Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
Scott Howson’s Blue Jackets haven’t created any major headlines lately but the ex- Oilers aide may be putting together the NHL’s sleeper team of 2008-09. There may not be an All-Star among the roster additions but there’s plenty of substance. Between R.J. Umberger, Kris Huselius, Raffi Torres, Mike Commodore, Fedor Tyutin and Chris Backman, Columbus has a neat nucleus with which Ken Hitchcock can work. If Pascal Leclaire matures as a No. 1 goalie and Russian whiz Nikita Filatov lives up to his notices, the pieces for a playoff team will be in place.
more hockey bits,,,
from Russo’s Rants,
I talked to a reporter from the Team 1040 in Vancouver today, and agent John Vollan confirmed to him that the Canucks have shown interest.
Parrish just has to stay patient. Remember, two of the teams interested in him have other things pending and he’s Plan B. In other words, if Mats Sundin turns down Vancouver’s reported $10 million-a-year offer or simply retires, Parrish will get an offer. If Radulov indeed does not return to the Predators, Parrish will likely receive an offer from Craig Leipold’s old team.
read on for some Gaborik talk…
from Alexandra Zabjek of the Edmonton Journal,
They first posed together back in 1985, when she was a four-year-old leukemia patient at the Cross Cancer Institute and he was an Edmonton Oilers’ star whose goals were raising money for the cancer facility.
The little girl had climbed atop the Stanley Cup and the hockey star leaned in and smiled brightly for media photographers.
Today, Alicia Maryniuk - a lifelong Oilers fan - and Glenn Anderson met at the institute again after it was announced that Anderson’s jersey would be retired at Rexall Place on Jan. 18.
from Mike Heika a the Dallas Stars Blog,
Les Jackson is all about trust and patience, and that strategy will probably be tested to its utmost by Fabian Brunnstrom.
The 23-year-old free agent from Sweden has a ton of potential, but he is a late bloomer and nobody is sure whether or not he can turn that potential into NHL scoring….
Barring a disaster, Brunnstrom will make the Stars out of camp and will take a regular shift with Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards or Mike Modano. He’s a natural left wing, but he can play right wing, and that should help Dave Tippett find the right place for him. But the bottom line is Jackson will push to keep Brunnstrom in the lineup and also push for him to get important minutes.
“At one point I thought I wasn’t going to play again,” he said. “I decided that, after the way things went in the playoffs, that I wasn’t ready to quit.”
“People say, ‘Oh, you’re old, you can’t play anymore,’ but I truly believe it was kind of a fluke season,” Roberts said. “Everybody has a year once and a while with injuries. I’m close to being 100 percent and really feel good coming in this year and having a good season.”
-more on Gary Roberts from Erin Chenderlin at TampaBayLightning.com…
from Mark Hermann of Newsday,
Anyone who has watched the team closely can tell you that the real trouble is that the Islanders haven’t been able to build a strong roster. It is easier to find a coach than a 40-goal scorer. Thus, they keep changing coaches. Thus, Gordon is here….
It wasn’t all that long ago that Gordon himself was a kid, growing up with the legacy of the 1980 Olympics, responding to the echo, “Do you believe in miracles?” The next miracle he can hope for is that management will keep its fingers out of the pie, except to sign solid players.
Owner Charles Wang must avoid the usual two-year itch. Be patient with him. Gordon knows what he is doing behind a bench. Winning AHL coach of the year is nothing to sneeze at because not only did Laviolette once win that award, so did Fred Shero, John Muckler, Jacques Demers and Marc Crawford (yet another candidate for this Islanders job). “Scott is the right coach for our team,” Snow said last night. What the Islanders really need is to build the team right for this coach.
from Empty Netters,
...That’s a challenge the Penguins face heading into the 2008-09 season. It was a challenge the Ducks faced last season after winning the Cup in 2006-07. As Dan Wood of the Orange County Register recently pointed out, a shorter summer in 2007 for the Ducks probably helped lead to their disappointing first-round loss in the 2008 playoffs to the Stars.
After winning the Cup on June 6, 2007, the Ducks enjoyed a brief 115 days off before starting up again on Sept. 29 in London. That was the shortest offseason for any NHL team. The Penguins will own that distinction this offseason by having only 122 days off since losing the Cup to the Red Wings on June 4.
more with a chart lisiting how many days a team will have enjoyed their summer vacation…
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
It took more than four weeks, but Islanders general manager Garth Snow finally identified the coach he hopes will become a close partner for many seasons to come. Scott Gordon, who was AHL coach of the year last season in Providence, has been named as the replacement for Ted Nolan, Newsday has learned.
added 9:21pm, via the NY Islanders,
“Scott has been one of the top up-and-coming coaches in hockey and with good reason,” said Snow. “Through his work in the minor leagues and most recently with Providence over the last eight years, he has gained an impeccable reputation. The entire Islanders organization looks forward to working with Scott.”
“Garth has given me an unbelievable opportunity to coach in the NHL with the Islanders,” said Gordon. “From my time coaching in Providence, I’ve seen firsthand the talented young players in this organization. I look at the direction and the vision for this team and see a bright future.”
All this trade talk, but yet, no trades!
from Sam McCaig of the Hockey News,
Every season in the NHL is important, but some franchises are facing make-or-break campaigns in 2008-09. Here’s a rundown of which teams are looking at turning points in the near future.
Their on-ice advances last season were somewhat overshadowed by the fact the Coyotes can’t draw crowds. Phoenix has lost big money season after season; how long will the owners throw around good money? The Dogs have to make some noise in the standings and generate local buzz; otherwise…it might be back to Winnipeg.
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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