Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: steve yzerman
Ligntning GM Steve Yzerman met the media in Winnipeg to talk about the firing of Guy Boucher and the plan moving forward.
from Tony Briscoe of the Detroit News,
The Detroit Historical Society celebrated the opening of its own version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame Wednesday morning, showcasing the handprints and signatures of almost two dozen Detroit icons.
Detroit Legends Plaza had its official ribbon cutting ceremony just outside the Detroit Historical Museum's southwest entrance in Midtown.
The plaza, located at 5401 Woodward Ave., features 22 mounted display boxes marked with the mitts and autographs of Detroit celebs including: Mayor Dave Bing, former Lions running back Barry Sanders and boxer Tommy "The Hitman" Hearns.
continue and see the celebraties who are in so far...
Speaking from personal experience as a St. Louis Blues fan, the 1995-96 Red Wings broke my heart. More specifically, Steve Yzerman, Game 7, double OT. I guarantee that if you mention that phrase to any Blues fan, you will get a pained groan in response. And, of course, this is the one highlight they always show on NHL commercials: Yzerman's unreal slap shot from just inside the blue line, the puck somehow eluding Al MacInnis and Murray Baron and, most obnoxious of all, Jon Casey's shoulder. And then his euphoric (and gag-inducing) sissy-leap down the wall. Ugh.
-David Walton of ESPN when discussing the greatest NHL team of the modern era.
Let's relive that "sissy-leap" again, watch below...
“I hope he (Lidstrom) does [retire], and I love him. I can’t talk about other teams’ players, but I admire him and I think he is one of the greatest. He is brilliant in how he plays.
“I said the first part jokingly. I hope he doesn’t retire. I think he is the standard of how we want people to play the game—the ultimate professional. I think he is one of the, when we’re teaching young defensemen how to play the game, I don’t think there’s ever been anyone as technically strong as him, and that includes everybody.”
-Doug Wilson, GM of the San Jose Sharks. More reaction from Corey Masisak of NHL.com.
What does Steve Yzerman think of Lidstrom retiring? Watch below…
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
If Steve Yzerman has his way, the NHL will reinstate the center red line next season in order to promote the play-making he says the game sorely lacks.
“I don’t like the way the game is played anymore,” the Lightning general manager said Saturday. “All the rule changes we made we designed to increase the skill level, but it’s become a slap shot from the far blue line and a guy chips it in and you go chase.”
Reinstating the red line and, by consequence, the illegal two-line pass is just one of the issues to be discussed at the GM meetings Monday through Wednesday in Boca Raton. It piques Yzerman’s interest even apart from the discussion about how reinstating the red line might reduce injuries caused by the speed of the game.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The honeymoon is over for Steve Yzerman in Tampa Bay. Now comes the hard part.
Reality finds his Lightning in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, currently out of the playoffs, no longer everyone’s favourite hockey success story.
“We’re not shocked by where we are,” Yzerman said in a telephone call from Calgary. “I’m not caught off guard by this. We’re not surprised at all. We knew this wasn’t going to be easy. I think going in to the year, we knew this would be a challenge for everybody, our coaching staff, our players, the whole organization.”
And all that said, this is brand new territory for Yzerman, the hockey executive. Losing isn’t something he knows or will accept. His first year in Tampa turned out to be something close to pure magic.
The GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning returns to Detroit.
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times (Wednesday edition),
During a timeout in the first period of tonight’s game between the Lightning and Red Wings, the public address announcer at Joe Louis Arena will introduce Steve Yzerman.
A shot of Yzerman in his seat will be shown on the scoreboard, which then will run a video tribute; at least that is the plan, the Red Wings said.
It is a display Yzerman probably could do without.
Not that he won’t appreciate it, “But the game is about Tampa Bay playing Detroit. It’s not about me,” Yzerman said. “It shouldn’t be about me.”
But in a way it is.
Earlier this afternoon, some NHL 12 fans on the internet found a new Legends video, posted exclusively on the EB Games (now GameStop) webpage for NHL 12. However, the video was kind of “hidden”, thankfully over the time it took for me to write this update, there has been a new link to this new video released by EA Sports in an exclusive with GameStop’s official site, which makes it much easier to find, and is of much better quality that the original one that was found.
