Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Michael Russo at the Star Tribune,
Attention, fantasy hockey owners: Jacques Lemaire has a red-hot tip for you.
Pick up Eric Belanger, and fast.
“When we got him, I felt that he’s going to get 20 goals,” the Wild coach said. “Now, I feel he’s going to get 80 points. Playing on the power play like he does, playing on a pretty good line, he’ll get some points.
from the Star-Tribune,
In an e-mail to and subsequent phone interview with the Star Tribune on Sunday, former Gophers winger Tyler Hirsch accused the Wild of “misrepresenting the truth” and being “unethical” after the team announced last week that he signed a contract with the Houston Aeros, its American Hockey League affiliate….
According to Hirsch on Sunday, “I have neither verbally committed to or signed anything resembling a contract with the Minnesota Wild or their minor-league affiliates. I have never laid eyes on a would-be contract and am currently a free agent.”
From Jamie Fitzpatrick at About.com,
Does Patrick Kane belong in the NHL? He’ll be 19 in November, and is listed at a miniscule 5’-10” and 163 pounds. He has played one season of junior hockey. How well might he hold up over 82 big-league games with a less than stellar team?
These days, top-drawer prospects arrive more NHL-ready than ever before. In the last two years, Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Kopitar, Vlasic and Jordan Staal have all stepped into the league and flourished as teenagers. On the other hand, Gilbert Brule was a bust in his rookie season, and Nikolai Zherdev has achieved little since arriving from Russia as a 19-year-old in 2003.
From Carter Gaddis at The Tampa Tribune,
Foremost in Vinny Prospal’s mind coming into his 11th NHL season was to get off to a good start. After a drop in production to 55 points last year from 80 in 2005-06, it was imperative that he not allow the downward spiral to begin again.
“I just didn’t want to go through what I went through last year,” Prospal said after scoring two goals in Tampa Bay’s 5-2 victory Saturday against Atlanta. “Everybody struggles, but it’s always easier when you get to that point in the season when you have something to look back to. And last year, from the beginning, I really didn’t have anything to look back to.”
Prospal — who has entered the final year of his contract with the Lightning — didn’t score his third goal last season until the team’s 18th game on Nov. 15. Through two games, he has three goals.
Wings forward Johan Franzen is expected to miss three-to-four weeks with a Grade 2 sprain to his right medial collateral ligament, general manager Ken Holland said Sunday. Holland said either Matt Ellis or Aaron Downey will replace Franzen in the lineup. No one will be re-called from Grand Rapids.
From Dave Molinari at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Mark Recchi and Darryl Sydor have been friends for years.
They became teammates in July. And Wednesday, they will officially become co-owners of a hockey team.
Recchi and Sydor are part of a five-man group that has negotiated the acquisition of their old Western Hockey League club, the Kamloops Blazers, for a reported $7 million.
*And other notes on the Penguins this week, including nicknames on their sticks, etc.
From the Edmonton Sun,
Don Cherry thinks Steve Downie got off easy.
The outspoken commentator said Downie should have been suspended 30 games for his preseason hit on Dean McAmmond during Saturday night’s segment of Coach’s Corner on CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada.
Cherry called the hit by the Philadelphia Flyers forward on the Senators defenceman a “cheap shot” and added that players shouldn’t hit like that in the preseason.
Video of Cherry’s comments can be viewed on the CBC video player. There is no direct link, but just click on the “Hockey Night in Canada” link on the left, then the sub-menu will provide a link to the October 6th edition of Coach’s Corner.
note: unfortunately, U.S. viewers may not be able to access the video, unless you have a way of accessing the page using a Canadian proxy IP.
from Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News,
The Sabres were outworked by the Islanders, just as they were in the postseason last year. New York outshot Buffalo, 34-26. The Sabres were sloppy defensively, which led to goalie Ryan Miller having a tough night. Toni Lydman had no excuse for taking a breather on Mike Comrie’s second goal, but he was hardly alone….
If that continues, it’s going to be a long season. Ruff can address such issues with a dryerase board or a few bag skates. They should be fine, but we’ll see. Quick question: Was “fine” ever acceptable for Chris Drury or Daniel Briere?
Steve Zipay at On the Rangers Beat states Sean Avery has a sprained shoulder…
We don’t know how severe; he’ll be evaluated tomorrow (Sunday).
Check out the video of the hit Neil put on Avery…
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Will the Hawks be better? Sure, but marginally. They aren’t playoff-bound just yet.
Will they be more interesting? Absolutely—and by a lot. This is a team worth watching, even if those watchers won’t see enough victories to put it in the playoffs. Optimistically, I see an 82-point season, which is notably up from the 71 of last season, which was up from the 65 of the year before, which was up from the 59 in the last season before the NHL lockout. Progress will be made, however slowly.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com