Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the St. Petersburg Times,
It is standard operating procedure for Tortorella and wife Christine, who in their seven years in the Tampa Bay area have become ingrained in its charitable community.
With help from the Lightning Foundation, they have supported numerous programs financially and, more importantly, with their time.
From fundraising for cancer research to handing out free school supplies to the children of Hillsborough County’s migrant workers, from supporting seat-belt awareness to volunteering at Tampa’s The Children’s Home and the Child Abuse Council, Tortorella and Christine get their hands dirty.
“John and Christine Tortorella are the genuine article,” said Gerard Veneman, president and CEO of The Children’s Home, which deals with abused, homeless and neglected kids. “The genuine warmth that they want to share with our kids is something I have seldom seen in my 20-some years in child welfare.”
from the Prince George Citizen,
He’s forgotten more stories than most people can tell.
An hour spent in a rink sitting next to Daryl Lubiniecki is time wisely invested—enough yarns to weave a coat of many colours.
Lubiniecki’s tales involve big names and they span generations. Now 66, the director of hockey operations for the Prince George Cougars is presiding over his 35th Western Hockey League camp. Add in his own time as a junior player and as a pro, and Lubiniecki has been intimately involved in 50 fall hockey training camps….
The NHL, minors and junior are littered with people who learned at least some of what they know under Lubie. Mike Babcock, Habscheid, Dave Lewis, Brown, Todd McLellan, Trent Yawney, Lane Lambert, Bruce Hamilton, Lorne Molleken and Donn Clark, to name but a few, all worked under Lubiniecki at some point in their careers, some as players, some as coaches.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Michael Peca finally has a job.
But Bryan Berard, the first overall pick in the 1995 NHL entry draft, has swallowed his pride and will be going to the Islanders as a training camp invite, literally begging for a job.
And how about Jeff Friesen, Mike Johnson, Jeff O’Neill and Danny Markov? They’re all veteran free agents still waving the “Needs Work” sign with only a few weeks left before National Hockey League camps open.
The NHL free-agent landscape is going through a transformation. While there’ll always be a market for big names like
Peter Forsberg, there’s a whole group of seasoned pros who are feeling the crunch, mostly due to the salary cap.
from the Mercury News,
Trade rumors have been swirling around Patrick Marleau this summer, but the Sharks captain hasn’t even bothered calling his agent to check their credibility.
If he had checked, here’s what he would have heard:
“I don’t have a sense that the Sharks are in a trade mode with regards to Patrick Marleau,” agent Don Baizley said from his Winnipeg office this week.
That’s consistent with the message Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson has been sending, too. His priority, Wilson said again this week, is to get Marleau’s signature on a contract extension - not send him packing to Montreal, or anyplace else.
from On Frozen Pond,
The Panthers locked up another of their young stars Thursday, signing center Stephen Weiss to a six-year deal.
Terms were not immediately available, although winger Nathan Horton recently received $24 million over his six-year contract. Horton’s six-year contract was the longest awarded in franchise history.
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Every year about this time, I try to convince myself that there truly is hope for the Chicago Blackhawks to get back on track, for the Hawks to get back into the playoff mix, and for the latest offseason moves (or inertia) to turn out to be steps forward instead of retreats….
I get carried away. I’m rooting for the Blackhawks. I admit it. I can’t help it.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios said Toronto lawyer Sheila Block’s report on the hiring of former NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin will go a long way toward proving the players did the right thing when they fired Saskin from his post in early May.
Members of the NHLPA’s executive committee and the 30 team representatives began receiving copies of the 80-100 page report Wednesday and it will be formally disclosed to the rank and file at player meetings to be held in Toronto next week.
From Spector at his FoxSports blog today:
Thirty-five years ago this September, the greatest international series in hockey history took place when a group of Canadian NHL stars faced off against the elite players from the then-Soviet Union.
This year, starting August 27th and running until September 9th the best under-20 junior players from Canada and Russia will face off in their own eight game series.
The 1972 Summit Series was a seminal event in Canadian hockey history. Its reinvention in the form of the Super Series promises excellent entertainment, despite having little chance of carrying the same historical importance. As Future Considerations noted recently, “this is not your Daddy’s summit series.” Quite true, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are some resources to check out for the upcoming games.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
It’s hard to believe that, less than 18 months after stumbling to their worst record in 27 years and third-worst in franchise history, the St. Louis Blues have as much going for them as they do.
But they do, and Western Conference playoff bubble teams – I’m looking at you, Dallas, Minnesota and Nashville – should realize this particular object in their rearview mirror is definitely closer than it appears.
I’ll admit, I had my doubts about how quickly the Blues could turn things around.
The Blues reported selling 450 new season tickets in the week after signing Kariya, and 1,600 of their 2,500 new tickets have been sold since he joined the team. Also since the signing, the team has sold an average of 40 new season tickets per weekday and 200 per week. On that pace, with seven weeks left before the home opener Oct. 10, the ticket base could grow by 1,400. That would more than eclipse the 9,100 season-ticket holders in 2003-04, when the Blues had a record of 39-30-11-2 for 91 points.
“I hope he (Blake) works out. He had 40 goals last season. And playing alongside the playmaking centres that we have right now, obviously looks good for us,” Tucker opined.
The blue line corps boasts a mix of veteran stalwarts like Tomas Kaberle and Brian McCabe, as well as young up-and-comers like Ian White and Carlo Colaiacovo. There’s also a good balance between those blueliners with obvious offensive skills (Colaiacovo, Kaberle) and more stay-at-home physical defenders (Hal Gill, Wade Belak).
“We’ve got a really deep defence, that’s for sure,” Tucker said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that can play right now [in the minors] that aren’t playing. So it gives us an opportunity, even if we do have injuries, to have good, solid defence all year long.”
“We’ve got two solid goaltenders. I don’t know Vesa all that well. But for us, we’ve got to play solid in front of both of them, not matter who’s in there. Andrew’s a great guy, and we’re going to stick behind who’s in net every night,” Tucker said.
read on for Tucker’s view on the charity work he does…
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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