Read on, as I’ll provide a link to this new video ( UPDATE - Days later, I finally have the video included in this post ), which reveals several bits of juicy new info on the Legends, including what their team uniforms look like, some info about unlocking them, and best of all, what their overall ratings will be! Also included in this update is some additional news about the Jets’ new sweaters potentially not being in the game upon release, and some new quick-clips about HUT and the EASHL.
Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: borje+salming, chris+chelios, ea+sports+nhl+12, gordie+howe, jeremy+roenick, mario+lemieux, patrick+roy, ray+bourque, steve+yzerman, wayne+gretzky, winnipeg+jets
Just caught this via EA’s NHL 12 Twitter feed moments ago…
Steve Yzerman makes his return to the videogame world as a legend in #NHL12 - @DetroitRedWings fans, love it? http://t.co/89rFPjI
Alright, I’m sure I’ll take some heat for this, for multiple reasons, but mostly because it goes outside my blog’s rage of coverage which is listed as “everything but the NHL”. In my defense though, this isn’t news; it’s just a retrospective look at some hockey history. Plus, ever since the recent retirement of Chris Osgood, I’ve been thinking about writing about this, and providing my personal perspective on what I feel is one of the most historic games in Detroit Red Wings franchise history, at least among the games that have been played in my lifetime (1987 to present).
As a young kid growing up in Metro-Detroit, I started casually watching hockey in 1991 - mostly the Red Wings; although I soon developed a love for the Boston Bruins as well, for some unknown reason. Once I watched my first hockey game, I instantly became a fan of the sport, as I found it to be far more entertaining and exciting than football, baseball, and basketball. I quickly learned how to skate and then starting playing hockey, but I still wouldn’t consider my young self much more than a moderate fan of hockey… until May 16, 1996… when St. Louis played Detroit in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
“I talk to general managers on a daily basis and get asked a lot, ‘How are you making out?’ But that’s about all,” Yzerman said.
Has anyone come up with a proposal? “Absolutely not. I’m not interested in discussing a possible trade. I’m committed to re-signing Steven.”
Has anyone said they would be interested if negotiations broke down? “They don’t have to say that,” he said, laughing. “Every team is interested in Steven Stamkos.”
Bottom line? “I’m confident,” Yzerman said, “we will reach an agreement.”
Yzerman discusses the future of the Lightning and also says the Stamkos deal will get done.
For more on the Lightning as they cleared out the dressing room, check out Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times.
From Bob Duff of the Windsor Star (via the Gazette):
Truth be told, Downie has transformed himself in Tampa from someone who could have become a Gong Show candidate much like Sean Avery into an effective NHL player.
“He’s made a conscious effort to do that and we want to reassure to him that he is a good player and his play in the playoffs is showing that,” Yzerman said.
“He’s got great hockey sense, he’s got good skills, he sees the ice very well. We want him on the ice. We don’t want him in the penalty box. We try to encourage him to do that. I think he understands that.
“The intimidation, the fighting, the physical play, you have to be really careful, because you’ll be in the penalty box. Again, I repeat and verify it a third time. We want him on the ice. Not in the box. He’s a very good hockey player.”
“We’re pleased with the start we’re off to, but to get this organization where I want it to be, we’ve still got a lot of hard work to do and a lot of good decisions to make.
“We’re early in the second round, and the only thing that matters is Game 3. It’s good for the team, and it’s good for the fans. But for me, the big picture and the long term are important. I’m enjoying this, but we want to build a perennial playoff contender. We don’t want to be fooled by one good year.”
-Steve Yzerman, GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. More on Yzerman from Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times.
Canes, Bolts Present Huge Tests for Each Other this Weekend (and a Quick Thought on Boston/Montreal)
For the Carolina Hurricanes, tonight’s game in Tampa against the Lightning, the first half of a home-and-home between the two clubs, is about picking up two points and doing their part to stay alive in the race for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The ‘Canes trail eighth-place Buffalo by three points as each team prepares for its 74th game of the year tonight, with the Sabres hosting the Florida Panthers.
For the home squad, it’s about picking up the pieces and restoring whatever’s been lost of late. The Lightning have managed just a single regulation win this month and have seen their prolific offense dry up, averaging only 2.18 goals per game in March. Take out last Monday’s six-goal outburst in Toronto and that number shrinks below two – unfathomable, really, for a team that had averaged over three tallies per game not all that long ago.
