Kukla's Korner Hockey
Katie Strang of ESPN held and afternoon chat today...
Pittsburgh has an incredible top six, but will the extreme lack of depth in the 3rd and 4th lines come back to bite them?
Katie Strang I think their goaltending remains a bigger issue. Regardless of how well he plays in the regular season, I think it will be awfully difficult for Marc-Andre Fleury to shake the memories of last spring's trainwreck in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Now Vokoun is out with a blood clot and the plot thickens. I don't see this playing out well, despite Pittsburgh's tremendous talent up front.
Who will be the first coach fired?
Katie Strang Would not be surprised if it was Peter Laviolette. I really don't expect Philly to be very good this year, and though it should probably be Paul Holmgren to get the axe if they falter, the coach is usually the first to go.
more online chatter...
from Anthony SanFillippo at the Flyers' website,
If there was any question at all as to whether the Flyers viewed Matt Read as part of their long-term core that was answered in resounding fashion late Friday.
The Flyers and Read agreed on a four-year contract extension that kicks in beginning next season.
The contract is for $14.5 million, or an average annual value of $3.625, which will serve as his cap hit beginning in the 2014-15 season.
“We’re excited and happy we finally got this done,” said general manager Paul Holmgren. “This has been going on for the better part of the summer. We’re happy and I’m sure Matt’s happy. He’s one of the young, core players on our team.”
from Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly,
Vinny Lecavalier was here once before, to watch his younger brother play.
That was certainly fun for Lecavalier and his family, but to actually take the ice at the Lake Placid Olympic Center was a far different experience -- much better than sitting in the crowd cheering on Clarkson University.
“It means a lot,” Lecavalier said. “I’m Canadian, but the hockey history obviously is a lot, coming to this arena. It’s great, it’s a beautiful town and we’re happy to bond as a team.”
It’s impossible to enter this building, and especially the actual rink on which the 1980 U.S. team surprised the world and won Olympic gold, without being hyper aware of a sense of what was accomplished here.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
He is from Murray Harbour, PEI, so Brad Richards knows something about natural beauty – the wonders of Cavendish Beach, the power of the Atlantic Ocean.
This, though, is different.
As NHL training camps approach their mid-point, the New York Rangers have been plunked down in the Rocky Mountains to continue preparations for the new NHL season.
In a 48-hour span, the Rangers went from the hustle and bustle of mid-town Manhattan to this serene mountain setting. Out here, they joke Rangers general manager Glen Sather owns half the town – and he has been bringing in hockey teams since the early 1980s, when different editions of Canada’s Canada Cup entries would also train out of the Banff Recreation Centre.
from Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly,
If inexperience was a problem for last year’s Flyers, it shouldn’t be this time around.
Never mind the understanding Claude Giroux now has of what it takes to be the Flyers’ captain -- though that will certainly help. Thanks to GM Paul Holmgren’s offseason moves, Giroux has two new teammates who also wore the "C" last year, as well as a new goaltender who already knows what it takes to play in Philadelphia.
Those new additions will more than make up for the supposed excess of youth (and lack of veteran leadership) on last season’s team.
“Having guys like Vinny Lecavalier and Mark Streit come in, they've been captains in the league and they are good leaders,” Giroux said. “A guy like Ray Emery has been around the league for a while. To have guys like that come in and help the young guys -- and help me -- it's obviously a real good thing for us.”
Scotty Hartnell, not playing tonight, was filmed on his entry to the rink - where he was asked to show his credentials by a friendly, but persistant, member of the Air Canada Centre Staff.
Sportsnet has the video:
Embarassing, but at least Hartnell has never been camera shy.
"When I heard [Tuesday] that they had signed a contract with Dan Cleary, it was like a slap in the face. I'm disappointed. I knew that hockey was a business, but with all the positive discussions we had with the CEO Paul Holmgren, I can not believe I did not return with them. "
-UFA Simon Gagne on his discussions with the Flyers. More from LA PRESSE (translated)
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
Chris Pronger walks a fine line between working for the Flyers in a scouting capacity and sitting in on meetings with management, all the while being a dues-paying member of the NHLPA.
Such is the life of a former player, struck down by post-concussion syndrome, and living between two worlds -- permanently disabled player and club scouting.
“I have yet to be told what my duties are,” said Pronger, who still suffers from headaches from an ocular concussion, and likely will for the rest of his life.
“As still an active player and a dues-paying member of the [NHLPA] and all that, I know my role will be somewhat limited still in what I can and can’t do," Pronger said on Thursday at Flyers training camp.
Pronger is not an active player in the true sense. He can’t retire without harming the Flyers' salary infrastructure. Under the CBA, they would be stuck with his near-$4.9 million cap hit for the remaining four years of his contract without the ability to place him on LTIR.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that the feeling of finality set in for Vincent Lecavalier.
He had been home in the Montreal area for the summer when he found out that the Tampa Bay Lightning -- the only NHL team Lecavalier had ever known and the team he helped put on the map both locally and nationally -- bought him out of the final seven years of his monster 11-year contract. So the impact wasn't quite as dramatic as if he'd been traded midseason or something of that nature. The Lightning sent him his equipment so he didn't have to return to the St. Pete Times Forum and confront the many memories he created there.
There was, in fact, a bit of a disconnect from the enormity of the situation.
But when he returned to his house in Tampa several weeks ago, it truly sunk in that the page had been turned both for him and the Lightning.
Elliotte Friedman of CBC recaps what has gone on with Cleary over the last few days.
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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