Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler of Game On,
Talk about going from a BIG SPLASH to a drop-in-the-bucket, how about our old buddy, Jaromir Jagr, formerly the toast of Broadway. A year ago Jags detonated roaring headlines by emigrating to Russia. Now there’s hardly a whisper about JJ. Let’s not forget that Jaromir – same as Sean Avery – could have remained a Ranger. There was a reasonable deal there for him to return, but he chose to chase pucks in Putinville. It says here that he regrets the move – deeply!
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from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
With the clock having struck midnight on GM Mike Gillis’s Mats Sundin deadline, and given word he’s not even skating, the Canucks are moving on.
With the Swede quickly disappearing from their radar, the Canucks are focusing instead on the forwards who will actually be at UBC this week for training camp. And there are plenty of them. Lots has been made about the defensive logjam, but the more interesting story lines are up front.
There are 12 forwards with one-way deals, and that doesn’t include Cody Hodgson, Jannik Hansen, Michael Grabner or Sergei Shirokov, the Russian pro who got a couple gushing reviews in Alberta for tallying a few assists in two prospects games against university kids and amateurs. Though he’ll have to do a lot more than that, he is seen, by some, as one of the players on the outside who can push for a job.
With a push from below, two veterans who are expected to at least feel a pinch are Kyle Wellwood and Mason Raymond, a pair known for offensive skill and unrealized potential who both had frustrating seasons last year before finding salvation through the defensive part of their games.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
...the No. 1 health concern in the Eastern Conference might be the Sabres’ need for center Tim Connolly to remain in the lineup this season.
The Sabres need him to play 80 or more games this season and he has been able to play only 38% of his team’s games over the past three seasons….
The frustration of Connolly’s injury history is that he is highly productive when he does play. Last season, he registered 18 goals and 29 assists for 47 points in 48 games. He had 40 points the season before.
“From where I am sitting and from where (coach) Lindy Ruff is sitting, he is a very important piece to our success,” said Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier. “What we saw when he was healthy is that when we have him and Derek Roy in the middle then we have two quality offensive lines. It’s not as easy to key on one of our lines.”
from pucksandbooks of On Frozen Blog,
A fresh reason to hate Pittsburgh: a Penguins’ shot that Tomas Fleischmann blocked in the 2009 playoffs could well have played a role in his developing the blood clot in his left calf that is delaying the start to his season.
“The doctors [in the Czech Republic] told me is it probably a combination of blocking shots in the playoffs against Pittsburgh and a long flight sitting too long in one spot,” Flash informed this morning. His flight home in May was nine hours long.
About two weeks after he arrived home Fleischmann began feeling pain in his left leg. Rest would alleviate the pain but then it would return after he’d work out. So he went to see a doctor and was shocked by the diagnosis, which included no practicing hockey for three months.
“I never heard about it before,” he said.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
For the moment, and possibly well on into November, Kessel holds the cards as a restricted free agent. If Chiarelli were to make a deal with, say, the Predators, Nashville GM David Poile would only give up assets if he is assured Kessel will sign in Tune Town. Likewise, the Leafs won’t flip picks and/or players Boston’s way unless Chiarelli already has inked Kessel to a sign-and-trade.
All signs point to Kessel preferring the Leafs over the Predators, which, if nothing else, proves he did learn something during his year at the University of Minnesota. Decent team, the Preds, but there is only one Toronto (unless Jim Balsillie succeeds in divvying up the hockey mecca).
The dynamic of the Kessel proceedings will shift as late November approaches because Kessel, per the collective bargaining agreement, cannot play in the NHL this season unless he has signed a deal by Dec. 1.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald,
The system calls for strict discipline. Responsibility is crucial, especially in the defensive zone.
“We want to be a structured team and that has to include everybody,” Sutter said. “The veterans, the experienced players, have to be the leaders in that category.
“You’ve got to implement things in practice. We’re creatures of habit. Our habits have to be good in practice so they carry through to the game.”
And so the mood on the first day of camp was all business with little, or no, superfluous chatter.
After all, in any job, first impressions with the boss are vital.
“The drills are obviously a lot different,” said forward Rene Bourque. “Totally different drills than we did last year. It’s kind of nerve-racking being out there for the first practice. We’ve never seen a lot of these drills before.
“Nobody really wants to mess up a drill on the first day back. I think guys were gripping their sticks a bit tight. But, in the next few days, I think the guys will learn to relax a little bit and just enjoy it.”
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants at the Star-Tribune,
I’ve been sitting on this for a couple days for a variety of reasons, but it’s starting to get out there now and not in an accurate way.
As I reported here Sept. 4, the Wild was interested in signing Petr Sykora. After back and forth negotiations last week, Sykora said no. Now Sykora will indeed fly to Minnesota on Tuesday.
But if he passes his physical, he’ll be placed on a pro tryout like unsigned free agent Andy Hilbert. He is not signed, and GM Chuck Fletcher made it very clear to me just now that there is no guarantee to sign him.
He’s got to make the team.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
I wrote this summer that I had not yet been impressed by Brad Richards. There apparently is a pretty good reason for that. I found out this week that in addition to the wrist and hand injuries that ended up cutting 25 games from his season in 2008-09, Richards was bothered by shoulder problems for much of the year.
If you combine that with the mono he suffered in 2007-08, we never have seen Richards at full strength in a Stars uniform.
That appears to be changing this season. Richards Has played one NHL game since Feb. 16, and he said he has taken the time to get completely healthy. He said the right wrist and left hand both feel great. He said the shoulder feels great.
from Bruce MacLeod of the Macomb Daily,
One difference between Kindl and Ericsson is this. Ericsson came to the Red Wings as the final pick of the entire NHL draft. Kindl was the 19th overall selection in the 2005 NHL draft.
That makes Kindl the Red Wings’ highest draft pick in the past 18 years. You have to go back to Martin Lapointe being taken 10th overall in 1991 to find a higher-drafted Red Wing.
“He certainly has a great chance,” said Jiri Fischer, the Red Wings’ director of player development, who was the 25th overall pick in 1998. “In our organization, everybody has to earn the chance, then everybody has to grab the chance. I think he’s on the right path, the way he’s been working and progressing. I’m hoping he’s going to have a good camp and good season as he did last year, as long as he keeps working.”
Kindl has always been an impact offensive defenseman. He generated offense as a youth in his native Czech Republic and in juniors with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League.
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
The Panthers are close to signing free-agent defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and a deal is imminent, an NHL source said Sunday.
According to the source, the team and Seidenberg’s agent, J.P. Barry, have been feverishly negotiating and have agreed to a one-year contract. They just need to settle on salary before the contract is finalized, which could happen as early as today.
Seidenberg’s signing would be a boon for the Panthers.
added 10:17am, TSN reporting 1yr for $2.25M.
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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