Tampa Bay’s miserable March has included a quartet of losses to also-rans most recently, falling to Ottawa twice, Florida and the New York Islanders, but tonight, the Lightning will be forced to match the intensity level of a team still very much alive in the playoff race and combat the desperation that comes with so much on the line.
The Lightning aren’t in any real danger of missing the post-season – in fact, with a pair of regulation wins over Carolina tonight and tomorrow, they’ll close the book on that remote possibility outright – but, with their production having plummeted so severely these last few weeks, there’s no doubting the very real threat of an early playoff exit. With nine games remaining on the regular season docket, Tampa has some time to figure things out but, the worse this gets, the harder that will become, meaning the time to put an end to their current struggles is now.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dwayne+roloson, ryan+malone, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, zdeno+chara
Steve Yzerman, Brian Burke, and Ray Shero seem to have different views of the shootout move.
Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman spoke Thursday morning about just wanting to get the game against his former club over with.
Without a doubt, after a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of the visiting Detroit Red Wings, Yzerman’s Bolts are happy to move on.
While he has continually insisted that the showdown with the team for which he became an icon during his playing career was not a big deal, it had to at least be a little weird for Yzerman to see his Lightning facing his Wings.
Come to think of it, there was a little bit of weird for all involved throughout the evening, beginning with an ovation for Yzerman himself, shown briefly on the LightningVision scoreboard, that seemed almost like a “Thank you” from longtime Detroit fans and bested anything in recent memory from the home crowd in appreciation.
Journey may have fabricated “South Detroit” in their overplayed anthem “Don’t Stop Believin’” but it sure seemed like that was a very real location for last night’s game – and the temporary mailing address for the St. Pete Times Forum.
from Chris Johnston of the CP at The Score,
Steve Yzerman wants to hear more from Mario Lemieux.
“I think Mario is one of the most well-respected, intelligent people in the game,” the Tampa Bay Lightning GM said Monday on a conference call. “I would encourage him (and) I think we should all encourage him to get more involved with the league because he has a lot to offer.”
Introducing This & That. a feature set aside for those days when my brain is incapable of any smooth transition from one thought to another. Instead, a random spattering of things I’m thinking, items I meant to include elsewhere but may have forgotten and miscellaneous ramblings that may otherwise have no defined category or forum for inclusion.
(Plus, this way, I never have to use the term “hodgepodge” again.)
Off we go:
—-“If Smitty gets claimed, it’s good for him. If he doesn’t, he goes down and plays for us down there. We want to get him playing.” – Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, on recently waived netminder Mike Smith.
To the first point, absolutely. As far back as late last season, I was wondering whether or not Smith might be better off with a fresh start. Amid flashes of brilliance, Smith has struggled consistently throughout his tenure in Tampa and had all kinds of promise stifled by injuries. This year, despite unsightly statistics, some in scouting circles have seen reason for optimism in his game, giving new life to the idea that he might somehow flourish in a new situation.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: brent+johnson, cedrick+desjardins, dwayne+roloson, jeff+skinner, mike+smith, nhl+guardians, rick+dipietro, steve+yzerman
With the pre-All-Star break portion of their schedule now officially complete after last night’s 2-0 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Tampa Bay Lightning sit comfortably atop the Southeast Division, second overall in the Eastern Conference and can rest, save for All-Stars Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos, with five days before a meeting with the East-leading Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
51 games in the books, 31 to play – before the second season, that is, which is now nothing short of extremely likely for Tampa Bay. (Playoff hockey, folks! And – gasp – something to get excited about!)
Actually, there’s been plenty of excitement surrounding the Lightning all season already.
There are, of course, the 31 wins – second only to Philadelphia (33) and matched only by Pittsburgh in all the National Hockey League.
There’s the 16-4-2 home record and the fact that all but one of the Lightning’s hockey games in February will be played at the St. Pete Times Forum, with ten tilts remaining on the lengthy 12-game homestand.
There are individual performances to consider, namely St. Louis and Stamkos, near the top of the league in goals, assists and points all season long and the latter now in position for “Rocket” Richard and Art Ross honors with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby on the shelf.
