Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,
It would be hard to imagine at this point how Mike Babcock could not be named the head coach of the Canadian men’s hockey team for next year’s Olympics.
Perhaps a verbal Avery-ism in front of TV cameras? Revelations that he was actually born in Galveston, Texas rather than Manitouwadge, Ont., and isn’t a Canadian citizen? Perhaps allegations from his McGill University days that he wore an autographed Alexander Ragulin T-shirt under his gear after secretly rooting for Rags and the Russians in ‘72?
Otherwise, while Steve Yzerman has maintained this is a decision that will have to wait until after the current NHL campaign is completed, the 45-year-old Babcock seems destined to be the man to lead the troops into Vancouver next winter.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Wilson is a good coach; he just isn’t the best coach available for this team. Not by virtually any meaningful measuring stick.
There were three clear-cut candidates for the United States, which is looking to erase the sting of a disappointing turn at the 2006 Torino Games, where an aging American squad won just one game.
John Tortorella, currently the coach of the New York Rangers; Peter Laviolette, former coach of the Carolina Hurricanes; and Wilson. It’s not like Burke ignored a Scotty Bowman type in naming Wilson, but it’s difficult not to put Wilson at the bottom of this list in assessing worthiness for this post.
Let’s take recent successes.
Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson will be busy during the 2010 Olympic Games.
According to sources, Wilson will be officially named the head coach for the U.S. Men’s Olympic team on Monday.
Wilson, who has a long-standing relationship with USA Hockey, led the team to a gold medal in the inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996. He was also coached the team again in 2004.
from Justin Bourne at The Hockey News,
As a hockey player, every winter you get handed 20 new friends. I usually got along with about 19, genuinely liked five and found one gem.
But what happens when there isn’t that one gem? Or even five you genuinely like? What happens when you only get along with 16 of your teammates? Does it affect your performance?
Talent is what it is, you’re either good or you aren’t. When you get the puck, you make good plays or you don’t. Confidence plays a small part in these decisions, but it comes from successes and failures. False confidence, like your Mom’s “great game” after playing like a donkey for 60 minutes, means as much as “Mission Accomplished” from George W. Bush.
from Lindsay Kramer of Syracuse.com,
The call-up of Syracuse Crunch rookie forward Nikita Filatov to Columbus on Wednesday at first blush seemed so illogical that fans in both cities wondered if it was an April Fool’s Day joke. It wasn’t. There is nothing to laugh about, especially in Syracuse.
The Crunch’s loss of its top game-breaking threat at its most important time of the season represents a defeat in a battle of conflicting developmental philosophies. And it’s one that Syracuse hasn’t had to wage for at least eight seasons….
Syracuse coach Ross Yates was diplomatically mum when asked his opinion of the move.
“It doesn’t matter how I feel about it. I’m in a no-win situation. You’re not getting me to go there,” Yates said. “This (roster) is what they’ve given me. I’m going to do the best with what I have.”...
“It (stinks), but that’s what this league is for. You play down here to get up there. We’d like to have him, especially the way he’s been playing lately,” said Syracuse captain Dan Smith.
This video has made the rounds on the web today, so maybe you have seen it already but Linus Omark, and Edmonton Oilers prospect, makes a nice move on a shootout goal.
I do have a couple of questions- I wonder how an NHL goalie would feel about the goal and is the announcer trying to imitate Jack Edwards (ha, ha, ha)?
Kontinental Hockey League Press Release:
The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and Viasat are proud to announce a three year agreement for broadcasting rights.
The KHL grants Viasat the legal right to broadcast Kontinental Hockey League games for the 2009/2010, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 seasons, as well the current season’s playoff games.
The 2009-2010 NHL season will begin just as it did last year in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Ericsson Globe Arena when the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues face off October 2-3. Tickets to both games, about 26,000 total, have sold out.
The Blues and Red Wings will begin their visit to Sweden with exhibition games as part of the NHL Premiere Challenge. St. Louis will face Linköping Hockey Club on September 29 and Detroit will play Färjestad BK on September 30. Tickets for both games will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, March 31.
There are Swedish players on both teams. Patrik Berglund (Västerås) and Alexander Steen (Frölunda) play for St. Louis, and Jonas Junlund, a prospect currently playing for Linköping, could be skating for the Blues by the start of the 2009-10 season. Henrik Zetterberg (Timrå), Nicklas Lidström (Västerås) and Niklas Kronwall (Djurgården) are amongst the Swedes that skate for Detroit.
from Peter Adler at The Cult of Hockey,
Gary Bettman, quite correctly, in my humble opinion, replies he has a terrible difficulty finding one single advantage for the NHL. It’s not as if people will start playing hockey somewhere in Africa, just because they saw top professionals plying their trade somewhere in Russia.
Let’s get to basics here.
Of course, many suspect Bettman is trying to twist the Russians’ arm: sign the player transfer deal, and we’d be willing to listen.
No matter what you think of the current commissioner, he can hardly be THAT shortsighted. After all, even if the Russians signed the agreement tomorrow, there’s still five years to go to Sochi, and one can’t fathom they would be willing to commit to that long a term. And it wouldn’t be the first time in modern history that the Russians would sign on a dotted line, win concessions from the other side, and then find a way to get their side out of the deal. That’s just their way of doing things.
from George James Malik of SnapShots at Mlive,
The Grand Rapids Griffins secured a playoff spot via a 2-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals on Friday night, but the game included two disturbing incidents….
With 5:34 left in the first period, the skate of Admirals forward Radek Smolenak gashed referee Chris Cozzan’s neck. Smolenak was coming out of a corner when Grand Rapids’ Brett Peterson checked him. The impact caused Smolenak’s skate to fly up and clip Cozzan.
After the game, Smolenak said he initially had no idea what happened to Cozzan and continued to play.
“Then I heard screaming, so I turned around and saw blood coming out of his neck,” said Smolenak, who then began frantically waving for the trainer....
Then the other incident…
“When he went down, I heard a loud pop and he shouted and I knew right away he was really hurt,” said Henley, who began yelling for Hamlett to stop play and for medical personnel to again take the ice. “It made me nauseous, because you never want to hurt anyone, let alone see them taken off on a stretcher.”
Norfolk coach Darren Rumble said he received a report that Oulahen’s left femur snapped and a portion of the broken bone came through the skin of his thigh inside his hockey shorts.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org