Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Brian Biggane at Inside The Panthers,
Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin looked long and hard before settling on Benoit Groulx as head coach of the Panthers’ AHL affiliate in Rochester. And with good reason.
Nothing against returnees such as Drew Larman, Stefan Meyer and Anthony Stewart, but this year’s crop of first-year pros holds the promise of the future of the organization. And it will be Groulx’s job to ready them for the NHL, sooner rather than later.
Groulx passed up one of the most prestigious jobs in Canadian hockey - coach of the World Juniors entry in this year’s tournament, which will be staged in Ottawa - to take this job.
From Damian Cristodero at Lightning Strikes,
It has been seven years since Lightning superstar Vinny Lecavalier almost was traded to the Maple Leafs, and when I say almost, I mean it. Former Lightning president Ron Campbell, who on Friday was named a senior adviser to the new ownership group spoke at length for the first time about what almost went down in December 2001.
Campbell has been credited with stopping the deal that would have brought Nik Antropov, Tomas Hoglund, Tomas Kaberle and either then-prospect Brad Boyes or a first-round draft choice.
“I didn’t stop the trade, per se,” Campbell said. “I stopped the conference call.”
The New Jersey Devils have placed defenceman Vitaly Vishnevski on waivers.The 28-year old blueliner had two goals and five assists in 69 games last season.
The Devils signed Vishnevski to a three-year contract prior to last season.
Update 7:52pm ET: A note from Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice—
The Devils have placed defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski on waivers with the likely intention of buying out the remaining two years on his contract to clear salary cap room. Vishnevski signed a three-year deal last summer for $5.4 million. His cap hit is $1.8 million per season, but he is owed $2 million in actual salary for each of the next two seasons.
Yesterday, the NY Rangers announced their plans for the retirement of three jerseys. Steve Zipay of Newsday.com has more:
The Rangers will raise not one—-but three—-jerseys to the Madison Square Garden ceiling next February: the No. 9s worn by Adam Graves and Andy Bathgate and the No. 3 sweater worn by defenseman Harry Howell.
In two ceremonies that will bring the number of jerseys in the rafters to eight, Graves’ sweater will be retired in a ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 3 prior to the game against the Atlanta Thrashers and Bathgate and Howell will be saluted on Sunday, Feb. 22, before the Rangers host the Maple Leafs.
from George Richards at On Frozen Pond,
Have heard Richard Zednik’s name tossed about as being possibly traded to Toronto along with MVR (Mike Van Ryn). Have not been able to confirm this in anyway shape or form, but this wouldn’t surprise me. As much as the Panthers like Zednik, there is a thought there that once he comes back his past injury is going to be a distraction. And it will be.
Whatever city the Panthers go to, the local media is going to want to talk to Zednik and do a big story on him. It’s natural. And that means players like Stephen Weiss, Bryan Allen—anyone who was here last year—is going to be asked to comment on said story on just about every road trip.
more on the Panthers…
Canucks.com is looking for the next featured blogger. Do you have what it takes?...
This week’s theme: The game you’re most looking forward to this season.
Read the two entries below and vote for your favourite.
From Eric Southward, It seems like “everyone and their dog” has a blog these days. I mean, if Spector can become a hockey authority from his mom’s basement, then hell! What’s next: TSN’s most accurate hockey prognosticator is going to be a female monkey?!
read on and let your vote be heard. FYI Eric, you should get your ‘facts’ straight!
from Ryan Dixon of the Hockey News,
He took some time to talk with THN.com about a variety of topics, including how he spent his summer, his connection with an old minor hockey coach and his thoughts on the Blue Jackets’ busy off-season….
THN.com: It has been a busy off-season for the Jackets, adding players such as Kristian Huselius and R.J. Umberger. What’s your take on your team’s moves this summer?
RN: It’s been good. We added a lot of depth to our team and a lot of strength. It should be good, we got some scoring up front. I guess you’ll never really know until the season starts and you see how guys gel together, but on paper it looks pretty good.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
But during the 2008 Beijing Games, we’ve figured out that studio gymnastics commentator Bela “Bananas” Karolyi can become just as outraged as Don “Grapes” Cherry. We’ve also enjoyed pondering how hockey players also could have participated in the Summer Olympics:
Synchronized diving: Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks, Sweden
Diving would be prime gold-medal territory for Sweden if Swedish fans could get past the fact that the event, which debuted at the Sydney Games in 2000, is one of the most ridiculous-looking sports on the Olympic docket. That’s saying a lot given the competition….
Given the Sedin brothers’ ability to dive—they aren’t the best in the league from Ornskoldsvik, but certainly are the best twins in the league from anywhere—and the fact that Sweden didn’t have a two-man team in the finals at Beijing, they would have been natural candidates to quickly pick up such maneuvers as the back 2½ somersault pike from the 3-meter springboard.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Even as he summered on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Finger was well aware he was being ripped by some parties in Toronto, his new hockey home.
So be it. In fact, despite having not played a single game as a Maple Leaf as of yet, he understands where the naysayers are coming from.
“Of course I paid attention to what was going on,” Finger said. “Some people might say the criticism of me is unfair but I wouldn’t. I can see why some things would be said about me. I’m coming from the Western Conference. I’ve played fewer than 100 NHL games in my career….”
from Neil Hodge of the Times & Transcript,
Marc Denis has fallen upon hard times in his National Hockey League career and it’s unclear what the future holds for the 31-year-old goaltender. The Tampa Bay Lightning cut ties with him in late June when they decided to buy out the final year of a contract that was scheduled to pay him $3 million next season.
That made him a free agent and one week later he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Montreal Canadiens where he’s expected to battle for the backup job. His paycheque next season will depend on whether he’s in the NHL or American Hockey League.
“To me, this is the start of the process to rebuild my game,’’ he said yesterday following a workout at the Tim Hortons 4-Ice Centre. “Some might say that I’ve lost some parts of my game over the course of the last two seasons.
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