***Sorry for the delay, folks. A few technical issues in getting the show uploaded this week. Thanks. - JJ***
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, Jon, Mark and Mike compare the current state of the Tampa Bay Lightning versus where we all thought they might be at the 50-game mark, share our thoughts on the upcoming All-Star game and some possible ways to improve the event, weigh in on the drama surrounding Evgeni Nabokov, the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Islanders, admit some nerves about the upcoming uniform/logo changes for Tampa Bay and much more…
Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Talk, NHL Playoff Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: all-star+game, dwayne+roloson, evgeni+nabokov, guy+boucher, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos
The Tampa Bay Lightning have sent goaltender Mike Smith to AHL Norfolk on a conditioning assignment today, as announced by the team.
Smith has been recovering from a knee injury and has missed the last fifteen games.
With Dwayne Roloson and Dan Ellis already on Tampa Bay’s active roster, Smith has been assumed by many to be the odd-man out eventually, though nothing has been made certain to this point.
Today’s move, at the very least, buys general manager Steve Yzerman some time to continue to consider all options.
Smith, acquired by Tampa Bay in February of 2008 in the deal that saw forward Brad Richards head to Dallas, is in the final season of a two-year contract that carries a cap hit of $2.2-million.
The question was posed recently in the St. Pete Times and Paul recently brought it to the attention of the KK faithful as well, soliciting some interesting responses but, with first place in the Southeast Division on the line again tonight, with the Washington Capitals (and their identical 55-point total) in town for the first time this season, it deserves some revisiting:
Could the Tampa Bay Lightning truly be a contender for the Stanley Cup this season?
Well, yeah… I suppose anything is possible.
But since the original question was actually, “Is it premature to call the Tampa Bay Lightning a Stanley Cup contender?” then, well…
Yeah. It is.
Let’s not make too much of Dwayne Roloson’s 34-save, shutout debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Or, maybe, come to think of it, let’s…
It was but one game but what a big game it was.
To best the division rival Washington Capitals like that, with first place at stake in a 1-0 overtime finish, with both teams playing at a feverish pace all the while and the opposing goaltender standing on his head as well… Well, that’s one hell of a debut.
But, really, what you saw on Tuesday night is what Roloson brings to the table consistently. No, not a spectacular shutout performance each night (wouldn’t that be nice?) but a workman-like approach, a battle mentality and a proven track record of giving the team in front of him a chance to win on a nightly basis. Last night, Semyon Varlamov keeping the Bolts off the scoreboard for almost 63 minutes meant Roloson had to completely shut down the formidable Capitals attack and he was up to the task. On some nights, it will mean keeping the opponent from scoring a third or fourth goal.
Whatever the situation, with Roloson, you know what you’re getting.
And this could very well turn out to be the perfect fit with limitless potential.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, marc-andre+bergeron, mike+smith, steve+yzerman
For now, the Tampa Bay Lightning will roll on with three goaltenders.
But with Dwayne Roloson now in the fold, joining Dan Ellis and a still mending Mike Smith after Saturday’s trade with the New York Islanders, eventually, something will have to give.
Early indications seem to suggest Smith, who is close to returning from a recent knee injury, is the most logical odd man out for a variety of reasons, despite significant improvement in his play prior to getting hurt.
In the final year of a contract that carries a cap hit of $2.2-million dollars, it would make sense for the Lightning to try and deal Smith for whatever value the team could find before he hits unrestricted free agency at season’s end. That won’t exactly come easy, however, with the bottom line remaining some very unattractive numbers this year and overall statistics that have actually worsened consistently as the team in front of him has improved over the last three seasons. Add to that a history of injuries (Smith has appeared in less than half of Tampa’s games since the start of the 2008-09) and an unsavory dollar number for the kind of inconsistency he’s shown and it becomes awfully difficult to imagine logical trade scenarios involving the former Dallas Star.
The Bolts Beat, 1/3/11: Roloson in the Mix, Odd Goalie Out, the Last Word on Spin-o-Rama Gate & More
In the first installment of The Bolts Beat for 2011, Jon, Mike and Mark give their thoughts on Tampa Bay’s addition of goaltender Dwayne Roloson and why the deal was made now. Later, things get a little spicy when the conversation turns to what it likely means for Dan Ellis and/or Mike Smith.
