Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Columbus Dispatch,
The first step, Hitchcock said, is for the Blue Jackets to get in better physical shape, especially the young players.
That, it seems, is the root cause of the Blue Jackets’ so-called soft label.
In 2005-06, after defenseman Francois Beauchemin was traded from Columbus to Anaheim, he said it wasn’t until he joined the Ducks that he truly understood what it meant to be in NHL shape.
An NHL source told The Dispatch that Ducks general manager Brian Burke placed a call a few weeks later to then-Blue Jackets general manager Doug MacLean offering him some friendly advice: get your team in shape.
MacLean didn’t take the advice well—understandably—and a once-tight friendship with Burke has been rocky ever since.
from Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun,
The slow dance between the Maple Leafs and Scotty Bowman never seems to end.
Although the music has once again stopped playing.
Bowman recently had meetings with Leafs CEO Richard Peddie and board chairman Larry Tanenbaum while he continues to maintain a public stance that he has no interest in leaving his consulting role with the Detroit Red Wings.
The role the Leafs talked to Bowman about recently was not that of adviser to general manager John Ferguson, but to be the senior hockey voice in the organization.
from the Toronto Sun,
Eugene Melnyk has a novel idea to spice up the Battle of Ontario.
How about if the Maple Leafs got into the playoffs for a change?
“You would like to see the Leafs competitive,” Melnyk, the owner of the Ottawa Senators, said. “I think they are making changes that will make them more competitive. They have to. We’ll see what happens. (The rivalry) does lose a little lustre, but it is still there and it will continue. But hopefully it never gets reversed and we keep winning.”
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Since the “original six” teams in the NHL were Toronto, Montreal, Boston, New York, Chicago and Detroit, why was the league called the National Hockey League? It was clearly an international league to begin with, so why wasn’t it called the International Hockey League? Except for teams in Montreal and Toronto, there’s nothing original about the Original Six.
The National Hockey League began life in 1917 as a truly national league, with five Canadian teams, although only four actually played in the inaugural season.
from the Boston Globe,
Since July 2006, Detroit general manager Ken Holland has made the fewest deals in the league: only two, both coming at the 2007 trade deadline. That’s because the Red Wings have been among the shrewdest drafters in the NHL, using low-round picks to nab their three star forwards: Pavel Datsyuk (sixth round, 1998), Henrik Zetterberg (seventh round, 1999), and Tomas Holmstrom (10th round, 1994). One of Holland’s priorities will be to lock up Zetterberg, who has two more years on his current deal, to a long-term extension, most likely at a tick under Datsyuk’s annual pay of $6.7 million.
much more NHL talk on numerous teams…
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Of course, Shero will also be watching his young stars such as Staal, Malkin, Whitney and Fleury—if, for no other reason, to see how they respond to raised expectations.
“These guys are still young players,” Shero said. “Look at Crosby last year. He took his summer to get better, improve a few things, and he did.
“There are areas where these younger players need to improve upon to get better ... but it is not a one-year window here.”
Unlike this time last season, though, the Penguins’ window of opportunity is definitely open.
from the Palm Beach Post,
Can the Rangers’ “D” get it done? The additions of Chris Drury and Scott Gomez give New York the league’s most potent offense and Henrik Lundqvist is solid in goal. But a defense that wasn’t very good last year looks even more shaky after losing Tom Poti and Karel Rachunek.
“It’s brutal,” said Panthers broadcaster Denis Potvin (who, truth be told, never will be accused of being a Rangers fan). “They’ll be OK in goal, but the defense is a big issue.”
“There seems to be an imbalance there, but some people in the know say it’s not as bad as people think,” national broadcaster Bill Clement added.
more NHL talk... including the Panthers, Flyers, Thrashers, Ducks and some Calder talk…
from the Milford Daily News,
Forget Ken Jennings, this Bruins squad would be the real juggernaut in Jeopardy.
As another season approaches, the club has all the questions it needs. Answers are another matter. At least for now.
And if those answers aren’t found in the coming weeks and months, there will be plenty of jobs in actual jeopardy on Causeway Street.
from Rich Hammond at Inside the Kings,
Q: Can you talk a little about your relationship with Jack Johnson? You’re expected to mentor him. What’s that been like so far and what do you see from him?
A: You see the competitive nature. Obviously coming in last year for a handful of games, you saw how competitive he was and how much he wanted to battle. I think he understands that his college career is done and now the next step is to play professional hockey.
He’s trained hard this summer, he’s been to a couple different camps and he’s here expressing himself and knowing that he’s going to be a big part of this team. From the older guys’ perspective, he probably can show more things off the ice.
He understands that he’s going to compete on the ice, but it’s a long season and you do need a little guidance throughout that.
more on the Kings…
Brad Holland of NHL.com is in Traverse City keeping any eye on some of the top NHL prospects.
I wonder if he has an eye for hockey talent?
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