Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Z. Klein of SlapShot at the NY Times, I
n an interview published over the weekend in the Russian daily Sport Den za Dnem, defenseman Alexei Semenov made his first public statement on his sudden departure from the Rangers before the season opener on Oct. 1.
Semenov said he declined to sign with the Rangers after being invited to try out for the club in training camp not because of his wife’s objections, as Rangers General Manager Glen Sather had told reporters, but because he did not think the contract would pay him enough.
“The story is somewhat different than what was presented,” said Semenov, who is now playing for Dinamo Moscow in the K.H.L. “I love my wife; I take her advice on family matters, but never on hockey! On that I have my own views, or I confer with my agent.”
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Let’s face it. If Vesa Toskala continues this sub-par play much longer, maybe he’ll soon be hearing those same jeers from the Marlies fans at Ricoh Coliseum, where many frustrated observers feel he belongs.
In any event, if Toskala and his teammates feel their moribund offence, struggling defence and leaky netminding will suddenly turn around tonight when they face off against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, they are in for a rude Big Apple awakening.
With the Rangers set to unleash both their No. 1 goaltender and their top agitator on the visitors, the Leafs might well be starring in their own off-Broadway production of Les Miserables by the time the evening is over if they don’t get their act together in a big hurry.
Winless thus far, Ron Wilson’s troops will have to deal with all-star goalie Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes and the Pickering Pugilist, Sean Avery, in the corners. Neither is an attractive prospect for a Leafs team attempting to shed the shackles of a tough start, one that has seen them manage just one of a possible eight points.
Nicklas Backstrom from center ice scores on Henrik Lundqvist.
from Peter Adler at the Cult Of Hockey,
Alexei Semenov, he of the turning-down-Rangers-offer fame, and seen in San Jose silks last season, is returning to Russia: he’s just signed a one-year contract with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL for $1.6 million (all terms US), much to the delight of his wife.
from Steve Zipay of Newsday,
On Wednesday, the Rangers thought that 28-year-old Alexei Semenov was signed and sealed as a No. 6 or 7 defenseman. Now, they’re hunting for his replacement.
Semenov, a second-round draft choice of the Edmonton Oilers who recently played in San Jose and Florida, had called general manager Glen Sather for a training camp tryout and played well enough to earn a one-year, $600,000 contract. The team announced that the 6-6 Russian had come to terms Wednesday evening and on Thursday, Semenov’s agent, Allan Walsh, posted it on Twitter.
But Thursday, an “issue” developed, the team said. Friday, Semenov, who made the trip here but watched the Penguins’ morning skate with Sather in the stands, left the team.
“He agreed, his agent agreed, but his wife didn’t,” Sather said. “He couldn’t talk his family into it. In all my years of dealing with players, I’ve never had that happen before. He was crying.”
a bit more...
Top 10 things never before spoken by a hockey player.
Don’t miss the newest episode of NHL Network’s ‘Off the Ice’ featuring Henrik Lundqvist, Niklas Backstrom, and Jonas Gustavsson.
from Steve Zipay of Blue Notes at Newsday,
None of the half-dozen beat writers covered the preseason game in Detroit and the next afternoon, in Boston, Andrew Gross and I lined up for the brief pregame QnA with the coach. Asked if he enjoyed the previous evening’s post-game presser without the daily chroniclers, he called it “the best bleepin hour of my career…It’s not just you guys, I hate all the bleepin’ media.” After two innocuous questions yesterday afternoon, he told Larry Brooks to “stop coaching” and chastised me for worring too much about the lines. No prob, we’re big boys. Some of this is a yen for confrontation and because he’d rather not publicly divulge his ideas—-except on his own terms, when he wants to send a message.
more & other Rangers notes…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
If it were up to John Tortorella, the Rangers would go into next Friday’s season-opener in Pittsburgh with only six defensemen on the roster. At least that’s what the coach claimed prior to last night’s 3-2 Garden exhibition victory over the Capitals.
“I don’t like having extra bodies around,” Tortorella said. “If it were up to me alone I’d prefer six.”
It’s a good thing the decision isn’t going to belong exclusively to the coach, because opening with the minimum number on the blue line makes no sense whatsoever. General manager Glen Sather, who will make the final judgment, hopefully realizes that.
Because unless the Blueshirts, who got down to seven defensemen with yesterday’s demotion of Bobby Sanguinetti to the AHL Wolf Pack, are going to bite an extremely expensive bullet by dispatching either Wade Redden or Michal Rozsival to Hartford, cutting down to six all but certainly means sending Michael Del Zotto back to the OHL London Knights
Anybody find it a coincidence that Sean Avery is unable to “suit up” for practices and preseason games due to a knee injury at the same time Fashion Week ‘09 is exploding onto runways in New York?
-via Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge.
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