Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Gare Joyce at Sportsnet,
The NHL draft is intended to cure what ails sickly NHL also-rans. That much is plain. It’s also the best measure of the health of the major junior leagues.
The draft gives you a work-up on the vital signs of WHL, OHL and QMJHL and the most vital of all signs are the leagues’ top-end talent. If these leagues are attracting and developing elite teenagers, then all is well.
We place a lot of importance on veteran leadership, and he’s such a strong character guy. Having this conversation with Joe at one point before, he doesn’t want to be there just for what he’s done in the past. He wants to be there because he deserves it, and that’s my feeling. But even if he decides to take more time this summer to decide, I’d still like to extend an invitation to him.”
-Steve Yzerman speaking about Joe Sakic and Team Canada. More on Sakic from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
He’s used to coaching teams wearing red and white, and Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was officially installed as coach for Team Canada’s entry in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman made the announcement Thursday, stealing some of the spotlight from the festivities surround the NHL’s entry draft….
One of Canada’s challenges will be shutting down the top stars from other countries. Some of those stars – Russia’s Pavel Datsyuk, and Sweden’s Henrik Zetterberg and Nicklas Lidstrom – play for Babcock’s Wings.
“Nobody knows them better,” Wings GM Ken Holland said of Babcock.
via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
According to three reports out of Russia this morning, Sergei Fedorov’s NHL career is officially over. The 39-year-old has ended more than a month of speculation about his future and reportedly signed a two-year deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL….
The deal is reportedly for two years at $3.8 million per season.
Magnitogorsk has also announced the signing on their website.
via Brian Sandler of WKTV,
Having to choose between a return to the National Hockey League and a return to the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia, goalie and Whitesboro native Rob Esche has chosen the latter, telling WKTV he will honor the final year of his contract with SKA St. Petersburg.
from CTV Olympics,
Lindy Ruff, Ken Hitchcock and Jacques Lemaire will be assistant coaches to Mike Babcock on Canada’s 2010 men’s Olympic hockey team, sources tell CTVOlympics.ca.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
Mark Gandler, the agent for goaltender Karri Ramo has signed a two-year deal to play for Avangard Omsk of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League. Gandler said Ramo, a restricted free agent who was to be the backup for Mike Smith, has been told he will be Omsk’s No. 1.
“Of course,” Gandler said. “He wouldn’t go over there otherwise.”
Gandler said Ramo’s contract (he would not divulge the value) has an option that would allow Ramo to opt out after one season.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Hockey Canada and everyone involved has been tight-lipped about the appointment, but a source confirmed last night that Yzerman will announce Babcock as the coach most likely on Thursday in a press conference to take place a few blocks from Montreal’s McGill University, where Babcock played defence….
The only part of Yzerman’s announcement that will be a surprise will be the assistant coaches. Babcock’s assistants are expected to come from a group that includes Ken Hitchcock (Columbus Blue Jackets), Claude Julien (Boston Bruins), Lindy Ruff (Buffalo Sabres), Barry Trotz (Nashville Predators) and Randy Carlyle (Ducks).
from Garry McKay of the HamiltonSpectator,
The Hamilton Bulldogs will have a new coaching staff this season.
Don Lever, who is the franchise’s longest-serving head coach, and his assistant Ron Wilson, who has been here even longer, have been told by the parent Montreal Canadiens that their services are no longer required.
Although both were long-time employees of the Canadiens, the Habs told them by phone that their contracts would not be renewed. they weren’t given a reason.
Both were, in effect, fired by Montreal general manager Bob Gainey who phoned them last week and said simply that ‘the organization is going in a different direction.”
Lever said he would like to have at least been given a reason for his dismissal.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Lever. “Somewhere along the line I must have done something wrong, but they didn’t tell me what it was.
from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Chelios confirmed to ESPN.com on Saturday he’s been asked by team GM Brian Burke, also GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, to join the team in some off-ice role. Burke told ESPN.com there are a number of great players who’ve played a significant role in U.S. hockey over the past decades, “but the greatest warrior of all was Chelly.”
“We haven’t refined his role. All I know is, I want him involved,” Burke said.
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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