Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Trevor Linden and his crew made a lot of interesting moves in the off-season in hopes of helping the Vancouver Canucks’ fortunes, but one of the best — which may have slipped under the radar — was bringing in physiotherapist Rick Celebrini as a consultant.
Celebrini is tremendously well known already in this city for his work with Steve Nash for many years and more recently with Kevin Bieksa, and of course as a consultant to the Vancouver Whitecaps as well as co-founding Fortius Sports, and his best work often comes without anyone really knowing it’s happening.
While everyone knows that he works with individuals after they’ve been injured or are looking to better overcome an injury, one of the mainstays of his work with the Canucks is expected to be injury prevention, something he feels can be tackled with some success.
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
... how Miller plays in this marketplace as the starter and another key face of the franchise will become a daily obsession. However, strong beliefs in how he should attack the position and the attention that’s going to afford are nothing new.
“That’s anywhere, honestly,” Miller said Monday.
“A lot has been made of it here and that’s because there are passionate fans. When you go to any NHL city and you talk about goaltending, it’s all the same. I was compared to Dominik Hasek my entire career and there was always that shadow in the background because he was one of the greatest goalies ever, and you have to live up to that.
“People constantly compare you and they want to see you play to that level. And when you don’t, it’s: ‘Dom was better.’ You just do the best you can. It’s the same in any NHL city and you guys don’t have a monopoly on that here — sorry. You’re under the microscope everywhere.”
Despite going 2-4 with the St. Louis Blues in the postseason with a 2.70 goals-against average and .897 saves percentage after being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres,
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
What happens in a hockey-crazed market when a hot start quickly dissipates into a dramatic downward spiral, highlighting a questionable coaching hire in the polarizing John Tortorella?
You have yourself an offseason rife with upheaval, just like the summer of 2014 for the Vancouver Canucks.
The brash and fiery Tortorella was axed after just one season. Longtime general Mike Gillis was dismissed, as well. Star center Ryan Kesler was shipped out of town in a trade to Anaheim.
None of it is surprising, according to former Vancouver Canucks player Geoff Courtnall, who spent five seasons playing for the club from 1990-95.
“Well, I think the owners have high expectations and want to win. They weren’t satisfied with how last season went, so they made some pretty drastic moves," Courtnall told ESPN.com in a recent phone conversation.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
When the Toronto Maple Leafs make their way out West in March and play the Vancouver Canucks, the game is scheduled for 4 p.m. locally as usual, but that should change.
And for very good reason. While the following is a small, perhaps even niggling thing to some degree, it’s important.
Over the past few years, that game has always been at that time, but now things are different. Before this season, those Saturday television rights were owned by CBC, and as an independent party to the game and contractor with the league, the network was given the right to ask Vancouver to move the game from the traditional 7 p.m. start on a Saturday night to 4 p.m. to increase the audience in the East.
Why the Canucks ever agreed to it in the first place is a mystery, but it’s almost certainly been put into in the contract at some point.
But now Rogers owns those rights, and for those who may not have noticed, Rogers is also part-owner of the Leafs. If the game were allowed to go ahead at 4 p.m., which always takes the home-team Canucks out of their usual routine and is certainly an advantage for the visiting team, it would mean that the owners of the Leafs were able to demand that Vancouver change the start time to the advantage of their team. It gives them an unfair competitive advantage.
This is a clear conflict of interest which the league should not let stand.
The legal case for the loss of my NHL career is over. I have accepted a settlement agreement which has now been finalized and signed by all the parties.
This day comes with mixed emotions. I am extremely thankful for the compassion and encouragement of so many people over the past decade. These years have been very difficult for me and my family. The injuries I sustained in my rookie year, the years I spent trying to return to my NHL career, and dealing with the loss of my career and the ensuing legal case, have been long and trying experiences. While nothing replaces the loss of one’s dream, I am happy my family will no longer be burdened by an unresolved legal case, and I am grateful to be able to move forward.
I thank the fans and the public who have supported me so passionately and tirelessly, not just across Canada, and the U.S., but around the world – your support has meant more than you can imagine. I thank the people who supported me in this legal case; your courage, and integrity are an inspiration. I thank former Chief Justice of Ontario Warren Winkler for helping with this settlement. Finally, I thank my friends, and especially my family, for your unwavering love and devotion which kept me going over these last ten years.
I look forward to continuing to bring more attention and resources to the prevention and treatment of concussions and other head and neck injuries in sport, through The Steve Moore Foundation.
While my own hockey career was cut short, my love for the game has never diminished.
Mark Spector of Sportsnet answered a few Twitter questions today regarding the Vancouver Canucks and this one is about the playoff chances for the Canucks.
