Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
His eye never will be the same. It always will look somewhat closed, a reminder of having accidentally been hit by the stick of Marian Hossa on March 11, 2000. He had looked done then, less than a week after his 23rd birthday. His mom, Pam, said at the time, “Just say a prayer for my kid.”
Berard never will be the big star he seemed destined to be when he was picked first overall in 1995 by Ottawa, which dealt him to the Islanders. But he is just fine, testimony to drawing straight with crooked lines. His odyssey says that you can get there if you just hang in there.
“I don’t take things for granted now,” he said. “I did have the game taken away from me for about a year and a half with the eye and almost [the same] with the back. I just love to play.”
from Eric McErlain at the NHL Fanhouse,
But if you had taken a trip to the “Blog Box” on Long Island on Saturday night, you would have seen something quite different: A group of fans segregated from the rest of the press who were only allowed guided access to Islanders players and no access to the visiting locker room at all. Most galling of all, many of the box bloggers trooped down to the Islanders locker room wearing Islanders jerseys….
All throughout the SI.com piece, you’ll see claims about how this “experiment”—one that comes complete with a couple of academics from a university in Pennsylvania who ought to be ashamed of themselves—is some sort of incredible innovation in sports media.
That’s actually the last thing that this deserves to be called. Instead, we ought to call it for what it is—a glorified fan club. That this farce is sponsored by Eklund, the least credible voice in sports blogging today, only makes the joke complete.
from On the Islanders Beat,
Because Meyer is in the final season of a deal that pays him $540,000, it’s possible he might be claimed by another team in need of defensive depth. The cost and term of Meyer’s deal would make him a bargain investment.
Once Meyer clears or is claimed off the Islanders’ roster, there’s a good chance free-agent defenseman Bryan Berard would be signed. It’s uncertain how quickly he would find his way into the lineup. The Isles scored on three of four power-play opportunities in their season-opening win Friday night in Buffalo.
from the New York Times,
“We’ve been a close-knit bunch in a couple of weeks,” Guerin said Wednesday. “That means we’re going to play well on the ice.”
The Islanders’ top line, centered by Mike Comrie with Ruslan Fedotenko at left wing and the 37-year-old Guerin at right wing, was acquired through free agency. Half of the defensive corps was not with the team a year ago.
“I know a lot of faces have changed,” Guerin said. “I don’t think the attitude has.”
from On the Islanders Beat,
Free agent defenseman Bryan Berard remains unsigned, but that might change later today. It’s possible GM Garth Snow might be trying to trade Meyer to make room for the possible signing of Berard. It’s also still possible Gervais could be sent down to Bridgeport.
more on the opening day roster…
from Scott Morrison of CBC Sports,
Where is the common sense?
Simon shouldn’t have been anywhere near the ice against the Rangers for all the obvious reasons. And especially since the Rangers decided to dress Ryan Hollweg, the player Simon chopped down his with his stick back on March 8 to earn the supreme wrath of the league.
Can you say retribution?
But there they were together on the ice Monday night in Long Island and the mayhem was, well, as predictable and it was entirely avoidable. Hollweg and Simon sparred and jabbed with each other.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
To Rick DiPietro, it was simply a matter of “the intensity being ratcheted up against the Rangers, no matter where or when we play them.”
To Al Montoya, it was simply a matter of, “basically not really having a choice, but sticking up for my teammates even though I’d rather have been in the [game] to showcase my talents.”
Check out the goalie fight…
From the moment he walked into the dressing room at the North Bay Memorial Gardens on Sept. 17, Ken ‘Jiggs’ McDonald felt like he was right at home.
The Georgian Bay area resident, NHL broadcaster and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee made the trip north to do a little pre-planning.
“It gets the juices going and makes you wish they would get the puck dropped for real and I could get back to the booth,” said McDonald, while watching the Islanders and Atlanta Thrashers battle it out in front of 4,100 fans.
On July 1, Mike Sillinger was as disappointed as anyone in the Islanders’ organization to learn that his friend Ryan Smyth had signed with Colorado rather than accept a slightly better offer from the Isles. As one of Smyth’s partners in a British Columbia real estate development and as alternate captain, Sillinger had pushed for “Captain Canada” to become “Captain Islander.”
“Even with me, he kept everything inside,” Sillinger said. “He kept his private stuff private between him and his family and his agent. I had no idea he was going to sign with Colorado. When he did sign, he told me the Islanders were one of his teams to the very end….”
continued with more Islander talk…
As he approaches his 26th birthday Wednesday, DiPietro acknowledged he’s also trying to do more to control his impulsiveness in the locker room in an effort to demonstrate more leadership.
“I definitely want to become someone the guys can rely on and count on for support,” DiPietro said. “I’m a competitive person, and I have a tendency to have a short fuse with guys sometimes. That’s something, as a leader, that you just can’t do….”
more on Rick…
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 email@example.com