Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Kevin Fee of the Grand Forks Herald (via INS News),
Keith Ballard admits he was a little nervous during his first NHL training camp in 2005. Blowing the whistle on the ice was perhaps the greatest NHL player ever, Wayne Gretzky, the Phoenix Coyotes head coach. "It was exciting last year at training camp," said Ballard, a Phoenix defenseman and former University of Minnesota and Lake of the Woods High School star. "I was nervous to be around him. It was fun to come in and give a good impression. Things have gone well since."Continued... Voted the Hardest Worker on the Phoenix Coyotes last season, the 24 year old defenseman is struggling through a hand injury so far this year.
from the Buffalo News,
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Connolly is no closer to being cleared to exercise because of concussion-related problems. And because he will need several weeks to get into shape once he is allowed to work out, his earliest possible return wouldn't be until January.... "You know there's going to be a breaking point where he's going to feel better," Ruff said. "In my eyes, it has maybe taken a little bit longer, but we know, from our point, there's nothing we can do. The last time around was a long one, and this one is turning out to be a long one, too." Connolly has stopped hanging around Buffalo's dressing room because not being able to play was too agonizing.more
from the Tennessean,
With Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun out for as many as six weeks with a thumb injury, Predators General Manager David Poile said he has started making phone calls inquiring about available backups. Two of the Toronto Maple Leafs' three pro scouts were in attendance Saturday, which could be significant because the team has three goalies — Andrew Raycroft, Jean-Sebastien Aubin and Mikael Tellqvist — on its NHL roster. Raycroft is the team's top netminder and won't be going anywhere, but the Leafs might be willing to part with Aubin (2-1-2 record, .891 save percentage and 3.21 GAA) or Tellqvist (0-1-0, .895 save percentage and 2.03 GAA).more
from the Sun-Sentinel,
"You just hate to see the calls that are made that have absolutely no meaning on the game itself, or the situation of the game and it costs the team a win," said winger Gary Roberts before Florida played Atlanta on Saturday. "That's what's frustrating -- the timing of some of the calls that are phantom calls. When you look at it, it's obvious to see on tape, too." Roberts said he supports rule changes cracking down on penalties and said referees have done well officiating some games, but it's been tough with two referees making calls. "There's always one calling it tighter than the other," he said. "So it's really tough to have that consistency throughout a game to know what he's calling, what you're getting away with, what you're not."read on
from Erin Nicks of the Ottawa Sun,
If Ottawa acquired an elephant -- a 32-year-old elephant born in Switzerland, no less -- shouldn't someone have alerted the international media by now? It's the metaphorical elephant in the room that no one from the Sens' front office wants to talk about. Especially as he resides on the bench, pulling down a 3.7-million dollar salary (all terms US) this year, with two left to go on his contract. Said salary anointed Martin Gerber as Ottawa's premier backstopper. But does he still hold that position?continued
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe has inquired about Lubomir Visnovsky, but Los Angeles apparently isn’t willing to deal him. The St. Louis Blues might be looking to move a blueliner. The Oilers probably would give up a forward, perhaps even a minorleaguer with upside such as Marc-Antoine Pouliot or Rob Schremp. There have been rumors that the Oilers are interested in Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle — a lot of teams would love to have him — but it’s not likely the Bolts will be moving him.a few more trade talk items...
from the Denver Post,
In a sport steeped in tradition, the game-day nap is one of those traditional touches. Between 1-4 p.m. on the day of an Avalanche game, it is almost certain that every player will be sound asleep. Not every player knows how or why they become so adept at falling asleep in the middle of the day, but they are. Anybody who hangs around NHL players knows not to bother them in the afternoon hours of game days. If the player is married with kids and the game is at home, the wife and children become accustomed to doing everything quietly. On the road, hotel front-office staffers know only emergency calls are to be put through to a player's roomread on
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Injury-prone centre Peter Forsberg has insisted publicly he doesn't want to be traded, but it's believed he wouldn't balk if the club decided to deal him. The Avalanche, it is believed, wouldn't mind bringing him back to help take some of the pressure off captain Joe Sakic. The word is that Colorado is dangling defenceman Karlis Skrastins as part of a package.more
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The Hockey Hall of Fame may or may not have kept Herb Brooks out for 26 years because he was America's Coach, but then what is the explanation for Fred Shero having been kept out forever? The omission of Shero - one of the most innovative, successful and important coaches in NHL history - only serves to cast further doubt as to the mission and credibility of the 15-member selection committee that does its work in the dark and zealously guards its dominion from inspection.continued
Mentioned on tonight's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast was the Snyder family's website in memory of former Atlanta Thrasher, Dan Snyder:
Graham and Lu Ann Snyder, parents of Dan Snyder, are traveling in an RV across North America, visiting all 30 NHL cities during the 2006-07 NHL season, delivering a message of forgiveness, hope, and determination to players, teams, and communities. In each city , the Snyders will attend a game, visit with teams, and participate in community - minded speaking engagments to raise awareness and funds for the Dan Snyder Memorial Foundation.The Snyder's are also keeping a blog of their journey. (Update: blog can be directly accessed here.) *Please note that their website seems to be experiencing very heavy traffic tonight and isn't always accessible.
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