Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fox Sports,
The Canadeins have questions in every major category that need to be answered this coming season. Does Alex Kovalev still have enough gas in his 33-year old tank to be a top-flight producer in the NHL? Will the acquisitions of Sergei Samsonov and Mike Johnson add a significant boost to the Habs' offense this year? With Francis Bouillon out of the lineup, will Mike Komisarek come into his own as an NHL defender? Will Sheldon Souray improve on his team-worst minus-11 from last season? Where they'll finish Division: 3rd Conference: 7thmore
Alexander Ovechkin participated in a tele-conference today....
Q. Why do European players like the bigger curve? ALEX OVECHKIN: I don't know. Maybe for shot. Maybe it's different controlling the puck, I don't know. For me, it's more the shot. If I have bigger curve, I can shoot faster, you know, faster and stronger. Q. Can you describe your first fight with Mike Richards. ALEX OVECHKIN: Well, it was normal thing for NHL. It was my second fight. I don't like to fight actually. I don't know how I fight. I don't know, for me, lose or win, for me it doesn't matter. I just try to protect my partners. It's a normal thing. Q. Is it difficult for you in that you do not have an established National Hockey League center to play with in Washington, say a center who has played in the League for five years or 10 years or anything like that? ALEX OVECHKIN: We have very good center, Dainius Zubrus. Last year we played together, we know our game. He knows me, I know him. If I have the puck, I know where he is when we go to the attac k zone. If he's yelling, I know where his stick is. The same situation when he has the puck. He knows where my stick is always. We understand each other.
Doug MacLean on his radio show today stated he is hoping Zherdev will be in the Columbus lineup by October 6th. When asked by a caller what is the percentage- 60%, 70%, 100% that he would sign with Columbus, MacLean asked the caller what did he want to hear- The caller said 100% and MacLean said. "I think you may be right, at least I hope you are."
from Scott Biurnside of ESPN,
Once upon a time in the "old" NHL, coaches routinely came into their offices, picked up a dog-eared manuscript left by their predecessors called "The Trap And How To Use It," and away they went. Game on.... he coach not only has to understand the new enforcement standards and how to implement that system but also has to be able to teach that to his players, Burke said. That's the kind of teaching that doesn't come from that well-worn "trap" book now being used to prop up the stick rack in many an NHL rink.read on
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The Answerman returns to ponder all matters contractual, including this week's most discussed topic - the penalty for exceeding the NHL's salary cap, if a team were of a mind to do so. Q: All summer long, I saw one team after another dole out generous, long-term contracts to the same players they went to war with less than 18 months before — mostly over money, as I recall. With all those dollars being tossed around, surely a handful of clubs will be hard-pressed to shoehorn their 23-man line-ups under the new $44 million salary cap, right? A: No question about it and the poster boys for the new profligacy are the New Jersey Devils, one of the teams that operated most efficiently under the old CBA. Currently, the Devils have salary-cap commitments that already exceed the $44 million limit and still have a trio of key contributors (Brian Gionta, David Hale and Paul Martin) to get under contract.continued
The officials' training camp schedule is packed and the focus is on getting physically and mentally ready for a grueling season. Fitness tests and a hockey tournament, where each official officiates a game, are two ways the officials shake off the summer rust. The camp also has a slew of team bonding activities planned that are designed to get a diverse, hundred-strong group of men to work seamlessly together in high-pressure situations for the duration of the season. This year, thanks to the vision of Stephen Walkom, the National Hockey League's Senior Vice President and Director of Officiating, the NHL officials' schedule included a floorball hockey tournament organized by the Ontario Floorball/Unihockey Federation. Floorball is a fast-paced, low contact and skill focused evolution of floor hockey originating from Northern Europe. Played by over 2 million players in 35 countries, floorball is finally making inroads in North America as it is proving to be a great dry-land/off-ice training tool for hockey players.read on
By Alanah Downie I've set up a joint hockey pool between Vancouver Canucks Op Ed and Kukla's Korner. It's free for everyone to join -- just head over there and pick your top 20 scoring players for the season.
Note: VCOE has a team in the pool but I can't win prizes. I just want to beat a few friends and brag about it forever, if possible. You know how it is.
1. Create a roster of 20 NHL players. All skaters, no goalies. Roster will be set -- NO changes -- on October 11th, 2006. 2. You'll get 1 point for every goal, assist, short-handed goal, and game-winning goal. Most points at the end of the season wins. 3. Breaking ties: 1 - most goals wins, 2 - most assists wins, 3 - most short-handed goals, 4 - most game-winning goals. Any ties after that and we'll do a draw.
from the Toronto Star,
...The reduction in coverage follows a Stanley Cup final in June covered by reporters from only 17 of the league's 30 cities. ``It was probably the poorest representation that I can remember in my 30 years here," says New York Post hockey writer Larry Brooks, past-president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The NHL has taken notice. "It's certainly a concern ... and it's something we have to work on," says NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. "All sports have to be concerned about that. "But I think it's more reflective of the changing nature and dynamics of the entire media industry and the economics of hard-copy newspapers."more
from Mark Spector at the National Post,
The San Jose Sharks are that other good team from California. Not the one with Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer on its blue line. The Sharks are the ones in teal. The team that is ready -- finally -- to win the Stanley Cup this season. "We know how good a team we have here, and we know what our goal is this year," promised defenceman Scott Hannan. "We want to go all the way to the end."continued
The KK Hockey Blogroll should be up sometime this weekend. Sorry for the slight delay...
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