Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Marek of CBC Sports,
First, this is Mike Babcock’s team. Period.
Yes, he is flanked by some outstanding assistant coaches in Jacques Lamaire, Ken Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff - who since he is the youngest of all assistant coaches gets to do the grunt work like shovel snow in front of the net - but make no mistake about it, Babcock is in charge.
Even at the opening press conference on Monday where Babcock laid out his now infamous “200-foot” hockey player analogy, you can tell in every interaction that the coach is leading this squad. Right away Babcock is on the ice at the opening session.
He gives out the instructions, he runs the drills and yes he stops players who aren’t doing exactly what he wants. And that includes the Sidney Crosby/Rick Nash/Jarome Iginla line, which he stopped Tuesday and made them start a drill over.
Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock talks to the media after day 2 of Team Canada’s orientation camp in Calgary, Alberta.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NY Times,
A 17-year-old Russian touted as the possible No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 N.H.L. entry draft faces almost certain suspension by the K.H.L. after he refused to sign a contract that contained no clause allowing him to depart for North America.
The player, Kirill Kabanov, was singled out for discipline by K.H.L. president Alexander Medvedev during a Tuesday news conference in Moscow, the latest episode in an ongoing series of K.H.L.-N.H.L. disputes over player contracts.
from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files at the Courier-Post,
Flyers left wing Simon Gagne injured his surgically repaired right hip on the first day of Olympic workouts in Calgary on Monday, the Courier-Post has learned.
Speaking by phone from the Pengrowth Saddledome, Gagne said he felt soreness in his right hip during a fast-paced practice on Monday and will not return to the ice this week.
“For now it’s nothing serious,” Gagne said. “The pace was a little faster than I was used to this summer. I think I’ll be OK for training camp.”
added 2:12pm, Other reports coming out of camp claim groin injury.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
This will be Sidney Crosby’s team, one way or another.
Having delivered the Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh, a truly blighted hockey town before he arrived there four years ago, it is now expected by his home and native land that Crosby will deliver an Olympic gold medal in men’s hockey next winter in Vancouver.
But it would appear that anointing the Penguins superstar as the captain of Team Canada was at best premature and apparently closer to dead wrong.
More than anything, you see, those organizing the Canadian team want Crosby to play, to deliver points and passion and important moments.
Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman talks to the media prior to Team Canada’s first on-ice practice yesterday.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
You said you didn’t give a f—- about hockey
And I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr
I still get chills every time I hear that Bobby Orr line from lead singer Gord Downie. Somehow, right in that instant, Downie’s unique voice captures Canada’s obsession with the sport it invented and still clings desperate ownership to.
All of which should help underline to my American readers here at ESPN.com just what kind of pressure and hype await the host country in less than six months. When Canadian hockey fans stop me to chat Olympics these days, it’s not to ask me who I think will win men’s hockey gold in Vancouver, but rather which country I think will lose to Canada in the gold-medal game. Gulp.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Canada.com,
“This is it for me,” said Brodeur, swatting away any suggestion that he might still be in the goaltending picture during the 2014 Olympics in Russia.
The grand old man of Canadian goaltending would be 41 in 2014 and he knows he can’t stop pucks forever.
As it is, he might not stop them every night at the 2010 Olympics. There is a reasonable possibility Vancouver Canucks’ Roberto Luongo, seven years younger and cognizant he’ll be playing in his home rink, might actually beat him out as the starter.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Iginla is still entrenched as one of Canada’s best all-around forwards. He is a sniper, a hard-nosed opponent, a genuine leader in every facet of the game, and a lock for Vancouver in February.
But as we convene in Calgary this week in preparation for what will be the biggest Canadian hockey tournament since the 1972 Summit Series, there is this guy named Sidney Crosby. And doesn’t he have “Captain” written all over him?
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Heatley, who wanted a trade out of Ottawa but rejected a deal that would have sent him to Edmonton this summer, admitted he wanted out of the nation’s capital because of his diminished role with the Senators. But the Calgarian was met by a throng of fans wanting him to put pen to picture, card, sweater, shirt or any other article on hand.
“We’re all Canadian hockey players right now,” Heatley said. “We’re all going for one goal. We’re trying for one team, and the Canadian fans know that.”
The uproar surrounding him has created a perception Heatley doesn’t want to play in Canada. But the sniper, who arrived early to spend time with his family, adamantly said that’s not the case.
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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