Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Traverse City Record Eagle,
We were the fifth best team of all-time last season during the regular season. We were good offensively, good defensively. It seemed we were able to play any (type of) game. But we were unable to score and unable to keep it out at playoff time — and we got beat by a better team at playoff time in Edmonton. We have to address those things (that went awry)." On Thursday, he touched on a number of other topics. • On who he expects will elevate their games: "Datsyuk and Zetterberg really took a step last year, and we expect them to take another step. People can say all they want about (Datsyuk) not scoring in the playoffs, but he was hurt and didn't play at the start. He's a dominant player. We're not concerned about that at all. He's a great hockey player and competitor. He and Zetterberg give us an unbelievable one-two combination."more
The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to terms with goaltender Ryan Miller on a three-year deal.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
As NHL training camps open next week, Blake will be one of more than a hundred players starting fresh, with new teams. Some moved on in blockbuster trades — Roberto Luongo is in Vancouver, Todd Bertuzzi in sunny Florida. Some signed as free agents — Blake, Zdeno Chara, Ed Jovanovski, Jason Arnott. There were changes at the top end of rosters and there were changes at the bottom. Just about every transaction was filtered through the game's new economics, which theoretically leveled the playing field for all 30 teams and left the chase for the Stanley Cup wide open again. "It's going to be very fluid," said the Nashville Predators' Paul Kariya, "and obviously, with the age for unrestricted free agency going down, it's going to be even more like this in the years to come. I think this is just the beginning."more
Tapeleg took me up on the Free Friday offer, allowing KK members to submit an article for publication on KK. A job well done and obviously written with great passion! Make sure to check out his own blog, Jerseys and Hockey Love. When the lockout was on, the prevailing attitude and phrase was, "There is no hockey." This was the biggest lie of the lockout (even bigger than never accepting a salary cap). No hockey is like saying there is no baseball without MLB, but there are a lot of people around the US who could tell you different. And during the lockout, the best hockey in the world was still going on in North America, it just had a worse television deal than the current one on OLN. While America moved on, or at least just fumed a bit, there were a lucky group of people watching the stars you got to see emerge this past season. Imagine seeing Cam Ward step in to save the day (oh, yeah, we all did, I just got to see it a year early), or Mike Commodore give a single knockout punch to a Bruin. I did, all in the same night. That was at a game between the Lowell Lock Monsters and the Providence Bruins. Ever seen a player reach out from the bench, and grab an opponents stick? I did, at a P-Bruins vs. Hartford Wolfpack game. Sheer comedy, as Brendon Walsh shrugged and argued when he was called for the penalty (there wasn't a person in the building who missed that one. I know, because they were all laughing). The game was more notable for the amount of fighting than the shootout, but I did get a game used puck. Yep, the Official Timekeeper tossed it over the glass to me, just before the shootout.. Because I was right on the glass. And I didn't pay $100+ to sit there. I got the best view of the shouting matches between the players in their boxes, wondering if they were going to go after each other as soon as the doors opened (they didn't). I was five feet away from Walsh as he asked Martin Grenier why he didn't really show up for the fight (Grenier just shrugged and laughed). Ever been to Glens Falls, NY? That is my favorite place to see a game. Why? I have no idea. But every seat is good, the 50/50 raffle is fun, the Chuck-A-Puck is fantastic, the beer is cold, and Barry Melrose signed my girlfriend's scarf. It has an outer ring that you walk around, (no upper level), with concessions in the corners, including baked items, and a really good beer selection. I saw the UHL Allstar game there, plus a few regular season games. Roanoke vs. Adirondack was a great game, with all the highs and lows you could ask for. Goals for, a squandered lead, goals against, and some last minute heroics. Best game I ever saw? No, but close. And now the Frostbite are no more. No hockey at the Glens Falls arena except for a preseason NHL game (which, if you are within 300 miles, you shouldn't miss). I was lucky enough to find Glens Falls on the hockey map.
from the Daily Herald,
When the Blackhawks open training camp Thursday at the United Center, they could be without Tuomo Ruutu. The Finnish winger remains an unsigned restricted free agent, and it’s believed the two sides aren’t close to an agreement. Ruutu is in Finland and not working out at a camp this week organized by his agent, Bill Zito, in Hoffman Estates.continued
from the Northwest Herald,
Anheuser-Busch Cos., the world's largest brewer, will create an online entertainment network to lure young consumers rejecting U.S. beers for other alcoholic drinks. Bud.TV will have as many as seven 24-hour channels starting in February featuring comedy, sports, news and short films.... Another channel will have behind-the-scenes footage of professional sports teams in the NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball.
from the News & Observer,
"I was excited to see a lot of the guys back in town, that's for sure," said Hurricanes forward Erik Cole, who was among the first group to start skating at the Hodges Street practice rink three weeks ago. "You're not positive when guys are going to show up. Everyone gives 'approximate' dates when they're coming back into town. It's good to see everyone, and it's got that feeling that it's here, it's right around the corner." The last time most of these guys were together, they were riding around downtown Raleigh with the Stanley Cup. Afterward, they scattered across the continent and around the world, hosting their days with the Cup among friends and family but not teammates, with the notable exception of Cup groupie Mike Commodore, who followed the Cup to multiple spots on a tour of his own.more...and the Discovery Channel is there too...
from the Boston Herald,
If attendance at voluntary practices is a useful indicator of a team’s attitude, the B’s seem to be approaching the season in just the right frame of mind, with virtually the entire roster of NHL players showing up a week or more early to skate. It’s a team, much rebuilt, that seems determined to bounce back from last season’s debacle. Many of the veterans have cast an interested eye toward 18-year-old rookie forward Phil Kessel, the B’s No. 1 pick (fifth overall) in June’s draft widely considered one of the most purely talented players to enter the NHL in years. The early impression: He’s as good as billed.read on
from the Vancouver Sun,
And, Vigneault insists, discipline and accountability will be universal. "That's the way it's always been with me, and that's the way it's always going to be," Vigneault said. "I firmly believe if an organization is going to be successful, your top players have to be held to a higher standard. "I get the maximum out of players, personally, and I get the maximum out of players collectively. I'm confident I can make them accountable. I'm hearing all the right things when I sit down with them. That's fine. Now I need to see the right actions. I need to see good off-ice test results [when main camp opens with fitness tests next Thursday]. Those test results better be really good." Bam-Bam. Jenny Craig's number might be ringing off the hook as you read this.more
from the NY Post,
The stalwarts wait, depending on Lou Lamoriello to find a way out of his salary cap squeeze. John Madden and Sergei Brylin insist they mustn't worry that they could be part of the worst-case solution. The Devils are at the $44 million salary cap without counting some $5-6 million for Brian Gionta, Paul Martin and David Hale, all unsigned restricted free agents. They can figure to receive some $1.5 million grace from the Long Term Injury easement that will apply to Richard Matvichuk, but the real kicker will be whether Lamoriello is allowed to subtract the combined $7.1 million assessment for Alexander Mogilny and Vladimir Malakhov. If the league doesn't permit any potential Malakhov/Mogilny moves, Lamoriello may have to trade away some of his higher salaried players.continued (reg. req.)
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com