Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.”
The NHL is holding a press conference today at 2pm ET to announce the Winter Classic Game at Fenway Park. Representatives from the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers will be on hand and the press conference can be seen on the NHL Network and NHL.com will be streaming the event too.
Also, the schedule for the 2009-10 NHL season will be released later today.
added 10:59am, Schuyler Baehman is Twittering from Fenway and taking some cool pictures too!
Watch the press conference from Fenway Park below…
added 2:07pm, Bettman noted NBC/NHL contract extended for 2 more years.
note: original post was 10:04am this morning.
Picture via Schuyler Baehman of the NHL at twitpic where you can find more pictures from Fenway.
via Main Line Media News,
New Flyers goalie, Ray Emery, talks with Jabari Young on returning to the NHL, African-Americans in hockey, and even kicks a freestyle rap about helping the Flyers win a Stanley Cup.
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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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