Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Paolo Boivin of the Arizona Republic,
Maybe it’s the Zamboni fumes clouding better judgment, but postseason inclusion no longer sounds far-fetched thanks to a blueprint that hints this team has a much better sense of direction. By trading Nick Boynton and Keith Ballard for Olli Jokinen, the Coyotes acquired a No. 1 center without giving up their best offensive talent. Other decisions, including nurturing young talent instead of banking on fading stars, should begin to pay dividends this season.
No storyline is more intriguing than the potential of top line Mueller, Doan and center Jokinen.
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
Now Shane Doan and Olli Jokinen, unexpectedly thrown together as linemates in a blockbuster deal this summer, hope to use their skills - and unleash years of pent-up frustration - to get the Coyotes into the playoffs for the first time since 2002. To accomplish that task, both will have to be offensive powerhouses.
A trip to the postseason also would do a lot to take the 800-pound hockey puck off their backs. Here are two of their numbers: Jokinen, 723 games played and no playoff appearances; Doan, 396 since his last blip on the playoff radar in 2002.
More than 1,000 games to look back on, a lot of “what-if” scenarios, but this newest and biggest version of the desert’s Dynamic Duo has its sights set on making this a season to remember.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It is uncanny how many times a coach’s IQ is directly related to his goaltender’s average or save percentage. Suddenly, Gretzky – who rose more than a few eyebrows by making the transition from greatest player of all time to NHL coach without any meaningful experience – looked a lot more accomplished and comfortable behind the bench.
It helps too that some of their drafting is starting to pay off. The Coyotes expect Kyle Turris, the third player chosen in the 2007 draft, to play this season as their No.2 centre, behind Olli Jokinen, acquired from Florida to be their No.1 man. Their presence, along with the underrated Hanzal, gives the team the sort of strength down the middle that Gretzky and his various running mates provided in their playing days.
Darren Dreger during Leafs Lunch on AM640 reports John Muckler is in Phoenix today and will be joining the Coyotes as a consultant.
from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic,
Word gets around the NHL quickly on which teams provide ample opportunities, and when goalie Al Montoya was traded to the Coyotes last year, he embraced it wholeheartedly.
“I was excited,” said Montoya, who was part of the Fredrik Sjostrom trade to the New York Rangers that also brought Marcel Hossa to Phoenix. “It was my first trade, so coming here to an organization where they look to prospects to come up and do things, I felt ready to play in the NHL and ready to make that move.
“This is a good opportunity. They told me that to come out and do what I can, and they’re going to give me a shot. So it’s encouraging, but at the same time you’ve got to do what you have to do. New York was a great place, but I wanted to be playing, and this is a great place to play.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
While the judge has cleared the way for Frost to go to Phoenix, the Coyotes emphatically say they want no part of the disgraced former agent, who will stand trial on sexual exploitation charges next month.
Phoenix general manager Don Maloney said yesterday Frost will not be allowed anywhere near the Phoenix camp. “I can’t be strong enough about this, we don’t want any part of David Frost. He is not welcome here.
“This is the first I’ve heard about this but I can tell you without a doubt, I don’t want him here, we don’t want him here, he will not be allowed here.”
from Mike Brophy of the Hockey News,
And if you are anything like me, these three teams are worth keeping an eye on:
Los Angeles Kings
Maybe it’s because I believe GM Dean Lombardi is on the right track, but I just hope ownership in Los Angeles has patience and allows Lombardi to follow through on building a team I believe is very close to being a competitor.
read on and the other teams are Edmonton and Phoenix…
“I don’t have any personal goal,” he said. “I think if I bring my best every night, do my best, the numbers are gonna be there. The bottom line is to win and help this team to win hockey games.
“It takes 100-plus points to be in position for the playoffs, so it means 50 wins and it’s got to start the first day of training camp.”
-more from Olli Jokinen at the Arizona Republic…
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
When you make a living working on Wall Street, these stories can be useful.
So he watched as guests explained the dramatic changes they had made in their lives to find dream jobs. And it got Sulliman thinking.
When he wasn’t raising five daughters with his wife, Barbara, he was selling commercial insurance….
Sulliman confided in Maloney, who is now his brother-in-law. He said he wanted to get back in the game. He’d coach anywhere. Junior hockey. College hockey. He didn’t care; he just wanted back in the game.
Sulliman still had plenty of connections and planned phone calls to current general managers such as Lou Lamoriello and Paul Holmgren.
Maloney told him to wait. He didn’t say why—just wait.
“(Maloney’s) a chess player; he’s always thinking ahead,” Sulliman says.
from Daniel Carcillo as told to Steve Greenberg of the Sporting News via MSNBC,
Here are his 10 tips for surviving and thriving as a middleweight fighter…
Even a bleeder has to have thick skin
I know hockey fights supposedly are about showing up — not who wins and who loses — but when you get beat up, it’s pretty tough to swallow. It’s embarrassing, especially when it happens in front of 18,000 people and the 40 guys on both benches. Bouncing back is the biggest thing. It’s like being a closer in baseball.
Update 3:18pm ET (alanah): Just a quick FYI about this article—bear in mind that it was originally published back in May. MSNBC picked it up without noting the original publication date.
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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