Kukla's Korner Hockey
Scott Burnside of ESPN looks at the Eastern Conference…
New York Rangers: No team made a bigger splash in the free-agent market than the Rangers. And having added twin centers Chris Drury and Scott Gomez, expectations are higher for the Rangers than at any time since their 1994 Stanley Cup win. Drury and Gomez have three Stanley Cup rings between them and give the team terrific depth down the middle. With Brendan Shanahan (29 goals in his first season on Broadway) back, the Rangers should boast two dangerous forward lines to complement sterling goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who was 37-22-8 in his sophomore season in the Rangers nets.
• So, which of Gomez or Drury gets the job of making magic with Jagr?
• Is this no-name defense strong enough to win a Stanley Cup?
• With Weekes gone, does highly touted goaltending prospect Al Montoya get a chance to strut his stuff on the big stage?
much more on all Eastern Conf. teams…
From Lois Kalchman at the Toronto Star,
The idea for STOP came from a single, almost tragic, incident in 1996. Stubbington, a volunteer coach and former referee-in-chief for the Windsor Minor Hockey Association for more than 20 years, was coaching a springtime peewee club when a player was shoved from behind and knocked out.
“We were scared to death,” Stubbington said. “I was shaking and came home that night and thought that this has got to stop. These kids are getting vicious,” he said of the 12 and 13-year-olds. “We have to teach the kids to have more respect for each other.”
Empty Netters asked Pens fans to submit their opinions of the new Penguins sweater…
“As a female hockey fan, I applaud any company that finally makes a jersey that comes in a size small so female fans can show their team spirit - in the team colors (not a ridiculous pink version) in a size that does not overwhelm us.
If the players like the new uniforms and they represent the image of the team well, there shouldn’t be any whining by the non-players. I think the minor changes to the striping and the sleeves jazz it up a bit. They don’t make that much of a change, nor are they completely out of place. We have our trusty skating penguin logo and our black and gold. What more could you want?...”
from Kevin Somers at Raise the Hammer,
I could write about Gary Bettman of the NHL. I’ve been a hockey fan all my life, but Bettman is turning me off his vile business. Bettman’s anti-Canadian stance is akin to racism, the horrors of which have been written about extensively. I live in Hamilton and many of my friends here are sick of his mistreatment and have become fans of the Raptors.
I could write about Karma. I don’t know if I believe in God or not, but I believe in Karma and Karma has a nuclear warhead destined for Gary Bettman’s NHL. It was launched in Hamilton (near my house). The league is doomed to crash like the housing market.
Enjoy the NBA Kevin!
from the Utica Observer Dispatch,
Esche spent last week in Pittsburgh working out with the Penguins. The 29-year-old Esche got his foot in the door via his friend Mark Recchi, an 18-year NHL vet and Penguins assistant captain. Practicing against young stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Esche showed off his new and improved physique to the Penguins executives.
“I lost a lot of weight this summer,” Esche said. “I feel good and quick, something that I never really had in the NHL. I’ve never been in that good of shape.”
from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,
Remember when one of the big jokes in the NHL was a division referred to as the “Southleast?”
Well those days are gone, as much because two of the last three Stanley Cup winners have come from the Southeast Division as the concentration of electrifying talents like Alexander Ovechkin, Vincent Lecavalier and Marian Hossa who reside in the neighborhood.
But heading into the new season, there really is not one team here with more than an outside shot at adding something to the division’s trophy case.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
It has long been suggested the Canadiens are a year-round obsession in Montreal, and, in fact, wherever the team’s fans crop up worldwide to deify or diss their favourite team.
Montreal, as the saying goes, is nine months of winter and three months of poor skating.
Habsinsideout.com, The Gazette’s year-old Canadiens-devoted website, has proven both to be true through an offseason that allegedly began June 6, the morning after the Anaheim Ducks polished off the Ottawa Senators to win the Stanley Cup.
from Sun Media,
During the off-season , it used to be that hockey players bulked up in the gym hell bent on gaining imposing size and power for the coming season.
Times have changed.
It’s not so much about developing big muscles so much as it’s important to develop the right muscles to excel at Canada’s favourite winter sport
from the LA Times,
” . . . What we do have is a number of goalies who are here to prove themselves and a team also trying to prove itself.”
The group that will compete for the Kings’ top spot in net has changed some from last season.
Garon, Burke, Brust and Fukufuji are gone but Cloutier, who signed a lucrative two-year extension worth $6.2 million before the start of last season but struggled, is back. But he’s far from a lock to start.
That’s because Cloutier is joined by minor league standout Jason LaBarbera, who competed for the job in training camp last year, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, a veteran free agent signed during the off-season, and a couple of young prospects led by Jonathan Bernier, who was impressive playing for the Canadian junior team against Russia in the recently completed Super Series.
more (reg. req.)
from Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail,
The Summit Series of 1972 it wasn’t because this event was decided in five games, not eight. Nevertheless, it had a lasting impression on the likes of Sam Gagner, the 18-year-old centreman with a flair for brilliance.
Gagner was one of many teenagers who proved to be every bit as talented as their Russian counterparts, especially when Canada won the first six games of the midsummer night’s dream matchup.
“The entire experience lived up to expectations,” Gagner said last night before accepting the most valuable player award for the tournament. “We had a lot of fun, and for me to play again for my country was something special.”
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