Kukla's Korner Hockey
We all know it’s a long season and I missed the playoffs the last few seasons, so I’m going to do what I can to help the team get into the playoffs. That’s the most important thing, to secure a playoff spot.”
-Mats Sundin after his first practice with the Vancouver Canucks. More at the Vancouver Sun.
The Vancouver Canucks will be without the services of Taylor Pyatt for an indefinite period of time after the winger suffered a broken right foot in Friday’s loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
The injury looked to happen late in the second period when Pyatt’s right skate caught a Willie Mitchell slap shot from in front of the Canucks net.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
It has taken a self-inflicted wound to keep Teemu Selanne from inflicting more pain on the Vancouver Canucks tonight at GM Place. It has also reopened debate within the NHL Players Association whether players are properly protected from razor-sharp blades penetrating ultra-thin uniforms….
“You think about the socks and how much that plays a role in it and how thin they are these days,” Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa said Sunday. “I know I’ve spoken about it to a few people on the NHLPA and hopefully it’s something they address.”
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
Now that he’s a Vancouver Canuck, all bets are off on whether Mats Sundin will play again and where.
But that doesn’t mean wagering and Sundin can’t be used in the same sentence. Aside from the daily (hourly?) updates regarding Sundin until the merciful conclusion last week, the Big Swede had been most visible as a so-called “celebrity supporter” of Pokerstars.net.
While not associated with sports wagering, the free poker website is affiliated with a play-for-cash one based in the Isle of Man, a haven for internet gaming. Sundin’s link to the wildly popular poker site hasn’t raised red flags with NHL brass officially, but the league is at least investigating the association.
“We need to understand the nature of the relationship and the entity it’s with before we have an official position,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sun Media via e-mail yesterday.
“But I don’t anticipate that it is inconsistent with any of our policies. Pokerstars does not accept wagers.”
continued plus more hockey notes…
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Sundin is expected to make his debut with the Vancouver Canucks any time after New Year’s Day. He is 37, two-and-a-half years older than Niedermayer, with nearly 200 more NHL games played than the Anaheim defenceman.
“You’re stepping into a season [that is already] underway, where the team has got things going. Strategy-wise, personnel-wise … they’re already set with their D-partners, powerplay, penalty kill,” Niedermayer said. “And physically, there is a lot going on, obviously. Your legs, your hands…”...
“He has to have patience. His expectations will have to be a bit lower, at first,” Selanne warned Sundin. “It took me three weeks.”...
“It depends on how much intensity there has been in his workouts. You can’t know,” Carlyle said. “If it’s a sore hip, a sore groin, a sore back… Without the benefit of training camp, that’s one thing you have to be wary of. In essence, this is his training camp now.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Sundin followed his wallet instead of his heart. Good for him. Just one more mercenary the way pretty much professional athletes essentially are. They get it while they can, like most of us would….
The Rangers are going to lose any chance of competing for players who become available the rest of the year unless the general manager gets down to work and begins to create cap space for the rest of the season beyond the $1 million the Blueshirts now own.
Sundin went for the money. The Rangers didn’t have enough of it. Sather had better create cap space - and now - so that his team has enough of it when the next guy becomes available.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
What a sham this has been, this three-penny opera….
For months, the hockey world has been consumed with speculation and conjecture about where Mats Sundin would land as though he was some god descending upon Mount Olympus with a lighting bolt in his hand instead of a hockey stick and a résumé chock full of holes.
The great Swede has been mythologized and courted and coveted; and now, mercifully, he is back, if for no other reason, so we can stop wondering which team will be blessed with his presence.
“I don’t think I’d be comfortable calling any team a contender other than maybe San Jose and Detroit, because they won last year. What we want to do is get into the playoffs and win round by round. For me, it’s more the process of how the team plays and the integrity it plays with. I know we’ll get results if we play that way.
“I think Mats is a great player that joins a good group of players committed to winning. I think we’re a better team for sure but I’m not going to place that label (Stanley Cup contender) on any team.”
-Canucks GM Mike Gillis at the press conference announcing the Sundin signing. More from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.
If you only follow KK Hockey, then head over to Canucks & Beyond for all the news, which I am sure Alanah will be following.
added 6:36pm, I guess we can call Helene Elliott of the LA Times ‘crazy’. In early November I asked a few MSM what team Sundin would choose, Helene was the only one to say Vancouver!
Trevor Linden will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman. Linden, of course, just had his number 16 retired and hung from the rafters in a pre-game ceremony last night honoring the longtime former captain.
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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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