Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette,
Regardless of how management classifies him, it seems extremely unlikely that Esposito will spend this winter with the Penguins.
They have a surplus of NHL-caliber talent up front, so there is no need to force-feed the league to Esposito instead of sending him back to the junior league Quebec Remparts.
“Just like everyone else, you want to make the team, but if I don’t make this team this year, I’m still young,” Esposito said. “I want to come in here and learn a lot and we’ll see what happens.”
No matter what transpires the next few weeks, Esposito figures to take at least one enduring memory out of this camp: He is expected to be in the lineup when the Penguins face Montreal in a preseason game tonight at 7:38 p.m. at the Bell Centre.
from the Buffalo News,
League executives will gather at Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon to trumpet the first NHL game to be played outdoors in the United States, one that should shatter the league’s attendance record. The Sabres will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in the home of the Bills.
NBC, one of the league’s television partners, has been pushing for a marquee New Year’s Day event, Collins said. The holiday is one of the busiest days of the year for television use. It traditionally has been an afternoon of college football bowl games for sports fans, but since the advent of the Bowl Championship Series to determine a national champion, most of the top games are on other days.
The league views that as an ideal time to attract fans.
“It will really build a national and North American platform for the league,” Collins (NHL Sr. VP) said. “There’s a lot of interest in the game.”
more including ticket information…
WNYMedia has learned exclusively that ticket prices for the big event have been set from $10 for the first few rows of the 100 level seating bowl, which are labeled as obstructed view, to $203 for those heated club seats under the overhang.
We obtained a copy of the pricing chart through an unnamed contact, but were unable to reach Sabres PR spokesman Mike Gilbert this afternoon for verification or further comment.
I have had a few folks email me asking about Adam Hall and what his plans were for the upcoming season.
Well, Empty Netters points out he is in the Penguins camp.
Not interested in Hall, still head over to EN for some NHL bits…
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
He’s also aware of the grind of an NHL season after playing in 78 regular-season games, five playoff games, plus nine more games for the bronze-medal Russian squad at the world championships in May—far more games than he had been used to.
That perhaps begs the question of what a more relaxed and confident Malkin can do for an encore in 2007-08 after collecting 33 goals and 85 points to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year last season.
“I feel much stronger this season compared to last year. I think I’m in good shape,” said Malkin, 21, who was the second overall pick in the 2004 draft.
From Eric Duhatchek at the Globe & Mail,
This time around, the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Buffalo Sabres and that too represents an intriguing match-up - although with a 1 p.m. Eastern starting time, it is hard to imagine them fitting in what could be a great legends game beforehand, what with Mario Lemieux and Paul Coffey available on the Penguins’ side and a reunited French Connection leading the way for Buffalo. Nor can anyone underestimate the value of getting Sidney Crosby involved in the project, along with the rest of his exciting, emerging Penguins’ team. Even if the event doesn’t strike a chord, the presence of Sid The Kid will
more… (*the date of the game is Jan 1, 2008)
Empty Netters asked Pens fans to submit their opinions of the new Penguins sweater…
“As a female hockey fan, I applaud any company that finally makes a jersey that comes in a size small so female fans can show their team spirit - in the team colors (not a ridiculous pink version) in a size that does not overwhelm us.
If the players like the new uniforms and they represent the image of the team well, there shouldn’t be any whining by the non-players. I think the minor changes to the striping and the sleeves jazz it up a bit. They don’t make that much of a change, nor are they completely out of place. We have our trusty skating penguin logo and our black and gold. What more could you want?...”
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Of course, Shero will also be watching his young stars such as Staal, Malkin, Whitney and Fleury—if, for no other reason, to see how they respond to raised expectations.
“These guys are still young players,” Shero said. “Look at Crosby last year. He took his summer to get better, improve a few things, and he did.
“There are areas where these younger players need to improve upon to get better ... but it is not a one-year window here.”
Unlike this time last season, though, the Penguins’ window of opportunity is definitely open.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
The farmyard rink is pretty much gone now. The chain-link fencing that kept stray pucks in play and the wooden poles that held the outdoor lights have been taken down. Only a few rotten boards remain on the rich northwestern Ontario soil that lies near the slope of Candy Mountain.
“There’s really nothing there,” Linda Staal says of the rink her husband built. Besides, she has a couple of sick boys at home. Sore throats. “Let’s go somewhere else for a coffee,” she suggests.
And with that, Henry and Linda Staal, parents to a Stanley Cup champion, two world champions, a two-time world junior champion and a promising forward in the Ontario Hockey League, sit down with a reporter in a setting so suited to their lifestyle it could be put to canvas and entitled Canadian Gothic.
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
As a show of their appreciation for tremendous fan support, Pittsburgh Penguins players hand-delivered season tickets to 24 season ticket-holders throughout the Pittsburgh area.
Sidney Crosby poses for a picture in the kitchen of one Penguins season ticket-holder.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Ryan Whitney, Colby Armstrong and Maxime Talbot made the deliveries to the fans, who were selected at random.
“It was nice. It was nice to see the reaction on people’s faces,” Crosby said. “Everyone appreciated it; it was fun for me and for the rest of the guys to go and interact with people who support us so much. Some of the people have been season ticket-holders for 30 years. So, this was nice for us to do and to say thanks personally.”
continued with video…
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