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Category: Tampa-Bay-Lightning

Gaining Respect In Tampa

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

“The past two or three years, there’s been so many negative headlines about our team. I think that’s in the past now,” (Martin) St. Louis told ESPN.com. “It’s nice to be a Tampa Bay Lightning again. That means a lot.”

The reason for that optimism seemed perpetually on the move. Rookie GM Steve Yzerman chatted quietly with new owner Jeff Vinik and his management staff while watching players go through their first on-ice drills of training camp.

He met with the media.

He chatted with players and coaches.

“What Steve brings is a lot of respect back to the franchise,” St. Louis said.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Facing a Decade Without the Playoffs, Florida’s Rebuild Goes On and On

Futility in Sunrise has persisted for far too long, with the Florida Panthers on the brink of a dubious record after nine consecutive non-playoff seasons. Incoming general manager Dale Tallon has moved quickly in putting his stamp on the team with several transactions since taking over, but nothing to this point appears bold enough to turn his club from last season’s Southeast Division cellar dwellers into a postseason participant.

Sadly, more patience may be in order for long-suffering Panthers fans.

Even so, all is not lost for the NHL’s southernmost franchise, with several key pieces already in place for the future (and others right around the corner) and it isn’t as though the current roster is without talent as is. Still, a couple of major stumbling points remain for the Panthers. The 24 games they will play versus fellow Southeast clubs, three of whom look to be vastly improved and the fourth being the stalwart Washington Capitals, certainly won’t help and the expiring contracts for defenseman Bryan McCabe and goaltender Tomas Vokoun will have to be dealt with (and quite possibly dealt altogether), without either situation becoming a distraction.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+peters, bryan+allen, bryan+mccabe, chris+higgins, dale+tallon, david+booth, dennis+wideman, dmitry+kulikov, erik+gudbranson, gregory+campbell, jacob+markstrom, jason+garrison, kamil+kreps, keith+ballard, marty+reasoner, michael+grabner, michael+repik, nathan+horton, nathan+paetsch, scott+clemmensen, shawn+matthias, stephen+weiss, steve+bernier, tomas+vokoun

Stamkos Taking Nothing For Granted

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In an offseason that has brought significant change to the troubled franchise, one wonders how Stamkos will follow up his breakout season.

But when you talk to Stamkos, you get the sense that this season isn’t so much about riding the wave, but making sure he proves he didn’t just stumble into the NHL hardware department.

“You definitely have to go out and prove that wasn’t a fluke. At least I think I’ve got to do that,” Stamkos told ESPN.com. “I’m pretty fortunate to have players like Vinny [Lecavalier] and Marty [St. Louis] who have been in situations like that before and have still found a way to be consistent, especially Marty. He gets on my case all the time to keep working hard.

“And that’s something I definitely take to heart and I’m proud of and work hard every night. And just because you had a good season last year, you don’t want to take anything for granted.”

After the team’s first day of on-ice workouts Saturday, St. Louis joked that it’s not necessarily his tutelage that’s helped Stamkos, but the kid’s lightning speed (there it is again) and rocket shot.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Carolina’s Push Toward Youth is Both Promising and Perilous

The future is now in Carolina, where the old guard is out, an influx of youth is taking over and everyone is looking to put the injury-plagued woes that ruined things a season ago far, far behind them.

With the retirement of former captain Rod Brind’Amour symbolizing the changing of the guard in Raleigh, which started with Eric Staal succeeding Brind’Amour as team captain in January last season, the process of remolding the club is well underway. The 25-year-old Staal will have some veteran support in his first full year wearing the ‘C’ but Carolina’s heavy reliance on several key youngsters is a make-or-break formula for success this season. If the kids collectively respond to the challenge, the ‘Canes have enough going for them to cause trouble in the Southeast and surprise a lot of people. Some growing pains are sure to be felt, however, in such a transitional year for the franchise and immediate success probably takes a back seat to more long-term achievements.

Avoiding the injury bug has to be high on the list of priorities for a club that holds the unfortunate distinction of hitting the 300 man-games lost to injury milestone a year ago.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anton+babchuk, bobby+sanguinetti, brandon+sutter, brett+carson, bryan+pothier, cam+ward, chad+larose, drayson+bowman, eric+staal, erik+cole, jared+staal, jay+harrison, jeff+skinner, jerome+samson, jim+rutherford, jiri+tlusty, joe+corvo, jonathan+matsumoto, jussi+jokinen, justin+peters, nhl+entry+draft, nhl+previews, oskar+osala, patrick+o'sullivan, ray+whitney, riley+nash, rod+brind'amour, southeast+division, tim+conboy, tim+gleason, tuomo+ruutu, zach+boychuk

Post-Kovalchuk Thrashers Deep on ‘D’, Look to New Faces and Young Guns for Offense

For the Atlanta Thrashers, a team with just one playoff appearance in ten National Hockey League seasons (and not a single post-season victory to their credit), the time for a fresh start was clearly at hand.

By first turning a negative into a positive in moving on from superstar sniper Ilya Kovalchuk late last season and then raiding the cabinet of the cap-crunched Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta begins their new era, under both a new general manager and head coach in Rick Dudley and Craig Ramsay, with a wealth of promising youth and several veterans with recent championship experience.

