Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 will mark the end of the NHL’s participation in international hockey, one league executive says, in large part because of the rising cost of player insurance.
The NHL executive, who requested anonymity, said once the league is out of the Olympics, its players probably will not participate in any international tournament after the 2010 Games, from the world championships to the world junior championships.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Sources tell TSN Wayne Gretzky has indicated to Hockey Canada that he is willing to be part of the management team for 2010, he has made it clear he is not interested in reprising his role as executive director.
Sources tell TSN that Steve Yzerman is expected to be named executive director of the Canadian Olympic team.
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
Did they get better, though? The lasting memory of Jagr’s four-year Rangers tenure was him putting the team on his back for the final month of the 2007-08 and their brief playoff run. When Glen Sather decided to let Jagr head off to the continent, he let go a guy who can be as dominant as anyone in the league.
Jagr’s abilities as a leader weren’t as strong, but his quirky sensibility and penchant for funny, self-deprecating comments served a purpose in a locker room that had very few loud corners. Sean Avery, the loudest of them all, is gone too, and Brendan Shanahan may not be back at this late date….
And when there’s adversity, as there always is during an NHL season, Jagr won’t be there to crack a joke or shoulder the blame and attention.
from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,
Oh, it’s a great experience to play for him,” (Kelsey) Tessier, 18, the Avalanche’s fourth-round draft choice this year, said after Colorado’s rookie-camp workout Sunday at Family Sports Center.
“His passion for the game and the will to win are there because he coaches the same way he plays,” Tessier said. “He has the attitude that he hates losing, and that’s the passion he gives our team. It’s just such a great experience to play for him. He gives you every tool to win, and you have no excuse not to. When he was a goalie, he saw the whole ice in front of him and saw everything. And he knows exactly where we should be.”...
You can say a lot of things about Patrick Roy, but if you could hear the awe and appreciation in the voice of one of his current charges, Tessier, you wouldn’t even try to diminish his impact as a coach and motivator.
from Scott Taylor of the National Post,
The Coyotes called (Jamison) Orr in the summer and invited him to rookie camp, but then, when they signed all their free-agents and draft picks, called back and told him to wait until the big camp opens. Orr really had no other choice but to wait.
“I’m going to play someplace,” said Orr, the younger brother of New York Rangers tough guy Colton Orr.
“I might just play in the CIS. But I’m going to play. I’ll go anywhere anybody wants me to go.”
Fact is, there is no one who would travel farther—or more often—than this 6-foot-3, 220-pound scrapper. Since his first year of junior in 2002, he’s been with 17 different organizations. He hasn’t played for all of them, but he’s been there.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson revealed yesterday that he and The Great One are in discussions concerning Gretzky’s inclusion—and potential role—on the 2010 Canadian Olympic team, which will be under the omnipresent spotlight at the Vancouver Winter Games….
The options are open for Gretzky. He might be brought in to run the show for a third consecutive time if his coaching commitments with the Coyotes do not interfere. Maybe he could take over the coaching reigns from Pat Quinn, who coached the two previous Canadian Olympic teams. Or, he might serve as a consultant to a managerial team that could include the likes of Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, assistant Steve Yzerman and coach Mike Babcock.
However it plays out, Gretzky is badly wanted.
from Kim Severson of the New York Times,
Although hockey players enjoy a reputation as rowdy partiers at many high schools, the sport often keeps children here on the straight and narrow, much the way football and basketball do in other places. When Dan Johnston sold raffle tickets for his son’s team, his sales slogan was, “Help keep the kids on the ice and off the streets.”
But hockey can also be a roiling pressure cooker, full of big expectations and even bigger disappointments, especially across south-central Alaska where the sport is highly competitive and many parents harbor hopes that their children might get a college scholarship and maybe even make it to the National Hockey League.
From Risto Pakarinen at NHL.com,
Hockey circles sure are small. They’re small in countries like Finland and Sweden, or the Czech Republic, and they’re small in the wide world of the NHL. All you have to do is take a look at the front offices in the NHL organizations to see how the pieces go together.
That’s just the way the world seems to be working regardless of the industry.
I was thinking about this today, after an event organized by the Swedish Elite League…
from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
Prior to the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy, Brodeur expressed that it would probably be his last shot as the No. 1 goaltender for Canada because of his advancing age. But, now with the Vancouver Games only a year and a half away and Brodeur coming off back-to-back Vezinas, he’s thinking a little differently.
“I’d love to go,” Brodeur said. “I’d love to be part of it. It would be a great experience, but I don’t know what the role will be. Definitely, I’m going to gun to be No. 1 if they pick me. We’ll see where my career is. There’s a lot of young guys that have a chance to challenge the guys that were there last time. That’s good. That’s healthy. I’ve got the experience of going to three of them, so that’s one thing that’s on my side. We’ll see what their decision will be. For me, that’s not the ultimate goal, but it’s a goal I’m looking at seriously. I think it would be quite an accomplishment to play in four Olympics. My kids have already been talking to me about it. They want me to go. I told them, ‘We’re only going if I’m playing.’”
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
When Semin returned to the NHL in 2006-07, he should have been forced to comply with the final year of his entry-level contract because he never fulfilled it and was suspended by the team for the two seasons he was in Russia. But somehow, that final season was ignored and the Capitals, knowing Semin wouldn’t have returned for entry-level money, managed to sign him to a new two-year deal despite the fact he had not fulfilled the terms of his first contract.
When you see things like that happening, can you blame Radulov – who was contractually in exactly the same boat as Semin – for bolting back home at the first opportunity? If the NHL isn’t going to respect its own contracts, how can it expect anyone else to do the same?
And this is the kind of attitude both the leaders of the NHL and IIHF find themselves up against these days. NHL owners talk a good game, but are happy to circumvent their own rules and try to do business on their own terms if it means they can get a star player.
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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