Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In a year when the Red Wings got bigger, tougher and stronger — Todd Bertuzzi, their latest acquisition, is scheduled to make his debut Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets — they took a calculated risk by bringing back Hasek for one last hurrah. So far, his brittle bones and problematic groins willing, it’s worked out.
“Spending last summer in Toronto, people were almost laughing at us,” recalled Kris Draper, the team’s veteran centre, about the Red Wings’ off-season moves. “I was taking the brunt of it in the summer over us signing Dom. People were saying, ‘what’s your team thinking?’ Everyone kind of forgot, until his injury at the Olympics, he was as good as any goalie in the league.
from David Amber at ESPN,
In this week’s Facing Off, the Flames spark plug tells us what it’s like to get beat up by Jarome Iginla, what role he played in nearly getting Rory Fitzpatrick sent to the All-Star Game and how he helped put Clarkson University on the hockey map.
Q: Most veterans don’t have to room with anyone on the road, but since you got traded midseason, do you have to?
A: No, I’m solo. No one wants to room with me anyway, I talk too much. They won’t get any sleep. The guys let me eat with them and then I go back to my room and watch TV by myself [laughs].
Q: What do you watch?
A: I am a reality television junkie. I watch every reality show out there. I’ve just started watching the new one where they’re looking for the next Pussycat Doll. I can’t get enough. I don’t know what’s wrong with me [laughs].
The new World Wide Web of Hockey page we introduced a few weeks ago has been expanding daily with the many submissions we’ve received. In addition to daily updates, we’ve added one major new section: “World Hockey” links, with sites in English and various other languages. I expect many of you will find it entertaining and useful.
While many readers have my gratitude for all the new submissions, I’d especially like to thank two people. First is Chris in Manchester, England, who provided us with a ton of great UK sites. Second is Drazen in Croatia, who was kind enough to suggest a great page, plus tell us a bit about what it’s like to be a hockey fan in Croatia. Amazing.
from Daniel Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Gregory Parker waits for his wife outside the ladies room, wearing a John LeClair jersey and a don’t-ask expression.
He’s 49, with silver hair slicked back and dark, narrow eyes. He drives a truck at the Wawa plant, and goes back with the Flyers to the ‘70s, when his grandfather rented out his place in Wallingford to goaltender Rick St. Croix.
“What’s the mood?” he asks, repeating the question in a way that suggests he’d rather be shooting pucks at you. But then he surprises, answering with a good humor that goes with having nothing at stake.
“It’s been like watching our son’s high school team. We’re in the development stage, but I’m a Philadelphian, so I’ve learned to accept it. We’re . . . “
read on for the mood of the Flyer fans…
from Stan Fischler at The Maven,
• If Ryan Smyth bolts from the Islanders at season’s end - and there’s no guarantee that he will - the ex-Oiler won’t return to Edmonton. If Smyth goes west, Calgary will be his destination. However, we’d rather see him back on the Island.
• No expansion is being planned by the NHL - at least not at this moment - but Las Vegas keeps coming up in conversations with hockey people. One apocryphal tale has Sin City so desperate for a big-league hockey team that big-time casinos would combine to ensure sellouts for every single game.
• With all the fuss about Ted Saskin, one fact that most have overlooked is that the union’s leader is innocent until proved otherwise although frequent sinbin-sinner, Chris Chelios would have the world think otherwise.
It looks like good news for Caps fans at Japer’s Rink…
it looks as if Caps’ uber-prospect Nick Backstrom is ready to begin his NHL career next fall.
Tyler at NHL Digest asks for your help…
I have just been informed that one of my photos has been named a finalist for the Oilers Fan Photo competition.
I am asking for people to help me out by voting for my photo at the Oilers website.
get more details at this thread in the KK Forums…
Bethany wants to know…
I’m just curious…I want some reasons here…it’s pretty common for everyone to hate the Leafs…aside from the Leafs fans. Anyway throw some reasons my way!
from the National Post,
“It’s not that fast,” Iginla said yesterday, when confronted with the most over-used defence of those who dish out dangerous hits.
“It’s not that fast. Guys know what they’re doing on 90-plus per cent of the hits.”
On almost every one of those hits, the player throwing the check recognizes that an opponent is in a dangerous spot. Many will take their foot off the gas.
“Not everybody does. I’ll be honest,” Iginla said. “Some guys, if you’re leaned over, your head’s sticking out there, a lot of guys will pass that hit up. There are some guys though, who will take that [hit].”
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Not only will the Penguins players have their names over their stalls, but the coaches’ room will have a label on it with a Penguins logo, as will the training room and the video room.
Heinze also hangs signs bearing the slogans that are prominent around Mellon Arena; sayings such as “Attention to detail,” “Pride,” “Respect,” “Commitment,” and “Together Everyone Achieves More.”
“When we go on the road, I try to make their experience as comfortable as possible,” Heinze said. “I want them to walk in and see the Penguins logos everywhere. It really does dress up all the visiting locker rooms and I like it. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it.”
from the Calgary Sun,
Call this one a gift from one of the greats.
The Calgary Flames can thank Dominik Hasek’s tribute to Keanu Reeves last night for helping the hosts out of a tailspin that threatened their playoff chances….
While Hasek tried to defend his juvenile actions after the game by suggesting he was walloped by someone’s elbow as two players fought for goalmouth position, a furious coach Mike Babcock would have none of it.
“It wasn’t interference at all—our goalie tried to draw the penalty and he dove and they shot it in the net,” spat Babcock, who said he’s warned Hasek of such well-known hijinks in the past.
via the Tennessean,
The Predators have certainly seen their share of controversy over the past few days, with forward Jordin Tootoo getting suspended and Dallas president Jim Lites firing a broadside of criticism at the organization.
That’s okay with Trotz, who figures a team has to have achieved a certain status if it’s begun to irritate opponents.
“When you’re not a threat to anybody, people let you be,’’ Trotz said. “Now when you’re a threat to people, that’s where you start getting the rivalries. It’s good to be hated. You’ve got to be doing something right.’‘
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 firstname.lastname@example.org