Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Unlike the defending champion Detroit Red Wings, the Penguins lost several key players in the offseason — moves which can have an adverse effect on team chemistry this season….
Recent Cup finalists unable to keep their rosters intact fail to return to the big dance the following year. Even losing several lesser lights can have a potentially adverse effect on team chemistry. With their established young stars the Penguins should remain a dominant club this season but it remains to be seen if their new players can mesh well with the rest of the roster and help them return to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Three keys in my opinion are Crosby, Malkin and Fleury. How they go, so do the Penguins of 2008-09.
from Mike Boone of Habs Inside/Out,
• Who was that masked man? Which Carey Price do we get this season? The cucumber-cool kid who gave the Canadiens rock-solid goaltending down the stretch and stoned the Bruins in Game 7? Or the jittery rook who was mediocre, to put it charitably, against the Flyers and made R.J. Umberger look like Mike F. Bossy?
• How much does Saku Koivu have left in the tank?
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
In a wide-ranging telephone interview from Montreal, Luongo talked like someone who expects to be in Vancouver longer than the two years remaining on his current deal.
“The great thing is we’re on the same page and we both want to win,” Luongo said of Gillis. “We’re here to win and we want to build a winning team that can contend for the Cup every year.
“When I spoke to him, it was very reassuring for me because that’s why I’m playing in Vancouver—to have a chance to win it all. When you hear something like that from your GM—that he’s as committed to winning as Mike is—it gives you a comfort zone that the organization is all about putting the best team on the ice.”
read on including Luongo hitting the ice with white pads…
“I think about getting hit and that’s what we have to worry about,” he said of playing in the preseason. The shoulder “has to be 100 percent, it has to be as strong as the other one. I’ve been working out hard to get there.
“I would like to play at least two preseason games, but I can’t say that I’ll be able to. I just don’t know how it’s going to feel. I don’t know how it’s going to react. I’m confident I will play in the regular-season opener but I can’t predict the future, so we’ll have to see.”
-Vinny Lecavalier quoted by the Tampa Tribune where you can read more as Lecavalier recovers from shoulder surgery.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
McCabe leaves for south Florida today, where he already has located a home in the same beach-side community where former Maple Leaf teammate Wade Belak lives. McCabe’s daughter, Stevie, the oldest of two young children, starts school there tomorrow.
Sounds like a man looking to make a new start, doesn’t it?
The main roadblock to the consummation of the deal will evaporate today when McCabe receives the $2 million signing bonus owed him by the Leafs. Because today is a holiday, a morning conference call between the involved parties is scheduled for tomorrow morning after which an official announcement is expected.
more on McCabe
from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch,
“I feel good,” Modin said. “The back feels good. No pain. I’m able to work out in a way that I haven’t been able to do for a long time, and I’m ready to play hockey.
“That’s what you wanted to know, right?”
That’s everybody’s question for Modin heading into training camp, which opens for veteran Blue Jackets players in less than three weeks….
Hitchcock has long been a fan of pairing Modin on the opposite wing from Rick Nash, allowing the two big bodies to control the puck down low.
The plan as of today, however, is for Modin to play on the left side of rookie center Derick Brassard on the No. 2 line. Torres, if he’s fully recovered from knee surgery, will likely grab the right wing.
“We’ve been a very good team in the regular season the last two years,” said Grier. “But we’ve had our bumps and hit the wall in the playoffs, for some reason.
“We have playoff experience and now we’ve got some guys who have won Stanley Cups. Now maybe a little fresher approach or a different approach will help us get over the hump.”
-Mike Grier of the San Jose Sharks. Read more from Grier and many NHL topics from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.
When Bryan McCabe goes to Florida, assuming his regression ends there, he joins a defence that includes emerging star, Jay Bouwmeester, and solid veterans Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton. The Panthers could be a playoff team in the East
-Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
“My priority remains signing with the Rangers and finishing the job I came here to do two years ago. I’ve spoken with Tom [Renney] and have told him that I’m willing to accept whatever role he thinks is best for the team.
“I want to stay in New York because I believe I can contribute, but if that door closes, I’ll have some other interesting options to consider.”
The most interesting of which might be the opportunity for the 39-year-old winger to move west and join the Ducks. It is believed that Anaheim general manager Brian Burke reached out last week to Shanahan, the Rangers’ third-leading goal-scorer with 23 last season behind 25-goal-scoring co-leaders Jaromir Jagr and Chris Drury.
more on Shanahan…
from Damien Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
Imagine if the ice in front of an NHL net were a place where the rules of the game were different. Players could hack and whack like the old days, before the league decided a tug on a jersey was obstruction. Lightning coach Barry Melrose can only hope….
How do you feel about the league’s long-term crackdown on fighting?
I think toughness is leaving our game, and I hope that people realize it’s wrong. I hate to mention this, but the fastest growing sport in the world is ultimate fighting. We’ve got that as part of our game. To act ashamed of that has been wrong of the NHL for a lot of years. You can say you don’t like fighting or you love fighting, but it creates conversation. It creates energy and excitement.
read on for more of the Q & A with Melrose…
from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,
It has been 15 long years since the Montreal Canadiens last won the Stanley Cup, but there is a small group of Montrealers who can boast that they drank from Lord Stanley’s mug this summer.
John Harris, Dr. Jay McMullan, Mike Nelson and Earl Zukerman were among the invited guests when Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had his opportunity to spend 48 hours with the Cup last month in his home province of Saskatchewan….
Zukerman says that Babcock, despite his fame, has remained the same fun-loving guy he was during his university days.
“He’s a little more self-conscious maybe when people are around,” Zukerman said. “But when he’s with his old gang, he hasn’t changed a bit. It’s just like it was 25 years ago.
“I thought he might send someone to pick me up at the airport, but he showed up himself in shorts, just like any ordinary Joe. The same old ‘Babs’.”
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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