Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Beaver County Times,
Lost amid the Sidney Crosby mania that's gripping Pittsburgh is the plight of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Whereas the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft has a locker stall in the Penguins' dressing room - between veteran stars Mark Recchi and John LeClair, no less - the No. 1 overall pick from the 2003 draft suits up in relative anonymity in a reserve locker room deep in the bowels of Mellon Arena. Not that Fleury is complaining. Nor is he jealous. The 20-year-old goaltender is just happy to be back in Pittsburgh. With the Aug. 10 signing of veteran goalie Jocelyn Thibault, Fleury is left battling for a place on the big-team roster along with Sebastien Caron and Andy Chiodo. "I'm pretty sure the coaches have penciled in Thibault as No. 1 already (but) nothing is done yet," Fleury said. "My goal is to make the team and we'll see after that."
from the Toronto Sun,
Suddenly in the silence of training camp the puck is on Steve Thomas' stick and now there is noise. The surprising number of fans in attendance at the Ricoh Coliseum chant his nickname. They cheer when he does almost anything. They erupt, as they did yesterday, when his snapshot eludes Ed Belfour for a pretty goal by Team C. He is a strange symbol of hope, the cause celebre in the early days of camp: Stumpy. Our Stumpy. Just another one-named hockey player in a town with too many. Only this one-named player happens to be older than the general manager he must impress, without any kind of job security of his own. He doesn't have a contract. He doesn't have anything guaranteed but his effort. He is here quite simply because he isn't ready to walk away from the National Hockey League and can't envision himself living or playing anywhere else.
from the Detroit Free Press,
Rem Murray could not look over his right shoulder. He barely could play with his young kids. And hockey? Hockey was his career, and hockey was out of the question. To say it is a success that Murray is even here at Red Wings training camp really is not an understatement. Thursday was his third day of skating at Centre ICE, his third day of centering a line between Steve Yzerman and Kirk Maltby, his third day of absorbing hits and feeling fine. It is a stark contrast to how he felt 20 months ago, when a neurological disorder threatened to end a respectable NHL career. It is even in stark contrast to just a few months ago. "When I get out on the ice I don't think about it at all, which is the biggest thing, to put it behind me mentally," he said. "It's good to get back and play again. It's a little bit of an adjustment after being out for a year and a half. Every day I feel a little better."
from Russian Hockey Digest,
Translated by Alexei Belousenko (RusHockey.com) & Eugene Belashchenko (RussianProspects.com) Yesterday, Soviet Sport correspondent gave Pavel Datsyuk a phone call, who declared that he flatly refuses to let the PHL’s arbitration court determine the outcome of his current RSL situation. Pavel, how are you? P. Datsyuk: So far… not well. Everything was clear until the moment I signed the contract with Avangard (Omsk). Now you see how the situation unpredictably turned out… To play in Avangard was my personal decision and now I would like to fulfill my commitments in front of the Omsk club. Did you get upset that Dynamo matched Avangard’s contract offer, and you ended up outside of hockey for an uncertain period time? P. Datsyuk: No, I understand that this is business. I am not upset with anyone. A few days ago you talked in person to Dynamo’s president Anatoly Kharchuk. He said in Soviet Sport’s interview that he had an impression that Datsyuk didn’t realize that he signed an offer sheet with Avangard. P. Datsyuk: Why an offer sheet? I signed a full contract with Avangard. At the time, I didn’t have any obligations in front of Dynamo. When I signed the contract with Avangard, I informed all of the parties. I am not going to blame anyone for this situation. Of course I understand that general managers do everything possible for the good of their teams. Unfortunately, everything turned out the way it did… Did you determine which club you’d like to play for? P. Datsyuk: I foresee my future plans only in Detroit. I know that GM Ken Holland is awaiting my final decision. But in this situation I’d like to fulfill my duties in front Avangard. By that I mean my one-year contract. In theory, you could pack your things, fly to Detroit and play in the best hockey league in the world. What is holding you here? P. Datsyuk: Commitments which I made to Avangard are holding me here. I am a respectable person and can not go back on my word.
