Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
In cities such as London, junior hockey has become big business across Canada and the United States. But no franchise has undergone such a transformation as the Knights.
The team struggled mightily in the mid-1990s. It played in a deteriorating building on the south end of town and its on-ice performance was as horrible, setting a Canadian Hockey League record for futility at 3-60-3 in 1995-96.
Former NHL player Mark Hunter, along with his older brother, Dale, was at the old London Ice House for the final game that OHL season. The current co-owner of the Knights — then the Sarnia Sting head coach — and Stanley Cup winner with the 1988-89 Calgary Flames didn’t need a degree in risk management to see the possibilities.
“Dale and I always had interest in owning a major-junior franchise one day,” said Mark Hunter, 46. “I saw 4,000 people in that rink that final game. I saw 4,000 loyal fans for a team that won three games. This is a hockey city.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• Sidney Crosby isn’t saying this for the record but those around him will tell you he’s pleased that he won’t be named captain for Team Canada at the Winter Olympics. He’d rather be just another player in Vancouver. The betting here is Scott Niedermayer will be named the captain.
• One reason to avoid Versus this year: The very capable Christine Simpson, sister of Craig and Dave, has been dropped by the network.
• Reasons to wonder about the Florida Panthers: Bryan McCabe has been named team captain and apparently he was the only choice.
• Mike Babcock is coaching Team Canada. Steve Yzerman is the general manager. But quietly, the Red Wings will tell you they hope that Nicklas Lidstrom will decide to not play in the Olympics in February. They’d really like their captain to take the two weeks off.
more NHL talk…
Sorry to see Chris Simpson will not be back with Versus. Who at that station makes the hockey decisions? Talk about not have their finger on the pulse of the NHL fans!
from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,
Old friend Mats Wennerholm from the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet gave this account, with quotes from Foppa:
“I watched Foppa play tonight.He assisted on Modo’s first goal and made the game winning goal in sudden deathI haven´t seen him better in five years.
He was dominating the game and even had a brawl with ex-Shark Marcus Ragnarsson.
All the experts here in Sweden were stunned. The old Foppa was back….”
from Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal,
Brian Burke, the general manager of the U.S. Olympic hockey program, has a new plan to win gold in Vancouver. Forget the graceful, athletic style of play that dominates on Olympic ice. He’s planning to conquer the world the old-fashioned way: by hitting people….
With his shock of gray-white hair, red face and brash New England accent, Mr. Burke more resembles a dockworker on Boston Harbor than someone who makes his living in the NHL’s executive suites. Every four years, he says, hockey fans stop him in the streets after the Olympics to proclaim their love for the international style and convey their hopes that the NHL will switch to a larger rink. Mr. Burke has no use for them.
“I tell them to go watch a game in the Czech league, where every shot comes from 12, 14 feet away from the net and no one checks anyone the whole damn game,” he said. “It drives me absolutely nuts.”
from CTV Olympics,
“If it’s my choice, of course I would play,” said Daniel Alfredsson who won gold with Sweden in 2006 in Turin. “I don’t know if I would go as far as saying I would play regardless but I think there’s a lot of factors that come into it. The NHL pays our salaries, they’re a big part of it.”
“Obviously for every hockey player the Olympics is a dream, especially if it’s held in your country.”
“I don’t know,” said Jason Blake, a member of the 2006 U.S. Olympic team. “Obviously that’s their decision at the end of the day. Obviously I got to go and I enjoyed it but at the end of the day, it’s the NHL’s decision.”
The 2010 Olympics have stirred up much national pride. (Ron) Wilson believes a few Canadian players in the NHL would opt to leave their team and play for their country in Vancouver if the NHL were not part of the Games.
“If the NHL said,‘this year no NHL player involvement’, then there would have been a few NHL players who would decide to play in the Olympics.”
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Less than a year after the death of Alexei Cherepanov, the Kontinental League finds itself again at the center of a medical controversy, this one involving the younger brother of St. Louis Blues star Paul Kariya.
Martin Kariya, who plays for Dinamo Riga in the KHL, suffered a concussion Saturday night in a game in Moscow when he was hit from behind into the boards, then hit his head on the ice when he fell. But as was the case with Cherepanov, the KHL and medical personnel have come under criticism for how the situation was dealt from a medical standpoint.
According to reports, the medical staff for Dinamo responded immediately and was on the ice, but emergency personnel at the Moscow Spartak rink were apparently sitting in the stands and had to be called using the public address system. They took several minutes to arrive at the scene.
from Tony Care of CBC Sports,
CBCSports.ca: The competition for the No. 1 goaltender spot will no doubt be the toughest decision for Babcock and his staff. With Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur expected to battle for the lead position, will strong play in the months leading up to the Games be the determining factor?
Yzerman: I’ll obviously have some input, but at the end of the day, the coaches will decide who starts in goal for us. I think for that position it’s very important that we have guys coming in tournament that are on top of their game. The position doesn’t allow a player to find time to get his game in shape. Our depth is outstanding. [Carolina goaltender] Cam Ward won a [world championship] gold medal and a Stanley Cup. In the last two years, [Pittsburgh netminder] Marc-André Fleury has gone to the finals and won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
On the ice, the Detroit Red Wings and Farjestads BK, a Swedish Elite League sensation, are worlds apart. One has world-class talent; the other has players who admire that world-class talent.
That much will probably show on Sept. 30 when the Red Wings visit Karlstad, Sweden to play an exhibition game against FBK.
“Some people can’t even believe we’re able to bring them here to Karlstad,” FBK’s President, former NHLer Hakan Loob, told NHL.com.
It actually fits that the Wings and FBK will play an exhibition game. At least off the ice it’s as if these two organizations were separated at birth. They have each experienced wild success by following business philosophies that are strikingly similar.
“I think there is a comparison to be made,” Loob admitted.
via Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN Rob Niedermayer is in negotiations with the KHL’s (CSKA) Moscow Red Army and failing an NHL team surfacing with a suitable offer within the next few days, the veteran forward will sign a one year contract to play in Russia.
Sources say Niedermayer has received some interest from NHL teams, but none of the offers have been considered financially worthy.
Now Peter Adler at the Edmonton Journal reports…
According to an early August RDS.ca report, Zherdev was expected to sign with Salavat Yulayev Ufa, a team that also employs former NHL players such as Alexander Perezhogin and Alexander Radulov.
While Ufa is at the moment considered one of the richest, if not the richest, teams in the KHL, Zherdev went to Atlant, instead. According to team spokesman Gennadi Nabatov, Zherdev will be the best-paid player on the team.
How much would that be precisely? Or in the neighbourhood of what amount? Anywhere near the amount Zherdev wanted from the Rangers?
“None of your business, actually,” said Nabatov, obviously upset his statement had led to this line of questioning in the first place.
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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