Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Wayne Fish at phillyBurbs,
Hatcher, who’s starting the year on the injured reserve list, knows his crippled knee probably won’t get better.
Heck, it got worse over the summer when he wasn’t playing, and he would like to end his career on his own terms.
The reality of the situation is this: While some conspiracy theory types suggest the Flyers are pressuring Hatcher to call it quits now to save money on a badly strained salary cap number, the 36-year-old player says the decision is up to him….
“As tough as it is, you’re never prepared to stop playing hockey. If this is it, I’ve had a great career and that’s what I’ll take.’‘
from Rob Parent of the Delco Times,
Simon Gagne doesn’t know what evil lurks in the shadows of the preseason. When it comes to the hearts of hockey players, however, Gagne has been there, been done in by that before.
“It’s going to come,” Gagne the concussed elder Flyers statesman said Saturday as the team opened training camp. “I will be confident ... I’m going to look for it.”
What Simon says he seeks is a hit - another big one. The type that Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester laid on him in the early days of the 2007-08 season, sending Gagne down a long and arduous path toward an aborted season and a series of career questions that continue today.
As in ... can he still have a career?
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Here is a primer for the Flyers’ preseason camp, which starts today at the Skate Zone in Voorhees.
B is for goalie Marty Biron. Which Biron will we see? The one who had an up-and-down regular season, or the one who was scorching hot in two of last season’s three playoff series?
N is for no-star lineup. Despite reaching the NHL’s final four last season, the Flyers aren’t getting much national respect. The Hockey News picks them to finish fourth in the East, and it lists just two Flyers, Briere (No. 42) and Richards (No. 49), among the league’s top 50 players.
from Ed Moran of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Hatcher’s name will appear on the roster for the first game of the season and then immediately be moved to the long-term injury list.
The move allows the Flyers to create some breathing room by subtracting his $3.5 million salary from the overall cap total and gives Hatcher time to continue trying to rehab his degenerated right knee.
“It’s obviously a privilege to be part of such a prestigious organization and now be captain of it. I am going to do my best. We have a lot of great team leaders right now on our team and we don’t have to change anything. I think that everyone really helps out around the dressing room. There are so many leaders that you just kind of have to do your own thing and more worry about yourself and help out where things are needed.”
-Mike Richards on being named Flyers captain. More from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post…
from the Philadelphia Flyers,
Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced on Monday that goaltender Antero Niittymaki will be out for four-to-six weeks after having surgery on his left hip.
Q: What happened with Antero?
Paul Holmgren: “Last Friday, Antero had a small surgical procedure done on his left hip where he had some fluid drained and also some loose bodies that were in his joint. This was more of a clean-up process performed by Dr. Thomas Byrd at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.
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.
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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