Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,
(Scott) Walker, beginning his 14th NHL season, concedes he literally fought his way into the league. In his first three full seasons, with the Vancouver Canucks, he had 433 penalty minutes in 186 games.
“I have a little bit of a temper,” he said, smiling. “Sometimes, I forget what happens out there. I say some things or do some things I don’t remember.
“People say, ‘Oh, you’re not scared.’ I’m scared every game. You play scared. There are big guys out there and you can get run over. But that’s how you play—you can feed off the fear.”
“I don’t like being that hot-headed, but I think sometimes your faults are the reason you make it,” he said. “To be honest, it got me in the league and it has helped me stay here.”
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia News,
Antero Niittymaki was back in the stall he has occupied since coming up to the Flyers from the Phantoms, newly signed goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin, moved into the temporary extra stall used only for training camps, and tryout goalie Maxime Ouellet was released.
Niittymaki, who has been sidelined since before the beginning of camp recovering from left hip surgery, was back on the ice yesterday in practice and talking about the possibility of playing next week.
That might be a long shot, but from the way the Finnish goalie is recovering, he is very likely to be on the bench for opening night on Oct. 11.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
The stable of those looking for a rebound year is huge, and major. Start with Patrik Elias, no longer smarting so badly from the loss of the captaincy, and now nearly four years removed from hepatitis. Improve on 20 goals? Ya think?
Brian Gionta, only 22 goals last season? Jamie Langenbrunner, only 13 after training camp surgery? Dainius Zubrus is another 13-goal man now looking for far better than that. Jay Pandolfo, who limped through the second half with a nasty muscle tear, is now healed.
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
“We need to put the best team on the ice that’s available,” said Julien, whose team must cut eight more players from the current group. “Somehow we’ve got to make it work.”
It’s hard to see how that’s possible, unless a fairly significant trade happens to shake up the roster, something Chiarelli has not ruled out. League sources have been saying for some time that the Bruins are active in the trade market, with some talk of a possible blockbuster deal involving top scorer Marc Savard - although the center has a no-trade contract and would have to agree to any swap.
“That wouldn’t surprise me,” the same agent said of the Savard talk. “It’s been floating around for a while.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Along with Kaberle and Kubina, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Jason Blake, Jeff Finger and Vesa Toskala all could potentially be dealt. You know, for something more than nothing, the return for excising Darcy Tucker and Andrew Raycroft from the roster.
Nik Antropov, meanwhile, will be an unrestricted free agent in July and moving him by February sure seems more appealing than signing him to a lucrative, multi-year deal at $3 million to $4 million (U.S.) per season.
So Kaberle, primarily, and Antropov to a lesser extent, become the Leafs to watch this season, but mostly to see if they can enhance their value and thus their appeal on the trade market.
from David Shoalts and Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
One source said the bid for the 27-per-cent stake is for $20-million. In Del Biaggio’s bankruptcy filing, the share is said to be worth $23.5-million, and is his biggest single asset. Fritch declined to say how much the partners bid, but admitted it was at a discount to the stated value.
There is ample evidence, however, that Balsillie would not be afraid to make a much higher bid.
Before he was rejected as a potential owner by the NHL because he made no secret about his plans to move the Predators to Hamilton, Balsillie had agreed to pay Leipold $238-million for the team.
Fritch said the bankruptcy trustee may not be able to simply sell to the highest bidder. He said there are two complications: Balsillie’s bid would have to be approved first by the rest of the Predators’ owners, and then by the NHL’s board of governors.
added 6:33am, from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
Could the league governors still reject Balsillie as an owner?
Well they could try, but presuming he meets their own rather loose standards (remember, the NHL leads all professional sports in the number of owners that have left in handcuffs), they would do so at the risk of legal action.
If Balsillie got his team, could they try to block him from moving it?
Well, again, they could try,...
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
If there’s a poster boy for the Islanders’ regime change this season, it’s forward Jeff Tambellini, whose performance (or lack thereof) was at the root of the split between general manager Garth Snow and former coach Ted Nolan. Tambellini tied for second in the AHL with 38 goals in 57 games at Bridgeport but managed only one goal in 31 appearances with the Isles.
It’s not that Snow considers Tambellini a surefire NHL sniper. It’s that Nolan’s refusal to give Tambellini prime minutes and power-play time never allowed the organization to find out what kind of player he can be at the NHL level.
from Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star via the National Post,
After using the international stage of the playoffs to make a strong case for the title of the game’s best two-way player, Zetterberg feels he still has much more to accomplish.
“Ultimately what you want is to have as few as games as you can when you’re not so good,” said Zetterberg, who led the playoffs in scoring with 13 goals and 27 points in 22 games. “You want your lowest level as high as possible. If you have that, you know you will play good.
“I always want to play good.”
via the LA Kings,
The Los Angeles Kings have acquired defenseman Sean O’Donnell from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional draft selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.
added 9:17pm, via Ducks Blog,
O’Donnell is due to make $1.25 million this season. The Ducks had been $1.22 million over the salary cap before the trade.
The conditional pick means that if O’Donnell is traded again before the deadline this season, the Ducks will receive the Kings’ third round pick. If the the Kings keep O’Donnell past the deadline, the Ducks would get nothing in return.
Red Fisher knew he wasn’t walking into the fabled Montreal Forum on March 17, 1955, to write about an ordinary hockey game.
The Hall of Fame newspaper columnist, who had begun his journalism career a year earlier with the Montreal Star, drew his first hockey assignment on St. Patrick’s Day, reporting on what would become the Richard Riot.
“You could feel the tension in the air with the Detroit Red Wings visiting that night,” said Fisher, a Montreal Gazette writer for the last 29 years. “Something was going to happen that would probably have nothing to do with the game itself.”
continued with more Montreal memories…
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