Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Gross at the Montreal Gazette,
Twenty-five years with the same organization presents plenty of perspective.
So when Peterborough Petes general manager Jeff Twohey starts lobbing praise and lofty comparisons at one of his charges, he’s a guy you’re apt to pay more attention to than others.
Soon-to-be 18-year-old defenceman Zach Bogosian is an acclaimed prospect - NHL central scouting ranks the 6-2, 210-pounder second overall among North American prospects for this weekend’s entry draft in Ottawa. In Twohey’s mind, Bogosian reminds him of another highly competitive Petes graduate - Anaheim Ducks captain Chris Pronger.
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,
It is not called the NHL Hall of Fame. I’m pretty sure it’s the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Which is why Tuesday, when the Hall’s selection committee gathers in Toronto to decide this year’s inductees, I hope Igor Larionov gets the nod.
“I think he should too,” six-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings told Sportsnet.ca. “He’s that kind of special player. Watching him when I grew up in Europe, he was part of that Russian Five that never gave up the puck. They had it the whole time. [...] When I had a chance to play with him, I saw that too. He’s such a smart player. He wasn’t a big player but his smarts brought him so much success. He really deserves to be in the Hall.”
From the Buffalo Sabres:
The Portland Pirates announced today a new, long-term affiliation agreement with the Buffalo Sabres effective with the 2008-2009 AHL season. The announcement was made by Pirates Managing Owner/CEO Brian Petrovek, Pirates Chairman/Governor Lyman Bullard, Sabres’ Managing Partner Larry Quinn, and Sabres’ General Manager Darcy Regier.
The Anaheim Ducks made the decision to sever its ties with the Pirates earlier this month for reasons of wanting their AHL team in closer proximity.
Looking at the map, I’d have to say Buffalo didn’t share the same concern.
Update 2:47pm ET: And as a commenter just pointed out… the Portland Pirates play in Maine. More coffee for me! Let me kill that map…
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,
“I am now a U.S. Olympian, which gives me thrills,” Burke told Sportsnet.ca on Tuesday. “I wasn’t a good enough player to represent the U.S. in international competition. This is truly a tremendous honour in my opinion.”
Burke was GM of the 1993 U.S. world championship team and helped put together the previous two world championship squads, but this is his first crack at the big show. And it’s not lost on him that 2010 might be it for the world’s very best players.
“When you add to it the potential historical significance, that this well may be the very last Olympics that involves NHL players, then I think it is a very historically important event,” Burke said from his Anaheim office.
Eurohockey.net provides an interview with long-time Finnish goalie coach Jukka Ropponen, whose students (clients?) have included the likes of Niklas Bäckström, Kari Lehtonen and Pasi Nurminen.
Q: You have worked in Finland, America, Switzerland and Russia, which was the best place out of these?
Hockey is hockey, I have enjoyed working in all different countries. They all have pros and cons so it is really tough to say one place is better than the other. I guess I just love hockey and working with goalies.
Q: What are the biggest difference in goalkeeping schools in these countries?
Let’s see, all countries have their own unique characteristics. let me elaborate this a bit more on a country by country basis:
• Finland has the most systematic approach to coaching goalies and most probably more goalie coaches than in any country compared to the number of team and players.
read on for Ropponen’s take on a variety of topics
From Kent Youngblood at the Star-Tribune,
Winger Branko Radivojevic, who spent the past two seasons with the Wild, has signed a two-year deal to play with Spartak in the Russian Premiere League.
Radivojevic came to the Wild from Philadelphia as a free agent before the 2006-07 season. In two seasons in Minnesota he totaled 18 goals and 41 points, becoming one of the team’s most reliable checking forwards.
Anaheim Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke was named the General Manager of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team today by USA Hockey. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games are scheduled to take place from February 12-28, 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“I’m very grateful and honored to be part of the U.S. Olympic Team,” said Burke, whose previous international experience includes serving as General Manager of the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 1993 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship in Munich and Dortmund, Germany. “We hope to put a team together for 2010 that Americans can be proud of.”
“We could not be more pleased than to have Brian as our General Manager,” said Ron DeGregorio, President of USA Hockey. “His record of accomplishment speaks for itself. Brian’s drive and fire for the game rub off on you and it’s that type of passion that will help lead us to our ultimate goal of winning the gold medal.”
A translated report at an online Russian news site:
Wayne Fleming, a Canadian coach offered the job of head coach of Belarus’ flagship ice hockey team Dinamo Minsk, held a news conference in Minsk on Monday.
The coach said that he would make up his mind on the offer on June 4, describing his talks with the club and the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation as fairly constructive.
The 57-year-old Fleming, an assistant coach with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, said that he liked Minsk and expressed certainty that his family would find it comfortable to live in the city. [...]
He is the second Canadian coach to be offered the Dinamo Minsk job. John Paddock turned down the offer earlier this year.
From Terry Frei at the Denver Post,
But major-junior players not making the NHL often end up educationally short-changed, or at least behind their contemporaries. The education-on-the-fly aspects of major junior and then major-junior’s scholarship program — roughly a year of college money for each year of playing — aren’t enough. (The major-junior scholarship program, let’s just say, doesn’t match a Harvard scholarship.)
Except for the absolute elite (and [Drayson] Bowman appears to be among that group) or players who would have little interest in a college education under any circumstances, I still believe the best route, for most U.S.-born players especially, remains NCAA hockey.
From Dan Barnes at Canwest News via the National Post,
But Medvedev is not Russian hockey, merely a player in it. For now. The fact that he is trying to convince Igor Larionov to put a familiar, moderate face on the CHL as its first commissioner is a signal of his savvy. He is not the NHL’s worst nightmare, just a friendly competitor. For now.
“Mr. Medvedev obviously has a strong interest in hockey and we thought it might make sense to sit down and get a better understanding of his interest and what he is trying to accomplish,” said Daly.
The answer to that question will be different in a year or two than it is today. The assumption that he wants to hurt the NHL is a pretty easy one to make, but he resents it.
“It’s a very stupid assumption,” said Medvedev. “We don’t want to weaken the NHL. We want to enrich European hockey and the NHL.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org