Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province via Canada.com,
“If there’s tampering going on, ultimately there are no secrets in this world. We will get to the bottom of it,” Bettman vowed in May 2008.“And I’m no fan of tampering. And when it happens, it gets punished severely.
“A team that meddles with an individual under contract could face heavy fines and the loss of draft picks. And an individual who talks to a team while he’s still under contract would face fines and a possible suspension.”
Seventeen months later, severe punishment has been reduced to a gag order. “Heavy fines” and the “loss of draft picks” have turned into $25,000 US. And Bettman’s call to arms has become a call to prayer. Because we should all pray that the Leafs aren’t allowed to operate above the law because of their power, friends and influence.
Here’s the kicker, even if the Canucks think the decision is a farce, they are not allowed to express it, by NHL order.
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
Coach Ron Wilson has indicated the vacancy will be filled in the coming weeks. GM Brian Burke told the Star yesterday maybe yes and maybe no. “If the coach names a captain, I’ll totally support his decision. But the word `soon’ implies there’s a need for it in the near future. I’m not sure we even have the right guy right now.”...
It’s telling that no successor to Sundin jumps out as the obvious choice. Arguably the Leaf “brand’’ these days, the face of the franchise, is Burke. In his image the club has purportedly been designed. He’s the template.
Burke rejects that characterization. “I don’t want to be the face of the team. Sure, I’ve been doing all the TV and radio to kick off the season but now the players take over. Soon, you’ll be looking for me on milk cartons.”
NEW YORK (October 7, 2009)—Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner of the National Hockey League, today released the following statement which will serve as the League’s only comment regarding its findings relative to purported tampering allegations as between the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs’ organizations:
“I confirm the following:
“That Ron Wilson, Head Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, violated the provisions of NHL By-Law 15 relating to inappropriate public comments by speaking generally to his Club’s potential interest in negotiating with Daniel and Henrik Sedin prior to such time as those players’ existing contracts with Vancouver had expired. The League has imposed a fine on the Maple Leafs’ organization as a result;
via Bruce Garrioch of Off The Posts,
Is it me or does anybody else think that Ron Wilson won’t - or shouldn’t - last long as coach of the Maple Leafs.
He had a total, and complete, meltdown following the 2-1 loss to the Senators Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre. It was awfully funny to hear.
Apparently his early-morning practice was moved to noon so he didn’t follow through on that threat.
I just don’t get the feeling he is going to be behind the Toronto bench forever - five year contract or not - if this team doesn’t pick it up.
“We stunk. We had no offence at all. I mean, that was almost embarrassing from seven or eight guys who we are counting heavily on. They only showed up when it was too late (a third-period Matt Stajan power-play goal).
“Playing on the perimeter, not wanting the puck, not willing to take a hit to make a play. Jittery when we do have the puck. We need a much better effort.”
-Toronto Coach Ron Wilson after losing to the Senators last night. More on the game from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So what we think we might know about the Leafs after two games – Lee Stempniak looks much improved, added toughness doesn’t mean much if the other team won’t engage, Viktor Stalberg clearly does belong – really doesn’t mean much.
Nothing, you see, can be known until the goaltending is sorted out.
When you allow only 51 shots in two games and give up 10 goals to lose twice, you know you have a problem.
By comparison, Detroit is admitting it may have a problem between Chris Osgood and Jimmy Howard after losing twice to St. Louis in Stockholm, and the Wings goalies gave up only nine goals on 53 shots.
Some of it is about goals-against averages and save percentages, but goaltending is also a feel, something that creates an atmosphere around the team. If the netminding is sound or even better, excellent, players compete in a comfort zone, knowing they can make an error here or there, and they tend to relax and gel better as a unit.
The boys at Orland Kurtenblog use the zoom feature on their TV.
OK, we can start the season now.
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
Brian Burke loves it here. The pressure, the pace, the weight on his broad shoulders, it’s all fine with him. Being the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs has worked out, off the ice, exactly as he wanted it to.
“It’s awesome. It’s the Vatican. It’s everything,” Burke said on the eve of his team’s 2009-10 National Hockey League season opener against Montreal. “This move has worked out from a family standpoint—all the things that we thought would be better in our lives as far as our family and distance to see children [in Boston] and stuff, all of that has come true. We’ve fallen in love with this city.”
The city, meanwhile, seems to have fond feelings for him, too, as he has gone about remaking the city’s chief sporting obsession. Nobody is really doubting Burke, not yet.
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said his franchise would again talk to the NHL about an incident involving a Maple Leafs executive making comments about Vancouver players.
“We’ll talk to [the league] about it and see what their position is but this, in my mind, is another example of the Toronto Maple Leafs trying to upset our team,” Gillis said from Calgary, where the Canucks begin their season with a game against the Flames.
Vancouver’s latest complaint stems from a video on the Maple Leafs website, entitled Behind the Draft, where general manager Brian Burke discusses the possibility of trading up into the top five slots.
“Vancouver has made a major effort to get the second pick out of Tampa Bay,” Burke tells his scouts at a pre-draft meeting. “We heard they offered - again, this is all second-hand, so we’re not sure - [Alex] Burrows, [Kevin] Bieksa and their own pick. Those are two pretty good players.”
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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