They may no longer boast an individual showstopper but that formula wasn’t producing a consistent winner in Blueland anyway (and that alone rarely does as much anywhere). The post-Kovalchuk Thrashers appear to be headed for greener pastures, though there will be that little issue of replacing his 45+ goals, of course.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: akim+aliu, alex+burmistrov, andrew+ladd, arters+kulda, ben+eager, boris+valabik, brent+sopel, bryan+little, carl+klingberg, chris+mason, christoph+schubert, clarke+macarthur, colby+armstrong, craig+ramsay, dustin+byfuglien, evander+kane, freddy+meyer, fredrik+modin, fredrik+pettersson, ilya+kovalchuk, johan+hedberg, johnny+oduya, mark+popovic, martin+brodeur, marty+reasoner, matt+cooke, maxim+afinogenov, nhl+previews, niclas+bergfors, nigel+dawes, nikolai+antropov, ondrej+pavelec, patrice+cormier, paul+postma, pavel+kubina, rich+peverley, rick+dudley, ron+hainsey, southeast+division, spencer+machacek, tobias+enstrom, todd+white, zach+bogosian

All Ken Holland And Steve Yzerman

from NHL.com,

What is your philosophy to building a successful franchise?

Holland: “Stability. We’ve had the luxury of stability at the ownership level, management level, scouting level and coaching level. Also, in the time I spent with Scotty Bowman, I saw how he valued veteran players. We’ve continued to move our kids slowly and have always had a veteran presence, which has worked for us.”

Yzerman: “You try to bring in the best possible people in all positions, whether they’re players, managers or coaches. I want good people, passionate people, hard-working people and people who know the game. You want players who have skill, who compete hard and are intelligent.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+holland, steve+yzerman

The Bolts Beat, 09/13/10

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, JJ and co-host Mike Corcoran discuss Dan Ellis’ recent Twitter troubles and the many (over?)reactions thereof, look ahead to training camp opening this weekend, Tampabaylightning.com contributor, Mark Pukalo, stops by again to discuss some intriguing position battles ahead for the Lightning and the boys have a little extra time to discuss the NFL’s opening weekend.

image

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+hall, brett+clark, dan+ellis, johan+harju, martin+st.+louis, mattias+ohlund, mike+lundin, mike+smith, nate+thompson, nhl+training+camp, niklas+persson, paul+szczechura, pavel+kubina, randy+jones, ryan+malone, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, teddy+purcell, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier

Gagne Gets His Number

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

Nice little story coming out of precamp workouts was how Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Simon Gagne got his No. 12 jersey number from Ryan Malone. It seems Malone just gave it away and, apparently, expected nothing in return. Malone will wear No. 6.

“It showed the class of the guy,” Gagne said Monday after his first skate with his new teammates after 10 seasons with the Flyers. “I heard a lot of great things about him, but by giving No. 12 away that just showed the person he is. I’ll try to buy him dinner on the road this year or something like that. It’s a number I’ve been wearing since I was a kid, so it means a lot to me.”...

After finding out Malone was wearing No. 12, Gagne said he would wear 21, which he wore at the 2002 and ‘06 Olympics in deference to Jarome Iginla. But after Malone spoke to head equipment manager Ray Thill, Gagne got the news Malone was willing to give up the number.

“I said we’re happy to have him on the team,” Malone said. “He’s done some great things with that number and it was time for a change for myself, I thought, so it was no problem at all. I just said with open arms, ‘Come join the team.’ “

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+malone, simon+gagne, simon+gagne

Yzerman In Charge

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,

Twenty-seven years. That’s how long Yzerman spent with the Red Wings, virtually his entire adult life. He grew up as a person and grew into a legend in Detroit, winning three Stanley Cups as the captain and another as an executive. He was immortalized on the side of a building and celebrated in a Kid Rock song. Not only does his No. 19 now hang in the rafters at Joe Louis Arena, but the street outside is named after him. So is the Wings’ 19-game season-ticket plan.

Yzerman didn’t go all misty-eyed on Sunday night when his new team beat his old team, 4-3, after an epic 16-round shootout. He sat on the opposite corner of the arena from the Wings’ brass, as physically far away from his former colleagues as possible, and said he focused on his own players. But he did watch the Wings practice on Saturday morning, and the scene couldn’t help but color his thoughts.

“I looked out and thought, ‘My god, that red and white is a beautiful jersey,’ ” Yzerman said. “I can really appreciate it, and I enjoyed watching. I know a lot of those kids over there. But I’ve got a lot of responsibility. It’s a responsibility I want, and I have to do a good job here.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+yzerman

Ellis’ Twitter Tiff is Simply a Sign of the Times

This is not a story.

Alas, I’ve been forced to write something on the matter because there’s no shortage of lunacy out there right now.

What’s been made of Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Dan Ellis’ recent Twit-roversy is shameful.

How far it’s gone is embarrassing.

And, really, it’s much ado about nothing but, in an effort to talk some sense into the masses, here goes nothing:

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, greg+wyshynski, puck+daddy, twitter

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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