Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/12/14 at 09:14 AM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Officially, the nickname “Johnny Hockey” belongs to John Gaudreau, the Boston College star and Hobey Baker award winner, who signed a pro contract with the Calgary Flames just before the regular season ended and scored a goal in his NHL debut. Gaudreau is a five-foot-seven, 150-pound scoring dynamo, a pint-sized talent who conjures up longing memories of Joey Mullen for breathless Flames’ fans.
But here on the Left Coast, way back in training camp, the scribes started calling goaltender John Gibson “Johnny Hockey” too – a riff on Johnny Manziel of course, but mostly as a nod to how Gibson carried himself. He was calm, sure. He was confident, unquestionably. But there was an unmistakable swagger there as well, even with his NHL career still in its infancy. Watch Gibson answer questions and he will immediately conjure up images of Nuke LaLoosh, the Tim Robbins character in Bull Durham, who eventually learns how to say all the right things in the predictable, three-sentence sound bites so common among the media-savvy young athletes.
Talent was never going to be the issue with Gibson. The Ducks always figured his time would come eventually. They just couldn’t predict it would happen so soon. With unprecedented goaltending depth in their system – Jonas Hiller, Viktor Fasth, Frederik Andersen, Gibson and Russian prospect Igor Bobkov – the plan was to move Gibson through the pipeline slowly.
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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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