Kukla's Korner Hockey
Scott Burnside at ESPN has his Western Conference training camp preview up….
Detroit Red Wings
• Does Hasek have another season left in him like last season, when he went 38-11-6?
• Can Kronwall stay healthy for an entire season and prove he’s the star material the Red Wings believe he is?
• Just how good can Henrik Zetterberg be?
• Were the no-shows at the normally sold-out Joe Louis Arena during the playoffs a symptom of deeper problems in one of the NHL’s most solid markets?
from the CP via TSN,
The Anaheim Ducks officially suspended Scott Niedermayer on Tuesday, a formality that was expected on the first day of camp with the star defenceman a no-show.
“Yes, he was suspended today,” Ducks GM Brian Burke said during an NHL media conference call. “I spoke with Scott to tell him he was being suspended, which Scotty expected.”
from the AP via Yahoo,
Two days before players report for training camp, the owner proclaimed “the rebuild is over” in an interview Tuesday with Associated Press reporters and editors. After consecutive last-place, low-payroll seasons following the 2004-05 lockout, Leonsis feels the strategy of building with young talent is heading toward fruition.
“Every person in the organization’s expectation is that we will make the playoffs,” Leonsis said. “Because we improved a lot ... and a lot of teams around us didn’t.”
The rebuilding project has centered around rising superstar Alex Ovechkin, who already has 98 goals in two NHL seasons and will turn 22 during training camp. Ovechkin was the lone star in his first season with the team—Washington’s worst in decades—but the Capitals have slowly but surely given him a better supporting cast that includes Alexander Semin and 2007-08 arrivals Michael Nylander, Tom Poti, Viktor Kozlov and Nicklas Backstrom.
Twenty-two of the 30 teams increased their Shop.NHL.com sales in August. The Ottawa Senators, who recently revealed a new logo, were the top-gaining team for August, up 332% year-over-year. Other teams to experience noteworthy sales for August were the Buffalo Sabres (304%), Nashville Predators (223%), Vancouver Canucks (154%), Los Angeles Kings (150%) and Washington Capitals (138%).
The excitement from teams unveiling their new Rbk EDGE jerseys has carried over to Shop.NHL.com. Seven of the top 25 most searched terms on Shop.NHL.com in August were related to the new Rbk EDGE jersey.
TOP 10 SELLING JERSEYS ON SHOP.NHL.COM (August 1-31, 2007)
from The Maven of MSG Network,
Scotty (Niedermayer) is looking more like Hamlet than Nieder. Unless, of course, he simply wants to escape training camp as Hall of Famer Glenn Hall and others did through the years.
from Sports Illustrated,
Forty-five-year-old Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios came to training camp this week as the NHL’s oldest player, but, says his trainer T.R. Goodman, “he has the body of a 30-year-old.” This summer, six days a week, Chelios hit Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, Calif., where Goodman, a former college hockey player, trains more than 20 NHL players.
from the Thrashers Blog,
The communication between the Thrashers and Marian Hossa’s camp continues in an attempt to get him signed to an extension before the season starts. There hasn’t been a formal offer from the team, but it sounds like they could whip one up real quickly if there are indications from Hossa that he’s ready to sign. All signs point to a possible deal in the four-year range. If he gets Joe Thornton-type money, that would put the total around $28-30 million.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
...NHL general managers justified the spending spree by saying the players that hit the market this year were mostly younger than the 30-somethings available in the prelockout days, making them theoretically hungrier and less-risky buys.
Still, after a summer of deck-chair shuffling, a lot of NHL teams are different heading into the 2007-08 season. It isn’t readily apparent how many of them are actually better.
Here’s what happened to the six Canadian teams since last spring, with NHL training camps set to open this week:
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I discuss “numbers” today in my NHL.com blog
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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.
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