Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Noah Love of the National Post,
Los Angeles Kings general manager hopes he can bring Gretzky back to the place where he left his biggest stamp.
Lombardi told Toronto radio station the FAN 590 on Tuesday that he would like the Great One to come back to the Kings in an advisory capacity.
While nothing has been finalized, Lombardi joked that Gretzky could be the team’s “minister of character.” L.A.‘s young squad will have star veteran leadership for the first time in years this season in Ryan Smyth.
via the Twitter of Bob McKenzie, Free agent Maxim Afinogenov has earned a spot on the Atlanta Thrashers, who are in the process of getting a contract done.
In case you missed multiple reports, Rob Schremp was claimed by the Islanders today.
added 12:32pm, via Katie Strang of Isles Files at Newsday,
“It was something Scott [Gordon] and I talked about yesterday when he was put on waivers,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said. “For us it’s a situation where we can give a highly-skilled player with great vision on the ice a new opportunity. It’ll be a good change in scenery for him.”
Said Scott Gordon: “He’s got incredible skill.”
“He has the opportunity of a second chance. What he does with it is in his hands.”
from Damien Cox of the Spin at the Toronto Star,
Five years after announcing the 150-acre Lighthouse Project, Wang still hasn’t seen a shovel in the ground. The scheme would include a new arena, commercial and residential development including a canal and all kinds of goodies, so naturally there are multiple layers of bureaucracy and politics to wade through, just as there would be in the GTA if such a plan were ever proposed.
Wang has complained the process is taking far too long, which is why he has set an unofficial deadline, and why local politicos are balking.
“We don’t tell them when they have to bring in a Stanley Cup,” said one town official quoted in Newsday.
That’s nasty. The once-great Isles have a lease at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum until 2015, but we already know from Phoenix the NHL doesn’t much worry about that stuff.
So into this maelstrom of insolvency and uncertainty goes Tavares. Stamkos had to deal with a lot of on-ice and off-ice issues in Tampa last season and survived, so theoretically so can Tavares.
It won’t be easy. But it helps that not as many people are watching the Islanders as once did.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
The interview had been over for a good 15 minutes when Mike Babcock re-emerged from a nearby room.
“Let me edit that story,” the Red Wings’ coach said while walking briskly toward a reporter sitting behind a laptop. Something had irked Babcock, though the glint in his eyes suggested he also might be teasing—a little. Maybe.
“You guys have been writing that story since I got here,” Babcock said before being sidetracked by another interview request.
So what was the topic that bothered Babcock? It was the suggestion his Red Wings are on the decline.
It’s not a new idea, but this year there’s a new wrinkle: Pittsburgh has put itself in position to replace the Wings as the model NHL franchise, the team everyone wants to beat, the team on the cusp of a dynasty. All because of one Game 7 loss.
If the Red Wings win one more game last season, we’re talking possible three-peat. Instead, we’re wondering whether the reigning champ Penguins will become this generation’s Edmonton Oilers, with Sidney Crosby playing the part of Wayne Gretzky.
from Rachel Blount of the Star Tribune,
If the Wild is to return to the playoffs after missing out last season, it cannot afford to get out of the gate slowly. Still, it’s impossible to predict just how soon this promising roster can get Richards’ system into its bones—and rid itself of the defense-first style that had become as natural as breathing. Center Mikko Koivu and left winger Andrew Brunette haven’t played a game yet because of injuries, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, James Sheppard, Benoit Pouliot and Shane Hnidy also have missed valuable ice time.
When they haven’t skated, the coaches have been teaching them the fine points of a more aggressive, attacking offense by diagramming plays on a board and showing them video. But such a philosophical shift requires repetition in the crucible of competition in order to lock it in. Richards hopes his players’ experience and savvy can help them get up to speed quickly, particularly with the major changes on special teams.
from SlapShot at the NY Times,
We’ve recruited a new passel of independent bloggers to join our crew from last spring, and here they are, just in time for Thursday’s N.H.L. season openers. Below, the Western contingent of our Hockey Night in Blogdom gang takes a team-by-team, snide-remark-by-snide-remark look at the season ahead. Entries appear in order of their clubs’ finish in the regular season. Behold the future!
Sean Payton of Anyone but Detroit
Will the Avs be better or worse than last year, and where will they finish?
The Avalanche will be better — they finished 15th in the West last year so there is nowhere to go but up. I’ve got them finishing 13th, ahead of Nashville and the mess currently known as the Phoenix Coyotes.
What team would you most like to see fail this year, and why?
The name of my blog is “Anyone but Detroit” for a reason. The reason I want to see Detroit fail this season? Todd Bertuzzi is now a Red Wing.
Richard C. Powers is the associate dean and executive director of MBA and Master of Finance program at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
from Richard Powers at the Toronto Sun,
As we await the decision on the fate of the Phoenix Coyotes, there is an interesting angle to the story that should be front and centre—why does the NHL continue to push its southern U.S. strategy when everything seems to suggest it hasn’t worked?
More to the point, how has NHL commissioner Gary Bettman managed to keep his position despite numerous problems and fiascos south of the border? In just about any other job, he would have been turfed out with last week’s salad.
Let’s examine the facts. Phoenix is just the tip of the iceberg.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the Morning Skate at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
After many hours and lot of manpower, the ice surface at the Globe Arena is ready for Friday and Saturday’s game between the Blues and Red Wings….
The one difference is the height of the glass on the side boards. They are roughly two feet shorter than the regular glass at Scottrade Center. That could come into play if a team is penalized for shooting the puck over the glass in the defensive zone, which requires a delay-of-game penalty.
more plus a video Jeremy shot of the Globe Arena…
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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