Kukla's Korner Hockey
Yesterday Chicago GM Dale Tallon participated in a NHL conference call with the media…
Q. Dale, you’ve done a lot of work to strengthen your team both with your off-season signings and last year’s draft choices. Looking at the Central Division, Detroit is still strong, St. Louis geared up, Columbus, almost like you can’t tell but they have the potential. How do you see this division going? Do you see Chicago in the playoff hunt this year?
DALE TALLON: Well, we’re anticipating we’ll be in the playoff hunt. We like the mixture of young players we have. We’ve bridged the gap with some of our veteran signings in the off-season, a couple of our trades.
You know, it’s a very difficult division. I think St. Louis has improved. Nashville’s got a good team. Detroit is obviously the favorite. But, you know, we feel we can compete with anybody. Obviously it will take a little time for everything to gel. We have enough offense now. That’s one thing we lacked in the last couple years. We were one of the lowest scoring team in the league, and we’ve tried to improve on the power play, get more depth on the offensive side as well as the experience that some of our young guys achieved and gained the last two seasons. It should bode well for them as far as their future. We’re pretty happy with our team. We’re never satisfied. But the direction we’re headed in, it looks a lot better.
from the Mercury News,
It takes just one four-letter word to sum up why the Sharks’ signing of Jeremy Roenick was such a good idea:
Doug Wilson, the team’s general manager, disagrees. He uses a different word. A five-letter word.
“Spice,” Wilson said. “You know what Jeremy is? He’s like adding a little spice to the recipe.”
Fizz, spice, crosscheck, canceled check, whatever. The signing of Roenick one week before training camp opens for our local ice hockey team was a needed development.
Maybe not mandatory. But needed.
from the NY Rangers,
NYR.com Tell us about your summer. Did you spend a lot of time at home in Sweden?
Lundqvist: I stayed in New York until mid-June. Then I went back to Sweden for a few months and spent time with friends and family. I got back here a week ago, and now I’m getting ready.
NYR.com Are there are a lot of NHL and Rangers fans in Sweden these days? Do people come up to you and talk about the Rangers?
Lundqvist: Yes, they do. They think it’s fun, and they’re happy that it’s been going well for me. Obviously there are lots of Swedes in the NHL, but a lot of people are now following the Rangers, for sure. That’s happened.
Image from Pittsburgh Penguins team website:
From The Hockey News
The Anaheim Ducks will announce Thursday that Conn Smythe winner Scott Niedermayer will not be attending Ducks training camp, a source told The Hockey News. [...]
A source also told The Hockey News veteran Teemu Selanne has indicated he is comfortable with the notion of being retired, although he has not announced his future plans yet.
And TSN reports,
The Anaheim Ducks have called a news conference for 1:30pm et on Thursday to discuss the playing status of captain Scott Niedermayer, amid reports that the All-Star defenceman will not be attending training camp.
Update 7:34pm ET
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
“He hasn’t decided that he wants to retire but I know he’s not certain he wants to start this soon,” Niedermayer’s agent Kevin Epp said Wednesday.
Update note: title originally read “Rob” Niedermayer because I’m an idiot today.
My thanks to Earl Sleek for sending me a note and not making too much fun of me!
From Wes Goldstein of CBS Sportsline,
It might not have seemed like it, but things were pretty busy around the NHL this past summer. Here’s a look back at some of the most important events that took place….
5. Seeing the value: Despite the criticism the NHL gets for its lack of exposure and inability to make inroads in many American markets, there is obviously something about owning a franchise that appeals to people with money. How else do you explain the significant premiums paid this summer for the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning? Both organizations have been burning cash for the past decade, but the sale prices they fetched suggest that NHL teams are much better investments than they appear to be on the surface.
from Habs Inside/Out,
The Canadiens will honour two more of their greats this season as they continue preparations for the club’s centennial celebration in 2009.
In the coming months, the organization will retire the No. 19 of Larry Robinson and the No. 23 of general manager Bob Gainey.
from the News & Observer,
Eric Staal knew his arrest would make the newspapers eventually. He never expected the kind of ink it garnered.
To wit: The full-page, front-page headline in the tabloid Toronto Sun reading “NHL Stars Gone Wild!” next to his mugshot and his younger brother Jordan’s.
“That was frightening,” the Carolina Hurricanes center said today in his first comments about his July 21 arrest. “I knew it would probably appear somewhere, sometime. I didn’t think it would be blown up into that big of a deal.
“I don’t know. I guess our name has been around a little bit the last couple years in hockey, so it turned into that.”
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
After near identical back-to-back seasons (they finished with 85 and 86 points, respectively), the Panthers seem ready to make a little more of a jump forward. They finished six points out of a playoff spot last season. If they can avoid another bad start to the season, maybe they can finally end their postseason drought.
I figure they’ll have more points and challenge for a playoff spot. I hope they get there. It would be nice to see one of the game’s most underrated players—Panthers captain Olli Jokinen—get a chance to show his stuff in the postseason.
from the Vancouver Province,
Beset by injuries and looking for a playoff spark last spring, Tom Renney inserted Brad Isbister on a line with Jaromir Jagr and Michael Nylander.
For the well-travelled Isbister, mired in the minors until recalled for the second time Feb. 21, it was a vote of confidence from the New York Rangers coach. It piqued the Vancouver Canucks’ interest in the big winger even more.
“You have to have some ability to play with those players,” Canucks general manager Dave Nonis said Tuesday. “We’ve had some interest in him for a couple of years. He can fill a lot of roles and played with a little more edge the last few years.
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