Kukla's Korner Hockey
"They love sports, they've always loved the Steelers and now they love the Pirates, and Mario [Lemieux] brought the fans here [to the games] in Pittsburgh for hockey. So, I never really had any issues with the fans. They supported us so well over those years that I was here. We made the playoffs every year, so they were even more excited about the hockey here.
"They're crazy sports fans and that's good."
-Jaromir Jagr on the fans in Pittsburgh. More from Wes Crosby (no joke) at NHL.com.
“There may be a desire or a gut reaction or an outside need to say you need to blow it up and change this, change that. I don’t think that breaking up this group of players – they’re quality people – is something anyone would want to do. It’s a team that’s won more games than almost every other team in the National Hockey League and more playoff games than any other team the last seven or eight years. There’s disappointment by not winning and going to the finals and winning the Stanley Cup, but the group I think is happy to be together to try to do it again.”
-Dan Bylsma, head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. More on the Pens from John Kekis of the Globe and Mail.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Penguins didn't come to West Point for a three-day perspective-gaining session with a couple of practices at Tate Rink mixed in. It's a byproduct of closing out their training camp at the academy, and it's part of what general manager Ray Shero and coach Dan Bylsma want the players to get out of their Army experience.
The Penguins are here to get three in good practices and bond as a team before turning their focus to the regular season, which for them begins Thursday at Consol Energy Center against the New Jersey Devils. However, Shero and Bylsma also brought the team to West Point so the players could experience the history on this campus, what it means and what it stands for.
They're being hosted by the Army hockey team, a group of 27 cadets who may soon find themselves in real battles, not the kind they get into on the ice during a hockey game.
"They leave here and they get deployed," Shero said. "With them, it's 'Where is your teammate?' 'Oh, he's in Afghanistan.' 'Oh, he's in Iraq.'
"It's not about our team, it's about us as individuals and getting the perspective on life," he continued. "To understand what is going on in the world and the sacrifices being talked about, I think it's important when you talk about our Armed Forces to get that realization of what it's about."
read on and watch a video of the Penguins first day at West Point below...
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Pittsburgh Penguins won't know how long goaltender Tomas Vokoun will be out until he visits with his doctors early next week, general manager Ray Shero said Friday. Vokoun had emergency surgery last week because of a blood clot in his pelvis.
Vokoun's agent, Allan Walsh, wrote on his Twitter account Friday that the goalie is expected to start light workouts next week.
"I met with Tomas [Thursday] and we'll have more of an update probably next week," Shero told NHL.com. "Fortunately for him he dodged a bullet. Luckily he was at the rink and we got him to the hospital so the procedures went well. We'll just have to wait and see what the next steps are going to be and go from there. Our concerns are just with him and his health, but it was good to see him [Thursday]."
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 Rob Rossi of Chipped Ice,
...notable is that Zatkoff (now considered the back-up goalie) must clear waivers to be on the roster by the regular-season set date (Sept. 30). That is not anticipated to be a problem.
Also, the Penguins already had to get under the NHL’s $64.3 million salary cap, so signing a veteran goalie would make that even more of a challenge.
The Penguins have the option of clearing a chunk of, but not full, cap space by moving one of their players on one-way contracts. Carolina still has a portion of winger Jussi Jokinen’s salary on its cap after trading him to the Penguins last season.
An NHL club can retain salary on three contracts and up to 15 percent of the cap ($9.6 million).
Unclear is management’s feeling on that kind of move – especially with the possibility that a season-long absence by Vokoun would provide an opportunity for a cap space-saving long-term injury (LTI) designation.
Still, this situation is not ideal and could significantly change the outlook for the Penguins.
Hoping the recovery goes well for Vokoun.
Gary Bettman discusses the Stadium Series game at Soldier Field in Chicago between the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The nickname no longer seems appropriate: Sid is not a Kid anymore.
He may look like a kid with those large eyes and that wide, familiar smile. He may be only 26 years old, young to some of us, but not necessarily by sporting standards.
But here’s the startling number when it comes to Sidney Crosby, who sometimes, just not often enough, has been the best player in all of hockey: This is Year 9 of his National Hockey League career. And somehow that seems in need of recount.
For all kinds of reasons, this still seems like the formative stages of his career. He still feels like a resource untapped. Like the best has yet to come for Crosby.
And maybe it will. Maybe this year as the NHL returns to a full 82-game season. Maybe this is the year of Sid The Adult.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com