Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Star,
“Is it as hard to play there as I’ve heard it is?” inquired Toskala, conjuring up the stories of media and fan pressure passed on by fellow Finns, and former Leafs, Aki Berg and Jyrki Lumme.
“It’s worse,” came the reply. “It’s an awful place to play. If you play well, you’ll be next to God. If you don’t – oh my God – they’ll stone you to death.”
There was a long pause at the end of the line.
“Good,” Toskala finally said, breaking the silence. “I look forward to the challenge.”
It is, however, one thing to be open to a challenge, quite another to be open about it.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell has been suspended indefinitely without pay after being placed into stage two of the NHL’s substance abuse program.
In order to be reinstated, Bell will require the recommendation of program doctors along with the approval of both the National Hockey League and the NHLPA.
Update Sept 4, 2007 - 4:06pm ET
The National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players’ Association announced today that Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell has been placed in Stage 2 of the Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health program of the NHLPA and the NHL.
from the Toronto Sun,
“I think Ottawa and Carolina are the class of the East,” he says. “The Rangers and Flyers improved themselves, too. I just feel we have bolstered our team in certain key areas.
“Hey, we just missed out by one point a year ago and I feel we are a better team now.”
In order for his Leafs to take the next step, there are a number of issues Maurice must deal with once camp kicks off.
And here is how he plans on facing each and every one of them:
The moment Paul Maurice holds his first press conference of camp, you can bet he’ll be grilled concerning the identity of his No. 1 goalie.
from George Gross of the Toronto Sun,
The GM told me that while he is not planning on going into the free-agent market, if conditions become favourable he could be interested in Peter Forsberg, the often injured Swedish warrior.
“As it stands now, we won’t go into the free agent market,” said John Jr.
“But things could change. We could be interested in Peter Forsberg if conditions are right.
However, in that case, we would have to make room for him in view of the cap situation.”
Over the past week, SportsCentre filed look-ahead reports for Canada’s six NHL teams, getting you primed for the start of training camp. Now follow it up with TSN.ca’s Canadian six-pack, an online synopsis with all the reports on where your favourite Canadian team is headed this season.
read on for reports on all the Canadian teams in the NHL…
from the National Post,
Paulo Colaiacovo is an inch taller and 20 pounds heavier than his identical twin brother Carlo. He trims his facial hair into a goatee, not a beard, and would rather stop shots than score goals.
But aside from minor details in their appearance and their position on the ice, not much else is different about the 24-year-old hockey players—especially when it comes to staying healthy.
In his first four pro seasons, Maple Leafs defenceman Carlo has seemed to miss more games because of injury than he has played. His goaltender brother, who contemplated retirement after suffering a “barrage of injuries” in the Central Hockey League last season, seems to be built from the same malfunctioning mould.
“It sometimes feels like we’re cursed,” Paulo joked.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
“I hope he (Blake) works out. He had 40 goals last season. And playing alongside the playmaking centres that we have right now, obviously looks good for us,” Tucker opined.
The blue line corps boasts a mix of veteran stalwarts like Tomas Kaberle and Brian McCabe, as well as young up-and-comers like Ian White and Carlo Colaiacovo. There’s also a good balance between those blueliners with obvious offensive skills (Colaiacovo, Kaberle) and more stay-at-home physical defenders (Hal Gill, Wade Belak).
“We’ve got a really deep defence, that’s for sure,” Tucker said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that can play right now [in the minors] that aren’t playing. So it gives us an opportunity, even if we do have injuries, to have good, solid defence all year long.”
“We’ve got two solid goaltenders. I don’t know Vesa all that well. But for us, we’ve got to play solid in front of both of them, not matter who’s in there. Andrew’s a great guy, and we’re going to stick behind who’s in net every night,” Tucker said.
read on for Tucker’s view on the charity work he does…
from the Toronto Star,
Whatever became of his original 1967 Stanley Cup ring?
Bitter that the Leafs traded him after he led all scorers with seven goals and 15 points during the 12-game playoff run that culminated in Toronto’s last Stanley Cup, Pappin wasn’t too sentimental about the golden bauble.
So after spending the 1967-68 season with the Leafs, Pappin gave the ring as a gift to his first wife’s father, Peter Kyrzakos, when he was dealt to the Chicago Black Hawks.
“I was traded to Chicago in ‘68. I hated (Toronto general manager and coach Punch) Imlach, I hated everything to do with the Leafs so I gave the ring to my father-in-law,” the 67-year-old Pappin told the Star last night.
But Kyrzakos, who had a home in Vero Beach, Fla., lost the ring at a beach sometime during the 1970s.
“He never told me he lost it,” said Pappin, who scored the Cup-winning goal in 1967 as the Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens in six games. “He hired people, got divers and everything, to look for it for two days.”
from the Toronto Sun,
One year you are the future saviour of a storied NHL franchise, the next you’re just a recognizable name on a team’s depth chart.
Welcome to the topsy-turvey world of Justin Pogge.
Just a year ago, Pogge arrived in Toronto as a national hero neatly wrapped in the Canadian flag….
With the opening of training camp just three weeks away, there is scarcely any buzz regarding Pogge when the subject of the Leafs’ goaltending situation comes up.
from the Montreal Gazette,
Bowman is still considered to have been one of the brightest minds in hockey, working as a consultant with the Red Wings. The Toronto Maple Leafs recently asked him if he’d be interested in joining them as a senior adviser to help out general manager John Ferguson Jr. Bowman turned them down.
“They were looking for someone in an advisory role ... just to be an adviser,” he said. “I’ve been with the Red Wings for 14 years and I know all the people ... we know each other. It’s hard to mesh a newcomer coming in as a consultant. Why would I leave Detroit after 14 years just to be an adviser to a team where I don’t know anybody? I didn’t hire any of those people.”
more on Bowman’s relationship with Pollock and the Canadiens…
I get the feeling if Bowman was given complete control or the Leafs, he would have become a serious candidate, but the adviser role did not really entice him…
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