Kukla's Korner Hockey
Eurohockey.net provides an interview with long-time Finnish goalie coach Jukka Ropponen, whose students (clients?) have included the likes of Niklas Bäckström, Kari Lehtonen and Pasi Nurminen.
Q: You have worked in Finland, America, Switzerland and Russia, which was the best place out of these?
Hockey is hockey, I have enjoyed working in all different countries. They all have pros and cons so it is really tough to say one place is better than the other. I guess I just love hockey and working with goalies.
Q: What are the biggest difference in goalkeeping schools in these countries?
Let’s see, all countries have their own unique characteristics. let me elaborate this a bit more on a country by country basis:
• Finland has the most systematic approach to coaching goalies and most probably more goalie coaches than in any country compared to the number of team and players.
read on for Ropponen’s take on a variety of topics
From Kent Youngblood at the Star-Tribune,
Winger Branko Radivojevic, who spent the past two seasons with the Wild, has signed a two-year deal to play with Spartak in the Russian Premiere League.
Radivojevic came to the Wild from Philadelphia as a free agent before the 2006-07 season. In two seasons in Minnesota he totaled 18 goals and 41 points, becoming one of the team’s most reliable checking forwards.
Anaheim Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke was named the General Manager of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team today by USA Hockey. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games are scheduled to take place from February 12-28, 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“I’m very grateful and honored to be part of the U.S. Olympic Team,” said Burke, whose previous international experience includes serving as General Manager of the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 1993 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship in Munich and Dortmund, Germany. “We hope to put a team together for 2010 that Americans can be proud of.”
“We could not be more pleased than to have Brian as our General Manager,” said Ron DeGregorio, President of USA Hockey. “His record of accomplishment speaks for itself. Brian’s drive and fire for the game rub off on you and it’s that type of passion that will help lead us to our ultimate goal of winning the gold medal.”
A translated report at an online Russian news site:
Wayne Fleming, a Canadian coach offered the job of head coach of Belarus’ flagship ice hockey team Dinamo Minsk, held a news conference in Minsk on Monday.
The coach said that he would make up his mind on the offer on June 4, describing his talks with the club and the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation as fairly constructive.
The 57-year-old Fleming, an assistant coach with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, said that he liked Minsk and expressed certainty that his family would find it comfortable to live in the city. [...]
He is the second Canadian coach to be offered the Dinamo Minsk job. John Paddock turned down the offer earlier this year.
From Terry Frei at the Denver Post,
But major-junior players not making the NHL often end up educationally short-changed, or at least behind their contemporaries. The education-on-the-fly aspects of major junior and then major-junior’s scholarship program — roughly a year of college money for each year of playing — aren’t enough. (The major-junior scholarship program, let’s just say, doesn’t match a Harvard scholarship.)
Except for the absolute elite (and [Drayson] Bowman appears to be among that group) or players who would have little interest in a college education under any circumstances, I still believe the best route, for most U.S.-born players especially, remains NCAA hockey.
From Dan Barnes at Canwest News via the National Post,
But Medvedev is not Russian hockey, merely a player in it. For now. The fact that he is trying to convince Igor Larionov to put a familiar, moderate face on the CHL as its first commissioner is a signal of his savvy. He is not the NHL’s worst nightmare, just a friendly competitor. For now.
“Mr. Medvedev obviously has a strong interest in hockey and we thought it might make sense to sit down and get a better understanding of his interest and what he is trying to accomplish,” said Daly.
The answer to that question will be different in a year or two than it is today. The assumption that he wants to hurt the NHL is a pretty easy one to make, but he resents it.
“It’s a very stupid assumption,” said Medvedev. “We don’t want to weaken the NHL. We want to enrich European hockey and the NHL.”
from the CP,
The Memorial Cup was in two pieces, which meant there was more of it for the Spokane Chiefs to hoist above their heads.
Spokane beat the host Kitchener Rangers 4-1 to win the 90th Memorial Cup on Sunday.
Captain Chris Bruton lifted the trophy over his head twice and kissed it and then as he was about to hand it to teammate Trevor Glass, the cup became separated from its heavy base, which fell to the ice.
While that prompted boos from spectators at Memorial Auditorium already disappointed that their home team lost, the good news is that it’s a replica trophy.
Watch the celebration below…
From Michael Traikos at the National Post,
The family had just built a new house in Littleton and knew little of Canada. But after playing in a tournament in North Vancouver, where Bowman faced real competition for the first time, everyone realized that the young centre needed to be challenged.
“It ended up being a really good decision,” said Drayson Bowman, who was a third-round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes in last year’s NHL draft. “I wouldn’t be here today, I don’t think, unless we did it.”
Making the move was only possible because Mark Bowman owned his own financial consulting company. Still, there were sacrifices to be made. Mark had to fly back to the home office in Littleton almost every other week. And for about four years, life revolved around the two boys’ hockey career.
more *Drayson Bowman is competing for the Memorial Cup this Sunday.
Retired NHLer David Littman tells some tales from his life in hockey, today at The Hockey News:
People may not believe this, but playing in the minors is just as much fun as playing in the NHL. The only difference is there are fewer zeros on your paycheck. Things happen in the minors that would never happen in the NHL.
I was playing for the Atlanta Knights in the IHL, the farm team for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and we were playing the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Calgary’s farm team.
In the first period, there was a fight in front of my net and I jumped in to help a teammate. I looked up and Andre Trefilov, the opposing goalie, was coming at me full steam. We fought for a bit, got game misconducts and were kicked out of the game.
By the second period, we were both up in the stands sitting with our respective scratched teammates drinking beers. By the third period, we’d all had a few drinks when the Salt Lake backup goalie was hit and went down hard.
from Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Sun,
It was 108 in the shade Monday — and the Wranglers were getting ready to play another hockey game.
One hundred eight degrees. Hockey.
That had to be the strangest convergence of diametric entities since Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett.
Human Torch, meet Mr. Freeze.
“The Flight of the Phoenix,” meet “Ice Station Zebra.”
Habanero pepper, meet Chunky Monkey.
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