Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
Teams typically follow the wave of success on the ice as well and retool and retrench accordingly. But this year it isn’t as clear as to what type of team will lead to the ultimate prize. The Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007 with a bruising, brawling style, while the 2008 Detroit championship team was all about skating, passing and puck possession. No one will deny that both teams had the requisite blend of skilled veterans and emerging stars….
So, plodding and marauding on the blueline is definitely giving way to passing and pushing the pace from the back end. But up front, teams seem divided. For instance, the Capitals pummeled their way into the playoffs with a group of big, bruising, banging forwards leading the way. The Flames got bigger and grittier this summer by adding Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross and Todd Burtuzzi. And certainly the Stars believe in the sand paper approach to hockey success, adding grandiose grit-disturber Sean Avery to a team that already has up-ice edginess provided by captain Brendan Morrow and Steve Ott.
I’ve received a lot of emails from readers since Michael Nylander put his Potomac home on the market and that news hit the blog circuit. I’m hearing that it’s nothing more than Nylander wanting to purchase another home (yes, in the Washington area). I’m not saying that he won’t be asked to waive his NTC and get traded, all I’m saying is that there’s no connection between him selling his home and his current status with the team.
-Tariek El-Bashir of the Washington Post, where you can also read a feature on Caps goaltender Brent Johnson…
Take a video tour of Alaska with Scott Gomez. Watch below…
Marian Gaborik’s agent, Ron Salcer (via the Pioneer Press):
“I can tell you that no decision (about free agency) has been made, and that he’s not even thinking about it. He’s focused on coming in and having a great season. If you start talking about next year, I think you’re getting ahead of yourself.
“We’re not going to deny anything the Wild wants to explore. We’re certainly willing to listen, but at this point it’s a hypothetical because I haven’t heard from them.”
“I can only say the Wild went to speak to him and were very respectful and shared information with him, about himself and the organization, and their vision. I think it was a very intelligent move on their behalf to involve him, but we don’t have any set plans (to talk).”
To their credit, the Los Angeles Kings have been willing to try unique marketing efforts in recent years, the hiring of Heidi Androl—originally of The Apprentice—probably being the most well-known.
Continuing that Heidi in Hollywood theme the Kings have enjoyed, the video below depicts Heidi in a new job as an apprentice assistant equipment manager for the team, which eventually gets her fired by Luc Robitaille.
from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,
It wasn’t Erik Cole’s unique combination of speed, size and skill that reminded Deborah Halaby of the son she lost so long ago, although that certainly helped make her a fan of the former Carolina Hurricanes forward.
There was more to it than that, something harder to define about the unspoken braggadocio embodied in Cole’s bull-rushes past flat-footed defensemen and his occasional petulance with the officials that stirred her emotions—and her memories.
“The arrogance—his whole stance,” Halaby says. “Something just clicked. Every time I saw him, it was just Michael. When Erik got hurt and they’d show him on the Jumbotron, my seatmates would look over at me and I’d be crying.”
from Empty Netters,
How much will the Penguins miss Ryan Whitney as he recuperates from his foot injury? You be the judge. Take a look at the top point totals by defenseman the past two seasons:
9. Lubomir Visnovsky, Kings GP 151 G 26 A 73 PTS 99
9. Ryan Whitney GP 157 G 26 A 73 PTS 99
11. Kimmo Timonen, Predators/Flyers GP 160 G 21 A 78 PTS 99
Mats Sundin’s agent is denying a report in the New York Post that says his client wants to join the Rangers.
When contacted by TSN, Barry denied there have been any increased discussions with the Rangers. He told TSN that he has spoken to both the Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers but also has had long discussions with Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher and Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis. Barry said there are six teams interested in Sundin’s services for next season.
Barry also said his client has not made a decision on playing this coming season.
Bad head gear worn by Leafs throughout their history.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins were hopeful that Carl Soderberg, whom they obtained in last summer’s swap with St. Louis for Hannu Toivonen, also would be part of the forward mix. But the 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound center notified Chiarelli some 10 days ago that he has opted to remain in Sweden for one more season. A few months earlier, Soderberg said he would be here in September, and was willing to assume the risk that he could be assigned to Providence.
“It’s disappointing, but we had a good talk,” said Chiarelli. “At least he was persuasive in what he said - he doesn’t want to come to North America and be a marginal player. ‘When I get there, I want to contribute,’ is what he told me.
“And, hey, the fact is, he is only 22 - the age of maybe a college senior - and it wasn’t until the playoffs over there last year that he really had his game going. He wants that one more year over there.”
more hockey notes…
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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