Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: willie mitchell
from Lisa Dillman of the LA Times,
Mitchell will be playing in his first Stanley Cup Final, which will open Wednesday with the Kings playing either the New York Rangers or the New Jersey Devils. If it’s the Devils, it will be a homecoming of sorts for Mitchell, because that team originally drafted him with its 12th choice (199th overall) in 1993. Nine years ago, in his second full NHL season with Minnesota, Mitchell advanced as far as the Western Conference finals, but the Wild was swept by the Ducks.
So when Kings teammate Dustin Penner scored the series-clinching goal in overtime in Game 5 against the Phoenix Coyotes, Mitchell said the feeling was “surreal.”
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said Thursday in El Segundo. “I was fortunate to be out on the ice when Big Pens scored. Some guys were jumping. I was just sitting there. I was like, ‘Is this happening?’ So I feel fortunate to get this chance and get the opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup for real.”
Remember Willie, no parade planning until the final horn sounds…
“...When you play a little while, that becomes first and foremost, just having a shot at the Stanley Cup. You can go that (free-agency) route, but it’s very unpredictable where you could end up. For me, I’ve played a little while and it’s all about winning. I want a Cup. I don’t have that. A couple guys around here do, and I hear the stories, I hear everything. I’ve been to the conference finals, but that’s what drives me and that’s what motivates me, on the — I wouldn’t say latter half — but the later stages of my career. That’s what I want to accomplish, and I think we’ve got some good people around here and we can get that accomplished….”
-Willie Mitchell after signing an extension with the LA Kings. More from Mitchell by Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider.
via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
Willie Mitchell has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Kings worth $7 million. Mitchell, who will turn 35 in April, had signed a two-year, $7-million contract with the Kings in Aug. 2010 as an unrestricted free agent.
“We play this great game [in which] I get into a car wreck six times a night, 82 times a year, plus playoffs, now in my 13th season at the professional level. The rest of my teammates do, too. How many people get into a car wreck in their [entire] life? Hopefully never, but maybe once in their life?”
“[Hitting is] part of the game. We accept that, we know it can happen. It’s a physical game. We go out and play the sport knowing that, and that’s what makes it great, fast, [and] exciting. I’d just like to see us take away all the things that are in our control to not have my peers susceptible to [concussions].”
-Willie Mitchell of the Los Angeles Kings. More from Mitchell on concussions from Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer
“We feel we can compete for the Stanley Cup, and that’s what we’re preparing for. The big thing is when your general manager and the ownership goes out and makes the moves and spends the money that they did, it’s a vote of confidence in us as a group to say that they think we’re ready. It’s like anything in life. When people believe in you, you tend to get the best out of people.”
-Willie Mitchell of the LA Kings. More on the Kings from the CP at The Hockey News.
via Helene Elliott tweet,
uh-oh: Kings say Mitchell has fractured wrist and will be out 4 to 6 wks, and Ponikarovsky has fractured finger and will miss 4 weeks.
from Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum,
X-rays taken of defenseman Willie Mitchell, who was injured during the Kings’ 4-1 victory over Nashville on Saturday night, showed no break or fracture, but he will undergo an MRI on Monday, a team spokesman said.
Mitchell, off to a fine start with the Kings, played only two shifts in the second period after suffering what the club called an upper-body injury. It’s believed he injured an arm. Coach Terry Murray said after Saturday’s game that he had not seen the play because it happened on the far side of the ice. The X-rays were done after the game.
The Kings, who have won four straight games and five of their last six, don’t play again until Thursday, when they face the Dallas Stars at Staples Center. That should give Mitchell some extra time to heal.
continue for more Kings talk…
“My opinion is that everyone has made a big issue out of this and I think there’s other things that are going on in our game that are much more severe, whether it’s headshots—and I keep going back to that—and the lack of action on that. It’s something we’ve seen the NFL start to do and hopefully our league follows suit. The game’s faster, guys are bigger, it would be nice to see if they protected the players a little more.”
-LA Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell on the Rick Rypien suspension. More from Helene Elliott of the Fabulous Forum.
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
“We all love this game, we want to get out there and win a Stanley Cup,” Mitchell said. “That’s why we’ve played 5,000 road hockey games, to have a shot at it. That’s why we do what we do at the end of the day. That’s what challenges us. We push our limits.”
That’s why, after suffering a concussion in a collision with Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, Mitchell was out hiking in March and April, pushing his body in hopes of getting ready for the playoffs.
His body pushed back.
The symptoms from the concussion came rushing back.
“It’s almost like you’re autistic,” he said. “You’re overly sensitive, you can’t deal with light and sound.”
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
...it seems he’s had another blow to the head, what with the quote he gave our Jim Jamieson on Thursday upon the news of the ultimatum the league gave the Players Association on the Ilya Kovalchuk and Roberto Luongo contracts now thankfully settled.
