Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vancouver Province,
Q: Roberto Luongo was often treated like a piñata by crease-crashing forwards? How much can Aaron Miller help protect your starter at age 36?
A: It’s not just Aaron. He’s a physical presence and has a lot of experience and with that comes leadership. It has to be a team effort to protect Louie and we feel our six defencemen are as good as any in the league.
Q: How do you convince Luongo that he might want to take the odd practice off, let alone the odd game?
A: Louie is a special person and a special athlete. We like his competitive spirit and as much as I thought last year we needed to rest him, it sometimes became issues. With the overtimes, he played 96 games and his best one was his last one. Fatigue shouldn’t be a concern to anyone any more. We know he can take anything we throw at him.
from the Calgary Sun,
“I think Darryl added a little bit of grit, with Sarich and Aucoin and Owen. Darryl wanted a team that plays under his style, and I think we’re very happy with the additions,” said Tanguay, who was one of three current Flames to get married this summer along with Lombardi and Robyn Regehr.
“We didn’t need anything much. We’ve got one of the best goalies in the world. We’ve got a very solid and capable defence. Our offence scored a lot of goals.”
Iginla shared his left-winger’s positive outlook on the upcoming season.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Vyborny, who returned to Columbus late last week after spending the summer in his native Czech Republic, reiterated his wishes.
“Two years ago, I wanted to go back home so my kids could go to school there,” Vyborny said.
“My wife,” he said, with a grin. “She really likes it here, the kids like it here, and they are in really good schools. The first language they will learn is English. But they can learn to speak Czech at home, from us.”
Vyborny, who lives in Gahanna, is the Blue Jackets’ franchise leader in games played, points, assists, short-handed goals and multipoint games.
from the Ottawa Sun,
Senators GM Bryan Murray said yesterday he’ll try to accommodate the veteran goalie’s request for a trade, but he’s told Gerber and his agent Gilles Lupien they’ll have to be patient because there are no trade talks going on.
ROSTERS ON HOLD
While sources say the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes both had a mild interest in Gerber—who has two years, $7.4 million remaining on his contract—rosters are on hold until teams figure out what they want to do after training camp is over at the end of the month.
“I’ve talked to some teams,” said Murray. “There is nobody at this point that has indicated they can take on a goaltender or needs one….”
Yesterday Chicago GM Dale Tallon participated in a NHL conference call with the media…
Q. Dale, you’ve done a lot of work to strengthen your team both with your off-season signings and last year’s draft choices. Looking at the Central Division, Detroit is still strong, St. Louis geared up, Columbus, almost like you can’t tell but they have the potential. How do you see this division going? Do you see Chicago in the playoff hunt this year?
DALE TALLON: Well, we’re anticipating we’ll be in the playoff hunt. We like the mixture of young players we have. We’ve bridged the gap with some of our veteran signings in the off-season, a couple of our trades.
You know, it’s a very difficult division. I think St. Louis has improved. Nashville’s got a good team. Detroit is obviously the favorite. But, you know, we feel we can compete with anybody. Obviously it will take a little time for everything to gel. We have enough offense now. That’s one thing we lacked in the last couple years. We were one of the lowest scoring team in the league, and we’ve tried to improve on the power play, get more depth on the offensive side as well as the experience that some of our young guys achieved and gained the last two seasons. It should bode well for them as far as their future. We’re pretty happy with our team. We’re never satisfied. But the direction we’re headed in, it looks a lot better.
from the Mercury News,
It takes just one four-letter word to sum up why the Sharks’ signing of Jeremy Roenick was such a good idea:
Doug Wilson, the team’s general manager, disagrees. He uses a different word. A five-letter word.
“Spice,” Wilson said. “You know what Jeremy is? He’s like adding a little spice to the recipe.”
Fizz, spice, crosscheck, canceled check, whatever. The signing of Roenick one week before training camp opens for our local ice hockey team was a needed development.
Maybe not mandatory. But needed.
from the NY Rangers,
NYR.com Tell us about your summer. Did you spend a lot of time at home in Sweden?
Lundqvist: I stayed in New York until mid-June. Then I went back to Sweden for a few months and spent time with friends and family. I got back here a week ago, and now I’m getting ready.
NYR.com Are there are a lot of NHL and Rangers fans in Sweden these days? Do people come up to you and talk about the Rangers?
Lundqvist: Yes, they do. They think it’s fun, and they’re happy that it’s been going well for me. Obviously there are lots of Swedes in the NHL, but a lot of people are now following the Rangers, for sure. That’s happened.
Image from Pittsburgh Penguins team website:
From The Hockey News
The Anaheim Ducks will announce Thursday that Conn Smythe winner Scott Niedermayer will not be attending Ducks training camp, a source told The Hockey News. [...]
A source also told The Hockey News veteran Teemu Selanne has indicated he is comfortable with the notion of being retired, although he has not announced his future plans yet.
And TSN reports,
The Anaheim Ducks have called a news conference for 1:30pm et on Thursday to discuss the playing status of captain Scott Niedermayer, amid reports that the All-Star defenceman will not be attending training camp.
Update 7:34pm ET
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
“He hasn’t decided that he wants to retire but I know he’s not certain he wants to start this soon,” Niedermayer’s agent Kevin Epp said Wednesday.
Update note: title originally read “Rob” Niedermayer because I’m an idiot today.
My thanks to Earl Sleek for sending me a note and not making too much fun of me!
From Wes Goldstein of CBS Sportsline,
It might not have seemed like it, but things were pretty busy around the NHL this past summer. Here’s a look back at some of the most important events that took place….
5. Seeing the value: Despite the criticism the NHL gets for its lack of exposure and inability to make inroads in many American markets, there is obviously something about owning a franchise that appeals to people with money. How else do you explain the significant premiums paid this summer for the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning? Both organizations have been burning cash for the past decade, but the sale prices they fetched suggest that NHL teams are much better investments than they appear to be on the surface.
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