Kukla's Korner Hockey
Hello Folks, Mac here and I've been lucky enough to have been invited by Paul to contribute some blog entries on KK. I'm a long time follower here on KK, since the Breaking Sports days. I'm also a big fan of the Calgary Flames and I have a blog called Flames Page, where, as I'm sure you have guessed, I post news and information on the Flames. What I hope to do here at KK is give my two cents on all things Flames as well as some other hockey related items. I do not deal in rumours - unless they come from a very good source - or speculation. What I do deal in is fact, which I will bring to you along with my opinions. OK, with that out of the way, let's get down to business. I'm going to break the offseason down into three parts, first I will look at the Flames coaching change, second will be who's in and who's out player wise and finally I'll take a look at the Flames outlook as we head into training camp. One of the biggest stories for the Flames this offseason was the news that Head Coach Darryl Sutter was handing the reigns over to assistant Jim Playfair. With Sutter holding both the Head Coach and GM duties, everyone knew that it wasn't a matter of if, but when he would step aside and put his focus on the front office rather than coaching. As Sutter put it this was a succession plan that was stalled a year by the lockout. He felt that he would coach one more season after leading the Flames to the 2004 Cup final and falling short to Tampa Bay in seven games. Who is Jim Playfair? Many people thought Sutter would opt for a more established coach to take over his team - most notably brothers Brent and Brian - but Brent is firmly entrenched as Owner/GM/Coach of his Junior Team in Red Deer and has turned down NHL offers recently. Brian, the Flames Coach from 1997 - 2000 was never really an option for Darryl. This brings us back to Jim Playfair. After leading Calgary's farm club in Saint John to the Calder Cup title in 2000/01 - his first season as Head Coach there - he was an assistant from 02/03 up to the point when Darry Sutter decided to hand the team over to him. Playfair was drafted, oddly enough, 20th overall in the 1982 entry draft by the Edmonton Oilers and played 21 NHL games and nine pro seasons before retiring due to injury in 1992. Playfair takes over a team with an established leader in Jarome Iginla and an All Star Goalie in Miikka Kiprusoff, but he also takes over a team that struggled to score goals last season and were knocked out in seven games by Anaheim in the first round of the playoffs. In future posts I'll go further into these topics. We'll look at who's on board for 06/07 and can they provide the goals needed to take the team deep into the playoffs. Until next time, thanks for reading!
from the Daily News,
Surely the old-time sports-card collector's worst enemy was the bleaching power of the sun, the corner-crushing bricks of a wall, or spokes of a bicycle wheel. Perhaps it was the protection racket of the schoolyard bully, or the mildew of a basement. Not so, says Gerry Chartrand of Dorval, Que., a dealer of top-quality vintage hockey cards, programs, photos and other non-trophy memorabilia through his website, gerryssportscards.com. "The collector's worst enemy," Chartrand says, "was his mother, when she went into his room for spring cleaning and threw out the cards he'd bought all winter long."... And this is why Montreal Canadiens Hall of Famer Elmer Lach is now holding his plastic-sealed 1951-'52 hockey card, one Chartrand expects to sell for close to the $4,000 Lach earned in his rookie NHL season.read on
from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,
•Now that the Collective Bargaining Agreement is a year old, a few beefs are being privately aired by some NHL execs. One gripe centers on the lowering of Free Agent eligibility. “It’s way too low,” one high team official tells us. “There was no need for the league to give up so much on this issue.” Another griper says Bettman, Inc. should have gotten a better deal on Arbitration. •Something To Get Antsy About Department: Those of us who want to see another year of Brian Leetch are starting to count the days. Nobody has signed the future Hall of Famer who should be good for one more year. Is BL ready to call it a career?more from the Maven...
