Kukla's Korner Hockey
Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated breaks down the Central Division. Regarding the Nashville Predators...
The blue line defections included Brendan Witt and Markov, two veterans who are just plain miserable to play against. Although he signed 6-foot-5, 220-pound Alex Henry on Monday, Poile looks ready to go with youngsters Shea Weber, Kevin Klein and Greg Zanon at the bottom end of a potential-packed corps. That's the right move to start the year, but he'll need to buttress that back end at some point if he hopes to see the Preds get past the first round this season. He's also yet to sign defenseman Dan Hamhuis, a critical element of the top four. That should happen soon, but if the stalemate drags on past the start of training camp, Poile's summer looks less impressive.more on all of the Central...
I appeared on 'Hockey this Morning' via XM radio this morning. Had a great time and was very impressed with the host Cam Stewart. He knows hockey! They were able to record the 15 minute segment and if you wish to listen (mp3), be my guest.
from the News & Observer,
Cam Ward made his way back to Raleigh on Wednesday, the conclusion of a wild summer for the 22-year-old Carolina Hurricanes goalie. Winning the Stanley Cup was only the beginning. After being awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP, his post-victory tour has taken him from Raleigh to Vancouver to New York to Raleigh to Edmonton to Durham to Edmonton to Los Angeles to Edmonton to Hawaii and finally back to Edmonton -- a two-month odyssey that included a center-stage victory lap at the NHL Award Ceremony, appearances on VH1, NBC and the ESPYs and, somewhere in the middle of all that, his wedding and honeymoon.continued
from the Delco Times,
There are some other circumstances that are directly affecting the eventual Gagne signing, and the Flyers would like for them to work themselves out before inking a new deal with their top goal scorer. When Clarke left for his vacation, the Flyers had used up about $40 million of his team’s $44 million salary cap. So, signing Gagne would put the Flyers above the cap, so other moves need to be made -- or do they? Well, that depends on Keith Primeau. But recently, he has been back on the ice skating and participating in scrimmages with other Flyers. And while Primeau has been relatively hush-hush about the latest reincarnation of his comeback from his concussions, the fact he’s skating and skating hard has to be a positive sign.more
from the National Post,
Markus Naslund could have taken the easy way out after a stunning stretch-drive collapse last April cost the Vancouver Canucks an NHL playoff appearance. With 14 players gone from last season's roster in a summer of discontent, the captain could have asked general manager Dave Nonis for a trade to a Stanley Cup contender and escaped the fishbowl of Vancouver. Instead, the face of the franchise put to rest yesterday the ongoing rumours that he could be swapped for unsigned Philadelphia Flyers winger Simon Gagne and join longtime friend and countryman Peter Forsberg. "No, I've been committed," said Naslund. "I like playing here and it's a special place. It's been tough not having the success we expected with a group that had the possibility of having success. And that's how I felt...."continued
from the Montreal Gazette,
Gone are the days of NHLers working second jobs during the summer, then using training camp to get fit. No longer do Canadiens work offseason sales or public-relations jobs for Molson, the brewer that long owned the club, while using 18 holes of golf as a workout. Modern hockey is a year-round occupation for today's hugely salaried player, a fact reflected by the scrupulous attention Livingston pays to keeping the Canadiens healthy and fit. It's why he sent every player into the summer with a lavishly illustrated 166-page offseason training manual, which covers training philosophies, stretching, regeneration, injury prevention, principles of cardiovascular, metabolic, strength, power, agility and quickness training, diet, even yoga.more
A good look how the Stars equipment and training staff are preparing for the season... from the Dallas Stars,
"We do our best to pay attention to the minor details that players request for their gear," said Sumner, "and with so many new players, we're learning how each guy wants each piece of equipment. Some of our returning players may also be switching to new sticks or new skates, for example, so we are definitely getting into midseason form early." Representatives from various stick manufacturers have already been in to meet with players and get their custom specifications for the new season. The Stars' equipment staff facilitates the relationships between the players and the stick companies, so Sumner and his assistants, Chris Davidson-Adams and Dennis Soetaert work closely with both sides to make the players happy.more
from the Detroit Free Press,
The Michigan State Fair has been publicizing for weeks and as late as Tuesday that former Red Wings star Darren McCarty and his band Grinder would perform at the fair tonight. But this morning, fair officials said the band would not be appearing. “We’re actually pretty hot about it because we were in discussions with them going back about two months ago,” said Miller. “For over two weeks time, they have known that we were not performing … It’s pretty frustrating. You think you’ve taken care of things on your end, but the message doesn’t get through. Ultimately, it makes (McCarty) look bad.” Mitch Ryder and Mickey Redmond are scheduled to open for Karen Newman & Friends at 7 p.m. tonight....more...and any time I can get Karen (interview earlier this year) into KK, I will...
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via News 1130,
While Evgeni Malkin's flight to the NHL has incensed Russian hockey officials, some NHL executives are growing hot under the collar at watching their players abandon North America for greener pastures in Russia. Already the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders have lost three players to Russia this summer. Mark Gandler, the agent who represents those players, says Russia is an attractive option for "young, vibrant talent which is not properly treated (by NHL teams)." Winger Eugeni Artukhin rejected Tampa's last offer and has signed on for more money in his native Russia. The same goes for Russian defenceman Denis Grebeshkov and Finnish winger Sean Bergenheim of the Islanders.continued
from the CP via TSN,
Free-agent winger J.P. Dumont has narrowed his list of suitors down to three or four teams and it doesn't include the Montreal Canadiens. Some fans and media in Montreal have been pressing the Canadiens to make a move on Dumont, a 28-year-old Montreal native, but that hasn't happened. "We've never had an offer from Montreal," his agent Yves Archambault said Wednesday. "I've spoken to several teams. At this point we're really looking at 3-4 teams." The Detroit Red Wings are believed to be among the teams interested in Dumont, who became an unrestricted free agent earlier this month when the Buffalo Sabres exercised their walk-away rights after he was awarded a $2.9-million US, one-year deal in arbitration.continued
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