Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Damian Cristodero at Lightning Strikes:
About 100 or so fans were there to meet the bus. As the players got off, the Czech natives (Vinny Prospal, Radim Vrbata and David Koci) were swarmed by kids seeking autographs and television and newspaper cameras. Vinny Lecavalier was treated as royalty as well. As he walked from the bus to the rink, at least six men snapping pictures walked backwards in front of him, all while a crowd asked for autographs.
“It’s special,” Prospal said later in the locker room. “It’s my home country. It doesn’t happen every day like that. I’ll enjoy it for a couple of days. Now I know what Vinny has to do every day of his life.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
...And then there are those players whose season begins with something more instinctual: the desire to prove they are healed. Broken bones have mended, twisted and torn ligaments have grown strong and swollen brains have returned to normal.
Every year, there are players like teammates Patrice Bergeron and Manny Fernandez, who must prove their injuries have not robbed them of their futures and their careers.
This is their story—or, at the very least, the first chapter of their journey back.
“I thought he was dead”
Patrice Bergeron is sitting outside the TD Banknorth Garden on a low stone wall talking about the uncertain convergence of his past and future.
From Sam Weinman at Rangers Report:
So much for Petr Nedved at least making the trip to Europe. The 36-year-old center was among those given the pink slip before today’s practice.
It looks like Greg Moore, Artem Anisimov were also reassigned.
“I told him this summer we had a lot of young guys and we have only so many spots,” Glen Sather told me just now. “Plus, there’s a cap issue to deal with. I thought he played well. I just knew what we’d be up against. But I didn’t want to not give him the opportunity.”
via Bruce MacLeod of Red Wings Corner,
Datsyuk just left the trainers’ room. He’s out of the lineup tonight and not saying exactly what the injury is. Datsyuk did say that he should be back in the lineup soon and that his injury isn’t long-term.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
In what should come as a surprise to no one, for the first time in history the NHL will spend in excess of $1.5 billion in salaries this season. And early indications are the average team payroll will go up by $5 million from 2007-08….
Spurned on by a summer of wild free agent spending and a number of big-money, long-term contracts beginning to kick in, the league is spending money like never before. As the NHL has always thought, the upper limit of the cap has turned out to be a magnet for spending, with 12 teams within $2 million of the cap.
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Joe Thornton is the NHL’s most prolific passer, having paced the League in assists for the third consecutive season while leading the San Jose Sharks to the Pacific Division title last season.
But Thornton’s value to the Sharks is more than just the numbers he puts up. Opponents had to figure out a way to try to shut him down for an average of 21:23 per game last season – more ice time than any other forward who spent all season in the division.
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
Penguins prospect Ryan Stone told Jonathan Bombulie of the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice he wants to leave the Penguins organization after not making the NHL club out of training camp.
The possibility of that happening isn’t all that far-fetched considering he can be claimed off waivers beginning tomorrow.
Craig Custance at the Sporting News Today has a look at Tampa defenseman Andrej Meszaros. Meszaros is beginning to feel comfortable in Tampa and hopes the feeling remains for the next six years.
Read more on Meszaros and many other hockey notes at the Sporting News Today., You may have to register, but it takes ten seconds and it is free.
from Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun,
“I know I’m not Forsberg, I’m not Sundin,” he said.
Like the shifty Swedes, though, Gelinas is still swimming in the free-agent pool. For the first time in a career that has spanned 19 seasons and more than 1,400 games, the grizzled veteran hasn’t signed an NHL deal.
“I know in my heart that I can still do a lot of good things for a team, and even more so come playoff time,” he said. “But you look at the business side of it and teams want to go with younger guys, thinking that the upside might be there, and that’s not always the case….”
from Tony Gallagher of the Province,
As he looked back Thursday, Naslund admitted he wasn’t overly happy here last season and that the Todd Bertuzzi incident weighed heavily on him, given he and his former linemate are close and it was he who was, in a small way, part of the reason the whole thing took place. After all, it was Naslund who was originally nailed by Steve Moore in Denver….
“It still bothers me what Todd has had to go through over this and the way it’s dragged on and on over the years,” said Naslund.
“I still keep in close contact with him and it’s been tough on him. It’s taken its toll. There’s no question he was standing up for me and for his teammates when it happened, and it all went too far. All of the circumstances around it went the wrong way and got out of hand. It’s been a long road and he’s been through a lot. I feel bad for him and the way it’s worked out for everyone involved.”
more from Naslund as he talks about his days in Vancouver…
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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