was quick with his response.
“It’s an easy answer… to bring home the Stanley Cup. I think we have the parts in place to definitely get to the Stanley Cup final, and though we have a lot of younger players on the team I feel they are extremely mature and ready for the challenge.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
The Wings have everything. From well-organized management—replete with the best scouting and money appropriation—to outstanding coaching, although the loss of Mike Babcock’s assistant Todd McLellan to the head coaching job of the Sharks might be the only area where the team may have suffered over the summer.
The Wings are loaded even before you get to the ice, where the parade of stars just never seems to quit.
And while there is no point going through the Wings roster because it’s so much better than virtually every other team in the league, it’s the way they do it which makes everyone so envious
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
The captain remained hopeful he will have a new contract before the official start of camp. His agent and the Sabres have been talking long-term extensions.
“You never know with that,” Pominville said. “It’s going well until the deal’s done. We’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully it’ll be done before. I’m just leaving [my agent] to do his thing.”
Although the sides would like to reach an agreement, there is no urgency. Pominville is under contract for this season and then becomes a restricted free agent.
more on the Sabres as they prepare for training camp…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“The door is open,” Sather reported in an e-mail response to the Post’s inquiry regarding the status of the still-unsigned Brendan Shanahan. “However there are complications that need to be worked out.”
Now merely six days away from Rangers training camp medicals, it’s unclear what those complications might include beyond a contract negotiation that either hasn’t begun in earnest or is not going well.
from Cathy Boyd at the Londoner,
The enduring myth of the overnight success is as old as sport itself. Although a fortunate few have managed to thwart the odds, for most athletes – and more specifically young players trying to make the National Hockey League – the road to stardom is long and unusually arduous.
No one knows this better than London’s own Drew Doughty, a defenceman who was second pick overall in the 2008 NHL draft and the newest member of the Los Angeles Kings organization….
Only coffee beans could be more grounded than Drew and he has his family to thank for that. Drew’s parents, Connie and Paul, two of the most self-effacing people you would ever want to meet, are at the forefront of this success story.
The NHL draft is often viewed as a celebration of sorts, not just the players but their families too – a reminder of all the sacrifices made along the way, the tournament travel, the hotel stays, the expenses.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
When negotiations conclude on a long-term contract extension for Carolina Hurricanes superstar center Eric Staal, a process that could end soon, there are two certainties about what that contract will look like.
One, it’s going to be for a ton of money, the most the Hurricanes have ever paid a single player. Two, it’s not going to be for any longer than seven years.
Not because the Canes don’t want Staal around any longer than that—clearly, they do—but because the NHL’s leaguewide insurance plan will only insure player contracts for seven years.
Beyond that, if the player gets hurt, the team is on the hook for the full amount of his contract.
from Wayne Fish of phillyBurbs,
Whether they want to admit it or not, the Flyers are about to make an important decision.
Within the next week, they will name a new captain, a designation more significant in hockey than any other sport.
The finalists appear to be fourth-year center Mike Richards and All-Star defenseman Kimmo Timonen. Defenseman Jason Smith held the post last year but he left as a free agent this past summer and will play for Ottawa in 2008-09.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
...But there were still concerns about Van Ryn’s play in his own end. He answered those concerns with a plus-15 season in 2005-06, only to be beset by wrist problems.
“The wrist problems are behind me,” he said. “It’s partly my fault because [in 2006-07] I kept playing because I wanted to try and help us get into the playoffs.”
Glancing down the Leafs’ roster brings a reflective smile to Van Ryn’s face. The road he has travelled in hockey has crossed paths with a handful of people in the Leafs’ organization. He played with Jamal Mayers in St. Louis. In Florida, he also skated with Joe Nieuwendyk, now Toronto’s special assistant to the general manager, and Niklas Hagman, who arrived in Toronto last night. Van Ryn also grew up in Western Ontario playing against Mark Bell and Boyd Devereaux.
“I feel comfortable here already,” Van Ryn said.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Time to send congratulations to Lightning owner Oren Koules, who is getting married Saturday to Toronto native and Los Angeles nightclub and restaurant owner Shereen Arazm.
picture via thechimp.net
from David Staples of the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
Shawn Horcoff is under-rated no more in in his own hometown. The majority of Oilers fans have come to see the self-made player as an outstanding first liner, an all star, good enough to compete for a spot as a fourth line energy player on Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
There is no aspect of the game that Horcoff hasn’t mastered: shooting, passing, skating, checking, faceoffs, defensive zone coverage. And the numbers prove it, according to Oilers fans at least.
But others aren’t so sure.
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