Kukla's Korner Hockey
The National Hockey League has handed down its verdict on the Flyers’ Steve Downie. Colin Campbell, the NHL’s executive vice-president and director of hockey operations has suspended Downie a 20-game.
Downie was punished for his vicious hit on Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond in Thursday’s exhibition game.
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
In goal, Biron will team with returning stopper Antero Niittymaki. After spending the last several seasons as a backup in Buffalo, Biron relishes the opportunity to be the No. 1 guy in Philly. He’s a solid, competitive goaltender, and his likeable nature should help the day-to-day dealings in the dressing room.
Holmgren clearly improved this team during the offseason. But, with so many new faces, it’s hard to know just how much better the Flyers can be. I figure they’ll be battling for a playoff spot. If I’m pressed to make a pick, I say they find their way into the second season.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced on Wednesday that four of his players were hurt in the contest.
Forwards Joffrey Lupul and Scottie Upshall both suffered left wrist injuries.
“Lupul sustained a left wrist injury and we will know more once he is examined by a specialist tomorrow,” said Holmgren.
“Upshall sustained a fractured left wrist, which will require surgery. He will have the surgery tomorrow (Thursday) and will be out of action for four to six weeks.”
from 640am in Toronto,
The NHL has suspended Flyers rookie Steve Downie following a vicious hit on Senators forward Dean McAmmond last night.
Downie was handed a match penalty for attempt to injure. He is now indefinitely suspended by the NHL, pending a review of the hit by the league. Downie was the victim of a clean hit from Christoph Schubert before he immediately got up and sought revenge on McAmmond in the Flyers zone.
See the hit in this post...
added 6:54am, from the Ottawa Sun,
“There’s no place in the game for that stuff,” a seething McGrattan said after the game. “That was a dirty hit and he’s a dirty player. He’s known for that and he’ll get what’s coming to him next time we play him, for sure.
“You don’t want to see stuff like that. We’re not out there to kill each other. At this level, he’ll get what’s coming to him.”
Update September 27, 7:40pm ET:
Just a note that Downie contacted McAmmond to offer an apology. From The Star,
A phone call of apology from Steve Downie has earned the Philadelphia Flyers prospect some understanding from Dean McAmmond but not from the rest of the Ottawa Senators.
Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond left the pre-season game against the Philadelphia Flyers on a stretcher in the second period after a vicious hit to the head by Flyers forward Steve Downie.
McAmmond had just passed the puck and was skating behind the Flyers net when Downie leveled him with a shoulder to the head. Downie, who was hit into the boards earlier in the shift by Christoph Schubert was given a match penalty - which means he is suspended indefinitely pending a review.
McAmmond has been diagnosed with a concussion, but he is moving his extremities and has been sent to a hospital for further examination.
Update 12:35am ET:
From Allan Maki at the Globe & Mail,
Dirty. Cheap. Needless. Despicable. Those words don’t just describe Tuesday night’s hit on Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond. They describe the man who delivered it – Steve Downie of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Update 1:08am ET:
Thanks to a reader in the comments of this post, here is the video of the hit on McAmmond:
from the Courier Post,
With Mike Knuble, Scottie Upshall and Sami Kapanen holding down the Flyers’ top three right wing spots, Downie has emerged as a serious threat to win a job on the club’s opening night roster in Calgary in 10 days.
“We’re going to have to make that decision,” Flyers’ coach John Stevens said Monday night after watching the Flyers fall to the New Jersey Devils 3-1 in their preseason home opener at the Wachovia Center.
“He’s certainly a guy that’s making an impact on our team right now. He’s exceeded my expectations at this point. I just love the fire he plays with and he’s played with discipline every game he’s played. He’s been a wonderful surprise so far.”
“He wins a lot of puck battles,” Stevens said. “He has good vision with the puck and sees lanes a lot of kids his age don’t see. He’s got a combination of determination and skill you don’t see every day.”
from the Courier-Post,
Joffrey Lupul and Jeff Carter may have played 2,000 miles apart last season, but they shared similar growing pains on a pair of teams grounded by injuries after sky-high expectations.
“It was a bad year,” Lupul said of his first and only season in Edmonton, where the Oilers finished last in the Northwest Division with a 32-43-7 record.
“A tough year all around.”
“It was one of the biggest learning experiences of my life,” echoed Carter, who saw the Flyers finish with the NHL’s worst record (22-48-12).
From Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice,
Enforcer Cam Janssen might have injured his shoulder tonight because of the league’s new Reebok Edge sweaters. His sweater ripped during his two first period fights with Philadelphia’s Jesse Boulerice. That might have helped Boulerice pull Janssen’s jersey over his head in both altercations and win both decisively. Arron Asham also had his sweater tear during his fight with Riley Cote.
“These new jerseys are supposed to make you faster, but what good are they if they tear that easily,” Mike Rupp said.
*Hat tip to hockeyfights.com for passing on the story
from the AP via the Hockey News,
“We have the chance to really start something,” Briere said. “Everybody wants to get off to a better start. We have to forget about what happened last season.”
Easy for Briere to say. He wasn’t here.
But the reason for the renewed optimism comes after a summer of shrewd moves by general manager Paul Holmgren that has the Flyers believing they can move back into the post-season as quickly as they fell out of contention.
“It was a very long summer,” Gagne said.
from the Courier-Post,
When the Flyers fortified their porous defense in the offseason by acquiring Kimmo Timonen from the Nashville Predators and Jason Smith from the Edmonton Oilers, Flyers’ defenseman Denis Gauthier wondered whether he’d be starting training camp wearing a different uniform.
“Yeah, I was concerned,” Gauthier said Tuesday after a scrimmage with several other Flyers’ veterans. “I wanted to be back. When I signed that two-year (contract) extension I planned on being here the whole two years. I feel like I was a part of getting (junior teammate) Danny Briere to come here. That would have really (ticked) me off, giving up on me after one year.”
That two-year extension, valued at $2.1 million in each of the next two seasons, could end up being an albatross for Gauthier, especially if Mike Rathje is successful in his attempted comeback.
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