Quoth Mitchell: “We have a big gap in our union where you have the star player and the blue-collar player. All those top-end guys are getting paid more and more and the bottom-end guys are getting less and less. Maybe if we come to something more level, it might help the rest of our union.”
Now we know what he was driving at but the question is, when did Mitchell become a socialist and when did he start quaffing the Bettman Kool-Aid? No wonder the owners are in such great shape if this is the quality of understanding of the CBA at the player-rep level.
from Rich Hammond of Kings.com,
Whether he ends up being paired with Drew Doughty or Jack Johnson—the two most likely options, heading into training camp—Mitchell will play a significant role in the Kings’ stated goal of improving their 5-on-5 scoring margin.
Mitchell chuckled at the discovery that he, at 33, is the Kings’ oldest defenseman—now that Sean O’Donnell has moved on to Philadelphia—and the Kings will particularly rely on Mitchell during the first month, while Matt Greene recovers from shoulder surgery.
For the past two seasons in Vancouver, though, Mitchell served as an alternate captain, so he figures to become part of the Kings’ leadership group, if only informally.
“I’ve been fortunate to be around some great, great minds in the game,” Mitchell said. “I was coached by Jacques Lemaire, by Larry Robinson, and I thank God that I was lucky enough to listen to those guys. They’re great, great minds. I played with Scotty Stevens and (Scott) Niedermayer, and I think I learned a lot of things from those great players and great minds. I hope to maybe help out in that capacity a little bit with some of the young players on this team.”
via Nick Kypreos tweet,
I’m told clubs have been notified they are out of Mitchell race. Look for LA Kings to announce Willie Mitchell soon on a multi year deal.
added 3:00pm, via Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,
The Kings have reached an agreement with defenseman Willie Mitchell for a two-year contract worth $3.5 million per year.
from Jason Botchford of The White Towel at the Vancouver Province,
The front runners for Mitchell’s services are four elite (ish) teams — San Jose, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Washington, where Mitchell was put through the paces Tuesday.
His trip to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex Tuesday, completing his four-city North American tour, indicates the Capitals are considering something equivalent to the two-year offer the Los Angeles Kings tabled last week.
It makes sense. The Capitals have both talent and youth on their blueline but lack grit and toughness after losing Shaone Morrisonn to the Buffalo Sabres. Whether Mitchell is physical enough to fill a void is something the Capitals are exploring.
With Mitchell expected to make a decision in the next week, can the Canucks compete with multiple offers? Are they still in it?
Sources tell Sportsnet that after working out with the Los Angeles Kings last week, Mitchell has apparently showcased his health to the San Jose Sharks and his club for the last four seasons, the Vancouver Canucks.
Mitchell is trying to make a comeback after suffering a season-ending concussion last January.
The workouts have reportedly gone well, and now the 33-year-old is expected to visit the Washington Capitals.
It is believed Mitchell will make up his mind on his future by the end of the week.
So I have a question for you.
Where does Willie Mitchell land and extra credit if you give me the terms of the contract?
“The Red Wings, they’re one of the teams. Everybody is interested in the Red Wings.”
-Mike Liut, agent for Willie Mitchell. More from Craig Custance of The Sporting News.
from Micahel Russo of Russo’s Rants,
I hear he’s gotten a clean bill of health and has begun taking physicals for a few teams. I think he’ll sign soon. The former Wild defenseman, I’m told, actually could sign a contract with performance bonuses because he spent 100 days on injured reserve last year—including the playoffs. The CBA doesn’t spell out whether the 100 days is only during the regular season, so it appears after inquiries from Mitchell and the player, the league will allow this type of contract. I bet it’ll be for a base of $1 or $1.5 million on a one-year deal plus bonuses.
He’s not coming to Minnesota. I think Washington and San Jose are definite possibilities. I also hear he met with Vancouver recently, although I don’t know how the Canucks can re-sign Mitchell since they’re over the cap.
read on for more Wild talk…
via Dan Murphy tweet,
Willy Mitchell feeling great after 18 days of training/skating. He’s narrowed 12 interested teams to 4 and suprise! Van may still be in mix
thanks to Nucks Misconduct for the pointer
That is Willie Mitchell. Many of you know Willie Mitchell did not return to the Canucks last season after taking a hit from Evgeni Malkin in mid-January.
Mitchell suffered from post-concussion syndrome but recent reports state he is feeling better.
Will a team take a shot and sign him long-term, will they wait until September to see how he feels or will teams just stay away from him totally?
When healthy, Mitchell is a top 4 defenseman and a very solid defensive player.
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
Ran into former Wild defenseman Willie Mitchell and his wife last night here in Minneapolis, and Mitchell, who completed a four-year deal with his hometown Vancouver Canucks, is recovering well from a concussion that cost him much of this past season. He was hit from behind by Evgeni Malkin. Mitchell definitely has plans to hook on with a team later this summer, but he’ll be patient to continue his recovery.