Bill at A2Y tracked down a story from the Dallas Cowboys website, talking about a couple of Cowboys having the same type of surgery Steve Yzerman had on his knee a few years ago. Looks like Steve will still be the only athelete to play after having such a radical surgery procedure.
from Kamloops This Week,
Given the nature of things, it's so easy to bring out a person's passion in an interview setting. But, what struck me in talking to Bobby Orr this week was the look I saw in people's eyes as they either watched the interview from "Bobby's Office," a golf cart just outside where the social was being held for the Recchi-Doan Charity Golf Classic, or personally talked to Orr. There was that look of "you're so damn lucky to be talking to Orr" on many faces.... "Of many young players of today, the thing that scares me the most is that when they come up they have the love and passion for the game and, in some cases, lose it. "There was a day when you couldn't get them off the ice. There are some today who can't wait until the season is over. That scares me. People say it's the money. I think there's more to it. It may be communication with teams."more...including who is the greatest hockey player and the new NHL rules...
from the AP via the Ledger,
Peter Chiarelli's first big step toward success for the Boston Bruins has less to do with adding scorers and defenders than with building the team's character. The new general manager of the worst team in the Northeast Division had that philosophy on May 31 in his first public remarks in his new job when he said, "I want a real true combination of speed and character." And he's pursued that since he began to work full-time for the Bruins on July 8. He emphasized that again on Monday in an interview with The Associated Press when he said, "I'm really stressing character and I just want it to come out and I know it will, but fans will connect with that and it makes you proud of your team."continued
from CBS Sportsline,
This ain't your dad's NHL, folks. It's not even your older brother's. Whether that's good or bad depends on your point of view, but there's no arguing the year-long lockout and resulting salary cap has changed the NHL's look and feel. Major annual roster shakeups are now a fact of life in all precincts, and those preaching the new-age wisdom of speed, offense and youth have taken on an air of genius.... 50. Dion Phaneuf, D: He had a rookie of the year quality season and played a key role on a first-place team. That's no small matter for a defenseman who has a Norris Trophy in his future.much more...and is it just me, but CBS Sportsline seems to be dedicating much more to the NHL this off-season...
via the NY Rangers,
New York Rangers right wing Jed Ortmeyer has been diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and will be out of action indefinitely. Ortmeyer, who was re-signed by the Rangers last month, will undergo further testing this week.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
If the CBC loses those rights when its contract with the NHL expires at the end of the 2007-08 season – and with Bell Globemedia’s initial offer reported to be in the $140-million-a-year range for 10 years, there is little doubt it will – its biggest moneymaker will shake for the competition, and the fallout on the public broadcaster’s hard news division will be horrendous. Hundreds, if not thousands of jobs will be lost. Important documentaries and educational programs will go un-financed, un-purchased and un-aired. Sooner than later, the CBC will become PBS minus the ponderous pledge drives, reduced to airing Engelbert Humperdinck concerts for the blue-rinse demographic.read on
By Alanah Downie Stick in Rink has a copy of the Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Job Application Form (Did Alain Vigneault fill one of those in? Don't I wish.) Over at the Post-Pessimist Association, discover the madness of collecting game-worn jerseys. A cautionary tale about how combining eBay, alcohol consumption, and a passion for Tomáš Klouček jerseys may eventually leave you in financial ruin. Carolina Hurricanes fan Red & Black Hockey discovers that some of the locals wear Atlanta Thrashers merchandise... as a fashion statement. (Don't think about that for too long... it'll make your head hurt...) In Pittsburgh, Igloo Dreams smells something underhanded going on at City Hall. And on Red Wings Legends, Bob Probert's bio was recently added to the reading selections. LCS Hockey isn't a blog, but I liked their article ranking the best goalies for 2006-07. Interestingly, Marc-Andre Fleury makes the top-10, which is defended by LCS this way: "Fleury is already the most spectacular goaltender in the world. He's the fastest, quickest, most agile goalie I've ever seen." Whoa, really? Still, it's a great read, with plenty to argue about. Covered in Oil has interviewed the Hot Oil girls here. These women are endlessly quotable, but let me give you just a tease from the lovely Loxy: "The distance between a fan and her loved player creates a special bond that restraining orders can’t change." I'm pretty sure she's kidding. Finally, at Vancouver Canucks Op Ed (yes, that would be me) I've been plotting the future tombstones of NHL players. Only one guy died making that blog post -- which is better than some days, I promise you. Back in a couple days with more hockey blog chatter.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org