Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun,
Scott Niedermayer, the 35-year-old from Cranbrook who will go to the Hockey Hall of Fame when his career ends, said Friday he wants to be part of Team Canada for the 2010 Olympic tournament in Vancouver.
The Anaheim Ducks star hasn’t decided if or where he’ll play in the National Hockey League next season, but knows he wants to play for Canada. That probably means he’ll sign another NHL contract if he becomes an unrestricted free agent next July.
“It would be a great experience if I was able to be part of that team and compete for your country, in your own county, in your home province,” Niedermayer said. “I really haven’t decided [about the NHL], but I’d love to play in the Olympics.”
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
“You try to find something that relaxes you, “Naslund said. “Whether it’s watching a movie or listening to music or playing with the kids. I think you need the mental release from thinking about the game and what’s going wrong ... Now, I’m just trying to enjoy it more than anything, have fun and enjoy the moment. I always think it’s nice to get your mind off hockey. I don’t watch hockey when I’m at home, I try to get a breather.”
more on Markus Naslund…
from Randy Harvey (LAT Sports Editor) of the Fabulous Forum Blog at the LA Times,
The Times has excellent hockey writers, including Helene Elliott, the 2005 Elmer Ferguson Award winner for her oustanding hockey coverage and this year’s winner of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation sportswriter of the year award. She was among honorees along with Sugar Ray Leonard and Ashley Force at a dinner last night in Beverly Hills.
But it’s true that we’ve had to cut back on national coverage. It’s also true we will be more selective this season, as we were last season and the season before, about which Kings and Ducks road games to cover with our own reporters….
“I know the reaction often is that there aren’t a lot of hockey fans and therefore they don’t get enough respect,’’ he said. “So maybe there was some of that, that we have a sport a few of us love but that not everybody likes.’‘
We at the Times will continue to try to serve that few as best we can. But it’s not easy with the ravenous hockey crowd. As a colleague once said, “There’s not enough hockey in the Hockey News for hockey fans.’‘
more including a nice award for Kings play-by-play man Bob Miller.
The LA Times just doesn’t get it, nothing else to be said.
“The economy is tough, and if anyone says it isn’t they’re just not being accurate”.
“We may not see the effects for a while, either. A lot of people had their spending budget in place prior to our season. We sell our seats, we sell our corporate business, and we sell our season tickets starting in July. But from July through now, the world’s been tougher on the United States. We have to really work at playing an entertaining game on the ice, having people coming to our arena and understanding that it’s an event and having fun in the building.”
-Blues President John Davidson. More from Davidson at TSN.
from Kelly Hrudey of Blogs and Columns at CBC,
I shared goalie duties with a really good guy, Chris Terreri, but shortly after opening the season, Chris broke his hand in a game in St. Louis.
A couple of games after that, I separated my right shoulder and our goalie prospects at that time weren’t ready for NHL action.
The Sharks chose not to tell anybody about my injury.
So I ended up playing 12 straight with a separated shoulder. This kind of injury made it impossible for me to raise my arm over my shoulder.
If the other teams around the league would have known of my injury, without question every shot would have been high to my stick side.
The Canadiens’ young prospect Pavel Valentenko signed a deal in Russia earlier this week, and the Habs responded today by suspending the player from the team and presenting their concerns to the IIHF.
Valentenko’s Canadian agent Roland Hedges tries to explain his client’s actions. From the Canadian Press via TSN:
Hedges said Valentenko has been supporting his family since he was 15, and took a pay cut to pursue his NHL dream when he signed with Montreal before the 2007-08 season.
After playing all of last season and the first four games of this season with Hamilton, he was given permission to return to Russia to attend to a family matter. He said the signing was not premeditated.
“His intention was to go home to see his parents and see what he could do,” said Hedges. “When he got home, his father already had the deal done (with Dynamo).
“And if you saw the size of the deal, you’d see why.”
From Tarik El-Bashir in the Washington Post,
George McPhee leaned forward in his chair, squinted his eyes and focused on the performance that was unfolding before him. Except on this Wednesday night, the performers weren’t hockey players and McPhee, the general manager of the Washington Capitals, wasn’t sitting in a suite high above the ice. Instead, he was in a classroom at Georgetown University grading the midterm projects of 44 students in his graduate-level sports management class.
The Washington Capitals GM is teaching eight classes this semester. I think my favorite line in the article comes from one of McPhee’s students, who remarked “It’s like learning to play basketball from Michael Jordan” which, it occurs to me, might not be the best analogy… (edit: actually, I change my mind. I was thinking about that quote in the wrong way, equivocal to “...learning to play hockey from George McPhee.” Which obviously isn’t what was meant. Whoops!)
Anyway, great article—read the rest here.
from Jim Baumbach of Newsday,
When (Bill) Torrey built the expansion Islanders from the ground up in 1972, he eschewed any talk of trying to put together an immediate contender. He, instead, focused on the draft with the goal being to build a core that would be competitive for years to come. He believed in that method then, and still does today.
Reached at his West Palm Beach, Fla. home, Torrey said he sees the parallels with his vision to Snow’s current plan and he thinks it’s the right way to go.
But he cautioned it’s going to take time and lots of patience.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In the context of that complicated four-year, $21.6-million (all currency U.S.) contract extension signed by the Ottawa Senators’ Daniel Alfredsson this past week, the question – of what constitutes a “good” contract in today’s NHL? – is more pertinent than ever.
And more to the point, who is the contract good for? The player? The team? Or in the rarest cases of all, for both?
Alfredsson clearly is satisfied with his new compensation package, which will permit him to play out his career with the Senators, the team that drafted him originally back in 1994 with a long-shot 133rd overall pick.
continued and other hockey topics too…
Dear NHL: When LA Kings’ captain Dustin Brown slam you painfully into the boards this season, take heart in the fact that it costs him more than it costs you. This press release from the LA Kings explains why:
TEAM CAPTAIN WILL DONATE $50 FOR EVERY BODY CHECK
Los Angeles Kings right-winger and team captain Dustin Brown has announced a partnership with KaBOOM! in conjunction with the Kings Care Foundation.
Brown will donate $50 for each of his body checks during the 2008-09 season to KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of very child in America. Last season Brown led the NHL with 311 body checks. Through five games the season he has a team-leading 21 body checks, which would equal $1,050 in donations.
In all seriousness, a good cause. As the Kings note: “Since 1995, KaBOOM! has led the construction of more than 1,500 playgrounds, ice rinks, skate parks, and athletic fields.” You can find out more here.
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