Heck, maybe the Wild comes after him later in the summer. I still maintain the Wild needs another NHL defenseman.
more plus other Wild notes…
from Jason Botchford of The White Towel,
Nearly four months since suffering a concussion which has kept him away from hockey, an emotional, red-eyed Willie Mitchell returned to target the NHL and indict chief disciplinarian Colin Campbell for his inconsistency in dealing with head shots.
Mitchell said he was disappointed by Campbell’s decision making. He said a neutral party is needed in Campbell’s role because his “relationships” with teams and players can bias rulings.
“I know Colin Campbell has a lot of relationships with general managers and owners and stuff like that,” Mitchell said. “It’s very tough to hand down decisions on matters like this when you’re friends with people.
“It’s like saying I have to discipline my teammates. It’s too emotional. You can’t always make the right decision.”
note 4:10pm: I changed the link and story since the original one was reomoved…
If you need a refresher, watch the hit below…
from the CP at TSN,
Injured defenceman Willie Mitchell made a rare visit to the Vancouver Canucks dressing room Tuesday.
Mitchell, who has rarely been seen around GM Place since suffering a concussion in January, slipped in and out before Game 6 of the team’s Western Conference semifinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks.
“Everybody talked to him,” said defenceman Kevin Bieksa. “He’s hanging around and he really wanted to come to the rink and talk to the guys. There was no reason for it. He just wants to be around the guys.”
from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun,
It has now been nearly four weeks since defenceman Willie Mitchell suffered his concussion and there’s still no word on how much longer he will be out.
It’s clear that Mitchell, who suffered the injury Jan. 18 when he was run into the end boards by Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, won’t be playing any hockey before the Olympic break.
Now you have to wonder if he’ll be ready to go after the Olympics. The Canucks clearly miss his presence, especially on their struggling penalty kill.
“From what I can understand he has been getting better by the day, but he is still not symptom-free,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. “That’s all I know.”
Asked Wednesday if he expected Mitchell to be ready to play post-Olympics, Vigneault said: “Who knows with concussions. We are all keeping our fingers crossed.”
from Ben Kuzma of The White Towel,
The Vancouver Canucks hoped for the best but confirmed the worst Monday.
Willie Mitchell isn’t expected to join his teammates when the Vancouver Canucks open an eight-game road trip on Saturday in Toronto because the blueliner is suffering from post-concussion syndrome.
“I think we can safely say that Willie has a concussion,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “Right now, he’s close to symptom free and he’s day-to-day.”
continue for more on the Canucks…
Emails streamed in overnight, claiming Mitchell should be suspended for his hit on Gilbert last night.
Watch and listen to what Gilbert thinks of the hit. End of story!
from Flames Insider at the Calgary Herald,
Geez, tough marker. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault appeared reluctant to give the Flames much credit for their one clear decision — Jarome Iginla’s left-hand flooring of Willie Mitchell in the first period.
“They have a great leader obviously in Jarome and he was a man on a mission tonight,” said Vigneault after his team’s 4-3 overtime triumph on Pavol Demitra’s heroics. “But you know Willie was a man on a mission too — he did a great job defensively against him and he stood up toe to toe. If Jarome’s sweater doesn’t rip, I don’t think he wins that one.”
continued for more reaction to the OT win by Calgary and watch the Iginal/Mitchell battle below…
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Nudged by coach Alain Vigneault, (Willie) Mitchell is committed to setting an example this offseason, trying to take a step forward into the leadership void created by the departure of Canuck mainstays Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison and Trevor Linden….
Mitchell hasn’t had much time for leisure this summer. He said he took just one fishing trip. He started skating regularly in July in Minnesota, his earliest ever start, and already has ramped up his off-ice training to five days a week.
“It’s not easy and it’s not fun,” Mitchell said. “This isn’t exactly the most enjoyable time of year for hockey players—you’re running stairs and doing things where you’re almost passing out. That’s not fun.
“But No. 1 for me is to get ready to have a great season and if I do that it’s really going to help this team. I’m not happy with how last season turned out. No one can be.”
From the CP via the Globe & Mail,
Defenceman Willie Mitchell chose his words carefully but it was clear Monday he was annoyed by the public criticism directed at him by coach Alain Vigneault following the Vancouver Canucks’ loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
Some things should stay in the dressing room, Mitchell said.
“If people are unhappy with things, (as a) player you’d like to have that addressed,” he said. “You don’t like to hear about it through the media most of the time. That’s his way of motivating I guess.”
from the Times Colonist,
“Hockey is popular in Minnesota [where Mitchell spent more than three NHL seasons with the Wild], but being back playing in a Canadian city is a whole different ball game with the crazy amount of attention you receive,” says Mitchell.
And this isn’t just any Canadian team Mitchell finds himself with, but the home-province team he grew up adoring as a kid.
“It gets a little crazy, but it’s all part of it and I enjoy what I do,” said the product of the North Island Eagles minor hockey teams.
“I’m lucky to be doing it. But it can be a little overwhelming being a Canuck in B.C. and trying to balance that with personal and family time.”