Kukla's Korner Hockey
“He’s a Type A personality. He’s a very focused, intense individual. He doesn’t move on anywhere until it’s done. If it’s not done right, he doesn’t care what the name is on the back, where you’re from or who you play for. You got to do the job. When he says you’ve got to play 200 feet, you got to play 200 feet. The game we want to play (in Vancouver) has a lot of pressure in it, a lot of skating in it. There’s no resting on the ice.”
-Ken Hitchcock on Mike Babcock. More on Babcock from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated.
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
You can put your money on the fact that the February Games in Vancouver will be the last time the NHL participates in the Olympics.
Expect a reversion to the old formula when collegians and other top amateur players, a la 1960 and 1980, when Uncle Sam won Gold Medals with the likes of Ken Morrow, Mike Eruzione (Winthrop, Mass.), et. al.
Remember this—the Russkies host the 2014 games in Sochi. The way the NHL feels about the KHL stealing of North American stars such as Jiri Hudler and Alexander Radulov, there’s no way Bettman Inc. will want to do any favors for the Europeans.
read on for more hockey observations…
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
...partly of his own choosing, the proud Lemaire became the ultimate Hockey Canada outsider. He wasn’t deliberately excluded necessarily, but he was never included.
“If you’re not invited, you’re an outsider,” he said. “You have to be invited to feel you’re in. But I guess you’re not good enough.”
Now, at 63, apparently Lemaire is finally good enough. It was Steve Yzerman who first thought of Lemaire as a possible assistant coach on Mike Babcock’s 2010 Team Canada staff, a concept Babcock quickly endorsed.
“I was surprised,” said Lemaire, who will work alongside Ken Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff. “Mike is probably the only guy who would call me for the job. He said he watched a lot of our tapes, checking our penalty killing because of the success we had, looking at our 1-2-2 and how we play it.
via David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
Peter Adler, the Edmonton-based Euro-hockey expert, passes on these items . . .
The International Ice Hockey Federation is refusing to grant Jiri Hudler his transfer card, which means he is not allowed to practice or play for his new team, Moscow Dynamo, reports Sovietski Sport.
Without this card, Hudler can’t play in any IIHF-sanctioned game. The Russian league is under the domain of the IIHF, hence Hudler’s current problem.
The IIHF’s stance is baffling to Alexander Medvedev, chief of the KHL, because both the Detroit Red Wings, Hudler’s NHL team, and the Czech federation have given permission to Hudler to play for Dynamo, according to Medvedev.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
The last time Vinny Lecavalier actually had to make a team was ... well, never.
And the last time Joe Thornton had to make a team ... was, well, almost never.
Making teams are for other guys, not the gifted and precocious and iconic. But as Canada Red and Canada White departed the Pengrowth Saddledome after Day 2 of the Most Serious Olympic Hockey Orientation Camp in the world, it seemed apparent that there would not be room for the both of them next February.
from David Staples of The Cult Of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
...But if Dan Cleary makes this team—and I expect he will—he won’t be there because his coach Mike Babcock is running the squad and he won’t be there because more talented players are sitting out. From what I saw in last spring’s Stanley Cup finals, Cleary is a uniquely talented player in the game, a guy who goes hard to the net and screens the goalie as well as anyone in hockey right now. He’s also a defensive ace. among the best two-way players in hockey.
During the Cup finals, I kept track of scoring chances and also reviewed all of them. I tracked which players did the most to create scoring chances for their own teams. I also tracked which players made the mistakes that led to scoring chances for the other team.
In the seven games, Cleary was a key contributor on 32 Detroit scoring chances. He made mistakes that contributed to just four Pittsburgh scoring chances, making him +28 for the series, by far the best mark on any player in the Stanley Cup finals…
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
Shame on Steve Yzerman. The country was in a recession and he could’ve saved Hockey Canada some money.
After all, he really didn’t need to make three separate calls to the 807 area code in early July. One would have sufficed. Or maybe a conference call.
The three Staal boys, you see, were all together at their Thunder Bay “camps” – cottages in southern Ontario parlance – when the time came for Yzerman and his staff to start contacting those NHL players who would be invited to Team Canada’s summer orientation camp.
from Jeff Marek of CBC Sports,
First, this is Mike Babcock’s team. Period.
Yes, he is flanked by some outstanding assistant coaches in Jacques Lamaire, Ken Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff - who since he is the youngest of all assistant coaches gets to do the grunt work like shovel snow in front of the net - but make no mistake about it, Babcock is in charge.
Even at the opening press conference on Monday where Babcock laid out his now infamous “200-foot” hockey player analogy, you can tell in every interaction that the coach is leading this squad. Right away Babcock is on the ice at the opening session.
He gives out the instructions, he runs the drills and yes he stops players who aren’t doing exactly what he wants. And that includes the Sidney Crosby/Rick Nash/Jarome Iginla line, which he stopped Tuesday and made them start a drill over.
Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock talks to the media after day 2 of Team Canada’s orientation camp in Calgary, Alberta.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
A 17-year-old Russian touted as the possible No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 N.H.L. entry draft faces almost certain suspension by the K.H.L. after he refused to sign a contract that contained no clause allowing him to depart for North America.
The player, Kirill Kabanov, was singled out for discipline by K.H.L. president Alexander Medvedev during a Tuesday news conference in Moscow, the latest episode in an ongoing series of K.H.L.-N.H.L. disputes over player contracts.
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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