Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
via Russia Today,
The 44-year-old goaltender signed a contract with HC Moeller Pardubice for next season.
Pardubice is Hasek’s home town, and he started his career in the colors of the local club.
“I’m really glad I could sign a deal with this club,’’ Hasek said. “It’s a club where I spent the most years. I’ve never even thought I could play for any other club in the Czech Republic. I’m looking forward to the next season.”
From Risto Pakarinen at The Hockey News:
With just seven days remaining until the opening games of the 2009 World Championship in Switzerland, the top four European teams are sizing each other up at the Ceska Pojistovna Cup, the fourth leg of the Euro Hockey Tour between Finland, Russia, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
In the first game of the tournament, Jaromir Jagr made a comeback to the Czech nationals and led his team to a 2-1 win over Sweden.
and much more with an eye on European 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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