Also, the guys give their thoughts on the stellar NHL debut of yet another goalie, Cedrick Desjardins, and discuss how he might fit into the Lightning’s future plans.
And, finally - no, really, for the last time - the gang reluctantly entertains the controversy that should never have been over Steven Stamkos’ penalty shot goal against Montreal.
All that, plus more (including a special announcement!) after the jump…
Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: cedrick+desjardins, dan+ellis, denis+savard, dwayne+roloson, linus+omark, mike+smith, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos
There has been no shortage of discussion regarding the possibility of free agent goaltender Evgeni Nabokov landing with the Tampa Bay Lightning in recent days.
I discussed the matter at such length, with co-hosts Mike Corcoran and Mark Pukalo on Monday night/Tuesday morning’s episode of The Bolts Beat, that more than half of the show was devoted to the matter – a first for a single topic in the podcast’s history.
And the potential marriage has also been covered at a national level, with The Sporting News’ Craig Custance throwing in his two cents.
Easy to pick on a goalie for making this kind of Tommy Salo-esque mistake but I’m not trying to kick Mike Smith when he’s down at all.
Obviously, there was more than this one play to fault for an 8-1 Lightning loss in Boston but the bottom line, as GM Steve Yzerman has now publicly acknowledged, is that the Bolts imply need more from their goaltenders.
That was crazy.
And, with craziness comes a reaction a bit altered from my Good, Bad, Ugly usual. Instead, a hodgepodge of thoughts for your consideration on this lovely Friday morning:
My reality (which I love, through and through, for the record) when the Lightning are on the road often entails missing the first few minutes of the first period, regardless of whether the game starts at 7:00 or 7:30. (Ergo, roadies outside the Eastern Time Zone do not apply.) You see, Papa JJ (by far my favorite of the many hats I wear) is usually either helping out with baths, bottles, diapers, bedtime or all of the above for one or both of my two young sons.
Though I’ve tried many times, I simply cannot get into the idea of watching on tape delay and catching up. Something just irks me, with sports, about what I’m currently seeing play out in front of me having already happened. And so, by the time I settle in on these kinds of evenings, oftentimes, much of the game story has already been told.
Case in point (I thought) last night, when I got comfortable on the couch with the Flyers already out to a 2-0 lead, 5:03 into the first period. “This was very predictable,” I remarked, having already gone on record to say that starting goaltender Dan Ellis again, after a relatively taxing win on Long Island the night before, was a questionable move on head coach Guy Boucher’s part. My muddled thinking would have given a struggling Mike Smith a go against the woeful Islanders and then Ellis in Philadelphia against a much stronger team. But, as it turned out, there was nothing at all predictable about last night’s outcome and, with the Bolts winning both of these games, once again in my life, I’m left wondering, “What the hell do I know?”
Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, Eye On the Media, Hockey Bloggers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: chris+botta, guy+boucher, nate+thompson, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos
Had a nice visit with Mick and Peter on “The War Room” this morning, where we discussed this season’s solid start for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Steven Stamkos’ continued success as well as his need for a new contract (like yesterday) and the Bolts’ goaltending to this point.
Have a listen after the jump…
The Bolts Beat, 10/19/10: Lightning on the Road and a Look Ahead, Plus NHL Officiating Issues & More
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, the boys discuss the Tampa Bay Lightning’s first road swing of the season and preview the week ahead for the Bolts, Jon’s “What the Hell Was That?” segment brings up an interesting debate on replay, major penalties and the like, Mike defends referees (a sure sign of the apocalypse) and much more.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: adam+hall, andrei+kostitsyn, blake+comeau, brad+richards, brett+clark, dan+ellis, dana+tyrell, dominic+moore, guy+boucher, headshots, instant+replay, josh+bailey, kris+letang, martin+st.+louis, mattias+ritola, michael+vernace, mike+smith, nate+thompson, pavel+kubina, randy+jones, ryan+malone, sean+bergenheim, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, t.j.+brodie, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier
The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning share a home state, divisional alignment and the perks of leaving their home rinks to 80 degree-plus temperatures on the regular.
Their tenure as National Hockey League member franchises is nearly identical as well, with Tampa entering the league for the 1992-93 season and Florida one year later.
