Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Kruc of Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
A subdued Patrick Kane met with the media following the opening practice of the 2009 U.S. Men’s Olympic orientation camp Monday. After reading a prepared statement earlier in the day, the Blackhawks winger later discussed his Aug. 9 arrest following an altercation with a Buffalo cabdriver.
“I haven’t really told anyone my side of the story to be honest with you,” Kane said. “The only one who really knows is my lawyer and my family. That’s about as far as it goes. [I want to] move on and try to get over this. It’s been very supportive from a lot of people. It’s times like these maybe you can live and learn and find out who your true friends are at an early age.”
Kane was one of 34 NHL players at the camp at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, which is the first step toward determining the 23-man roster for the 2010 Winter Olympics team in Vancouver.
from Chris Halliday of The Orangeville Banner,
Known inside certain National Hockey League (NHL) circles as Aaron ‘one punch and he’s Downey’, the Honeywood native is doing anything but knocking kids off their skates.
In fact, Downey, his brother Trevor Downey and friend Shawn Kilshaw of Montreal are trying to place as many youth into Canada’s minor hockey system as possible. Three years ago, the group founded the House9 Hockey Foundation, a charity which aims to help underprivileged youth pay for minor hockey registration fees and equipment.
“Hockey is an expensive sport and what a privilege it is to play. But many don’t have the opportunity,” Aaron said. “We’ve always wanted to do something, a way to put kids into hockey and House9 is what we came up with.”
“I don’t know any other sport that closes its door for 2½ weeks in the middle of the season. What I’d like to see is this become a Summer Olympic Games [sport]....”
-Brian Burke speaking about the Olympics as it relates to Ice Hockey. More from Burke at the Globe and Mail.
added 5:14pm, from Mick Kern of NHL Home Ice,
But whatever you do, leave the sport of hockey in the Winter Olympics. If the NHL teams and players wanna take their puck and go home, let them. We don’t need any more manufactured drama, nor does the league need to shut down its product during two weeks of the worst month of the year.
Then again, having NHL stars play in the Olympics means there’s no NHL All-Star Game that season.
Hmm, let me reconsider this.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Longtime American warriors—as Team USA GM Brian Burke likes to call them—such as Chris Chelios, Jeremy Roenick and Keith Tkachuk won’t be battling for roster spots when the camp opens Monday in suburban Chicago. Instead, it’s a younger, faster, American team that hopes to spend a few days developing chemistry and learning coach Ron Wilson’s system.
Factor in the expected appearance of Patrick Kane, who was arrested following an incident with a Buffalo cab driver, and there’s plenty to watch for during the three-day camp, including:
1. Will Patrick Kane talk?
The American players know that there might be a little more media coverage surrounding the Olympic orientation, thanks to Kane’s arrest and the proximity of the event to Chicago.
“If there were going to be 20 (media) guys there, now there will be 40,” said Hainsey, a key member of the improving Atlanta Thrashers defense. “From our side, we don’t have a clue about what happened.”
from Shannon Shelton of the Detroit Free Press,
Michigan State hockey player A.J. Sturges released a statement Thursday to media members criticizing the football program’s decision to reinstate Glenn Winston, the sophomore running back who injured him during an off-campus altercation in October.
“In my opinion, the immediate reinstatement of Glenn Winston to the football team reflects very poorly on Michigan State athletics,” Sturges wrote. “This decision has established weak precedent for future athletes involved in violent crimes.”
Sturges said he suffered a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain and had to have five stitches inside his mouth after taking a punch to the side of the head from Winston. Sturges missed the 2008-09 season and said he was forced to drop academic courses because of memory issues and headaches resulting from the injuries.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Less than six months until the start of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Less than a week until the first of the summer orientation camps that will provide a first glimpse into what the United States and Canadian squads might look like come February.
With that in mind, here are some of the burning questions and Olympic odds and ends as the clock ticks down:
American GM Brian Burke has made no secret of how he plans to build his Olympic team, and that’s with plenty of sand. Look for two forward lines with as much skill as the Americans can collect and two lines with a lot of in-your-face personality. Same goes for the blue line, as Burke will want size and mobility that can hopefully withstand opposing forecheckers and move the puck quickly and smartly out of the defensive zone.
continued with many of the Olympic teams discussed…
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
As far as Hockey Canada is concerned, the issue of insurance coverage for the country’s best players has a giant check mark beside it.
“Everything is fine,” Johnny Misley, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations, said regarding the controversy over insurance coverage for NHLplayers attending the upcoming orientation camp for potential 2010 Olympic team members.
“We have secured insurance to help protect the players - given the low risk there is - to give them peace of mind.”
Peace of mind doesn’t describe the mindsets of the NHL or NHL Players’ Association - at least judging by recent public comments regarding the camp.
added 7:50pm, Icethetics may have the first pictures of what the Team Canada sweater may look like for 2010.
Police in southern Ontario have launched a fraud investigation after about 60 young hockey players said they paid thousands to attend a European tournament that didn’t happen.
The players, who are mostly from southern Ontario and in their late teens, paid roughly $3,000 each to travel to France to participate in the tournament.
Event organizer Ontario Central Scouting (OCS) promised dozens of professional hockey scouts would be at the tournament, said the players.
Instead, when they returned to Toronto on Tuesday, the dejected group said there was no tournament and they ended up playing a few games against each other….
OCS blamed the International Ice Hockey Federation — the organization that governs hockey around the world — saying it warned European scouts to stay away from the Canadian players because the OCS was not sanctioned by Hockey Canada.
from Alex Clark of USA Hockey,
The 2009 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp is packed with teenagers from traditional hockey hotbeds. Of the 43 camp invitees, 17 hailed from either Michigan or Minnesota.
As hockey continues to spread in popularity across the United States, however, elite players are emerging on USA Hockey’s radar from areas of the country not known for their hockey devotion.
Looking ahead, if the Atlanta Thrashers don’t sign Ilya Kovalchuk by next summer, the KHL probably would offer to make him the highest-paid player on the planet.
Right now the KHL is inflicting pin pricks on the NHL, but if they ever landed a prime player such as Kovalchuk, it could turn the league into a foreign version of the World Hockey Association.
-Kevin Allen of Mucking & Grinding at USA TODAY. More on the KHL from Kevin…
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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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