Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
I had a chance to catch up with Flyers center Daniel Briere over the weekend. I let him know I had joined ESPN.com, which he thought was cool.
Briere, meanwhile, talked about how different he feels going into this season, knowing fully what to expect with his team. He put so much pressure on himself last season after signing that big contract with Philadelphia. He put up 72 points in 76 regular-season games—not bad, but down from the 95 he had in Buffalo the previous season. He was tremendous in the playoffs with 16 points, including nine goals, in 17 games as the Flyers surprised many en route to the Eastern Conference finals.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The eye isn’t much of a problem. In fact, said Bryan Berard, he barely ever thinks about it, more than eight years after the sight in his right eye was all but extinguished when he was gouged by Marian Hossa’s errant stick.
“To be honest, the eye’s not an issue anymore,” said Berard, not long before finishing his summer workouts here in Boston and heading south with only the promise of a tryout awaiting him in Philadelphia. “It took a couple of years to get used to it, for my brain and body to adjust, but I don’t even think about it now. Not an issue.”
More delicate and irksome of late, though, has been Berard’s back, along with other niggling injuries.
continued and many more NHL topics discussed…
from Wayne Fish of phillyBurbs,
This season’s short training camp should at least afford the Flyers a chance to tinker with a new first line: Namely, center Daniel Briere moving to right wing alongside Mike Richards.
Coach John Stevens tried this alignment late in the conference finals against Pittsburgh last May and the reviews were generally good.
Now, with Simon Gagne returning from concussion leave, a Gagne-Richards-Briere unit looks like a natural.
from Wayne Fish of phillyBurbs,
Whether they want to admit it or not, the Flyers are about to make an important decision.
Within the next week, they will name a new captain, a designation more significant in hockey than any other sport.
The finalists appear to be fourth-year center Mike Richards and All-Star defenseman Kimmo Timonen. Defenseman Jason Smith held the post last year but he left as a free agent this past summer and will play for Ottawa in 2008-09.
from Chuck Gormley at the Sporting News,
Concussion symptoms kept Gagne out of all but 25 games last season. Those are gone, he says, thanks to an innovative injection therapy called prolotherapy.
Gagne, 28, first heard about the procedure while watching a health segment on a Philadelphia news channel.
“When I first saw Simon back in April, he had neck pain, dizziness and real bad headaches,” Greenberg said. “But he also had a tilt to his pelvis and some back pain. His symptoms were very similar to whiplash.”
Gagne had a series of anesthetic injections in his neck, head, shoulders, pelvis and back. Greenberg said the injections are generally made up of two anesthetics and an inflammatory agent such as dextrose or cod liver extract.
from Kevin Allen at Mucking and Grinding,
Former Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Mark Popovic became the latest NHL player to be lured away by the new Russian Super League, agreeing to play for St. Petersburg next season for approxately $1 million….
Bryan Berard, unable to secure a contract from any NHL team, has agreed to attend the Philadelphia Flyers’ training camp on a tryout basis. Berard, whose career was derailed several years ago when he was blinded by an errant stick, played last season for the New York Islanders
added 4:36pm, from the Delco Times,
“Bryan has been around a number of years now (and) he has been a good defenseman for quite some time,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. “I’m excited about Bryan’s willingness to come here on a try out. It will certainly pick up the competition level of what is going to take place in training camp anytime you can add a player like him.”
“We made strides by signing different players to long-term deals. We just signed (Joffrey) Lupul, (Jeff) Carter’s here for a couple of years and the players we have, everyone gets along so the (dressing) room’s doing well. I think we’re just going to evolve as a team as we get older,” said the Flyers alternate captain and No. 1 centre.
“We made good strides last year in the playoffs and hopefully we can just move forward from there.”
-Mike Richards in Thunder Bay’s Source where you can read more from Mike…
“Obviously a player of Mats Sundin’s stature…he’s been a tremendous player for a long time,” said Holmgren. “He’s a free agent, and we’ve made inquiries as to his status. We don’t know whether he’s going to play or not. I think Mats is still trying to decide that in his own timeframe. But, if he wants to play, we’d certainly have an interest in seeing if we could fit him in.”
-more from Paul Holmgren at Flyers.com…
from the Philadelphia Daily News,
John Stevens, who in his first full season as coach of the Flyers led them to the Eastern Conference finals, has agreed to a contract extension, a source told the Daily News.
Details are being finalized, but an announcement is expected today.
It was an emotional homecoming for former Regent Park resident and current Philadelphia Flyer Glen Metropolit, as he and New Jersey Devil Kevin Weekes dropped by the Wellesley Community Centre to sign autographs and make a special announcement last Friday.
The duo’s visit was part of the National Hockey League Players’ Association’s Goals and Dreams program, in which the NHLPA donates hockey equipment to children and youth in at-risk communities. Last week’s donation saw 110 new sets of equipment donated to help programs in Regent Park, St. James Town and elsewhere in the city.
The gesture was extremely meaningful for Metropolit, who choked up while speaking to the crowd of youngsters assembled from local camps and organizations.
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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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