But you won’t find much evidence of a rivalry when speaking to current players from these clubs and, from members of the organizations of years gone by, what once sounded like legitimate hostilities have either fizzled into forced assertions or a longing for the good ol’ days.
It can’t hold a candle to the long-standing, emotionally charged levels of Calgary/Edmonton, Boston/Montreal or Colorado/Detroit.
It’s not likely to ever split households, a la Islanders/Rangers or Canadiens/Maple Leafs.
And, though both teams have had their share of supreme talents over the years, the odds of a superstar-driven rivalry, as in Ovechkin-Crosby/Capitals-Penguins, between the Lightning and Panthers are poor.
But there has to be something there still, right?
Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, brian+bradley, enrico+ciccone, erik+gudbranson, guy+boucher, jacob+markstrom, jay+feaster, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, paul+laus, phil+esposito, quebec+nordiques, randy+moller, sidney+crosby, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos, tony+esposito, vincent+lecavalier
He’s not the youngest player on the roster, nor would he be considered a shocking contributor after last season’s 21-goal, 40-point showing but Brandon Sutter is most certainly a key piece to any Carolina Hurricanes success this year and his two-goal performance in Thursday’s season-opening, 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland is an excellent early sign for a club hoping for a lot to go their way in 2010-11.
For the Hurricanes, banking on both young guns and sustained health and rejuvenation for several veterans who were hobbled last year, a player like Sutter, at 21, serving as an alternate captain and coming off of a breakthrough season a year ago, will play a major role in determining their fortune. So far, so good for Sutter, who played just six seconds less yesterday than Carolina captain Eric Staal and so far, so good for the ‘Canes, who dressed six players 25-and-under in the game and got production from Sutter (two goals), Zac Dalpe (assist) and Jamie McBain (assist), as well as sparkling reviews for 18-year-old forward Jeff Skinner from that group.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+burmistrov, andrew+ladd, anton+babchuk, ben+eager, brandon+sutter, brent+sopel, cam+ward, chad+larose, dustin+byfuglien, eric+staal, erik+cole, evander+kane, guy+boucher, jamie+mcbain, jeff+skinner, joni+pitkanen, jussi+jokinen, khl, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, nhl+premiere, niclas+bergfors, semyon+varlamov, steve+yzerman, tim+gleason, tuomo+ruutu, zac+dalpe, zach+bogosian
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
The sunshine and the sea make Tampa a place any free agent would consider. But what of the player who wants to win a Cup?
Yzerman — and his Detroit pedigree — can change all of that in Tampa.
“If we do a good job, treat people properly, we’ll be able to attract good players when we show we’re a good organization. Just because it’s me (in the GM chair)? No,” he said.
Nobody goes to Detroit, because Holland is the GM. Or Pittsburgh for Ray Shero.
They go there because those men have built organizations that can be trusted. Trusted to compete, honour their word, and treat people right.
It will take a while, but assuming Vinik is who Yzerman believes him to be, they’ll be saying those same things about the Tampa Bay Lightning one day.
Likely sooner than you think.
Before a single tweak to the roster, the Tampa Bay Lightning were already poised for improvement in 2010-11. With the tumultuous era of previous ownership already behind them when the sale of the team to Jeff Vinik was completed late last season, gone in an instant were any and all off-ice concerns and the circus went back to being an annual visitor to the St. Pete Times Forum rather than a permanent resident. With the appointment of Steve Yzerman as general manager, credibility returned to the franchise and new head coach Guy Boucher was widely regarded as the hottest commodity on the off-season coaching market.
Without a solitary player move, hockey life in Tampa was good again.
But far be it from Yzerman to rest on the comfort that fans surely feel by him simply not being one of those other guys. The addition of former Flyers forward Simon Gagne headlines a list of shrewd off-season maneuvers for the rookie GM and the revamped roster could very well translate to the sort of on-ice success that will make Lightning followers quickly forgot about three non-playoff seasons gone by.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
Count Steve Yzerman among those who believes the NHL would be wise to return to Winnipeg somewhere down the line.
The new general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning spoke glowingly of the possibility on Monday, just a few days before his club hosts the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in an NHL pre-season game at the MTS Centre Wednesday night.