Yesterday afternoon someone sent me an email saying Pavel Datsyuk was involved in an auto accident in Russia. The sender of the email came from an email address that could not be verified so I check with a few sources and of course the rumor was completely false. I did not even post it yesterday since I verified this was totally false. Now a blogger has posted the he received information that Datsyuk was in a car accident and was checking into it. I say check into it first before you post something like that. To any doubters, I received this yesterday and don't you think we would have heard something by now. Again, the rumor is false and people need to check sources before even posting something like that.
from the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Philadelphia Flyers forward Sami Kapanen is expected to miss 10 weeks with an injured right shoulder. Kapanen, 32, said he was hurt several weeks ago in a scrimmage. The Flyers said Kapanen will undergo surgery on Tuesday in Philadelphia. The Flyers now have three players sidelined. Center Peter Forsberg is out for about two weeks after undergoing surgery to remove an infected bursa sac in his ankle. Defenseman Derian Hatcher is also recovering from a slightly sprained knee. Kapanen said he was frustrated by the shoulder injury, which involves torn cartilage. The native of Finland had just spent the summer rehabilitating a surgically repaired knee. "Last month I finally started feeling good," he said Thursday. "Not being able to play in the next couple months will be hard."
USA TODAY asked fans to email their comments about the NHL. The letters poured in with a good cross section of views and rants. I enjoyed reading the letter from Larry White of Detroit:
Please make my owner lower ticket prices: My owner had the highest payroll in the entire NHL, in the area of $70 million. My owner will now be paying only $39 million or less for salaries, yet he refuses to lower ticket prices accordingly. I didn't mind paying a premium when we had premium talent, but now it appears I am being gouged at the ticket window for mediocre talent. I shouldn't have to take out a home-equity loan to take my family of five to a hockey game.
from the Ottawa Business Journal,
Mr. Mlakar, president and CEO of the Ottawa Senators and the Corel Centre, was the speaker Thursday at the Ottawa Chamber's Capital Leaders Lunch. Speaking bluntly, Mr. Mlakar rhymed off the $10 million it has cost team owner Eugene Melnyk to meet contractual obligations, keep the lights on and the franchise anchored in Ottawa for a year without any game ticket revenue coming in. Nor did he didn't hesitate to lay the blame for the debacle of the past year, not to mention of the past decade, on the team owners of the mid 1990s for bowing to player demands and voting in favour of a salary structure that sucked up 75 per cent of league revenues, significantly more than any other professional sport in North America. Most of those owners, he pointed out, are now out of the league, have gone bankrupt or even ended up in jail.
from the NHL via TSN,
For the 2005-06 National Hockey League regular season, all games that remain tied after a five-minute overtime period will proceed to a shootout. As part of the implementation process and as a special preview for the fans, a shootout will be conducted at the end of all pre-season games - regardless of the score at the end of regulation time or overtime. At the conclusion of the pre-season schedule, which gets underway tomorrow night, the League will issue the final shootout guidelines that will be in effect during the regular season. Following are the policies and procedures that will be used for the shootout in the pre-season:
from Fox Sports,
Over the past several weeks, boston.com has been running an incredible March Madness-style tournament for the title of "Greatest Sports Video Game of All Time". Sixteen video games were set up in bracket-like fashion with readers voting on each matchup, narrowing down the field each week until an eventual champion was named. When the results were finally tabulated, NHL 94 came out on top, taking in roughly 59 percent of the vote. Two monsters went to war, and after a week of battle, only one stood standing. The Electronic Arts hockey franchise, glorified through a cameo in Swingers, etched its name in video game history. According to the thousands of voters on the site, NHL 94 was "officially" the greatest sports video game of all-time.read on
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