Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tracey Myers of the Star-Telegram,
Tom Hicks was ready to talk hockey. The Dallas Stars’ owner sat in his downtown Dallas office on Tuesday, excited about the possibilities of the new season.
“In the last month we’ve been hearing from [co-general managers] Les [Jackson] and Brett [Hull], and Brett kind of clearly says the players think they’re going to win it all this year. They have a lot of confidence, and that’s a great starting point. You go back 10 years, I think we had that feeling we were going to win it all that year. We’re not as experienced a team as that one was, so you have a lot of unknowns that creep into it. But we have an opportunity to be special.”
from Katie Carrera of the Washington Post,
His shoulder feels strong. His timing is coming back as evidenced by Nylander, 36, finishing as the team’s second leading scorer in the preseason with seven points (two goals, five assists).
“He’s playing a lot younger and a lot more determined” Boudreau said. “At the end of last year when we were playing pretty good, he was almost an afterthought in people’s minds. Not in my mind, but in other people’s minds. . . . He’s out to prove he’s an elite player again.”
from Rick Chere of the Star-Ledger,
“I know what kind of player I am,” Elias said. “I proved it to myself in the second half of (last) season and in the playoffs. I like to be in situations when the game is on the line.
“I like to think I can still be the go-to guy. I believe I have some great years ahead of me.”
Sutter said he senses a difference in Elias.
“I just think it’s different for Patty this year,” the coach explained. “It’s more settling to him. What transpired last year is done and over.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province via the National Post,
Teams on the eastern seaboard would clearly have a greater advantage and by the end of a long season their fatigue-level advantage would make players in Vancouver envious.
Given this new landscape, any free agent worth a hoot would turn up his nose at all West Coast locations unless he was significantly overpaid to put his body through the travel mill. The Canucks would be hard pressed to sign Byron Ritchie as a free agent let alone Alexander Ovechkin when he gets free.
from Dave Caldwell of the New York Times,
Most hockey coaches wear a whistle on a lanyard around their necks. Not Scott Gordon, the Islanders’ new coach. His whistle is clasped to his left glove, so Gordon does not have to fumble around for his whistle to stop practice.
And Gordon stops practices often. He usually skates within a few feet of the players whose techniques needs to be corrected, softly but firmly, but he is not above slapping his stick on the ice or hollering at his players from the other end of the rink.
from Dan Rusanowsky of the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
“I don’t just want a hockey player, I want an ingredient,” is one of the things that he (Todd McLellan) said on the air. That tells me that he is considering the versatility and the ability of his guys to react to unforseen circumstances. It also says that he is looking for individuals to fill certain roles with the team, which provides a structure within his encouragement of free-wheeling creativity.
Today, he said, “At this point in the season, the words ‘Stanley Cup’ aren’t part of the vocabulary. The process is.” In other words, you have to crawl before you can walk, within the time frame of the regular season, and with the establishment of a foundation, players achieve success.
much more on the Sharks…
from Tom Gulitti and Andrew Gross of the Record,
Here’s what to look for in 2008-09:
Teams on the rise
1. Montreal: The Habs hope to celebrate their 100th season with another trip to the Stanley Cup Finals as newcomers Robert Lang and Alex Tanguay just add to a highly skilled offense led by holdovers Alexei Kovalev and Saku Koivu.
2. Dallas: Superpest Sean Avery takes his act to Big D, where the D still stands for defense despite Sergei Zubov’s injury, thanks to goalie Marty Turco.
3. Chicago: Long a league laughingstock, the Blackhawks have great young talent with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and top free agents in Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet.
from the Atlanta Thrashers,
The Atlanta Thrashers have launched the team’s 2008-09 marketing and advertising campaign, which calls for fans to “Become One in Blueland.”
via Rich Hammond of Inside the Kings,
It appears as though the Kings have reached agreement on a contract with Patrick O’Sullivan.
Rich will be updating his blog soon, so you can keep an eye on it if you wish…
added 6:28pm, According to Rich, the deal is done, three year contract, no $$$ yet.
added 6:30pm, According to Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Sources say it is worth an average of $2.925 million per year but will pay him $4 million in the upcoming season.
via the Anaheim Ducks,
The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has named four-time Stanley Cup champion Scott Niedermayer team captain. Chris Pronger and Ryan Getzlaf have been named alternate captains for the 2008-09 season. In addition, Rob Niedermayer will serve as an additional alternate captain when necessary.
“Scotty is a tremendous leader and has been for his entire career,” said Head Coach Randy Carlyle. “We have several experienced leaders on this team, and we will need them to work as a group in order for us to have success.”
“It’s an honor to be named team captain,” said Niedermayer. “We have several great leaders in this locker room and I’m just happy to be part of that.”
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