Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
He stills remembers the Soviet system, which he calls “unacceptable,” and he’s outspoken in his praise of the people who allowed him to escape that system for the NHL.
The type of hockey that he and his teammates played was so effective that much of it was adopted by the NHL and for that, we all owe him our thanks. The game is a much more attractive spectacle today than it used to be and Larionov’s contributions in that regard would be hard to eclipse.
The Hockey Hall of Fame has no shortage of worthy inductees, but it’s hard to think of a guy who is more worthy — in a number of ways — than Igor Larionov.
from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot at the NYT,
Q: ...As you show in your article, the Russian government considers the K.H.L. an instrument of foreign policy. Given the uncertain economic climate for Russia, are the league’s plans to expand beyond the old Soviet sphere still feasible? How about the newest talk from Slava Fetisov, on expanding into China, Korea and Japan?
Andrew Meier.: Europe remains the first target for growth. Above all, Fetisov, and others behind the founding of the K.H.L., fear that the N.H.L. is bent on a self-serving drive to preserve its market share. To Fetisov, the strategy is both myopic and ultimately detrimental to the game. “There’s no market there,” he told me. “North America’s too small. Europe is the future. That’s where the tradition, and the players, and the fans are.” Jagr, and a whole host of Europeans now playing in Russia, would tend to agree.
via the Toronto Sun,
One of the most beloved Maple Leafs players in recent history has agreed to coach Team Canada at the World Jewish Hockey Tournament in July in Metulla, Israel.
Steve (Stumpy) Thomas, who scored 421 goals in a remarkable National Hockey League career, and was best known for his tenacity and knack for scoring big goals in big games, will head up one Canadian junior team in the five-team, under-17 tournament this summer.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity, flattered to have been chosen, and very excited to be going to Israel for the first time,” said Thomas, 45, who was born in Lockport, England but grew up in Toronto.
from the CP,
Now 43 and busier than ever, Yzerman paradoxically looks younger and fresher than he did during the final injury-filled seasons of his career with the Detroit Red Wings. The intensity that made him one of the greatest NHLers in history is still there, but there’s also a renewed vibrancy that has come with new challenges.
Perhaps that’s why it seemed just a little strange to see him among the inductees to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Yzerman is a little more than two years removed from announcing his retirement, but his contributions to the game continue as a vice-president with the Red Wings and the executive director of Canada’s 2010 Olympic men’s hockey team.
The KHL recently dealt with the fallout from Alexei Cherepanov’s death by adopting a list of resolutions in hopes of avoiding such tragedies in the future.
Today they’ve issued another press release related to those issues, this one inviting members of the media to observe their medical evaluation process. Presumably this openness is meant to reassure current and prospective players of the KHL’s commitment to their welfare.
Full text of the press release is available below.
From Bill Meltzer at NHL.com:
[Patrick] Thoresen elected to play this season Europe because he was unable to get a 1-way contract in the NHL and stood to make more money playing in Switzerland than he would have on the minor-league end of a 2-way deal in the NHL. But his ambition is not to win the Swiss scoring title. He has made clear all along that we wants to return to North America.
“My goal is to play well enough to get a 1-way contract and become an NHL player again,” he said.
Thoresen has 31 points in 19 games this season.
from Patrick White of the Globe and Mail,
Gilles Lupien, a prominent National Hockey League player agent, has never gone public about the disturbing phone calls he received from a young junior hockey player 20 years ago.
But with many in the hockey world treating the lurid allegations coming out of former junior hockey coach David Frost’s sexual exploitation trial as an aberration, the memory has been weighing heavily on his mind.
“The culture of junior hockey has to change,” said the former Montreal Canadiens defenceman, who now represents Vancouver Canucks’ goalie Roberto Luongo, Boston Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez and 13 other NHL players.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
I find it hard to believe that Igor Larionov, one of the classiest people ever in the game, is finding an ally in the Kontinental League with president Alexander Medvedev.
Larionov was always all about principle. Instead of defecting from Russia to play in the NHL in his prime, he bided his time and went through the proper channels before coming to the NHL. Once he got here, he proved to be a great teammate and person and was part of the success of several teams along the way.
Now he’s working with a man who has no respect for the sanctity of a contract, as evidenced by the KHL’s poaching of Pavel Valentenko and Matt Murley recently by teams in Russia.
read on plus Leafs/Sundin and Stars/Avery notes…
From Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun,
Scott Niedermayer, the 35-year-old from Cranbrook who will go to the Hockey Hall of Fame when his career ends, said Friday he wants to be part of Team Canada for the 2010 Olympic tournament in Vancouver.
The Anaheim Ducks star hasn’t decided if or where he’ll play in the National Hockey League next season, but knows he wants to play for Canada. That probably means he’ll sign another NHL contract if he becomes an unrestricted free agent next July.
“It would be a great experience if I was able to be part of that team and compete for your country, in your own county, in your home province,” Niedermayer said. “I really haven’t decided [about the NHL], but I’d love to play in the Olympics.”
From the Associated Press today the allegation from Col. Vladimir Karpenko, a spokesman for the commander of Russia’s Railway Troops, that Alexei Cherepanov (who, of course, recently died during a game) was in fact playing “illegally” and should have been serving his mandatory military service at the time.
The full story is here.
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 email@example.com