Kukla's Korner Hockey
Urban definition of Making it Rain- When you have a wad of cash and throw it in the air at a club.
via the Las Vegas Sun,
Former (news must travel slow in Vegas) NHL goalie Ray Emery didn’t let the downed economy or his faltering career stop him from making it rain, either, when he visited the Bellagio in May. The one-time star goaltender laid down $1,000 for the stunt, despite the fact that he doesn’t cash the same sort of paychecks he once did, and unleashed a blitz of dollar bills upon clubgoers at The Bank.
from Jacob Robinson of the Expositor,
Any significant needs the team lacked in two straight playoff exits at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins were hopefully addressed this summer with the acquisitions of defenceman Chris Pronger and goaltender Ray Emery.
Both players have been controversial at times in their careers, but Stevens believes that the “City of Brotherly Love” will welcome the duo with open arms.
“Adding a veteran guy like Pronger, I think, is an ideal fit,” Stevens said in a telephone interview. “He’s great at both ends of the rink, he’s got an attitude, he plays with a bit of an edge and (has) great leadership qualities, he’s won a Stanley Cup before. If you had a checklist on a player, you’d check everything off where he’s concerned. He brings so many things to your team.”
With Emery, the Flyers are giving the much talked about goalie a second chance in the league. Emery was cut loose by the Ottawa Senators in 2008 and played in Russia’s KHL last season.
“I feel good about Ray,” Stevens said. “I think Ray is going to be great. I think he’s a real fiery guy, I think he’s anxious for this opportunity and I think we’re a good fit for him and he’s a good fit for us.”
“We feel like we’ve made some good changes on our team, so this is a real important year for us.”
more from Stevens…
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
Marian Hossa’ contract isn’t the only one being scrutinized by the NHL. An NHL source told SportingNews.com that the league is investigating Philadelphia’s 7-year deal with Chris Pronger to see if it circumvented the CBA and salary cap.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the investigation of Pronger’s contract in an e-mail to SportingNews.com.
Daly said Pronger’s contract was being investigated for the same reasons as Hossa’s deal.
from Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News,
To me, the team that improved itself while also ensuring jersey sales will skyrocket is Philadelphia. Goaltender Ray Emery and defenseman Chris Pronger represent everything Flyers hockey has been known for – surliness, physicality and questionable netminding (ba-dum-ching!). Seriously though, I’ve always liked Emery and think he got a bad rap from crusty old media types and, likely, the local authorities more often than not. Razor’s no saint, but he’s no devil, either.
Emery already boasts something no other recent Philly goalie can, which is an appearance in the Stanley Cup final. True, his Sens were unceremoniously dumped in five games by the Anaheim Ducks in that series, but it was hardly his fault. The Ducks didn’t score more than three goals in any game until the final contest, at which point the conclusion was more than foregone.
As for Pronger, his reputation speaks for itself…
from Alan Bass of The Hockey News,
The Flyers have consistently been a tough team to play against throughout its history, owning the NHL’s second-best all-time winning percentage behind the Montreal Canadiens. Clarke attributes that to the tremendous support of owner Ed Snider.
“We were allowed to spend the money, we always tried to win,” Clarke said. “We didn’t do what Pittsburgh did; lose seven years in a row so they could get good. They did it twice, in fact. They went through six or seven different owners. We’ve had one owner.”
Clarke finds the strategies of some current teams appalling when considering the way other organizations have built competitive teams.
“It’s somewhat embarrassing that three of the last teams (in the 2009 playoffs) missed the playoffs six or seven years in a row; Washington, Chicago, and Pittsburgh,” he said. “Now they’re good and the teams that try to win all the time get penalized. Our philosophy has never changed since 1967.”
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
Pronger recently chatted with Sporting News Today hockey writer Craig Custance about his work with the NHLPA, his fit in Philadelphia and facing Sidney Crosby.
Q: While we were covering your playoff series against Detroit, somebody pointed out that they thought you toned down your game. Has there been an evolution in your style of play as you’ve gotten older?
A: No, I don’t think so. There’s a time and place for a lot of things. I had a shorter temper but you mature, get older, have kids and you understand yourself a little better – what buttons to push, what buttons not to push and things of that nature. You are going to evolve, learn how to play the game better….
Q: One of your jobs will be to make life tougher on Sidney Crosby in front of the net. Will you be sending a message to Sidney the first time you play the Penguins?
A: I don’t know, I don’t [send messages] most of the time - sometimes I do. Most of the time, it’s my job to clear the front of the net and let the goalie see the puck - whether it’s [Crosby] or whoever. I don’t need to tell you what I’m going to do or if I’m going to send a message, that’s how I play….
from Bill Iezzi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers are in a “holding pattern” regarding unrestricted free agent Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
Although Tollefsen, a 6-foot-2, 211-pound defenseman with a history of injuries, passed a physical Saturday at the Flyers’ practice rink, Holmgren was noncommittal about signing the former Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman.
“He is one of the guys we have interest in,” said Holmgren, who would not identify other players eyed by the Flyers.
“A decision will not be made anytime soon. It is July. We don’t start training camp until the middle of September, and we have time.
“We’re doing due diligence.”
“It was a very testing year [last year]. Obviously, it didn’t go the way I expected it to go, but it’s in the past now. You try to learn from that. I’m actually very, very excited about our team going into this season. That’s what has been pushing me to work out even harder now.
“I’m starting to feel strong again. I’m trying to find that explosion that I used to have two years ago. Health-wise I feel great, and I’m ready for a big year.”
-Daniel Briere of the Philadelphia Flyers. More on Briere from Kevin Kurz of PhiladelphiaFlyers.com.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
...You’d expect, then, that the NHL would have finally gotten around to inviting Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals to perform on such a stage wouldn’t you?
Instead, the NHL and broadcast partner NBC have settled on the Philadelphia Flyers, a compromise decision according to multiple sources.
No offense to Simon Gagne, new Flyer Chris Pronger and repatriated bad-boy netminder Ray Emery, but the decision to have the Flyers face off against the Bruins, announced at a press conference in Boston Wednesday afternoon, is a decision that simply flies in the face of logic.
If the point of the Winter Classic is to showcase the game’s greatest talents on a grand and unusual stage, to appeal to an audience that might not otherwise tune in to NHL games, then it behooves the NHL to do it right. It behooves the NHL not to compromise on a product that has proven to achieve those lofty goals.
NEW YORK (July 15, 2009) – The National Hockey League’s annual outdoor game will return on New Year’s Day with the Boston Bruins hosting the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park—home of the Boston Red Sox—in the 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter ClassicTM. The Eastern Conference rivals will face-off at 1 p.m., ET in the classic, which received the SportsBusiness Journal “Sports Event of the Year” award for its inaugural edition in 2008.
“A unique event deserves a unique venue, and we are delighted the Bruins and Flyers will renew their rivalry with the ‘Green Monster’ providing the backdrop,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We welcome our fans, our teams, our sponsors and the great city of Boston to this annual celebration of our sport.”
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.
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