Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mike Craigen of the Knoxville News Sentenel,
Thought not much of a threat in the past and only being able to use “home” as a their largest recruiting tool, this new league can now compete and surpass the NHL with their salary offers and have already snatched up a very respectable list of former NHL players to pad their line-ups, including; Ray Emery, John Graham, Jaromir Jagr, Jozef Stumpel, Trevor Letowski, Marcel Hossa , Josef Vasicek & Alex Radulov from the Nashville Predators.
I think this new league is fantastic for hockey on a global standpoint. For too long now, the NHL has been running the show, changing the game, setting the bar and making many decisions for the future of hockey, virtually uncontested. Though the KHL is a long way from bringing themselves to the level of play exhibited in the NHL, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see more and more players foreign & domestic flee for the larger salaries in the future.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
I knew some of you wouldn’t take it very well. But honestly, I was surprised by how many of you did.
“It’s about time someone recognized that Team Canada should steer clear of Joe Thornton,” wrote Ron Godin of Etobicoke, Ontario. “He’d be gangbusters against Latvia and France, but he lacks the heart and the will to compete against the Americans and Russians.”
That pretty much mirrors the thought process that went into the decision to leave Thornton off my proposed 2010 Team Canada lineup…
And while Yzerman was willing to play a checking role for the Canadians, he already was accustomed to that style of play after having his game reshaped in Detroit by Scotty Bowman. Remember, Yzerman won the Selke in 2000, so that was part of his game.
You can’t say that for Thornton. And it’s not that I think he’s incapable of checking. It’s just that Canada’s depth gives it more appealing options.
from Don Campbell of the Ottawa Citizen via the National Post,
With the Ontario Hockey League set to address the import draft on Friday at annual meetings in Collingwood, Ont., the QMJHL won’t be far behind with its own annual meetings scheduled for Aug. 20-24 in Victoriaville, Que.
There’s a growing sentiment in the QMJHL that the practice of importing players may have run its course.
“It will be either to reduce or completely eliminate import players,” QMJHL president Gilles Courteau said Thursday. “But before we do something, we want to get a position and take it to our Canadian Hockey League partners.
from the Toronto Maple Leafs,
Cliff Fletcher, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Thursday that Doug Gilmour has been appointed assistant coach of the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
“We are thrilled to have Doug join the coaching staff of the Marlies,” said Fletcher. “Doug has done so much for the Leafs organization and he brings a wealth of hockey knowledge and experience to Greg Gilbert’s staff.”
from Brody Mark of the Chronicle Journal,
A disheartened Trevor Letowski has decided to try his hand overseas.
After waiting a month for a solid NHL offer, the Thunder Bay native signed a one-year deal with HC Astana of the newly formed Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) based out of Russia. Letowski had played the last nine seasons in the NHL.
“It had become a little frustrating here,” said Letowski Wednesday afternoon. “Anyone who has been a free agent at the NHL level knows that after July 1, you‘re talking to your agent pretty much every day. There‘s different things here and there and you get your hopes up and then another day it‘s bad news, another day it‘s good news.”
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
...That leaves just two returnees: Chris Pronger and Robyn Regehr, although Regehr will be in tough to hold onto the seventh spot.
Joining those two will be Dion Phaneuf, Shea Weber, Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns. As a unit, they boast size (averaging 6-3, 211 pounds), mobility, and the versatility to manage special teams as adeptly as they do five-on-five play. All of them have international experience—Weber and Phaneuf were partners with the junior team—that should help them make the transition to this stage.
In the mix, but likely on the outside looking in: Washington’s Mike Green, Chicago’s Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith, Philly’s Braydon Coburn, and Ed Jovanovski of the Coyotes.
Roberto Luongo, another star of the World Cup semi-final win over the Czechs, should be ready to assume the No. 1 job in the Canadian nets after apprenticing behind Martin Brodeur at the last two majors.
read on for the forwards and coaching staff…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
With the help of professional therapy, the support of his family and a fresh slate awaiting him in Russia, where he will tend goal for Atlant Mytishchi of the new Continental Hockey League, Emery said he’s ready to stop doing the same old things that saw him descend in startling fashion from a starting netminder with a Stanley Cup finalist to a pariah with a reputation in tatters and essentially no NHL options.
“I had lots of help,” Emery said. “I brought my family into things. I had friends I had to stop associating with. And I’ve got friends that I’m a lot closer with.”
It took the better part of two weeks to get our phone conversation lined up, and there was a feeling it might never happen, that perhaps Emery had no intention of addressing these issues with us. Yet he was text-messaging apologies and working to get a time lined up around his schedule as the team heads to training camp about an hour outside Helsinki, Finland.
from Mark Hartigan’s Blog at the Hockey News,
Welcome to my first Insider Blog. I’m writing to you from Riga, Latvia, where I will be suiting up this season for Dinamo Riga of the Kontinental Hockey League, alongside my buddy and former Columbus teammate Duvie Westcott, not to mention a couple other ex-NHLers….
Even though it’s the middle of summer, things have been real busy for me. I left Minnesota last week, getting on a plane at 7:30 pm and landing in Amsterdam at 11 am the next morning. Duvie and I had a nine-hour layover in Amsterdam, so we rented a hotel room at the airport to get some sleep.
The beds were smaller than a single – I mean, if you roll halfway over, you’re on the floor – and the funny thing was the beds were pushed together, so Duvie pushed them apart and faced them towards the TV.
From J.P Press at AOL Sports Fanhouse,
With the Summer Olympics nearly underway, forgive us hockey fans for not yet being fully in the spirit of the Games.
Michael Phelps is impressive and all, but we prefer our water frozen and skated upon. Field hockey? Close, but no cigar. And while the NHL is not without its divers, we prefer our reverse three-and-a-half somersaults to be accompanied by unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. “8.8.08” may have meaning to most sports fans, but to puckheads it’s just “the day after Sidney Crosby’s 21st birthday.”
With a little finesse, however, there are hockey tie-ins, even in Beijing in August. And come September? Well, Shanghai will become Hockeytown…
from Ian Shantz of the Barrie Examiner,
A little more than a decade ago, Daniel Tkaczuk was a top-10 NHL draft pick.
Coming off a 105-point season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts, the Calgary Flames made the centreman its first overall pick in 1997. Tkaczuk went sixth overall. Touted as a surefire bet to become as prolific in the world’s top hockey league as he was throughout his four seasons of junior, some might say the 18-year-old’s potential was mind-blowing.
Almost two full seasons in the minors and a total of 19 NHL games later Tkaczuk’s NHL career was done….
Is Tkaczuk disappointed by how things worked out? Yes. Is it the end of the world? Hardly.
“Do I look back and say I regret any decisions I made? No,” said Tkaczuk, now 29 years old, living in Barrie with his wife, Lyndsey, and making his living playing hockey in Europe. “Do I wish things maybe worked out a bit better over here? Of course I do….”
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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