Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Either Scott Niedermayer is planning on pulling a Roger Clemens by showing up after Christmas, or we need to re-evaluate the notion he’s one of the game’s great leaders.
The Ducks captain couldn’t possibly let his teammates and team management twist in the wind as it appears.
from the Dallas News,
“I’m here to help the organization any way I can,” said Hull, who served as assistant to president Jim Lites last season.
When asked if that’s something he can seriously do, Hull responded confidently: “I don’t see why not. ... I’ve got a boatload of knowledge, and everyone has to figure out how to tap into it.”
Hull has a few ideas. He would love to simply open up a brain that has soaked up hockey since he was a kid watching his father, Bobby, and his uncle Dennis, and let the contents spill out. He would love to try the Jackson Pollock philosophy of pouring his paint onto a blank canvas to see what kind of masterpiece would appear.
But he’s smart enough to know better.
from the St. Peterburg Times,
What are the biggest concerns? Here are 10 burning questions…
What’s with the goalies?
Marc Denis and Johan Holmqvist were really bad at times last season, and statistically they were among the worst. Karri Ramo played 70 minutes, but it was Denis and Holmqvist who were most responsible for the team’s .884 save percentage, last in the league, and a 3.11 goals-against average that was 24th. Holmqvist, with 27 regular-season victories, showed promise, though he couldn’t carry the team in the playoffs. Denis is the bigger concern. If Tampa Bay could have dealt him over the summer it would have, but his $2.8-million salary wiped out any market value. Now it hopes he resurrects his career.
from Eric Duvall of the Tonawanda News,
It’s football time again, and for Bills fans, that means it’s the time of year where we get our hopes up….
One thing I could do without, though, is the pomp and circumstance surrounding the NFL’s kickoff. Big-time musicians, fireworks, lasers — all to celebrate day one.
I greatly prefer the NHL, which usually starts its season under cover of darkness. Sportscenter keeps the game highlights to 30 seconds and about 45 minutes into its hour-long broadcast. Fine by me. This is hockey country and we don’t much mind skipping the Faith Hill performance before a largely meaningless game nine months before a trophy is handed out.
Besides, I don’t know a ton of hockey fans that would want to hear Faith Hill. The Tragically Hip singing “50 Mission Cap” is far more our style.
from the Times Colonist,
“Hockey is popular in Minnesota [where Mitchell spent more than three NHL seasons with the Wild], but being back playing in a Canadian city is a whole different ball game with the crazy amount of attention you receive,” says Mitchell.
And this isn’t just any Canadian team Mitchell finds himself with, but the home-province team he grew up adoring as a kid.
“It gets a little crazy, but it’s all part of it and I enjoy what I do,” said the product of the North Island Eagles minor hockey teams.
“I’m lucky to be doing it. But it can be a little overwhelming being a Canuck in B.C. and trying to balance that with personal and family time.”
from the Montreal Gazette,
Canadiens president Pierre Boivin angrily denied there was any truth to a La Presse story that suggested free- agent Daniel Brière turned down an offer from the Canadiens because general manager Bob Gainey would not guarantee that he would play on a line with Christopher Higgins and Michael Ryder.
“I was privy to the negotiations and I can tell you that this was never discussed,” said Boivin, who said the story was filled with “lies.”
from Carter Gaddis of the Tampa Tribune,
Year Three, A.L. (After Lockout) is dawning. Training camps are upon us.
The National Hockey League is about to begin its annual search for identity south of the 49th parallel. For every plus, there is a minus. For every slap, a shot.
In Canada, where folks are taught from birth the sanctity of the blue line and they know without being told that Don Cherry is not a flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, there is no debate.
Hockey is king. End of discussion.
In the U.S., the debate rages. Well, perhaps not rages. Stirs with quiet desperation among those who care, maybe.
There is no escaping the debate, though, not after pro hockey shared a spot with men’s golf in the most recent annual Harris Poll to determine the favorite sport of Americans.
Hockey fans begin preparing for the new season…
from the Belleville News-Democrat,
Can NHL teams make money with such a relatively small national television contract in comparison to the NFL or Major League Baseball?
“There’s a lot of teams in the league now that are making money, especially the teams that are in the big markets with access to big local television revenues and big season ticket prices,” said Checketts, mentioning Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto, the New York Rangers and Montreal as examples.
“I want to get to the point where we’re not losing money, that would be the best thing for me,” he said. “People are supportive, they want to see us do well. They know that a good team and a good organization is important to the community.”
from the Toronto Sun,
Newcomer Brian Rafalski looks to be the one to play alongside Nicklas Lidstrom ... Niklas Kronwall, if he can remain healthy, is pegged to be part of the second pairing ... The Wings are considering splitting up Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to give the club more offensive balance ... Surprising Valtteri Filppula is pegged to be second-line centre.
THE BIG QUESTION
Will this team ever show it’s age? Lidstrom looks like he can play another decade, Chris Chelios is defying the laws of nature and goalie Dominik Hasek had an outstanding bounce-back season. Time eventually will catch up to these key players, we just don’t know when.
read on for a breakdown of every NHL team…
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com