Kukla's Korner Hockey
If you are in the USA, you can watch the streaming action of the gold medal game between Russia and Canada. Game time is 2:30pm ET.
via John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
The Buffalo Sabres acquired Mikael Tellqvist at the trade deadline as a short-term insurance policy. Turns out that’s exactly what he was.
The goaltender’s career in Buffalo lasted just six games, as the pending unrestricted free agent has signed to play with Ak Bars of Russia’s KHL. A report out of Sweden said Tellqvist signed for about $1.3 million, up from this season’s NHL salary of $800,000.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
...The rest of the story is how Quenneville, five years ago at this time, had just been fired from his first NHL head-coaching job and had been chosen to coach Canada at the World Hockey Championships in Prague.
The trip began with an exhibition game in Budapest, Hungary, where he called the Czech Republic “Czechoslovakia” and made a few other minor international hockey gaffes at a press conference where he clearly did not look comfortable.
In a mixed zone with myself and two other Canadian scribes in Prague he was very upset before excusing himself after about two minutes. He ended up in hospital that night where he stayed for two days before being sent home after having suffered a mental breakdown, leaving assistant coach Mike Babcock to take over and coach the team to a gold medal.
It was explained that he’d never been to Europe before, couldn’t sleep and combined with coaching Canada on the big ice in a foreign environment, was overwhelmed by the stress.
“It was stress, but it was job-to-job stress,” he said in a one-on-one interview with Sun Media, agreeing to speak to a subject he’s avoided speaking to before.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Ron Wilson took the blame for all the San Jose playoff collapses of the past. So who gets blamed now? And Wilson didn’t have Dan Boyle and Rob Blake on his defence.
• Nobody mentions Randy Carlyle among the better coaches in hockey, but they should. He might be the best bench coach in the game.
• The starting Olympic goaltenders should be: Roberto Luongo, Canada; Henrik Lundqvist, Sweden; Evgeni Nabokov, Russia; Niklas Backstrom or Miikka Kiprusoff, Finland; Tim Thomas, Ryan Miller or Rick DiPietro, USA, Tomas Vokoun, Czech Republic: Can’t wait for Vancouver.
• I worry about Jaromir Jagr. He says if he doesn’t play in Russia next season, he wants to play in Edmonton. I think he is badly in need of a travel agent or a therapist.
more hockey notes plus a look at Kyle Wellwood…
from Michael Grange of the Globe and Mail,
There’s a party going on outside the Windsor Spitfires’ crisp new arena, with music and beer and chants of “Go Spits Go.”
The celebration carries on inside. The Spitfires are in the Ontario Hockey League final, on a roll that has them favoured to reach the Memorial Cup for the first time in 21 years, and for three periods of hockey at least, life is good in Windsor.
Afterward, not so much.
“People have a lot on their minds right now,” says Rick Young, whose son Harry is the Spitfires’ captain, a rugged defenceman playing major junior in his hometown. “People are worried about their jobs, about their pensions. You go to a Spitfires game or you talk about hockey, and it’s a relief.”
from Steve Gorten of the Sun-Sentinel,
Richard Zednik will not play for the Florida Panthers or any other NHL team next season.
Zednik, 33, has signed a two-year contract with Russian Superleague team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the team reported on its Web Site on Thursday. An NHL source confirmed the report.
from Alan Adams of CBC,
Canada’s Scottie Upshall now knows first-hand that Europe and the NHL deal differently with hits to the head.
Upshall was handed a five-minute major and match penalty in the second period of Sunday’s game against Hungary at the world championship when he collided at centre ice with Andras Beck, who broke his collarbone on the play.
The referee ruled that Upshall’s actions constituted a hit to the head and assessed the match penalty, which includes an automatic one-game suspension. Upshall could have faced further discipline but international officials reviewed the incident and were satisfied with the one-game suspension
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
The story, given its oddity, went global in a heartbeat: “Former Philadelphia Flyers’ draft pick admits to killing referee, burying him in a forest and carrying on for a year as if nothing had happened.”
It sounded like something David Cronenberg would direct or Stephen King would write.
Immediately, there were questions: Why? How? How could the likeable young forward who came to Seattle and won over his teammates kill a man by stabbing him 14 or 15 times in the chest and stomach?
What went wrong in Ladislav Scurko’s seemingly perfect world?
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• After watching Mike Green and Joe Thornton in the playoffs, can’t imagine how either will earn a place on Canada’s 2010 Olympic team. The better the hockey gets, the more invisible they become. You can get your offence from the back end with Dan Boyle and Scott Niedermayer without having to gamble on Green.
• On the other hand, can’t imagine a Canadian team without the incredible Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks. In fact, wouldn’t Rick Nash fit in perfectly on a line with Getzlaf and Perry?
• The one-time stiff Nik Antropov has made himself into quite the player. He will be a free-agent prize of sorts in July, if he doesn’t re-sign with the New York Rangers before that.
more hockey nuggets…
via the IIHF,
KOSICE, Slovakia – Kosice police arrested 23-year-old forward Ladislav Scurko on Thursday. The Slovakian player is suspected of murder and has confessed to it, the police announced at a press conference on Friday.
Scurko is suspected of having killed referee Marek Liptaj with 14 knife stabs in January 2008 at a highway roadhouse. The corpse, buried in a forest, was discovered in December 2008.
The police didn’t reveal the motives for the crime, but announced that Scurko will face a jail sentence of 15 to 20 years.
The 2004 sixth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers played for his hometown club, Spisska Nova Ves, and the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds before beginning his professional career with HC Kosice of the Slovakian Extraliga. He won the league title with his club earlier this spring.
Thanks to a KK reader for the pointer and Takng Note has some information on this too.
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