Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Bruce Garrioch at the Ottawa Sun,
Is Peter Forsberg ready to return to the NHL?
The unrestricted free-agent centre continues to skate with MoDo of the Swedish Elite League amid talk he could be back in the NHL by mid-November if his rehab goes smoothly.
The one thing you can count on with Forsberg, who is recovering from off-season groin and ankle surgeries, is that he won’t return unless he’s 100%. NHL insiders are saying that Forsberg could be targeting a Nov. 15 return.
Sources say the Avalanche, Stars and Flyers have all made serious overtures to Forsberg in the past 10 days or so. Make no mistake about it, Forsberg is going to attract plenty of interest.
From Sheila Wissner at The Tennessean,
While Nashville officials and the would-be owners of the Nashville Predators struggle to reach new terms for an arena lease, one man stands to walk away from it all with more than $30 million.
Team owner Craig Leipold, who says he’s unloading the hockey team because it’s a money-loser, would gain a windfall of more than three times his initial investment, according to an analysis by The Tennessean. That’s even after covering $70 million in operating losses Leipold has claimed.
*Very good overview of the ownership structure and financial origins of the team.
From Chuck Gormley at the Courier Post,
“[My wife] gave it to me right before we left for the West Coast trip at the beginning of this season, so I was really itching to get back to the Philadelphia area to drive it around,” said Biron, who took the car for a spin through Voorhees Saturday morning. Loaded with an original 302 engine, the car sounds almost as good as it looks.
“Almost everything is original from the way it was when it came out of production in 1969,” he said. “It’s a very nice collector’s edition.”
Biron said he changed the interior to black leather and kept the original orange and black paint design, adding black racing stripes. He said he’s lusted after the ‘69 Camaro long before he wore orange and black.
From George Johnson at the Calgary Herald,
“Everything has changed so dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years in regards to handling players. I don’t know about Mike, but I’ve had zero success trying to make players do things. It just doesn’t work.
“You have to explain things to them now. You have to make them think what you’re trying to get across is their idea. The dictatorial days are over.
“I don’t think. There’s so much more pressure on players than before.’’ He gestured around him, to a small army of scribblers, cameras and microphones milling around. Used to be, there were half a dozen of you guys here on game day. Now there’s 20. Or more. There are appearances, community commitments.
“So much more of their time is taken away by the game. So if they show up at the rink and you suffocate them, there’s a danger of sucking the life right out of them.’‘
*MacTavish coached his 500th Oilers’ game Saturday night and shares some memories of opposing coach Mike Keenan and the Battle of Alberta)
From Luke Decock at The News & Observer,
A night after Scott Walker partially collapsed on the ice as he skated to the bench, the Carolina Hurricanes lost Erik Cole without him so much as lacing up a skate.
Cole was a late scratch for Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers after injuring a foot while playing soccer before the game. Cole is definitely out for Monday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks and doubtful for Carolina’s other three games this week.
With Walker and Andrew Ladd already out, the Hurricanes were down to 10 forwards and dressed only 17 skaters against the Flyers.
From Eric Duhatschek’s Globe & Mail blog,
Officially, the Edmonton Oilers have another week or so before deciding whether to keep rookie Sam Gagner on their NHL roster. But coach Craig MacTavish implied Saturday that the decision had been mostly made already – and that there would have to be a radical reversal in fortune in the next few days for the Oilers to send Gagner back to his junior team, the London Knights. And this was before Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames, in which Gagner scored the first goal of his NHL career, to go with the four assists he picked up in his first six games.
“There will be a point of no return and we’ve probably reached that point already,” MacTavish said. “The way he’s played and what he’s contributed so far, there’s every reason to expect him to stay here.”
From Joe Pelletier at Hockey Legends,
I will always remember the late Bob Johnson for two quotes.
The first everyone knows. “It’s a great day for hockey.” But an earlier quote has never left me. “You don’t need great skill to be a good penalty killer. You just need hard work. There’s no reason why every team shouldn’t have a good penalty kill.”
Ultimately, Johnson is right, although certain skill sets make some penalty killers better than others.
continued… (*a look at the best PK’ers of all time, plus a list of the top 25 SH goal scorers)
From Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune,
Morning skates on game days are a part of NHL tradition. But [Andy Murray] Murray isn’t a big fan, calling them one of the most overrated things in hockey. Murray rarely makes the skates mandatory. In St. Louis they’re called “necessary skates,” in that players who think it’s necessary will skate.
Turns out Wild coach Jacques Lemaire doesn’t entirely disagree.
“Myself, the morning skate is for the player that doesn’t play a lot,” Lemaire said. “Or the player that wants to shoot a couple pucks, players that want to feel their legs. That’s it.”
Lemaire runs a quick morning skate, and makes more of them optional as the season wears on. The players have varied views of them. Brian Rolston isn’t a big fan; Pavol Demitra loves to get in his morning skate.
From The Sports Network,
Florida Panthers left wing David Booth was removed from the ice on a stretcher during the second period of a game against the Ottawa Senators Saturday night.
Booth was in the offensive left corner when he was checked from behind by Ottawa defenseman Anton Volchenkov with 15:12 left in the period. Booth’s head went flush into the boards and he remained on his back until medical personnel assisted him to the stretcher.
Volchenkov was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
Update 10:45pm ET - George Richards at On Frozen Pond
Booth has been taken to the Ottawa Civic Hospital, said to be alert and moving around. The Panthers are optimistic doctors at the hospital will release him and he’ll be able to make the charter flight home. [...]
The hit by Volchenkov may have been in retaliation for a similar hit just moments earlier. There, Florida defenseman Branislav Mezei sent Nick Foligno into the boards. Foligno had to be helped off the ice…
From Craig Custance at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Quinn, who last coached in the NHL in 2006 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, spent the last five seasons of his playing career with the Atlanta Flames as a defenseman. He still keeps in touch with the players from those teams who live in Atlanta, such as Tim Ecclestone and Eric Vail. His daughter was a swimmer at the University of Georgia. Recently, he went pheasant hunting in Montana with former Falcons great Tommy Nobis.
So when Bob Hartley was fired and word spread that Thrashers general manager Don Waddell was looking for a new coach, why wouldn’t Quinn be interested?
“I think after a year away, I wasn’t quite ready to be in retirement,” said Quinn, when reached on his cellphone while visiting Winnipeg, Manitoba. “I still feel healthy and have a passion to be involved.”
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.
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