Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at the Hockey Journal,
• Look for Lee Stempniak to have a breakout season in St. Louis.
“In clutch situations I want to be the guy the coach has faith in,” says Stempniak.
Other teams are high on Lee as well.
“Whenever trades are discussed, one player they’re always asking for is Lee,” said Blues President John Davidson. “All I know is that we’ve got ourselves a very honest professional.”
• Scott Niedermayer’s “To play or not to play?” decision should be imminent. We’re betting that the Cup captain will be back; at least for a year.
more from The Maven, most has been mentioned at KK…
added 5:31pm, from The Maven at MSG Network,
In an attempt to make NHLers more recognizable and marketable, the league has suggested players remove their helmets during Shootouts. The NHL Players’ Association put the kibosh on this sensational idea on the grounds that the players’ hair would not be in the best shape after playing 65 minutes.
Some players do go bare-headed during pregame warm-ups. So, here we have yet another case of the Union simply being ridiculously obtuse rather than helpful.
NEW YORK—The National Hockey League today announced the dates and start times for the 2007-08 pre-season schedule, which runs from Thursday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 30.
The 107-game slate opens with a home-and-home series between the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and their cross-town rival Los Angeles Kings, Sept. 13 at Honda Center in Anaheim and Sept. 15 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Two weeks later, the Ducks and Kings will open the 2007-08 regular season with the two-game NHL Premiere series at London’s 02 Arena on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30.
from the Thrashers Blog,
1. Alexei Zhitnik, $3.5 million
2. Niclas Havelid, $2.7 million
3. Garnet Exelby, $1.4 million
4. Ken Klee, $1.250 million
5. Tobias Enstrom, $750,000
6. Steve McCarthy, $725,000
7. Karel Pilar, $600,000
8. Mark Popovic, $500,000
Now I’m not saying that’s a Stanley Cup winning defensive corps, but it’s priced right. And there’s some upside. You figure Exelby can still get better and the foursome of Enstrom, McCarthy, Pilar and Popovic all likely have their best hockey ahead of them.
But is it enough? You need a good defense to win, especially in the playoffs. I still wouldn’t count out a trade, especially if Bob Hartley and Don Waddell don’t like what they see from some of the younger guys in camp.
from the Prince Albert Daily Herald,
It might not compare to the grueling battle of a two-month chase for a big silver mug, however, Curtis Leschyshyn is quickly finding out the world of triathlon is no walk in the park.
“Growing up (swimming) just wasn’t one of the things that I was into, and even now that I have trained for just over a year, I still don’t like it,” said Leschyshyn, who finished the race in a time 3:07:26 - good enough for eighth.
“A year ago I couldn’t even get across the pool. It’s the worst part of the race, especially getting in the water with a bunch of athletes who are more accustomed to it.”
Coming from somewhat of a cycling background, Leschyshyn showed his strength during the 62-kilometre cycling portion as he propelled himself into the lead after an understandably slower swim time of 37 minutes. While retired since 2004, Leschyshyn still finds himself close to the NHL as a radio commentator with the Colorado Avalanche. He lives in Lilleton, Colo. during the season.
from Larry Wigge at NHL.com,
It was only natural that when he got his own teams that he asked his dad, Mike Sr., for advice on how he might be able to get the same kind of respect and worth ethic from his men.
“He told me; ‘It all comes from your men seeing how hard you work at your job,’ ” Babcock told me early last season, when the Red Wings stumbled badly. “I always say to the guys; ‘I want us to work hard and be able to be proud of that work ethic.’ But if you ask for that, you better show it at practices and in the games.”
read on and some Central Division notes too…
from the Patriot Ledger,
State and Abington police apprehended a Scituate man who hid behind neighborhood homes after leading officers on a high-speed chase through two towns early Monday.
William Tibbetts, 32, of 79 Jericho Road, was charged with resisting arrest and leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage, as well as speeding and other traffic violations. He was to be arraigned in Quincy District Court today.
It was his second arrest for such a chase in four months.
Tibbetts, who has tried to make a career as a professional hockey player, has a long criminal history dating back to a guilty plea in a rape case when he was 21.
from Tripp Mickle at Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
Some teams struggle to get their players to meet sponsors at all, but this week Florida Panthers captain and center Olli Jokinen not only will meet with team sponsors, he’ll invite them into his home.
Jokinen and his wife, Katerina, will host close to 60 executives from the Panthers’ top corporate partners on Saturday at their Heron Bay home in Parkland, Fla. Ten to 12 other Panthers players are expected to attend, as well.
“We want to pull these partners in and have them feel like part of our family,” said Panthers Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark. “What better way to do that than to invite them into our captain’s home?”
More than 95 percent of those getting invitations committed to attend, the club says.
On a side note… A make-up a rumor guy has mentioned Jokinen’s name in trade talk, which just doesn’t make sense now, does it?
We are in the dog days of hockey talk. So, this post is yours.
Keep it somewhat hockey related with questions, rants, comments or anything that is on your mind.
from the Cape Breton Post,
“I’ve had the chance to play a lot the last two or three years, so it’s good for me to get that experience and just try to learn every year a little bit more,” said the 22-year-old, visiting his former billet family, Bob and Angela Hawkins of Westmount and their two children, Janelle and Jeffrey. “The team, too, has been improving along the way. Everything will make us a better team.”...
Many analysts believe the Penguins are the team of the future, but Fleury and his teammates are striving to be the team of today.
“I hope so — that’s our goal and that’s what we want,” he said, of winning the Stanley Cup. “But I don’t think the guys on the team want to wait a couple of years. Last year, we improved a lot and if we keep improving the same way this year, I think every year, our chances will get better.”
from Sovsport (roughly translated below):
Situated near Moscow, “Khimik” has signed Swedish center forward Nils Ekman, who, in the last season acted in club of NHL “Pittsburgh,” and before is in “San Jose” and “Tampa Bay.” The contract is [for] one year, informs the website of “Khimik”.
On Friday August, 10th. Ekman has joined “Chemist” on gathering in Switzerland, and to Saturday has lead with a command the first training.
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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.
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