Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Don Brennan at the Ottawa Sun,
Earlier this week, Jason Spezza shook his head in bewilderment as he told teammates of a meeting he had just finished up with an equipment rep.
“He’s telling me I’d be 15% better (of a player) with a different mouth guard,” the Senators centre said, chuckling.
Now, we’re not exactly sure how that works, either, but if that’s truly the case, Sidney Crosby should hope Spezza sticks with what he’s wearing. Fifteen percent more of him would cost the Pittsburgh star the scoring race.
from the Star-Ledger,
“I know of some places where not everyone gets treated the same,” Asham said, referring to the Islanders, whom the Devils defeated, 2-1, last night at the Arena at Harbor Yard to finish the preseason with a 4-2 record.
And which player or players might have gotten preferential treatment?
“(Alexei) Yashin maybe,” Asham said.
Even though there were clearly some issues, and Asham even had a fight with goalie Rick DiPietro during one practice, he did not leave the Islanders with a lot of bitterness. He felt it was time to go and the Islanders weren’t devastated that he left.
from the Courrier Laval,
Having spent most of last season on a line with Brad Richards, he was looking forward to a similar role this year, a perception which evidently was not shared by Lightning management. “I think the Lightning philosophy is to imitate the Anaheim Ducks and add more size to the line-up. It didn’t look like I figured in their plans,” he specified. “I expected to get an offer from Tampa Bay that would reflect what I had accomplished with the team, but it never came. I was disappointed. I’m not a fourth-line player,” added the former member of the Midget AAA Laval-Laurentides-Lanaudière Regents.
Consequently, Perrin opted for free-agency in the hope that another team would make him a better offer. There was no shortage of interest in acquiring him. As of the first day free agents could be pursued, July 1, offers flooded in from Atlanta, the Islanders, Detroit and Phoenix.
from the NY Post,
Danny Markov was one of the top three unrestricted defensemen July 1, and he’s still looking for a contract with a contender. Markov and Colin White are different sorts of defensemen, but the Devils are likely to be without White (eye) for some time, and even when he returns, any team would be improved by a mobile all-around backliner of Markov’s quality.
The Devils figure to have a cap liability of some $48.7 million toward the limit of $50.3 million when their season opens Thursday in Tampa, Fla., and could use their old savior, the Long-Term Injury exemption, to exceed the limit, with Jamie Langenbrunner’s $2.8 million, White’s $3 million and Cam Janssen’s 600G all likely listable.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Hitchcock has never missed the Stanley Cup playoffs when he has spent the entire season behind the bench.
“I take a lot of pride in that,” he said.
“There’s nobody talking about our team who is picking us in the top 12 of the conference,” Hitchcock said. “There’s nobody. What they’re missing is that this is a very competitive group of players. I can see it. I know it’s there. But you can’t measure it until we start the competition.”
“I start every season assuming we’re going to make the playoffs,” Hitchcock said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. But we’ve come a long, long way in a pretty short amount of time.
“That’s all I’m going to say.”
From David Pollack at the Mercury News,
But before anyone gets too excited about how San Jose’s 5-0-2 record should translate into regular-season success, consider: The Sharks went 7-0-0 in the 2005 preseason only to stumble badly once the games counted. So badly that during a 10-game losing streak in November, General Manager Doug Wilson broke up his core group of players in the trade that brought Joe Thornton to San Jose.
OK, maybe that wasn’t so terrible after all.
Still, it’s not about wins and losses in the exhibition season.
From George Solomon at the Washington Post,
Kolzig might not be Cal Ripken—he missed 13 games last season with a knee injury—but his numbers are impressive. Nine seasons as the Caps’ regular goaltender, 702 games in goal overall. A regular season winning percentage of slightly better than .500, and just as important, two major NHL awards for community service.
“It’s rare an athlete plays his entire career with one team, but Washington gave me my opportunity and stuck with me when I was coming up and not what they call a top-end prospect,” Kolzig said. “Playing with one team my whole career, that’s something I’d like to hang my hat on.”
From Mike Heika at the Dallas Morning News,
Armstrong said he still wants the Stars team that will open the season on Wednesday at Colorado to be creative offensively. He still wants the coaching staff to squeeze out every goal. He still wants players to reach their goal-scoring potential. But they won’t do that at the expense of a strong team commitment to defense.
“I just am not going to apologize for being one of the best defensive teams in the league,” Armstrong said. “I am not going to apologize for having one of the best regular-season records in the league. We will always strive to improve in every department, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a strong identity.”
From Stephen Harris at the Boston Herald,
Is this team ready for the start of the regular season Friday in Dallas? Well, it sure hasn’t looked that way, with training camp injuries to key defenseman Zdeno Chara and physical leader Shawn Thornton partially hampering the search for a team identity.
But the beauty of the whole training camp/regular season thing is that with a win in Dallas, whatever has happened before is forgotten. Ready or not, the B’s will try to get everything pulled together in time.
From George Richards at the Miami Herald,
Martin has solidified his standing as the leader of the franchise after being handed the keys last summer when Mike Keenan was fired.
Serving as coach and general manager, Martin has complete say over every aspect of Florida’s hockey operations.
Some might say Martin doesn’t deserve such power, but it’s hard to argue with what he has done so far with the Panthers.
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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