Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Taylor of the National Post,
When Steve Yzerman was named general manager of Canada’s 2010 Olympic hockey team, it was assumed by some that Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock would be named Canada’s next head coach.
Hearing Babcock’s name was somewhat refreshing considering that for so long the same names always seemed to come up—Pat Quinn, Ken Hitchcock, Marc Crawford, Andy Murray.
While Babcock, with his experience handling the highly-skilled members of the Red Wings, would be a terrific choice, so too would a guy who would love to answer his country’s call.
“There is nothing more exciting or more rewarding than playing or coaching a national team,” Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz said. “I’ve done it twice at the world championships and they were both among the greatest experiences of my life. “
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
On a recent Friday night, an unseasonably warm night for northern Russia in late November, Emery was a world away from the scrutiny and was asked what kind of mood he wakes up in most mornings.
“At the start I do the old, `Where am I?’ when I open my eyes but now I’m used to it,” he said. “Sometimes I’m still confused or feel a bit homesick when I wake up. It’s been a pretty good break for the most part. I’m just relaxing. It’s nice not having that microscope on you, being able to live.
“I miss a lot about Canada, North America, just living there, conversing with people. But at the same time, I don’t miss not being comfortable at dinner because people are watching you and you feel eyes on you all the time.”
read on as Westhead continues with stories from Russia…
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
“There’s no question the hockey is a lot different,” Jagr said. “You’ve got to skate a lot more here, playing on the larger Olympic ice, and there’s more room. Even if you take a shot from near the boards here, you’re really not that close to the net.”
Game programs are free and there are no air horns, organs or vendors walking the aisles. But rock music reverberates through the stadium during breaks in play and over centre ice an NHL-quality video board shows replays.
Between periods, spectators line up at concession counters, and for about $4.50 at one concessionaire called “Chicken Next Door,” they can buy chicken nuggets or kabobs. A pint-sized beer costs $3.80 and Pringle’s potato chips are available for $6.70 for a large, or $3.60 for a small. Jagr and Cherapanov black home jerseys – they bear a resemblance to those worn by the Buffalo Sabres – are available for about $70 apiece.
from Russia Today,
Canadian Darcy Verot is spending 2007-2008 season with Vityaz Chekhov. His arrival was some kind of a sensation, since Russian hockey had never seen this aggressive way of playing the game, which the Chekhov crowd really enjoys. The town’s stadium rarely has empty seats even though the club is currently the worst in the KHL.
from Travis Paterson of the Victoria News,
Q: Who was the greatest NHLer you ever played with?
A: “I’ll give you my top four. “Gretzky, No. 1. Cam Neely, No. 2. Pavel Bure, No. 3 and Brett Hull.
Q: Who did you find was the toughest NHL player to play against?
A: “Toughest guy to play against was (Chris) Chelios.”
more from Courtnall who is coaching the Victoria Grizzlies
from Steve Silver of the Las Vegas Sun,
The publicity machine at the Las Vegas Wranglers has done it again.
The ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames will don prison-style uniforms to pay tribute to recently disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on Jan. 30 against the Victoria Salmon Kings.
The Wranglers’ uniforms will feature broad, horizontal black and white stripes with mock prison numbers on the back of each jersey that begin with “ILLGOV” followed by the players’ actual number.
Following the game, the Las Vegas players will autograph their uniforms and auction them to the public to support the team’s various charities.
from Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger,
After seeing former Devils winger Claude Lemieux this week and talking to those who have watched his comeback attempt with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL, my belief is that he will make it back to the NHL. He is still driven, even at the age of 43.
Lemieux told me he still has the ingredient that made him a four-time Stanley Cup champion.
“I think it’s just the will to succeed at all costs,” he said. “I think it’s character.”
Chris Chelios will become the oldest player to ever play in an AHL game tonight when the Grand Rapids Griffins take on the Toronto Marlies in
Grand Rapids. Chelios is on a rehab assignment and hopes to play only two games with the Griffins before returning to the Wings.
from Sean Pronger at the Hockey News,
On the walk over to the rink you begin to question the decisions you have made and where it all went wrong. This is right about the time when you find out either:
a) Someone got called up and we’ll be a man short, or
b) One of the Euros isn’t feeling well and has decided to sit this one out - beautiful.
Here is a little tip for all of you future journeymen out there - before the game starts you’ll be asked to place your food order so it will be ready for you to take on the bus to your next disaster.
Your choices will look a little something like this:
a) spaghetti and meatballs
b) chicken parmesan
d) turkey sub
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
“I’m having a great time,” said Lemieux, once the focal point of Boston fans’ ire, in part the result of some legendary confrontations with Cam Neely at the old Garden. “I think I can be very helpful to any club, based on what I bring to the ice and to the dressing room. That said, I’ve waited a long time to do this, so I’m also looking for a good fit.”...
Suffice to say the Red Wings, who still smart from his ugly hit on Kris Draper years ago, likely won’t dispatch a scout to check out No. 32 in Worcester teal.
“Yeah, he’s 43, but I think that’s all a state of mind,” said Worcester coach Roy Sommer. “If you look at him, he’s got the body of a 27- or 28-year-old, and in the brief time he’s been with us, he’s helped us win [2-1-0 over the weekend].
“I think the question will be, is his mind into it? So far, it sure seems that way.”
To this point, noted Sommer, the reacclimation has been seamless.
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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