Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Pierre LeBrun at the CP via Yahoo!
The Ducks may be in flux but they are still mighty. The Sharks smell blood, the Red Wings will soar, the Senators sense destiny and the Rangers plan to rock Broadway again.
Those are the Fab Five as the NHL’s 90th season opens this weekend in London, England, with Anaheim opening defence of its title against rival Los Angeles.
The Ducks romped so impressively to California’s first Stanley Cup last June that giving the NHL its first repeat champion in a decade seemed like a sensible proposition. That’s before superstar defenceman Scott Niedermayer and 48-goal scorer Teemu Selanne started talking about retirement.
note: an earlier LeBrun story is noted here, for more on the London game.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Changes to several NHL rules that go into effect for the new season fit right in with the league’s ongoing crackdown on interference and obstruction.
Penalty shots can now be awarded when a player with the puck is hauled down from the centre line on in rather than from the opposition’s blue-line as previously was the case.
The interference rule has been altered to allow for a major penalty and a game misconduct when an injury results.
The changes are beneficial for on-ice officials, says director of officiating Stephen Walkom.
from the CP via TSN,
Pittsburgh Penguins star forward Sidney Crosby left practice Monday with a sore groin.
“I felt it a bit,” Crosby said. “It was just gradual as the practice wore on. I did not have as much jump as I thought I should have had.”
Crosby said his groin injury is “not near” the severity of the one that caused him to miss three games last November. Pittsburgh lost all three games when he was out.
Ken Danby, the artist who created the 1972 painting “In The Crease” has passed away at age 67. The manager of Guelph, ON’s Danby Studio, Greg McKee, said the realist painter died on Sunday while on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park.
Danby was born in Sault Ste. Marie, ON in 1940 and established himself as one of the world’s foremost realist painters over his career.
*photo of painting from Ken Danby Art
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
The NHL gets hammered for many things, some of them deserved, but let’s applaud it for what’s happening this week in London, England.
The puck drops for the NHL’s 90th season with the Los Angeles Kings and defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks playing back-to-back games at the 02 Arena.
I will be on hand and I can’t wait.
A few months ago we mentioned Pierre would be part of the Sportsnet team this season. A welcomed addition I must say.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
But let’s look at the bigger picture. This is the third post-lockout NHL season. Would it not be logical to expect the league itself to turn some kind of corner, to make some sort of statement about its future, its health?
Here are some story lines that might answer some of those questions.
The Outdoor Game
Fair or not, the dispute shows the NHL has a winner in terms of marketing. Buffalo was a terrific choice given its proximity to hockey markets in Southern Ontario, New York state and Pennsylvania.
Update 2:30pm ET:
We’ve added a link to NHL Live under the broadcasting section of the KK Hockey Links page, so it’s handy for people to grab in future. The show is on live Monday to Friday.
by George James Malik
It’s that time of year again—time to prognosticate and make grandiose claims about a team’s potential successes or failures based upon a few exhibition games, last season’s performance, and a “gut feeling” or five. Woo, yeah, party!
Seriously, Dave over at Gorillacrouch.com has kindly invited various bloggers from the Central Division to do team previews of the clubs they cover, and Bill (Mr. Abel to Yzerman), Christy Hammond (Behind the Jersey), John and Steve (Gloveside.net), Matt Saler, (On the Wings), and Dave himself have chosen this particular Monday to bombard you with all the Wings preview-y goodness that you can take.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
The Cloutier demotion makes me wonder why the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t giving all-but-banished netminder Andrew Raycroft the same treatment.
With second-line center Kyle Wellwood out for a month (at least) thanks to his second sports hernia surgery in nine months, you’d think GM John Ferguson could use Raycroft’s $2 million in salary cap space to help plug the pivot hole.
read on and more NHL notes…
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
As you know, Rangers GM Glen Sather turned a heck of an offseason double play, landing top pivots Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. When any team can add two talented centers with championship pedigree, I have to think they’ll be better—maybe, a lot better….
The Rangers certainly figure to better their 94-point total of last season. The expectations will be skyscraper high, though. If they don’t fall victim to the hype, they could make it a longer spring for hockey fans in New York.
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