Vancouver missed the playoffs last spring for the first time in six seasons. They finished a miserable 12th in the West and 25th overall—down from third and eighth, respectively, the year before. Pick any team in any league that declined that much in one season, and tell me if you would pick them to rebound and make the playoffs the following season.
Exactly. We don’t see the Canucks as heading into a full blown Edmonton- or Calgary-type rebuild, but they do share some traits with teams that have been forced to go that route. Poor drafting. Bad trades. Sketchy free-agent signings. All of those have left Benning with the task of filling in a huge gap in the Canucks pipeline between the ages of 20 and about 28.
The draft-and-develop route takes much time, while changing the NHL roster via trades and free agency is also slow. But those two jobs are the priority in Vancouver, and that means an NHL linesman won’t drop a playoff puck in British Columbia come April. I’ve got the Canucks at 11th in the West.
more question answered...
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
One of the many things that have taken place over the summer with the Vancouver Canucks has come about quietly, but once again it shows how much the ownership wants to bring a Stanley Cup to this town.
They have definitely gotten in their own way at times, but if you ever needed a more graphic demonstration of how much the Aquilini family wishes to succeed on the ice, you only have to look at the front office to see how they’re trying to push every advantage they might have as a high-revenue team.
Hamstrung in what they can spend by the salary cap, like the Toronto Maple Leafs and a few of the other high-revenue teams are doing, they have expanded the number of people in the front office looking for all the additional help they can find in unearthing ideas and players that one day might be the difference in winning it all.
Consider that former president and general manger Mike Gillis has essentially been replaced by four people. Trevor Linden and his hire Jim Benning have combined to become what will hopefully act as a two-headed president and general manager, although Gillis and Laurence Gilman essentially did that under the old regime.
But Gilman, Lorne Henning and Stan Smyl have all been wisely retained from that regime and two more guys have been added in the hockey-management department in VP of administration TC Carling and VP of player personnel John Weisbrod.
Add any more and the VP meetings, which include all the people from the other departments, will have to be held in the lower bowl of Rogers Arena.
from Kevin Woodley at NHL.com,
Can Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin be elite scorers again? -- The Sedins were so determined to prove they could be good defensively last season, and so irked by the belief their best offensive seasons were simply a product of starting so many shifts in the offensive zone, they sacrificed much of the scoring the Canucks long relied on them to provide.
"That was a little bit interesting, but it comes from just how proud they are to play defense," coach Willie Desjardins said of offseason meetings with the Sedins. "They have no problems blocking shots or playing against the other team's top line. It's not like, 'Oh, I don't do that.' They want to prove they can play in big situations defensively. They cherish those roles."
Last season, the twins embraced coach John Tortorella's request to kill penalties and play more minutes in the defensive zone, and for a while they managed to stay near a point-per-game pace offensively. But as injuries and those harder minutes appeared to catch up with them, their offense disappeared.
Henrik had 10 points in his final 24 games,...
Which Ryan Miller did the Canucks get? -- Vancouver is counting on Miller playing like he did for the Buffalo Sabres to start last season, when he had a .923 save percentage, earned a spot on the U.S. team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and became the hottest trade commodity in goal.
After signing him to a three-year, $18 million contract, the Canucks can't afford to have Miller perform like he did after a trade to the St. Louis Blues, where he finished with a .903 save percentage in 19 regular-season games and .897 after being knocked out of the playoffs in six games by the Chicago Blackhawks.
There are questions how Miller's aggressive style will fit with goaltending coach Roland Melanson's more passive preferences....
from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,
Linden will take part in the Haute Route Alps, a seven-day, fully supported climbing-fest in the French Alps that will see 500 amateur cyclists take on more than 900 kilometres of mountain terrain and climbing a combined 21,000 metres over 19 iconic ascents, such as Glandon, Alpe d’Huez and Mont Ventoux. It started in Geneva, Switzerland on Sunday and finishes Aug. 30 in Nice, France.
According to the website, the week of climbing is the equivalent of cycling more than twice from sea level to the summit of Mt. Everest.
Linden has been registered for the event since last year, but when Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini approached him about taking over the massive job of re-tooling the organization, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to find time for the ride.
“With the way my life has worked out, I really thought I wouldn’t be doing this, but the way things have worked out, the people we have in place, it’s pretty quiet, it’s a good window,” Linden said before departing for Europe.
“It’ll get me fresh and ready to roll for the season.”
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
Steve Moore's brother Mark says there is no deal between Steve and Todd Bertuzzi, a bombshell claim that casts doubt on claims made Wednesday by the NHL and Bertuzzi's lawyers that a settlement had been reached.
"I got a text message from Steve last night and he's very concerned," Mark Moore told TSN. "He says there is no deal yet and isn't sure what to do about all the media speculation.
"Because of the injury he has trouble making decisions and so he doesn't know how to handle the media."
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.
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