Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
The subtle changes the NHL has made to goalie equipment this season won’t be obvious to most fans, but they will have an impact on several netminders, including Roberto Luongo.
The new specifications, which have already been sent to NHL goalies and equipment manufacturers, won’t result in significant shrinkage. In fact, the NHL, on recommendation from the league’s goalie equipment working group, hasn’t cut back any size limits this year. But some tweaks in the wording of the rules will mean equipment will be more contoured around the calves, knees and shoulders.
One of the key targets for change has been the padding around goalie’s knees, which can be used to close off the five-hole, an issue Marty Turco awkwardly put on the front burner during last season’s widely misunderstood “pad flap” with Luongo.
from Lord Stanley’s Blog,
Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said Thursday that the former Canes forward, who did not play in the NHL last season, has been invited to the team’s preseason camp next month. O’Neill, 32, has not signed a contract.
“In training camp, the door is open for players to make the team,” Rutherford said. “That’s the opportunity we’ll give him. He said he plans to come in early and work out with the guys. He has the right mindset.
“We have talked about a contract, but it makes sense for him to come to training camp for the tryout and then us talk about a contract.”
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is accusing Edmonton city officials of hiding some important facts in its review of a $450 million NHL hockey arena proposed for the downtown.
A city-funded report released in March recommended that Edmonton build a new arena to replace its aging Rexall Place and that the project be funded through a mix of private and tax dollars, a formula that has been used in many U.S. cities. The city would fund about 70 per cent of the project by borrowing against future downtown tax revenues.
But a draft copy of the report, obtained by CBC News and the CTF, says the NHL arenas in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto were built with private financing alone, a detail that was omitted in the final version of the study.
“I don’t think most Edmontonians know that most other NHL arenas in Canada were built with 100 per cent private financing and I don’t think the committee wanted them to know, either,” said Scott Hennig, CTF’s Alberta director.
from Ryan Kennedy of the Hockey News,
We have already seen the best Canadian player of all-time. Whether you believe that man is Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr, both accomplished astonishing feats that will never be duplicated. And, unfortunately for young Panik, we have likely seen the best Slovak of all-time in Peter Stastny. The Czechs are sewn up right now as well: Dominik Hasek or Jaromir Jagr. Maybe you even give Stan Mikita some love (he was born there, even if he didn’t play hockey until he got to Canada).
So what about the other nations?
Russia: We’re pretty much sticking to the NHL here, so let’s just establish that up front. Pavel Bure? Sergei Fedorov? Vladimir Konstantinov? I think we’re watching the best right now: Alex Ovechkin.
read on and your comments are encouraged…
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
● Peace between the NHL and the new Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is possible but a high NHL team official tells us that it requires an understanding of the thought process in Moscow. “The Russians are not simple,” the man tells us. “They do things differently and can make life complicated.” In candid conversations between NHL bigs and their Russian counterparts, the latter were told straight out: “We can work together and respect each other’s contracts and, down the road, we could possibly have a joint union of leagues. Or, we can go to war!”
● Speaking of war, if there’s to be major NHL-NHLPA friction it will not be caused by union boss Paul Kelly. But those who’ve watched his belligerent style believe that Glenn Healy will be the prime anti-league spokesman within the Association.
from Brian Costello of the Hockey News,
The optimist in me prefers to look at the bright side. These are the teams with the best chances of securing the first pick in the 2009 entry draft and earning the right to select either John Tavares or super Swede Victor Hedman, pending the results of the draft lottery, of course.
10. Minnesota Wild. They’re due for a big fall from defending division champions.
9. Columbus Blue Jackets. It’ll be eight years and no NHL playoffs in Ohio.
In a poll of NHL general managers during the mid-1980s asking them to select the player they would start a franchise with, this player was voted third behind only Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey.
read on for the anwer and more on the player of interest…
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Not only is Pavel Kubina unlikely to be traded, but Cliff Fletcher is talking him up as a possible captain if Mats Sundin departs.
With an Aug. 15 window to shop Kubina rapidly closing, the Maple Leafs’ general manager yesterday listed the chance of dealing the $5-million US defenceman as “less than 50%.”
“Any trade involving Pavel would have to be very advantageous for the Leafs,” Fletcher said. “I thought he played well last season (after an awful start to Kubina’s four-year $20-million deal) and I know (new coach) Ron Wilson liked him a lot. Plus, it’s very quiet right now for trades.”
from Working the Corners,
Do not be surprised if the Sharks announce a contract extension soon for defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who is now scheduled to become a restricted free agent next July. Talks with his agent are under way and, so I hear, going well.
Finally, since I know many of you missed the short item in the paper Tuesday on the re-signing of Ryane Clowe, here’s what his agent, Paul Cobeil, had to say about the fact no contract was signed until months following a handshake agreement between Clowe and Doug Wilson in the GM’s office.
Cobeil pointed out that the handshake took place when Clowe was still in rehab. And having played only a handful of games, it was “tough for him to bring the numbers for a bigger contract.”
As for Clowe’s decision to take a one-year deal, Cobeil said that made the most sense because he expected both the left wing and the team to have more success this coming season.
more on the Sharks…
“We’re not only going to match any offer sheet, we’ll have enough space to go after your guys. Go ahead and make our day. If you sign our guy, we’re coming back with both barrels firing. You’d better be damn straight that you have the cap space and all your guys are signed.”
—Dean Lombardi, LA Kings GM
“Dang, snap, OH NO HE DIDN’T!”
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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