Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com,
• People who have watched Jiri Hudler with Moscow Dynamo say his heart’s not in it, but as one NHL executive says, “How do you turn your back on $10 million?” I’m sure he’ll be back in Detroit in two years. I know one thing: If the Red Wings knew Hudler was bolting for Russia, they would have moved to keep winger Mikael Samuelsson. Instead, they saved money for Hudler, who is seven years younger.
- - The Wings don’t feel Johan Franzen (knee) will be back until mid-February, so the Olympics are out, but if he somehow makes a quicker recovery, they have no objection to the Swedes adding him.
• The NHL is taking bids for next year’s Icemen Cometh outdoor game, but come on, if Alex Ovechkin, the best player in the game, isn’t on the bill at Yankee Stadium for the Washington Capitals against the New York Rangers, they’re missing the boat.
Winter Classic aimed at Americans and non-hockey fans; WJC for Canadians with true passion for the sport.
-Damien Cox of the Toronto Star on his Twitter
Any other truly passionate American hockey fans feel like this is a shot at us?.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
...the best illustration of the American depth can be seen in the team I can put together from players that were not selected for the American team:
1. Craig Anderson (Colorado)
2. Ty Conklin (St. Louis)
3. Jimmy Howard (Detroit)
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Burke didn’t pick the best Americans or go entirely with young guns. He tried to fashion a team that might be able to compete with the big dogs by including some character (Drury, Thomas), some grit (Kesler, Orpik, Ryan Suter), some size (Malone, Erik Johnson) and some pizzazz (Kessel, Kane).
The U.S is in the same pool as Canada and needs to get through the round robin in good enough shape to avoid one of the tournament’s heavyweights in the quarter-finals. Then, if Miller can play like he’s played much of this season, the Americans could pull a stunner.
That’s the game plan.
You look at this American team and see a lack of punch down the middle, nothing even remotely close to Canada’s trio of Sidney Crosby, Joe Thornton and Ryan Getzlaf.
Compared to the Russians, with Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk, the U.S doesn’t have anywhere close to the same front-end pop. They also don’t have a goalie with a single minute of Olympic experience.
But they do have Parise, oddly underrated in some ways but a truly terrific player and burgeoning leader.
It is disappointing. This would have been a really fun time, especially in Vancouver. But I understand the process and I understand what they were doing. I guess the hardest part is this pretty much was the last chance to play for (Team USA), but when you get to my age there are going to be things like this that are inevitable.
-Mike Modano’s reaction to not being selected to Team USA. More from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
Brian Burke wasn’t kidding.
Burke, Team USA’s General Manager for the 2010 Winter Olympics, had been forthright about his plans for the American roster, saying that it was time Team USA moved to a younger lineup and away from some of the players, now NHL greybeards, who won the 1996 World Cup and the silver medal at the 2002 Games.
Friday, he did just that, unveiling a roster that did not include past Olympians Mike Modano, Bill Guerin, Keith Tkachuk, Scott Gomez, Brian Rolston and Doug Weight.
2010 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team
more at USA Hockey…
Matthew McCarthy of Pentucket Regional High School collapsed just when practice was completing and the team was gathering at center ice.
A terrible tragedy and thoughts go out to his family.
from Sean Gordon of the Globe and Mail,
What’s all this about then?
It sure sounds, looks and tastes like another according-to-Hoyle humiliation for Quebec.
There are just four héros de la nation on Team Canada’s 2010 Gold-Medal Winning Senior Men’s Hockey Team (tm).
Now, that all three goaltenders would hail from Quebec is a given: this place produces élite netminders at almost as frantic a pace as it does mob hits and café bombings.
But one lousy forward?
For shame Canada, ignoring valorous Marty and Vinny (and, while we’re at it, Simon, David, Daniel and - why not - Guillaume).
from Eric Duhatschek at CTVOlympics,
The first thing that you need to know about Mike Babcock’s coaching style is that he’s all about planning and preparation.
Not everyone will fret over having a right-handed centre to take a critical defensive zone face-off late in a game, but Babcock will. It’s what makes him an accomplished NHL coach. The devil is in the details.
It also explains why, once all the big obvious decisions about Canada’s 2010 men’s Olympic team were made - yes Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Martin Brodeur and Scott Niedermayer all cracked the line-up - the final few players were chosen to fill in any possible gaps on the team, small as they may be.
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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