“I think the current CBA is favourable to small-market teams and a city like Winnipeg, I’m quite confident they could fill their building,” Yzerman said in a telephone interview. “I don’t know the details of it all, but I think Winnipeg could be a good option for the NHL to put a team into.”
What is your philosophy to building a successful franchise?
Holland: “Stability. We’ve had the luxury of stability at the ownership level, management level, scouting level and coaching level. Also, in the time I spent with Scotty Bowman, I saw how he valued veteran players. We’ve continued to move our kids slowly and have always had a veteran presence, which has worked for us.”
Yzerman: “You try to bring in the best possible people in all positions, whether they’re players, managers or coaches. I want good people, passionate people, hard-working people and people who know the game. You want players who have skill, who compete hard and are intelligent.”
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, JJ and co-host Mike Corcoran discuss Dan Ellis’ recent Twitter troubles and the many (over?)reactions thereof, look ahead to training camp opening this weekend, Tampabaylightning.com contributor, Mark Pukalo, stops by again to discuss some intriguing position battles ahead for the Lightning and the boys have a little extra time to discuss the NFL’s opening weekend.
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from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Twenty-seven years. That’s how long Yzerman spent with the Red Wings, virtually his entire adult life. He grew up as a person and grew into a legend in Detroit, winning three Stanley Cups as the captain and another as an executive. He was immortalized on the side of a building and celebrated in a Kid Rock song. Not only does his No. 19 now hang in the rafters at Joe Louis Arena, but the street outside is named after him. So is the Wings’ 19-game season-ticket plan.
Yzerman didn’t go all misty-eyed on Sunday night when his new team beat his old team, 4-3, after an epic 16-round shootout. He sat on the opposite corner of the arena from the Wings’ brass, as physically far away from his former colleagues as possible, and said he focused on his own players. But he did watch the Wings practice on Saturday morning, and the scene couldn’t help but color his thoughts.
“I looked out and thought, ‘My god, that red and white is a beautiful jersey,’ ” Yzerman said. “I can really appreciate it, and I enjoyed watching. I know a lot of those kids over there. But I’ve got a lot of responsibility. It’s a responsibility I want, and I have to do a good job here.”
The staff at SB Nation’s Raw Charge finishes up their Five Questions, Five Answers series today with my responses to their Southeast Division inquries.
As I touched on in closing out this interview, this division as a whole is on the upswing, making the timing of my expanded coverage even more exciting.
Enjoy the Q&A here… And, please, pay my friends at Raw Charge a well-deserved visit.
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In these early days of the Steve Yzerman era here in Tampa, the consensus opinion on his re-molding of the Lightning roster has been overwhelmingly positive.
He promised a methodical approach and got to work in just that fashion almost immediately, adding here, subtracting there and strengthening the overall product all the while.
Few onlookers, if any, have been unimpressed.
But what has been done under Yzerman to this point, until on-ice results can be considered, that is, has to be labeled with the age-old, “on paper” caveat.
Essentially, Yzerman has shed some dead wood, plugged a few holes, added much-needed depth in key areas and maybe, just maybe, found the spark to reignite his club’s captain’s once-dynamic career. And before we forget, he’s given the hottest young coaching commodity in the hockey world the task of leading these fortified troops to success.
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In a summer that has been, at the very least, stabilizing (if not downright successful) for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the vast majority of those taking notice of the work done throughout the organization have come away impressed – including the club’s latest addition, Jon Cooper, announced yesterday as head coach of the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals.
“The whole thing that drew me to (the club),” Cooper said, “Was the (positive) attitude and the people they’ve brought in.”
Now, included in that very group, Cooper is well aware of some fortunate timing for the two sides to come together.
“I wanted to go the AHL at some point,” explained Cooper, who leaves his post as head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers. “I just probably didn’t think it was going to be right this second.”
But now that making that jump is indeed a reality for Cooper, his excitement and enthusiasm cannot be tempered and he gives his new bosses credit for finding him in their search.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Last weekend Free Press sports writer Helene St. James caught up with Yzerman at the NHL entry draft in Los Angeles. Afterward both were on the same flight back to Detroit, which is how she discovered Yzerman, too, thinks “Blades of Glory” is hilarious. Here’s their chat.
