Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
“I feel good,” Modin said. “The back feels good. No pain. I’m able to work out in a way that I haven’t been able to do for a long time, and I’m ready to play hockey.
“That’s what you wanted to know, right?”
That’s everybody’s question for Modin heading into training camp, which opens for veteran Blue Jackets players in less than three weeks….
Hitchcock has long been a fan of pairing Modin on the opposite wing from Rick Nash, allowing the two big bodies to control the puck down low.
The plan as of today, however, is for Modin to play on the left side of rookie center Derick Brassard on the No. 2 line. Torres, if he’s fully recovered from knee surgery, will likely grab the right wing.
“We’ve been a very good team in the regular season the last two years,” said Grier. “But we’ve had our bumps and hit the wall in the playoffs, for some reason.
“We have playoff experience and now we’ve got some guys who have won Stanley Cups. Now maybe a little fresher approach or a different approach will help us get over the hump.”
-Mike Grier of the San Jose Sharks. Read more from Grier and many NHL topics from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.
When Bryan McCabe goes to Florida, assuming his regression ends there, he joins a defence that includes emerging star, Jay Bouwmeester, and solid veterans Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton. The Panthers could be a playoff team in the East
-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“My priority remains signing with the Rangers and finishing the job I came here to do two years ago. I’ve spoken with Tom [Renney] and have told him that I’m willing to accept whatever role he thinks is best for the team.
“I want to stay in New York because I believe I can contribute, but if that door closes, I’ll have some other interesting options to consider.”
The most interesting of which might be the opportunity for the 39-year-old winger to move west and join the Ducks. It is believed that Anaheim general manager Brian Burke reached out last week to Shanahan, the Rangers’ third-leading goal-scorer with 23 last season behind 25-goal-scoring co-leaders Jaromir Jagr and Chris Drury.
more on Shanahan…
from Damien Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
Imagine if the ice in front of an NHL net were a place where the rules of the game were different. Players could hack and whack like the old days, before the league decided a tug on a jersey was obstruction. Lightning coach Barry Melrose can only hope….
How do you feel about the league’s long-term crackdown on fighting?
I think toughness is leaving our game, and I hope that people realize it’s wrong. I hate to mention this, but the fastest growing sport in the world is ultimate fighting. We’ve got that as part of our game. To act ashamed of that has been wrong of the NHL for a lot of years. You can say you don’t like fighting or you love fighting, but it creates conversation. It creates energy and excitement.
read on for more of the Q & A with Melrose…
from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,
It has been 15 long years since the Montreal Canadiens last won the Stanley Cup, but there is a small group of Montrealers who can boast that they drank from Lord Stanley’s mug this summer.
John Harris, Dr. Jay McMullan, Mike Nelson and Earl Zukerman were among the invited guests when Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had his opportunity to spend 48 hours with the Cup last month in his home province of Saskatchewan….
Zukerman says that Babcock, despite his fame, has remained the same fun-loving guy he was during his university days.
“He’s a little more self-conscious maybe when people are around,” Zukerman said. “But when he’s with his old gang, he hasn’t changed a bit. It’s just like it was 25 years ago.
“I thought he might send someone to pick me up at the airport, but he showed up himself in shorts, just like any ordinary Joe. The same old ‘Babs’.”
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
We come to you today to express concern for an endangered species.
We are talking about the Winnipeg Jet, a creature once beloved and abundant in these parts.
Now, 12 years after the local NHL team became extinct (or at least packed up and flew south to Phoenix) they are truly a dying breed.
With the retirement of former Jet Stu Barnes Thursday, a month after Dallas Drake did the same thing, there are now only seven ex-Jets with the potential of playing in the NHL this coming season.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
“It got to the point where the dollars were just too much for us,” Murray said in a conference call last night. “We thought it was at a point where we weren’t going to be able to do it. I wasn’t able to make the adjustment with my salary structure.
“The last two years, (Meszaros’ play) has left a lot to be desired. I know Filip Kuba well and he’s really going to help us. I know he’s excited about this change. As for Picard, he’s local guy with a lot of potential. We feel good and the first-round pick is also going to help us.”
Murray said Kuba, Chris Phillips, Anton Volchenkov and Jason Smith will be club’s top four blueliners this season.
added 2:25pm, from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Andrej Meszaros to a six-year contract today, executive vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton announced. Meszaros was acquired from the Ottawa Senators yesterday in exchange for defensmen Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard as well as a first-round draft pick in 2009 (previously acquired).
“The acquisition and signing of Andrej is a strong statement to our players and our fans that the Lightning ownership group is committed to putting the best product on the ice now and for years to come,” Lawton said.
from Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette,
The city of Tampa, Fla., is scheduled to host the 2012 NCAA men’s hockey Frozen Four at the St. Pete Times Forum.
But the NCAA better rethink that in the wake of what the new ownership group of the Tampa Bay Lightning pulled on Notre Dame and the Lightning College Hockey Classic.
The NCAA should rescind Tampa’s right to host the Frozen Four after the Lightning told the Notre Dame just last Thursday that it wasn’t welcomed to have its tournament Jan. 2-3 in the St. Pete Times Forum….
Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson didn’t mince words in criticizing the Lightning’s new ownership group, which is headed by Oren Koules and former NHL player Len Barrie.
“I am extremely disappointed in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s decision to not continue the tournament,” Jackson said in a statement. “We had a verbal agreement to continue this for two more years, and as hosts of the Frozen Four in 2012, I’m not sure it’s the best message to send to the college hockey community by cancelling the tournament at such a late date.”
The Ottawa Senators have traded defenceman Andrej Meszaros to the Tampa Bay Lightning for defencemen Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picard and a first round pick (previously acquired from San Jose).
Update 8:39pm ET (alanah): Also noted at the TSN link is this contract info—
Sources add that Meszaros is expected to sign a six-year contract with the Lightning averaging $4 million a season.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
NHL training camps were reduced from 27 days to 20 days as part of the last collective bargaining agreement. For another, the official opening of the regular season has been pushed back by six days, year over year, to appease the growing number of U.S.-based franchises, many of which draw poorly in the opening month of the season and would just as soon start near the beginning of November.
It’s also why Mats Sundin’s indecision — or Teemu Selanne’s or Brendan Shanahan’s — about their plans for the upcoming season do not have the same urgency as years past. It’s not as if training camps are even around the corner. They have the better part of three weeks to decide if they’re in or out…
read on and many other topics discussed like McCabe, Selanne and Sundin.
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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