Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com,
At the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Team Canada trainers were draining his aching right knee of fluid and shooting the leg full of painkiller so he could get his skates on, never mind race up and down the ice. He wanted to play, so he did, but it was agony, at times, after his knee was scoped three weeks before the tournament.
“I played two pre-tournament games in Montreal and Minnesota and had no swelling. I told Wayne (Gretzky, Olympic team boss)I was fine, then the first tournament game it got sore against Sweden. Then, against Germany, the knee became really painful and it just progressed,” said Yzerman.
“I don’t know if I willed myself to play, but I said, ‘Oh, boy, I’ve made this commitment. I can’t bail out now. I knew I had to work through it as best I could.”
read on plus Dave Gross of Camwest News Service takes a look at Stevie too…
from Jeff Z. Klein of SlapShot at the NY Times,
Russian news outlets reported on Tuesday that Peter Forsberg, the 36-year-old Swedish superstar, was on the verge of signing with the K.H.L. champions Ak Bars Kazan, adding to the intrigue over which club in which country Forsberg would land as he continues his comeback from chronic foot and ankle problems.
And Forsberg’s own comments on Tuesday, in which he dodged questions on where he would resume his pro career, added fuel to speculation that he would not be returning to the N.H.L., as had been widely speculated in North America.
via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• The two least disciplined teams I’ve seen this hockey season: Brian Burke’s current team and Burke’s previous team.
• Love the people who assume there is a trade market for Vesa Toskala. There isn’t. The only chance of moving him before the NHL trade deadline would be for the Leafs to waive him, send him to the minors and bring him back on re-entry waivers. And even that is a longshot unless Toskala starts stopping the occasional puck.
• Statistically, the top two goaltenders in the NHL are Americans, Ryan Miller of Buffalo and Craig Anderson of Colorado, which bodes well for Burke’s Team USA at the Winter Olympics. And what does Burke do if Anderson stays hot right through February? Bench Tim Thomas?
Kitchener Rangers’ defenceman Ben Fanelli is listed in critical but stable condition in Hamilton General hospital after being injured by a devastating hit during Friday night’s OHL game between the Rangers and Erie Otters.
The 16-year old Fanelli was rushed to Grand River Hospital in Kitchener then airlifted to Hamilton General after being driven into the endboards by Erie’s Michael Liambas half way through the second period.
Idaho Junior team plays strip shootout and punished for it. Team says the Tampa Bay Lightning did it!
Read the AP story…
from Ollie Williams at the BBC,
It is the jewel in ice hockey’s crown: the fastest league in the world, watched by hundreds of thousands of fans, three times a week for half a year.
North America’s National Hockey League - the NHL - is as good as the sport gets.
Televised, analysed and monetised to within an inch of its life, it is the sport’s beating heart. It is a world away from ice hockey in the UK.
To my knowledge, only one man in England’s Premier League (EPL) has stepped onto the ice as an NHL star. Now, he’s talking to me in a dimly-lit Bracknell car park.
“To these players,” says Ed Courtenay, gesturing towards his team coach, “this is the NHL.”...
On 21 October 1992, at the Montreal Forum, one of the most revered venues in ice hockey, Courtenay scored his first goal for the San Jose Sharks in their 8-4 defeat by the Montreal Canadiens
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail at CTV Olympics,
He was standing in the visiting coaches office in the Pengrowth Saddledome, putting forward a unique theory about the 2010 men’s Winter Olympics hockey tournament and what Canada can expect from the opposition.
This was Ken Hitchcock, the thoughtful Columbus Blue Jackets coach, who doesn’t mind tilting against occasional windmills - or conventional thought.
“I see this as being very much a North American style of game - NHL players playing on NHL surfaces with international rules,” said Hitchcock, one of Canada’s three assistants for 2010 Games in Vancouver. “Size will matter. There will be more shots on goal - lots more. There is going to be more physical play. There is going to be more dump-and-chase.
“You can’t stand back in the neutral zone in a small rink because the rink is tighter, so it’s easier to chip the puck in and then go in and get it again. You can’t do that stuff.”
via Jamie’s Hockey Blog at About.com,
From the days of the outdoor game, to the British upset of 1936, the last triumph of the Soviet dynasty, the first women’s champs, up to the NHL’s Olympic era, here’s a few classic images of Olympic ice hockey.
from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,
The latest stop on Steve Yzerman’s pre-Olympic tour brought him to Philadelphia on Sunday for the Flyers-Sharks game, where he got to take a first-hand look at a number of players who might fill roster spots on Canada’s entry in the Vancouver 2010 Games.
Philadelphia’s Chris Pronger, Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter attended the summer orientation camp in Calgary, as did San Jose’s Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle….
While Yzerman wouldn’t discuss individual players, he did say there were players not invited to the Calgary camp in the running for an Olympic berth. He also said that while he’d like an experienced team, the player’s talents will be the biggest factor in them earning a roster spot.
“I think there’s a lot of importance in having guys that are experienced veteran players that have played in the Olympics, in the Stanley Cup Playoffs a lot,” said Yzerman. “There’s a lot of importance in that. We look to have some veteran players on the team and there will be some veteran players. I’m not going to not take a guy because he’s young. But I do place value in experience.”
from Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press,
On a night when the Manitoba Moose—and one former Manitoba Bison—moved freely among Wolves and 42-year-old Mike Keane was just the second oldest player on the ice, everything seemed possible.
And so here it is, from the opening faceoff to the final horn:
They put on quite a pre-game show. Fireworks, fireballs, lots of fire… And lots of smoke. There’s a thick haze hanging over the ice as they prepare to drop the puck. It reminds me of those old photos of the Montreal Forum in the 1970s, when you needed a ticket and a pack-a-night habit to attend a Habs game… Izzy Idonije, who played for the University of Manitoba Bisons before he played for the Chicago Bears, dropped the ceremonial first puck, wearing a Wolves jersey emblazoned with the No. 71… Wayne freaking Messmer sang the anthems tonight. Yeah, that Wayne Messmer, the guy who at old Chicago Stadium nightly walked the line between singing an anthem and inciting a riot. He’s still got great pipes, but the atmosphere here at the Allstate Arena isn’t nearly the same.
There’s the old Winnipeg Jet Ron Wilson behind the Wolves bench. Wilson and Don Lever were hired as assistant coach and coach this week and are making their debut tonight… This guy Chris Chelios can apparently play hockey.
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.
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