Q: Speaking of Detroit, everybody loves a storybook ending. Holland and his management team are now secured through 2015-16, but if he doesn’t stay on beyond that, is there a scenario where you’d return to the Red Wings?
A: You never know, in five years, they may not want me (laughs). No, I come to Tampa Bay with the idea of building something really, really good. I can’t come into this thinking, ‘Eh, I’m biding my time till I go back to Detroit.’ I made a decision to leave because I didn’t feel that it was the right thing for anybody just to sit and wait and see what if?
Who knows what the future holds, but I come down to Tampa Bay with the idea that I’m going to do a good job here, this franchise is going to turn around and we’re going to be successful, and I’m going to enjoy the job. The Red Wings—I don’t even think that far ahead.
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
Yzerman sat down Wednesday to address some of the items at the top of a long laundry list of things to work through before training camp starts in September.
Any chance you use the No. 6 overall pick as a trade chip?
I won’t say no, and we don’t have anything in the works right now. We’ve talked about the possibilities. I want to keep as many picks as possible. I think we just need to build up depth in our prospects, we need young players coming, so very remote that we move it.
How active should we expect you to be on July 1 when free agency begins?
As much as I would love to have a splash on July 1, I don’t want to sign a player just so we can have a press conference, it has to make sense. That’s the discipline we have to have. And frankly we’ve got some things within our own club that we have to take care of, like contracts and other things moving forward that we really need to focus in on and then slowly build around that.
from Darren Eliot of Sports Illustrated,
That includes the recent hiring of coach Guy Boucher. What did Yzerman like about him as his first coach hire, despite Boucher not having any NHL experience?
“First, he is a strong personality,” Yzerman replied. “Second, his experience is rooted in winning, both as a head coach and as an assistant. I have no reservations about his ability to translate that at the NHL level. I look at guys like Dave Tippett, Mike Babcock and Todd McLellan, who had similar traits and were immediately successful as NHL coaches.”
There’s that Red Wings’ perspective again, with Babcock and McLellan cited. Understandable. But what about the task at hand? What about his new team now, the Lightning?
“We have Stanley Cup-winning vets in Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier to go along with young players Steve Stamkos and Victor Hedman,” he says. “But we can’t get things done in one offseason. We have to take a longer, realistic view of our young players and what we should expect them to contribute.”
That statement alone is telling. The Red Wings have long been loathe to rush young players into positions of prominence, and I’m sure that Yzerman brings that developmental sensibility to the Lightning. And that’s just one of many differences Yzerman will find in his migration from Hockeytown to Hockey Bay.
from Steve Yzerman at TampBayLightning.com,
It is with great respect and pride that I write to you today as the new Vice President and General Manager of your Tampa Bay Lightning. When offered this opportunity by owner Jeff Vinik to further my career, I carefully considered my options; looking for committed, solid ownership and an organization that would strive to be first class from top to bottom, through all facets of the business. In the end, I found Tampa Bay to be the perfect place for me. And I think you’ll find the Lightning to be worthy of your support as well.
It was not easy to leave the Detroit Red Wings after 27 years and four Stanley Cups as a player and an executive. The organization was built on loyalty, integrity and hard work, and our sustained success there proved the formula works. I want to bring a similar approach to Tampa Bay and I think we can achieve our goal of being a consistent winner on and off the ice.
“Steve Yzerman could be the best thing that ever happened to Vinny Lecavalier. What Vinny really needs right now is direction from a man like Steve.”
-Jacques Demers. More on Lecavalier from Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times.
from Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press,
“Can I come by the house?” Steve Yzerman asked….
He hung up and told his wife, Marian, that Steve was on his way. They had gone through this a few months earlier when, unbeknown to most people, Yzerman nearly accepted the Minnesota GM’s job. He had come by the house then, like a dutiful son, and Marian Ilitch was so broken up by the thought of Yzerman leaving she stayed in the back, crying.
This time she and Mike sat in the family room and listened (albeit, Ilitch admitted, with “teary eyes”). They listened to Yzerman thank them over and over. They listened to him say how much he had learned.
And they listened to him say farewell.
“Since he’s been 17 years old,” Ilitch said Tuesday, from home, voice catching. “I mean, talk about family. That’s legit family. But he’s 45 now and it’s time.”