Kukla's Korner Hockey
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will be held out of the start of training camp, it was announced today by Pittsburgh Penguins Executive Vice President and General Manager Jim Rutherford.
Rutherford said the decision was made as a precaution after both players suffered injuries while preparing for camp.
from Rob Rossi of he Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
No team in this city is better at controlling its message than the Penguins, so I have to believe the messages management has been sending behind the scenes are the ones they want out there.
Crosby's been crushed by the burden of being Sidney Crosby.
Malkin needs to become a better leader.
Ray Shero was too close to his players.
Dan Bylsma ran a country club.
It's time to change the culture.
Now, that might be a fair point, but accountability is a tough sell from a franchise with owners who only take questions when they're trying to sound like they've been paying close attention....
I'm also pretty skeptical of the overly layered management structure working out the way the Penguins think it could.
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
While Crosby didn’t necessarily anticipate an offseason quite as chaotic as the one the Penguins experienced this summer — when general manager Ray Shero, coach Dan Bylsma and assistant coaches Tony Granato and Todd Reirden were fired and a number of established players left the organization — he figured a fifth consecutive playoff loss to a lower-seeded opponent might have major repercussions.
“I knew, obviously, everyone wasn’t pleased with the way things happened,” Crosby said after an informal workout Wednesday at Consol Energy Center. “At that point, you don’t know what’s going to happen and you know there are going to be changes, but to what extent, I didn’t really even think about it.
“I knew everyone was going to have to answer for it, so to speak. It’s just something you have to deal with when you don’t win, and the expectation is [high]. It’s never a fun time.”
Bylsma has been replaced by Mike Johnston, who will be Crosby’s fourth coach in the NHL. He broke in under Eddie Olczyk before playing for Michel Therrien and Bylsma.
His relationship with Johnston is in its embryonic stages, but Crosby seems impressed by the way Johnston has approached his first few months on the job, citing the new coach’s “calm demeanor” and the way he has tried to connect with his new players in the offseason....
“Hockey is all the same language once you get on the ice, but I think he wants to get to know guys personally. It was great by him to do that.”
from Micholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
He coached in world juniors, world championships and an Olympics. He became associate coach for two NHL teams, the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings, and head coach and general manager of a major junior team, the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.
Now, after 35 years of work, at 57 years of age, he has his first NHL head coaching job. He is coaching Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
“People say, ‘Well, you finally got to where you wanted to go,’ ” said Johnston this week in his office at Consol Energy Center. “I never, ever really viewed it that way.”
Johnston did have NHL ambitions, of course. Early in his career, he wrote letters to NHL teams. He received one response, from Canucks GM Pat Quinn, who didn’t offer anything but encouragement. Quinn said he would keep his name in mind.
But Johnston said realistically his ambitions were always smaller – to succeed where he was and climb the next rung on the ladder. It wasn’t until he joined the Canadian national team that he really thought about coaching in the NHL.
Not to tie together the narrative too neatly, but Johnston will take the same approach with the Penguins when training camp opens Sept. 19. Enjoy the journey. Focus on the process. Prepare, so when the big time comes, you’re ready.
via the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Daniel Carcillo to a professional tryout contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
Carcillo, 29, originally broke into the professional ranks with the Penguins organization after being drafted by Pittsburgh in the third round (73rd overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft. He played two seasons with the Penguins’ American Hockey League affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, from 2005-07, tallying 54 points (32G-22A) and 494 penalty minutes in 103 regular-season games.
The 6-foot, 200-pound Carcillo has played nine NHL seasons, beginning with the Arizona Coyotes in in 2006-07. Since then, he has gone on to suit up for the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
Recently, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford indicated that the club’s starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury would enter the 2014-15 season without a contract extension.
Rutherford said it was not an immediate priority to re-sign the 29-year-old netminder, who is heading into the last year of a seven-year, $35 million deal. His agent, Allan Walsh, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he had no problem with that, saying the decision was “of no consequence at all.”
But that doesn’t mean that the lack of a new deal won’t be in the back of Fleury’s mind when he enters training camp next month. His friend and former Penguins teammate Brent Johnson can only imagine the impact that situation might have if he were in Fleury’s skates.
“I believe, if that were me, I’d probably take it worse than Marc [has],” Johnson told ESPN.com in a recent telephone conversation. “It could weigh on your mind. I’m not saying it will, but it could.”
The 37-year-old Johnson, who backed up Fleury for three years and knows him about as well as anyone, thinks Fleury will handle it like a true professional. A player that Johnson describes as “outgoing” and “affable,” Fleury will likely keep any anxiety or unease he may have about the situation private, Johnson said. You won’t see him spouting off to the media or griping behind closed doors, he said. Fleury will want to make his statement in the crease, instead.
from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Johnston talked with Crosby in Pittsburgh, and then again in Nova Scotia — Johnston is from Dartmouth, Crosby from Cole Harbour — and was impressed with how Crosby handles himself off the ice.
“Look, if you want to have a leader in sports, the first thing I think the leader has to do is set an example,” Johnston said. “He sets a great example.
“You don't ever question his work ethic. You don't ever question his commitment. For a guy his age coming into the NHL and carrying the load that he's carried, I believe he's done a phenomenal job.
“Do we have to lessen the load? Yes.”
Johnston pointed to the importance of veteran leaders such as forwards Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis and Craig Adams, as well as defenseman Paul Martin.
Another key part will be letting fellow franchise center Evgeni Malkin and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury be themselves.
“We just have to lean on those guys' ability to lead,” Johnston said. “And the guys with the Fleury- and Malkin-type energy and humor, let them balance the group out a little bit.”
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Dan Bylsma hasn't gone anywhere. He has no plans to anytime soon. Pittsburgh is home and will be through hockey season, unless an NHL job opens.
Better be the right job, though.
Running the Penguins' bench for 478 games imparted the importance of stability upon Bylsma.
“I think we were a model,” Bylsma said over a wide-ranging conversation that lasted more than four hours. “We had stability, great stability. From ownership, from within the organization, with our players. I was fortunate to coach in a stable situation, and I shared that vision with my general manager — and I coached for a great general manager.
“If Ray Shero wasn't the best GM in hockey, he was definitely top three. That's what I believe.”
Penguins ownership stopped believing in Shero long before CEO David Morehouse fired him May 16. Different sides have different details about what happened and where it went wrong. The only consensus to emerge after the confounding crash is that nobody was happy with where things were.
Shero and Bylsma always figured last season was one of transition. They had a plan for this offseason. It was an intriguing one, but that job belongs to others now.
via Ryan Toohey of the Naples Daily News,
Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby and a handful other NHL players wrapped up a week of training at Germain Arena on Friday.
Rookie of the Year Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, John Tavares and Kyle Okopso of the New York Islanders, and David Clarkson of the Toronto Maple Leafs also have been in town.
The star-studded group of players traveled to Southwest Florida to train with performance coach Darryl Belfry.
“The environment here is nice – it’s relaxed,” Crosby said. “You’re able to recharge a little bit here before the season starts."
Below, watch Crosby talk about the training the players went through. Of course, if the video does not play, just click the Naples Daily News link.
Many of you know Mario Lemieux had a great hockey career (hockey-reference.com) and was one of the greatest players to ever play in the NHL.
So on this slow summer night enjoy the 24 minute presentation on Mario Lemieux.
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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