Kukla's Korner Hockey
From J.P Press at AOL Sports Fanhouse,
With the Summer Olympics nearly underway, forgive us hockey fans for not yet being fully in the spirit of the Games.
Michael Phelps is impressive and all, but we prefer our water frozen and skated upon. Field hockey? Close, but no cigar. And while the NHL is not without its divers, we prefer our reverse three-and-a-half somersaults to be accompanied by unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. “8.8.08” may have meaning to most sports fans, but to puckheads it’s just “the day after Sidney Crosby’s 21st birthday.”
With a little finesse, however, there are hockey tie-ins, even in Beijing in August. And come September? Well, Shanghai will become Hockeytown…
San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has signed left wing Ryane Clowe to a one-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Clowe, 25, was limited to 15 games due to a knee injury he suffered in Columbus on Oct. 29. He returned to the line-up with only four games remaining in the regular season and finished with eight points (three goals, five assists).
In the 2008 playoffs, Clowe finished tied for the teams goal scoring lead (five) and his nine points was ranked second on the Sharks.
—via press release
from Ryan Garner of the Vallejo Times-Herald,
Two months from the start of the NHL season I’m trying to see the logic in the San Jose Sharks’ recent offseason moves, but I just can’t.
Crafting a Stanley Cup-winning team carries a high degree of difficulty; almost as difficult as touching your ear with your elbow. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson deserves credit for molding a competitive roster, but his latest moves indicate a growing sense of desperation that could have adverse effects on the franchise for years to come….
In short, when you consider what the Sharks have given up to stabilize a defense that wasn’t the team’s most pressing need to begin with, Doug Wilson took the incredibly long way around to make the team worse down the road, limit his salary flexibility, and sacrifice more of the future in pursuit of the Sharks’ first Stanley Cup.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Doug Wilson, Ken Holland, Dale Tallon and Doug Armstrong have spent a lot of time in recent years trying to outsmart each other. We’re talking about three NHL general managers — Wilson with the Sharks, Holland with the Red Wings, Tallon with the Blackhawks — and Armstrong, an ex-GM in Dallas who is now part of the Blues’ front office.
No matter. The four of them are heading to Ireland next week, leaving families behind to knock a golf ball around some of that country’s fine courses.
From Sabina Lam at The Hockey News,
Jim Kyte was like any other tough guy in the NHL – big, tough and intimidating – except for one thing; he was legally deaf.
When Kyte entered the league in 1982-83, he became the first legally deaf player to suit up in the NHL. He was also the first player to wear hearing aids while playing and required a special helmet to protect them.
Kyte was born with perfect hearing, but discovered he was hearing impaired when he was three years old because of a hereditary hearing deficiency that cause his audio nerve to degenerate.
from Mike Swift of the Mercury News,
From cultivating gays in San Francisco to trying to make San Jose the launch pad to promote ice hockey in China, Bay Area pro sports teams are facing the demographic fact that the biggest growth in their fan base isn’t necessarily among fans with a lifelong affinity for their sport….
Recognizing that demographic fact, the four mainstream professional leagues are trying to expand their demographic base. They are cultivating female, Latino, Asian, and gay and lesbian fans; signing international stars who can forge lucrative immigrant connections in a team’s home market; and even planting teams outside the United States.
The Sharks are following that last route. San Jose’s NHL franchise will have an affiliated pro team in Shanghai this fall with North American and Asian players - the China Sharks - playing teams from Japan and Korea.
The goal, said Sharks President and Chief Executive Greg Jamison, is to seed hockey interest in the world’s most populous nation.
from the Register Pajaronian,
Tuning his mandolin and setting up microphones for his evening show at the Bargetto Winery in Soquel Thursday, Mark Smith — better known to San Jose Sharks fans as simply ‘Smitty’ — hardly resembled the player fans had come to love during his six years with the team.
Gone is the teal-and-purple-dyed Mohawk he once proudly sported. Gone is the mean streak that earned him 97 penalty minutes one season. Gone is the blue-collar, tough-as-nails fourth-line center who earned his way into the NHL with more black eyes and bruises than goals and assists….
This is the new Smitty — the version 2.0 Smitty. And it’s who he wants to be now.
“I think moving to California and being in the lifestyle and the surroundings, you kind of take that on yourself,” he said behind a pair of red-rimmed sunglasses. “It impacted me in a big way. I’ve always liked the acoustic guitar and being able to just take off and go to the beach and play. But yeah, it definitely contradicts the way I play the game of hockey.”
from Drew Remenda of the Seagate Broadcaster Blog,
One aspect of coaching that will keep you up at night and dominate many meetings with your Assistants is line combinations. I’m sure Todd McLellan has already gone through a notebook scribbling down line combinations and defence pairings as well as Penalty Kill and Powerplay Units. So being a (very) ex-coach I thought I’d try my hand. Of course line combos are open to discussion and criticism.Unlike the real Sharks Coach I will try to explain why I am putting these guys together.
MARLEAU THORNTON CHEECHOO -I know RW tried this last year but he didn’t stick with them long enough- It gives the Sharks a Zetterberg\Datsyuk line if Todd can sell Joe and Patty on a new and necessary style of play.
from David Pollak at Working the Corners,
According to the G.M., he and (Ryane) Clowe sat down and talked about the future during the big left wing’s rehab period from that serious knee injury. The conversation took place before Clowe returned to action and at that time, they shook hands on a two-year deal at a mutually agreed-upon salary.
Wilson thought the handshake settled things, but apparently not. Which, of course, raises questions about what advice Clowe may now be getting from his agent. I tried to find that out today, but the agent, Paul Cobeil, chose not to comment — because “we don’t have a deal right now.”
from the CP via the Sporting News,
“We played five good playoff games out of 13,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson told The Canadian Press on Thursday. “That’s not acceptable. We decided to make some changes.”
Say hello Todd McLellan, Rob Blake, Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich.
“We’ve added four people and every one of them has won a Stanley Cup,” said Wilson.
The message couldn’t be any more clear than being slapped on the head with a two-by-four. Yes, the Sharks have a talented roster led by the likes of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo but the group needed a little push to get over the hump.
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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