Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
Which brings us to Jordan Staal who, according to rumors, is related to Eric in some fashion.
He’s a restricted free agent after this season. How does he get his first big pay day?
Does he need to hit the 30 goal/60 point mark? Does he essentially need to be Ryan Malone’s replacement on one of the first two lines? Does he need to ride shotgun on the wing of Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin? Does he need continue his sterling defensive play?
If you ask us, the answer is yes to all these questions. This is why we expect a big season out of Staal.
from Kevn Allen of Mucking & Grinding,
Staal said he understands why Therrien plays him on the third line, “he believes it’s a better fit at center for me and we were winning games.”
He hasn’t even talked to Therrien about moving up permanently to the wing. “But for my future I believe I’m a top six guy and I want to play up there,” he said. “I want to fit somewhere in that puzzle. Hopefully I can stick around in Pittsburgh and find a good spot.”
From the Pittsburgh Penguins,
As a show of their appreciation for tremendous fan support, Penguins players once again hand-delivered season tickets to 35 season ticket-holders throughout the Pittsburgh area. Also this year, head coach Michel Therrien joined Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Marc-Andre Fleury, Pascal Dupuis, Sergei Gonchar, Jeff Taffe, Brooks Orpik, Maxime Talbot and Tyler Kennedy in making stops around Western Pa. to distribute season tickets.
“I don’t think there are a lot of teams that do this in any sport. It’s a pretty unique thing we do. As players, we appreciate it and it’s a way to kind of give back more on a personal level. I think people appreciate that,” Crosby said.
from the CP,
NHL star Sidney Crosby leads the list of Nova Scotians honoured Thursday with the Order of Nova Scotia.
Crosby, who recently turned 21, is the youngest person to receive the award which recognizes those who’ve made “significant contributions to the province and the country.”
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Unlike the defending champion Detroit Red Wings, the Penguins lost several key players in the offseason — moves which can have an adverse effect on team chemistry this season….
Recent Cup finalists unable to keep their rosters intact fail to return to the big dance the following year. Even losing several lesser lights can have a potentially adverse effect on team chemistry. With their established young stars the Penguins should remain a dominant club this season but it remains to be seen if their new players can mesh well with the rest of the roster and help them return to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Three keys in my opinion are Crosby, Malkin and Fleury. How they go, so do the Penguins of 2008-09.
from Mike Toth of Sportsnet,
With all the garbage I’ve been eating this summer, I shouldn’t be trusting my gut. But something tells me the Pittsburgh Penguins are headed for a huge fall. The darlings of the NHL last year when they gave Detroit all it could handle in the Cup final, the Pens go into the new season missing some key pieces to the puzzle. Marian Hossa and Ryan Malone are gone and key defenceman Ryan Whitney will miss the first three to five months with a knee problem. To make up for their missing offence, the Penguins are counting on getting some big minutes and big goals out of the mercurial Miroslav Satan, who lit the lamp just 15 times for the Islanders last season.
more NHL bits…
from Dan Stefano of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Whitney’s troubles aside, Therrien was pleased with the results of a busy offseason for the Penguins, which saw fan favorites Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts leave for Tampa Bay, veteran forwards Matt Cooke and Miroslav Satan come to Pittsburgh and young stars Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fluery sign long-term deals.
“We really concentrate on our young players as the core group of this team, and the future looks really bright,” Therrien said….
“Compared to years in the past, when we have seven or eight exhibition games, which gives you a chance to have more young players to participate in those exhibition games, that’s going to be a bit tougher this year,” Therrien said. “We only have four exhibition games, so I’m going to concentrate a lot on players that are really close to making it to the NHL.”
from Empty Netters,
How much will the Penguins miss Ryan Whitney as he recuperates from his foot injury? You be the judge. Take a look at the top point totals by defenseman the past two seasons:
9. Lubomir Visnovsky, Kings GP 151 G 26 A 73 PTS 99
9. Ryan Whitney GP 157 G 26 A 73 PTS 99
11. Kimmo Timonen, Predators/Flyers GP 160 G 21 A 78 PTS 99
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
(Ryan) Whitney, whose point total dropped from 59 in 2006-07 to 40 last season, underwent surgery to correct a left-foot misalignment Friday in Charlotte. Full recovery from the procedure, an osteotomy, usually takes three to five months.
“I just couldn’t live on one healthy foot anymore, let alone try to skate,” Whitney said Thursday, on the eve of his surgery. “We’ve tried everything to avoid surgery because we knew it would mean missing a chunk of the season. But nothing worked.”
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
added 9:22am, Ray Shero comments on the surgery,
“Ryan has been bothered by this condition in his foot for some time,” Shero said. “He consulted with a number of specialists in an effort to correct the problem without surgery, but it was ultimately determined that surgery was the best path to take – for his general well-being, and for his career.
“Obviously, he will miss the start of the 2008-09 season, but the doctors tell us he will be able to play pain-free when he returns to the lineup this season.”
Mario Lemieux said the Penguins were never serious about leaving Pittsburgh.
“It wasn’t a possibility,” Lemieux said during a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for Pittsburgh’s new $290 million hockey arena.
“We had to do a few things to put pressure on the city and the state, but our goal was to remain here in Pittsburgh all the way. Those trips to Kansas City and Vegas and other cities was just to go, and have a nice dinner and come back.”
-more at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“This is an exciting day for the Penguins and our region, and we will be proud to be the anchor tenant of this new multi-purpose facility,” said Lemieux. “We look forward to opening the NHL season here in October 2010.”
more and check out the fly-through video below…
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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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