Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Hockey Journal,
When the battle for the Boston Bruins’ No. 1 goaltender position officially opens Sept. 13 (the first day of training camp), Tim Thomas will be more than ready to hold up his end of the bargain in the competition with Manny Fernandez.
“I’ve probably worked harder than I’ve ever worked in any summer before. I’ve always worked hard, but this is a different type of hard – when you have somebody setting up the workouts for you, it’s a little more varied than the workouts I put myself through,” Thomas told me today after partaking in an informal skate with a handful of his teammates at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass.
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
I figure the Red Wings will get to the century mark again this season, but I don’t think they’ll get to 113. So, I guess, that means they won’t be quite as good….
Holland did add veteran fourth-liner Dallas Drake, who had been released by the Blues, and journeyman minor-leaguer Mark Hartigan.
The Wings will again be a formidable club. They have a few promising kids, some emerging young stars and several special veterans. I don’t think they’ll put up as many points as last season, but I’ll be very surprised if they don’t win the Central Division.
more on the Wings…
from the Vancouver Province,
In 50 years of Stanley Cup wins, red has been the dominant jersey colour. By a long shot.
Thirty-one times teams in red have triumphed, with orange and blue a distant second at 12 times each.
This doesn’t mean the Canucks in their new dark-blue and forest-green sweaters won’t drink from the Cup, but consider that the only two times they came close (‘82, ‘94) they were wearing red and orange.
continued... Canucks jersey talk…
from Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette,
It’s one thing to win world junior tournaments in the comfort zone of Vancouver or the U.S., where Canadian teams might as well be at home unless they’re facing the Americans. It’s quite another to fly to Russia and deal with all the adverse circumstances from strange food to multiple time zones, heat, fog as thick as Don Cherry’s head and a crowd that is definitely not on your side.
And yet Canada is performing so consistently at these things, it’s beginning to look like this country has opened a wide margin over its rivals at the junior level - and if that is true, we might see a similar dominance with a team led by Sidney Crosby at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
from Pitchfork Media,
How’s this for the next Will Ferrell movie? A professional hockey player grows tired of the usual Nickelback and Bon Jovi pre-game pump up jams and begins surreptitious nightly excursions into the underground psych and noise scenes. While playing for the Red Wings, he attends a Dead Meadow gig in Detroit and there meets an ex-member of the Dirtbombs who used to put out Pavement and Don Caballero records and now works for Warner Bros….
Also, there’s a romantic interest played by Audrey Tautou and a scene where Ferrell accidentally eats a hockey puck while dining at a Tim Hortons. Genius!
Best of all, this one would be Based on a True Story, as the above synopsis more or less tells the tale of upstart Macomb, Michigan imprint Elevation Recordings. The hockey player, Boyd Devereaux, now plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
from the Darien Times,
Symbolically, the day an NHL champ receives his Stanley Cup ring, is the same day he gets to spend with the Stanley Cup itself.
In fact, Ryan Shannon, 24 of Darien who won the Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in his rookie year last June, and brought the mega-trophy home last week, will not have either his name etched in silver along the famous swirling sides of the NHL’s lofty prize, or that ring on his finger, until mid-October….
“Jess, she’s my fiancé now,” said Shannon of his girlfriend, and apparent soul-mate of long standing, Jessica Goldmark. “I proposed to her at the party.”
from the Vancouver Province,
But, restricting ourselves to the NHL, the classics seem to be the ones that hold their appeal, with the Habs, the Red Wings, the Blackhawks and the original Maple Leaf leading the way.
A more recent retro-classic, the Canucks vintage jerseys harking from to the team’s expansion days, people forget were greeted with dismay when they were introduced in 1970.
And it’s worth noting that it’s the Atlanta Thrashers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes and, yes, Vancouver Canucks of the NHL, the Johnny Come Latelys, that are busiest changing their looks.
In a nod to just about every era of pro and semi-pro hockey since the Vancouver Millionaires won the Stanley Cup in 1915, the new Canucks jerseys are a smorgasbord of borrowed styles.
“I’d agree they’re busy-looking,” said Doug Jamieson, a Nanaimo hockey-sweater collectors. “The old jerseys, the teams that haven’t changed their basic look in decades, they’ve held up because they’re simple and I guess they have historical significance.”
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Howson sought to rectify the situation, perhaps heading off a messy divorce before it reached a point of no return.
“It was good to get to know (Nikolai), to learn about him and his family,” Howson said. “He’s been through a lot; he’s experienced a lot, and he’s still a young guy.
“It was a productive meeting. I wanted him to get a feel for me—it’s the first time we’ve ever met—and I wanted him to know what we’re trying to do in Columbus.
“We talked about some of the issues in the past, and I heard him out on that. And I told him why I came to meet with him, what our expectations are for him this coming season.”
from the News & Observer,
The 23-year-old goalie has shed more than 20 pounds and is eager to erase the memories of last season. Ward’s physical transformation drew double-takes from teammates as they trickled back into town for informal group workouts, and it has fueled his confidence in a bounce-back performance.
“I feel a lot more quicker, and it’s funny, because you joke around when you see guys working out with 20-pound vests,” Ward said. “Basically, I just took one of those 20-pound vests off my body.”
from Evan Weiner at the NY Sun,
NHL fans are about to find out just how powerful the owner of the Los Angeles Kings, Phil Anschutz, is. Anschutz — who is not a publicity hound and rarely gives interviews — now has a chance to orchestrate the league’s next expansion between now and 2009 by placing teams into arenas he has built or is building in Kansas City and Las Vegas….
The NHL’s expansion plans were solidified when Anschutz’s AEG entered into a partnership with Harrah’s to build an arena on Harrah’s property near the Las Vegas strip. The new building will be opened in 2010 and it appears that Las Vegas already has an owner in movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who has spoken with NHL officials about placing a team in Las Vegas.
Neither Kansas City nor Las Vegas is a big TV market. But if Anschutz wants teams in those markets, the odds are pretty good that his fellow NHL owners, along with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly, will see it his way.
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