Kukla's Korner Hockey
In Snider’s opinion, Holmgren has done a masterful job of “reloading” the proud franchise.
“I liked the way we opened up against Calgary. There were certain things I didn’t like against Edmonton,” he said Tuesday in a phone interview. “But I like the fact that we came back in that game and went ahead….”
“I knew Paul,” Snider said. “I had a lot of respect for Paul. I liked him, but I wasn’t sure how he would take the reins. Quite honestly, he exceeded by far any expectations I might have had.”
And now there’s laughter in Snider’s office again.
“Paul made my statement come true,” Snider said. “We don’t rebuild, we retool.”
via The Hockey News,
The Philadelphia have signed 6-foot-2, 210-pound defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick to a one-year contract.
from Ed Moran of the Philly News,
Join the NHL and see the world.
That was Derian Hatcher’s take on this year’s version of “holding hands in the woods,” or in this case the temporal rain forests of the Whistler Blackcomb Ski resort, where - by the way - it was pouring all day yesterday….
This year, with three off days between Saturday’s 5-3 loss in Edmonton and Wednesday’s game in Vancouver, the Flyers have stopped off in Whistler.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Flyers took their lumps in the short term by plunging to the bottom of the NHL standings — something that also gave them a chance to draft James vanRiemsdyk second overall in June’s entry draft — and have reversed field nicely. Their opening-night roster featured five former first-round picks age 25 or under (Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Joffrey Lupul, Scott Hartnell and Coburn), plus two others on injured reserve (Upshall and R.J. Umberger), not to mention blue-chippers vanRiesmsdyk and Parent, plus the love-him-or-hate-him pest Steve Downie.
Sadly, the Leafs fall into the other category — of a team that perennially tries so hard to compete in the here-and-now that they are forever caught in between, with never enough assets to legitimately challenge for a championship, but never really bad enough to draft blue-chip youngsters or bold enough to trade “untouchable” core players.
read on & other NHL bits…
From George Johnson at ESPN,
So acute was the embarrassment, so deep the shame, so vivid the feeling of accusing eyes boring into his failures, Derian Hatcher dreaded even going into a Starbucks.
“Well,” laughed Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach Joe Mullen, “at 6-foot-5, Hatch is kind of hard to miss.”
So were the Flyers. A big flop. A massive bust. Worst in a 30-team loop. A league-low 10 home wins. A joke in futile search of a punch line.
The Broad Street Bozos.
from Phil Sheridan of Philly News,
John Stevens had as grim a task as any Philadelphia coach in recent memory, taking over a doomed team after the stunning dismissal of Hitchcock. Stevens handled himself well, establishing his expectations for players and making sure there were consequences when those expectations weren’t met.
But do we know Stevens is a championship-caliber NHL coach? It is no insult to him to answer no to that question. Hitchcock had a pedigree of success and couldn’t get it done with the talent at hand here. Stevens might be the right man for this job. No one knows, including Stevens, Holmgren and the players.
In theory, Biron settles down the goaltender spot. He has a fine career goals against average of 2.55, but that shot up to 3.02 playing behind the Flyers at the end of last season. Niittymaki’s average was 3.38 last year - so the apples-to-apples comparison doesn’t tell us much.
AHL President and CEO David Andrews announced Tuesday that Steve Downie has been ruled ineligible to play in the AHL for one month from the start of the 2007-08 season.
“The American Hockey League has established a strict disciplinary standard over the last several seasons relative to deliberate hits to the head,” said Andrews in a statement. “We strongly support the National Hockey League’s recent directives on these dangerous hits, and we want to send a clear message that actions such as Mr. Downie’s are unacceptable in our game.”
from Ed Moran at Philly News,
Downie did not have it easy as a kid, and it impacts him the way his story impacts everyone that gets to know him. His father, John, was killed in a car accident driving him to hockey practice when Steve was 7.
At 13, the hearing in his right ear began to fade and he now wears an aid off the ice.
When he was drafted by the Flyers 29th overall in 2005, he broke down and cried. He told reporters of the sacrifices his mother had made and how he was saddened that his father was not there to be part of the day.
He said that he remembered the day his father died. “I remember every minute of it. It only makes me play harder,” he said.
From the CP,
Paul Holmgren might be the only person in Philadelphia with a framed photo of the 2006-07 Flyers in his office.
The team otherwise known as the worst in Philadelphia’s 40-year franchise history. And what does the Flyers general manager think when he looks at that picture?
“Uh, well,” he chuckled. “It was a very difficult year for our franchise. It was bizarre for sure. A lot of things went wrong.”
Colin Campbell was involved with a tele-conference call today discussing the Downie suspension.
Q. Can you characterize what Steve Downie did to Dean McAmmond? What you saw?
COLIN CAMPBELL: Characterize? We had requested this be put on the agenda for the board of governors. As a result, the general managers looked at a number of hits. We had 52 hits from last season that were not suspendable hits, but hits where shoulders were delivered to the head.
And from that meeting on, the general managers in June, it was in Ottawa in the finals, the Competition Committee met and reviewed the same hit.
We convened a group of coaches in late July, early August as well as having talked about the draft to a number of coaches, assistant coaches as well. We had six coaches that were brought in here and we discussed what we had found.
At the end of the day, there were a number of criteria that the groups didn’t like, and any of those criteria could get you suspended. At the same time, we wanted to keep hitting in the game of hockey. And legal shoulder checks to the head would be allowed if they were delivered in a legal fashion.
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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