Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
In the bewildering aftermath of co-captains Daniel Briere and Chris Drury bolting the Buffalo Sabres, the front office proclaimed it had learned a lesson about dealing with players entering unrestricted free agency.
The Sabres have three players who could hit the open market after this season, and General Manager Darcy Regier said it would be a summer priority to work on re-signing defensemen Brian Campbell and Dmitri Kalinin and forward Jochen Hecht.
Regier said he has had “some very general conversations” with the players’ respective agents. He added there was “no real timeline” to get extensions signed.
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from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
...That’s what Koivu was saying, but something may have been lost in the translation en route to the La Presse presses, because what appeared in the newspaper was: “We’ll make the playoffs this season, but don’t expect us to win the Stanley Cup.”
“I guess there’s a difference,” Koivu told me. “English isn’t my first language, but I don’t see it as a big difference. What I meant was you make the playoffs and from there, everything is open. If you ask any experts, nobody is picking us to even make the playoffs!”
“Which experts?” he was asked.
“Experts,” he said with a grin, adding: “I don’t know what word I used. Maybe the reporter misunderstood. He
didn’t ask me: ‘Is this what you mean?’
from the Mercury News,
Yes, the Sharks’ logjam in goal has been unclogged. Vesa Toskala was traded to Toronto in June, ending any debate over Nabokov’s standing as the team’s top goaltender. But Nabokov says it hasn’t changed the way he’s gearing up - mentally or physically - for what lies ahead, starting with the opening of training camp next Thursday.
“You’re just trying to prepare yourself to be ready to go out every game and give your best. That’s kind of always the goal,” Nabokov said. “And I don’t think it’s true that now I can sit and say `OK, I’m No. 1.’ I don’t think that’s going to be the case.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Jason Smith might be skating around Rexall Place next month with a C on his Philadelphia Flyers jersey.
The former Edmonton Oilers captain is one of three former NHL captains on the Philadelphia roster—Danny Briere (Buffalo Sabres) and Kimmo Timonen (Nashville Predators), also acquired over the summer, are the others—and
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave Smith a rave review Thursday during a conference call.
from the Toronto Sun,
The National Hockey League is sending all 30 teams a DVD to explain 2007-08 rule changes, along with a stern reminder to stay out of fights while sitting on the bench.
The four new standards are topped by a five-minute interference major at the referee’s discretion should an injury result from the action. There will also be a penalty shot awarded if a breakaway is tampered with in the neutral zone, as opposed to inside the blue line. But players and coaches new to the league need to be reminded about bench decorum said league hockey operations director Kris King.
“It’s not a major issue, but if there is a fight and you’re on the bench and give the guy on the other team a face wash, then it could escalate into something worse,” King said.
fromm Sun Media,
Jean Therien says he feared for his life as the white Hummer he had accidentally cut off on the freeway Wednesday morning began jerking into his lane, forcing him to swerve to avoid it.
He says his heart raced when the Hummer stopped in front of him on an off- ramp and an enraged Ottawa Senators goalie Ray Emery got out of the truck and approached his car, yelling at him through the passenger side window.
“He started calling me ‘You f—-ing old bag of bones, you f—-ing sh—’,” said Therien, 65. “He said, ‘You tried to put me in the ditch.’ I said, ‘No. I did not.’ “
by George James Malik
The Red Wings’ decision to offer “filler seats” on a discounted basis is nothing but great news for a fan base that’s dealing with a less than spectacular Michigan economy, and, combined with the fact that the Red Wings aren’t actually charging full price for their exhibition game tickets, it’s downright progressive.
But before you go dancing in the streets, Wings fans, let’s put this in perspective. The seats are at $9—presumably for the last-row upper-bowl seats that cost $22, because it’s $50 from the halfway point of the upper bowl down—$22, $44, and $54. There is a “maximum of two per person” caveat, and there’s no indication as to whether this condition is applied on a game-by-game basis, or whether that’s all you can buy for the entire month. These seats are going to be released to the public after the halfway point of the calendar month preceeding the games to which they apply, and there is no indication whether there’s a “facilities fee” added on for our convenience.
from the OC Register,
Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere said Thursday he expects to miss perhaps the first week of on-ice team drills while he completes recovery from Aug. 6 sports-hernia surgery. Iron-man center Samuel Pahlsson’s immediate future is even more uncertain after he underwent a similar procedure Wednesday in Philadelphia.
Giguere anticipates being ready for the club’s Sept. 29 NHL opener against the Kings in London, but Pahlsson’s club-record streak of 275 consecutive regular-season games played, the league’s seventh-longest current run, is in jeopardy.
“I’m coming along really well,” Giguere said. “The first three weeks, I couldn’t do much, but since then, I’ve been working out pretty hard, riding the bike and doing everything I need to do to get ready.
“I may start skating during the (next) week, but it’s going to be very easy skating. At worst, I’ll probably be a week behind everybody. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”
Just as Giguere experienced problems when he stepped up summer workouts, prescribed offseason rest was not enough to alleviate the abdominal pain that cost Pahlsson considerable practice time during last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
“He could have played through this, but it would have been a nagging injury,” general manager Brian Burke said. “The recovery time is 3-5 weeks. We anticipate that if he misses any regular-season time, it will be minimal.”
from Pierre Lebrun of the CP via Yahoo,
The 90th NHL season is just around the corner. A look at all 30 teams and their chances as training camps open around the league next week:
Anaheim Ducks: The NHL hasn’t had a back-to-back champion in nearly a decade - Detroit last turned the trick in ‘97 and ‘98. Which brings us to the Ducks, who have a legitimate shot at pulling it off. Much will depend, of course, on whether Conn Smythe Trophy winner and perennial Norris Trophy contender Scott Niedermayer decides to come back at some point this season. Mathieu Schneider was a nice insurance pickup by GM Brian Burke but in no way comes close to replacing the skill level, minutes played and leadership Niedermayer gives the Ducks.
read on and a great recap 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 firstname.lastname@example.org