Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
...Even Flames President Ken King has said that Bertuzzi, having paid his penalty (an indefinite suspension that amounted to 20 NHL games, approximately $500,000 in lost salary, plus assault charges that yielded a year’s probation with community service and no criminal record), deserves a second chance. Despite polls that indicate a split opinion in that regard, King maintains that fans in Calgary are willing to give it to the notorious forward.
Funny, but I can’t help but wonder who speaks for Steve Moore.
Moore can’t say much on his own. The matter, more than four years removed from the terrible event, has still not made its way into court. Because of that, there is a moratorium regarding public comments on the case in Canada.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
He can’t wear a ‘C’ on his jersey, but Roberto Luongo doesn’t see how the league could stop him from putting one on his mask.
League rules prohibit a goalie from being a captain, and during games the NHL will not recognize Luongo, the first netminder to captain a team since 1948, in the role.
Because of the rule, the NHL also does not permit a goalie to wear a ‘C’ on his jersey. But Luongo said he has given some thought to painting one on his mask
“It could mean anything, it could be C for Canucks,” Luongo said..
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
Vancouver Canuck general manager Mike Gillis vowed Sunday to let players determine the market and said he won’t set limits on how many new players could make the National Hockey League team or how many veterans—who are on one-way contracts—might need to shed.
“I think the timing is right this year for that approach,” Gillis said. “We were determined to change the makeup of the team as best we could. You have to allow players to compete if you want competitive behaviour. You have to give players the opportunity.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Province,
As he looked back Thursday, Naslund admitted he wasn’t overly happy here last season and that the Todd Bertuzzi incident weighed heavily on him, given he and his former linemate are close and it was he who was, in a small way, part of the reason the whole thing took place. After all, it was Naslund who was originally nailed by Steve Moore in Denver….
“It still bothers me what Todd has had to go through over this and the way it’s dragged on and on over the years,” said Naslund.
“I still keep in close contact with him and it’s been tough on him. It’s taken its toll. There’s no question he was standing up for me and for his teammates when it happened, and it all went too far. All of the circumstances around it went the wrong way and got out of hand. It’s been a long road and he’s been through a lot. I feel bad for him and the way it’s worked out for everyone involved.”
more from Naslund as he talks about his days in Vancouver…
from the CP via the Sporting News,
Ohlund sidestepped the question of whether he would waive his no-trade clause.
“I’ve never been asked,” he said. “As far as I know, I’ll be here.”
He could fetch a lucrative new deal with another team in the offseason, because many teams would covet his offensive prowess and defensive dependability.
While open to moving on, he is also willing to negotiate a new deal with Vancouver during the season.
Meanwhile, Ohlund’s more immediate concerns are to help the Canucks return to the playoffs—and rebound from one of the most difficult seasons in his career.
from the Canucks Nation Blog at the Vancouver Province,
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault didn’t say Kyle Wellwood is a lost cause but he did leave some tread marks on the waiver-wire pickup after he drove the bus over him.
AV took direct aim at Wellwood’s fitness level after the two-day training camp in Whislter.
“His commitment to conditioning and being a professional athlete probably wasn’t where it needed to be for him to have success,” said Vigneault. “His test results showed from early July [to training camp] significant improvements. That being said, it’s still not NHL calibre.”
Ouch. And that wasn’t the only shot that Wellwood absorbed.
added 9:17pm, More on this from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun…
from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,
Defencemen Willie Mitchell and Mattias Ohlund, as well as centres Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler, were frequently alternates towards the end of a non-playoff season. All are candidates to ascend to captain this year.
Mitchell previously wore a ‘C’ with the Minnesota Wild, a team that rotated its captain every month or so. But both Mitchell and forward Pavol Demitra, a free-agent addition from the Wild, said a permanent captain was preferred.
“I wasn’t a big fan of it,” Mitchell said. “You have your group of leaders and, it’s just my personal opinion, but I don’t think it gives the letter [the] respect that it deserves if too many people wear it.”
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
“It reminds a bit of two years ago when I got here,” Luongo said Monday following his first informal skate with teammates at Burnaby 8-Rinks.
“There were a lot of new faces and a lot of people didn’t know what to expect and we ended up having a great season. I get that same feeling a bit this year.
“I think guys are going to be excited to play and once we all get together and play as a team, I think we’re capable of great things.”
via Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Nonis told Canucks’ ownership he would add three forwards and let Markus Naslund go through free agency. Swedish free agent Fabian Brunnstrom was committed to signing with the Canucks. Nonis was also going to trade the Canucks’ first-round draft pick this summer, which probably would have landed the Kings’ Mike Cammalleri. And he was going to move a defenceman, likely Kevin Bieksa, and/or prospects for another proven scorer. Hello, Olli Jokinen.
Gillis, for his part, has improved the Canucks’ fourth line and added Pavol Demitra and Steve Bernier while losing Naslund and Brendan Morrison.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Since pronouncing his mission statement at his now-famous opening press conference, Gillis hasn’t exactly dazzled this market with his offseason moves. Anyone who saw the Canucks play for more than a period last season was painfully aware the team needed to add two or three top-nine forwards to ease the burden on the twins.
His response? He exchanged Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison for Pavol Demitra and Steve Bernier, while virtually every team in the Western Conference improved themselves.
As a result, the twins are now as important to the Canucks as Roberto Luongo and, if you doubt that, consider what their lineup would look like without the Sedins.
Gillis might have had more ambitious plans this summer but, as the new season dawns, he’s left with one option.
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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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