Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,
Two weeks into what has been a busy free agency period for the NHL, the big-ticket items are basically gone, although lots of shopping remains to be done.
Salary cap room is the biggest issue for teams still looking to fill holes, but for those with the space, there are some attractive names remaining. Here’s a look at some of them:
Brent Sopel, D: The Canucks have stockpiled defensemen, which makes Sopel, who finished the season in Vancouver—where he began his career in 1998—expendable. Sopel is prone to mistakes in his own end, but has a great shot from the point and can play a physical type of game. He should be a top-four defenseman on most teams, and he made $2.4 million last season.
read on for more…
from the CBC,
Canada’s so-called Prince of Pot said he’s received a legal notice from the CBC telling him to stop promoting a hockey game screening event as Hockey Night in Vansterdam.
The CBC alleged Marc Emery has violated its trademarks….
Emery had purchased a 50-inch (125-cm) plasma-screen TV and decided to start showing playoff hockey games at the B.C. Marijuana party’s Vapour Lounge earlier this year.
The reason for the move, said Emery, was that there are plenty of places in Vancouver to have a beer and watch a game but nowhere to smoke pot and enjoy some sports viewing.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
It’s not clear whether the Maple Leafs will ever get around to hiring somebody to fill the role of “senior consultant” to the club’s hockey department.
But they’re sure kicking the tires of a veritable Who’s Who of the sport.
In fact, you can now add long-time Boston Bruins executive Harry Sinden to the list of possible candidates for the job that officially doesn’t yet exist….
So far, it’s believed the contact between the Leafs and Sinden has been limited to so-called “backchannel” discussions, which likely means friends of Sinden’s are talking to people with influence at the Leaf board of directors, which in the bizarre Leaf world could mean anyone from Larry Tanenbaum to Tie Domi. Sinden’s assistant with Team Canada ‘72 was, of course, John Ferguson Sr., whose son is now GM of the Leafs.
from the Pioneer Press,
Thursday night, about two dozen players ages 12-18 paid $50 apiece to learn from the Boogeyman and his protégé, Aaron, his youngest brother and a former Wild prospect now under contract to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The kids learned how to leverage their strength when decking an opponent, protect themselves against punches from various angles and condition their bodies for the physical play that is the cause of, and solution to, the NHL’s identity crisis.
The second “Derek Boogaard Fighting Camp,” which includes T-shirts splotched with blood-red dye, was staged inside a stuffy miniature rink with boards, glass and plastic ice.
added 12:07pm, from Russo’s Rants,
Trevor Lakness, who runs Puckmasters and first had the idea for the Boogaard’s to run the camp, has received several complaints from parents about the Boogaard’s teaching children how to fight.
The Drew Remenda Show on CJME has also received calls from angry parents referring to it as a “Goon School.”
Boogaard, however, says he’s not trying to teach kids how to fight or “hurt people.” He feels fighting is inevitable in hockey and he’s trying to teach these children how to defend themselves and not to get hurt.
from the News & Observer,
The New York Rangers had been trying to trade Cullen to clear salary-cap room, ostensibly to sign Souray. But when the free-agent defenseman signed a five-year, $27 million deal with the Oilers on Thursday, the Rangers’ cap problems became considerably less pressing.
Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford, who has declined to comment about any potential Cullen trade, said Friday he continues to pursue a third-line center without success.
from the CP via TSN,
Gerard Gallant and former QMJHL head coach John Chabot have joined the New York Islanders as assistant coaches.
They will join assistant Dan Lacroix on Ted Nolan’s staff.
‘‘I’ve always had the utmost respect for Gerard and John both as players and coaches,’’ Nolan said in a statement on Friday. ‘‘We have a coaching staff with a ton of experience, both playing in the NHL and coaching and that will be a huge asset to our players.’‘
continued... Two ex-Wings and good to see Gallant land on his feet…
from Bill Clement at MSNBC.
Enough already! It’s time for much stricter enforcement of the rule that penalizes players for diving.
Policing those who make a habit of pretending to get fouled has always been on the league’s radar, specifically that of the competition committee and Colin Campbell, the executive in charge of how NHL hockey is officiated.
Comments from Montreal fans at Habs Inside/Out are coming in fast and furious regarding the departure of Sheldon Souray to Edmonton.
added 5:02pm, from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
So why did it take so long to sign the big, handsome, popular player?
It’s a question I asked a general manager friend of mine a few days ago when Souray appeared to be twirling in the wind awaiting an offer?
“He’s a good guy,” was the reply. “He’s a risk. Obviously, he’s very good offensively (an NHL record 19 power-play goals among the 26 he scored in 81 games last season), but …”
What he was really saying was that there were glitches in the scouting report on Sheldon, which go like this:
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
There is something of the tragic-comic hero in Gary Bettman and his manipulation of the sale—or nonsale, as is currently the case—of the Nashville Predators.
So determined is Bettman to prove that his vision of the NHL as a great American sporting presence is unassailable, so determined is he that his handiwork shall be his living monument to himself and the sport, that Bettman has painted himself into a tiny, uncomfortable corner.
How he emerges from this corner—if at all—will say much about his legacy and, indeed, the look and health of the NHL for years to come.
from Devin Gordon at Newsweek,
Throughout July, ESPN’s award-winning flagship news hour “SportsCenter” is devoting a chunk of every broadcast to a segment called “Who’s Now.” It’s an elimination tournament, purely theoretical, to determine which current athlete is the most “now”—although two weeks into the competition, it’s still anyone’s guess what exactly “now” means. A panel of experts, including ex-NFL diva Keyshawn Johnson, debate whether, say, the NBA’s Dwyane Wade or snowboarder Shaun White is more “now.” Viewers vote online, and the winner moves on to face Tiger Woods in the next round. And so on. Everything about the segment is so artificial, from concept to execution, that watching it is like chewing Styrofoam.
What does this have to do with hockey, not much, except to point out hockey fans in general don’t fit the mold of the average ESPN viewer. We don’t need to be spoon fed little bits and pieces about our game. We just want reporting, fair and square, but if you read the whole article, that doesn’t happen very often at ESPN.
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