Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Russia Today,
Two players from the Pittsburg Penguins, who took the Stanley Cup last week in a dramatic seven-game thriller against Detroit, may leave the U.S. for KHL this summer, Sportbox.ru reports.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk is interested in Czech Petr Sykora, who played 76 games for the Pens this season, scoring 25 goals and 21 assists.
The club’s contract with the player has expired and, according to his agent, the team is not going to offer him a new agreement….
Another Stanley Cup winner, Miroslav Satan, is wanted in Kazakhstan by Barys hockey club. The Astana team has ready offered a two year contract worth $6 million to the Slovak player.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• One reason to wonder about Red Wings coach Mike Babcock as the choice for Canadian Olympic hockey coach: The Olympics are one-game playoffs. And the one thing Babcock didn’t do well in Game 6 or 7 against the Penguins was adjust. His team needed to get pucks in deep and to the net, especially in the second half of Game 7, and stubbornly his players kept trying to carry it through crowds, turned it over and generated little offence.
• The only way the Anaheim Ducks steal defenceman Jack Johnson and an early first-round pick from L.A. for diminishing asset Chris Pronger is if Kings general manager Dean Lombardi happens to lose his mind.
more hockey notes…
From Darren Dreger at TSN:
Another bizarre twist in goaltending may soon unfold in Philadelphia.
Sources tell TSN former Flyers goaltender Robert Esche is on Philadelphia’s radar and may be lured back from the Kontinental Hockey League where he was playing with SKA St.Petersburg.
Philadelphia is one of a few teams believed to be interested in Esche, who spent four seasons with the Flyers before moving to Russia following the 2006-2007 season.
Barry Smith, the head coach for SKA St.Petersburg confirms the NHL interest in Esche, but says he won’t be able to let Esche out of his contract, which has one year remaining, unless he can find a suitable replacement in goal.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Both (Barry) Smith and Emery’s agent, J.P. Barry, say the KHL was no summer vacation. It was serious hockey with primitive conditions outside the rink that most NHLers wouldn’t have the fortitude to tolerate.
“To go overseas to Russia to play, to me, means you really want to play,” Smith said. “It’s not easy. It is the hardest place in Europe to go and play hockey – for sure. So he chose the hardest place to play and he played very well, taking his team to first place.
“I think this speaks volumes for a kid who wants to get back in the league [NHL].”
Playing in Russia was very different than North America. Emery would have to show up at 5 p.m. – more than 24 hours before his game – at a gymnasium with other team members where they would bunk-in overnight.
“Forget what these guys were earning, they slept on cots in a gym before the game,” Barry said.
The Flyers will be announcing today the signing of Ray Emery. Good move?
added 11:16am, Official release from the Flyers on the signing…
They way Osgood has played, we’re not sure how Red Wings executive and Team Canada Olympic boss Steve Yzerman doesn’t hand him an invite to the team’s summer camp in August. If four or five goalies get invites, how does Osgood not get one?
-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. More on Osgood vs. Fleury from Pierre…
RDS is reporting that forward Viktor Kozlov has signed a deal to play with Salavat of the KHL for next season. Details of the contract were not reported.
It appears Sergei Fedorov is ready to leave the Washington Capitals and play in the Kontinental Hockey League next season.
Citing sources in Russia, RDS.ca is reporting that Fedorov is about to agree to a two-year deal with Russia’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
The report indicates the two-year contract will see Fedorov collect $3.8 million per season.
Fedorov would be joining his younger brother Fedor on the Metallurg Magnitogorsk roster.
added 10:43am, via Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,
I was just told moments ago by someone in the Fedorov camp that the 39-year-old veteran still has interest in playing for Washington next season. But for Fedorov to return to the Caps, I was told via text message, “a decision has to be made soon by Wash.”
from the CP via TSN,
The Windsor Spitfires are Memorial Cup champions.
Adam Henrique, Dale Mitchell and Rob Kwiet scored in the first seven minutes of a 4-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets in the final Sunday.
continue for game recap…
added 7:25pm, from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
If there was one Canadian municipality that needed a pick-me-up or a reason to party, that would be Windsor.
The city has been slapped in the face by the failing economy and a slumping auto industry. But a bunch of teenagers has given the demoralized citizens of Windsor a temporary reprieve from the doom and gloom with the border town’s first major junior hockey championship.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail at CTV Olympics,
Hockey Canada’s annual general meeting concluded in Vancouver yesterday with two recommendations for the game’s future.
For starters, delegates from across the country decided to hold a second hockey summit that will focus on “the player” and will take place next summer at a location to be determined.
More immediately, however, the membership told Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson to ensure three gold medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver-Whistler next winter. Concerned by a string of recent international results, the message from Hockey Canada’s board was simple, according to Nicholson.
“Silver isn’t good enough,” he said. “We shouldn’t be satisfied with silver. I was given an endorsement to do everything in my power to win three gold medals.”
While on the subject of Canada, Happy Victoria Day to all of the great folks in Canada!
from Russia Today,
The Continental Hockey League (KHL) will become equal to their American contemporary the NHL in the next five years, says hockey legend and KHL CEO Vyacheslav Fetisov, Sport-Express newspaper reports.
The KHL officials have officially closed the 2008/09 season, giving a press-conference on Friday.
“I congratulate all of you on the successful conclusion of the KHL season. Everything we were talking about in the past seven years has now become a reality. You all see interest among fans which the league attracted from the very start of the season and the impact that caused by the final series,” Vyacheslav Fetisov said.
“When people do their job from the heart, the result is great. If we continue this way then within five years we will be able to compete with the National Hockey League. We are ready to catch up with Americans as to the quality of the game, and the level of the games organization. But there is, of course, a lot of work ahead of us,” he added.
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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