Kukla's Korner Hockey
from John Shannon of Sportsnet,
Last week on Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown, Bob and I had the chance to talk to Vladislav Tretiak. I have met the great goalie a couple of times over the years when he was the goalie coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, but this was the first time I had talked to him since he had been named head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, and recently the general manager of the Russian Olympic Team.
He has an interesting dilemma when it comes to the Olympics. Does he field a team of NHLers, KHLers or a little bit of both leagues? He told Bob and I that it would be a mix of the two leagues. And frankly from his perspective, it has to be. Even if there were 23 NHL players fit for the ice in Vancouver, Tretiak has no choice but to pick some talent from the Kontinental League. In order to give the Russian-based league any level of credibility throughout Europe, there has to be some of its players on the ice at the soon-to-be-renamed GM Place.
It appears as though Nikita Filatov has started a trend.
According to an online report Phoenix Coyotes’ prospect Viktor Tikhonov has left the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL and has returned to Russia to join CSKA Moscow of the KHL.
“My son has been sent to the KHL, he has already landed in Moscow and he’s ready to play for CSKA” - Tikhonov’s father, Vasily Tikhonov, told Sovetsky Sport. “The only problem is that the league is investigating where his rights belong to. He left the NHL playing for Severstal Cherepovets, but that was two years ago”.
GLENDALE, ARIZONA—Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have loaned forward Viktor Tikhonov to KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) for the remainder of the 2009-10 season.
Tikhonov, 21, appeared in 18 games for the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) this season collecting 2-6-8 and 12 penalty minutes (PIM). Last season, the native of Riga, Latvia played in 61 games for the Coyotes as a rookie, registering 8-8-16 and 20 PIM. He ranked T-2nd among Coyotes rookies in goals and 3rd in points.
from the CP via NHL.com,
The Olympic men’s hockey tournament in Vancouver is going to be a different experience for Pavel Bure.
It will be the first time since NHLers started participating in the Games that the Russian Rocket won’t be involved with the national team. Bure played for Russia in 1998 and 2002 and served as the team’s general manager in 2006.
With Vladislav Tretiak now in charge of the Russian squad, Bure’s role in 2010 will be that of a spectator. And just like most hockey fans, he’s already looking forward to the event.
“I think it’s the best tournament,” Bure told The Canadian Press on Thursday. “All of the best superstars can go and participate, that’s why it’s really hard to win this tournament. All the teams are pretty even. You need a little bit (of) luck in this tournament and all the games are really important because you lose one game and you’re out.
“It’s really interesting for fans and it’s a great promotion for hockey in general around the globe.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
You can understand why Mats Naslund might be chewing on his finger nails these days.
Between last Saturday’s brutal knee injury to Niklas Kronwall and the long-term injury to key forward Johan Franzen, the GM of the Swedish Olympic hockey team can bare to watch what will happen next in what has become an NHL season chocked full of injuries.
“We’re maybe beginning to watch more for injuries than who is scoring goals,” Naslund told ESPN.com this week.
“It seems this is the year of the injury, more so than other years,” said Team USA coach Ron Wilson. “There are a lot of star players out with significant injuries.”
Louisiana hockey coach has had enough.
Miikka Kiprusoff wants to start for the Finnish hockey team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, but the Flames goaltender says if he isn’t going to be the team’s No.1 guy, he’d sooner stay home.
“I’d probably not go in that case,” says Kiprusoff in a Tuesday story in The Calgary Herald. “If I’m not going to start for sure, I think I’m going to take that time off and rest.”
Kiprusoff currently has 12 wins, five losses and two overtime losses, with a 2.61 GAA, and a .914 save percentage.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
“The Sharks trio seem to compliment each other well,” Yzerman said in an e-mail to Sun Media yesterday. “Marleau’s got the speed, Thornton’s the playmaker and Heatley the goal scorer.”
Another plus: The threesome has played together before. Because of a lack of practice time between the suspending of the NHL season and the Olympic tournament, familiarity and chemistry are lucrative selling points.
“I think having the ability to bring guys that are currently playing together is a definite bonus for the reason you stated,” Yzerman said.
“I doubt we would leave off a better player for the sake of continuity but it’s starting to look like we might have combos up front and on defence that have played together.”
Some of those potential combos include:
+ Any two, if not all, of Marleau Thornton and Heatley.
+ The Flyers’ Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
RussianHockeyFans translates an interview from AllHockey.ru with Nikata Filatov after his first game in the KHL…
Are you happy about your return and about today?
Yes, of course I am happy. The first thing I am happy for is my team’s victory.
And three points on your first match…
Yeah, I picked up three. But I never get to a match planning how many points collect, if score or not…The first thing is that my team wins. Especially now that CSKA had a long losing streak it’s a good thing that we interrupted it. We played an excellent game and I think that we deserved to win.
Any regrets for your play in Columbus?
I didn’t even think about it. I will follow the guys and their matches. There is a good team there too. I had no such intentions as to prove something to them. Not now and never before…
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
Former NHL Players Association Executive Director Paul Kelly fulfilled his wish to stay in hockey by accepting a job as executive director of the newly-formed College Hockey, Inc.
The Hockey Commissioners Association created the organization for the purpose of raising the profile of Division I hockey. Kelly will be in charge of that mission.
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
(Daniel) Sedin and his brother Henrik are both pleased to see what’s happening back home in Ornskoldsvik, where their hometown Swedish Elite League team, MoDo, has been revitalized by the addition of Peter Forsberg and the impending return of former Canuck captain Markus Naslund.
“They are struggling right now,” Daniel said of MoDo. “There are not a lot of people in the stands and financially they are not doing that good. This is going to help them a lot. They are pretty much sold out tonight (Thursday night).”
That sell-out crowd went home happy after Forsberg scored two goals and set up another in MoDo’s 4-0 win over Lulea. That’s two wins and six points in two games for Forsberg since he joined the team.
Both Daniel and Henrik acknowledged this week that they think about doing what Forsberg and Naslund are and return to play there in the twilight of their careers.
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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