Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Stars Blog at the Dallas Morning News,
I’m a basketball fan who hasn’t watched a whole lot of hockey, but I better brush up on power plays and such. As a professional bandwagon hopper, it looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time with the Stars this winter.
That certainly doesn’t mean I’ll voluntarily stay out of the Mavericks’ locker room, but I sense a shifting of the local bandwagon fans from NBA to NHL.
The AP via Mlive reports Nick Lidstrom suffered a broken nose last night.
Update 2:44pm ET: Via TSN:
Nicklas Lidstrom suffered a broken nose on Wednesday night and the Red Wings expect him miss at least three games, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Head coach Mike Babcock spoke to the newspaper on Thursday morning regarding the injury to his captain.
“He’s got a broken nose, but everything’s fine,” Babcock told the Free Press. “I mean, he got hit in the head with a puck, and so he’s not feeling good today - he didn’t even come to the rink today; he’ll be back here tomorrow and then he’ll be rolling in no time.”
from James Murphy at NHL.com,
After a tumultuous first season in Toronto both on and off the ice, Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake has found a new lease on life and his career. Blake took time recently to discuss his up-and-down season, what he learned from the experience and how he plans on using these lessons both as a hockey player and a person.
from Eric Adelson of ESPN,
Today I am president, so there is no speed limit!”
The crowd roars with laughter as Alex Ovechkin grins. No, this isn’t a frigid January Inauguration Day on the Capitol steps, just a key-to-the-city event on a steamy June afternoon at the Wilson Building a few blocks away. No, Ovechkin isn’t a politician or an elected official or even an American citizen. He’s just a 23-year-old hockey player from Moscow.
Not that he doesn’t have political cred.
A look inside ESPN The Magazine’s NHL Preview issue photo shoot.
Watch the video below…
from Brad Boron at ChicagoBlackhawks.com,
“They’re both number ones,” Tallon said. “They’re both excellent; they’re both qualified and it gives us a chance to win every night. In the discussions we’ve had with them, they seem to want to battle for the job. That will be a positive.”
While they may be fighting for minutes in the crease, Huet and Khabibulin share a mutual respect for one another.
“Cristobal seems like a really nice guy,” said Khabibulin. “I think it’s going to be fun to work with him.”
“I think [Khabibulin’s] a great goalie and it’s great that we have this tandem,” says Huet.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
So chances are when all is said and done, with all those forces working on him, Gaborik will swallow his personal feelings and sign. But if he doesn’t, that’s when it really gets to be fun.
There’s no way Minny trades him to Vancouver. That almost certainly won’t happen given they’re in the same division. But if the team taking him in a deal can’t re-sign him, he may well consider coming here next year to meet up with old buddy Demitra. Gaborik probably wouldn’t mind playing with Marian Hossa either, but Hossa will also be a free agent next year and going for big money, so any team that wanted to pair them would have to be laying out a minimum of $18 million for the next five or six years.
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
“Freak things happen and it’s just unfortunate,” Blues defenseman Jay McKee said. “He was going to be an absolutely integral part of this team, and that’s unfortunate. He’s certainly going to be just a huge loss. He was probably going to be our best defenseman right now.”
“It’s a huge blow,” Blues goalie Manny Legace said. “Huge.”
“He was to be our No. 1 power-play defenseman, there’s no denying that fact,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “He was also our leading scoring defenseman last year and we lacked scoring from the blue line, so there’s no question we’ll feel his loss.
from Mike Loftus of the Patriot Ledger,
While in a literal sense, signing Yelle was no big deal (it’s a one-year, $750,000 contract), those who know him best fully anticipate that Yelle will prove to be a major bargain.
“He’s big on (faceoffs), always good in his own end, blocks shots, brings a lot of experience to our penalty-killers,” said winger Chuck Kobasew, who spent nearly three seasons with Yelle in Calgary. “He does a lot of things. Most go unnoticed, but to his teammates, they’re big things.”
“He does what he has to, and he does what he does well,” said defenseman Andrew Ference, another ex-Flame and close friend of Yelle’s.
from Joanne Irelend of the Edmonton Journal,
The role has changed. Dramatically.
But now that Dustin Penner has been moved on to the Edmonton Oilers’ checking line so, too, have the expectations.
“Normally, it would be a real step back for a guy who has played all those minutes on the first line and got first line power-play minutes,” head coach Craig MacTavish said.
from Corey Masisak of the Washington Times,
It is only a slight change in the arrangement of bodies inside at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, but Brent Johnson moving from one side of a corner to the other represents a big change for the Washington Capitals.
Gone is Olie Kolzig, who used to set up shop in Johnson’s new digs, and with him went one of the most dynamic forces in the Caps’ dressing room. While the Caps welcome back nearly the same roster as last season, the hierarchy of leadership could be significantly different.
“He’s been the unofficial captain for the past probably eight or nine years,” said Chris Clark, the team’s official captain for the past two seasons. “He just had this presence, and I always went to him when I had questions. Guys would come to me, and I would go to him - that sort of thing.”
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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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