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Pens Notes:  Penguins Sweep Home-and-Home Series with Columbus

Blog: The Confluence By Tony

The Penguins raised their preseason record to 3-0 with a fight-filled 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets in the second of a home-and-home series at the Consol Energy Center.  The Penguins gave all 18,000 tickets away to students and youth hockey organizations.

- Yes, it’s only preseason, and yes, we’re only one week into it, but HCDB and GMRS have got some kind of difficult job in front of them.  With 13 veteran forwards already signed to one-way contracts, it would appear on the surface that Pens management would simply retain all of the vets and send the youngsters on their way, whether that be to Wilkes-Barre or back to Juniors.  But after three preseason games, a few players are making a statement that they must be included in any discussion for that final roster.  Forwards like Eric Tangradi, Dustin Jeffrey, Mark Letestu and Brett Sterling are having great camps so far.  Whether it will translate into roster spots is still a bit premature, but so far, so good with these guys.

- Speaking of those having a great camp, last night’s telecast was the first time I’ve had a chance to get a good look at Penguins’ 2009 #1 draft pick, defenseman Simon Despres.  Wow.  Fluid skater, quick hard wrister, good puckhandling skills.  This 19-year old kid went coast-to-coast a la Paul Coffey late in the game.  Chances are that Despres will eventually get reassigned back to St. John of the QMJHL, possibly after a 10-game NHL “tryout”, similar to the Pens did with Kris Letang.  But with their #6 defenseman spot not locked down, Despres is showing that he definitely belongs.  Will he remain with the Penguins, like Jordan Staal did?

Continue Reading »

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Jordan Sigalet Finds A New Career In Coaching

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Myhre of the Everett Herald,

One moment Jordan Sigalet was standing in goal for the Providence, R.I., Bruins in an American Hockey League game against the Worcester, Mass., Sharks.

The next moment he was face down on the ice, motionless, with the team’s medical staff rushing to his side and anxious teammates gathering around. He would be taken away on a stretcher and would spend weeks in rehabilitation just to walk normally again.

Injuries are routine in a violent game such as hockey, but this was different. Sigalet had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis three years earlier and his fall in that 2007 game — he became too hot in his heavy goaltending gear, exacerbating his symptoms and causing his legs to buckle; he was knocked unconscious when his head hit the ice — was a cruel reminder that MS is a sly, insidious disease with no compassion and, as yet, no cure.

It is also the illness that effectively ended Sigalet’s playing career, although on that count at least there is a silver lining.

continued

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: everett+silvertips, jordan+sigalet

Finish The Job

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings rely on Darren Helm to be among the team leaders in hits, win more than half of his faceoffs, be a strong penalty-killer and pressure opponents into making mistakes with aggressive forechecking.

If he becomes a better finisher one day that would be a bonus.

Helm certainly creates a lot of scoring chances with his blazing speed. He scored 11 goals in 75 games during his first full NHL season last year, a nice total for a fourth-line center.

“If he can do that every year, that’s a real good year for him,’’ coach Mike Babcock said. “We’re looking for physical play out of him, penalty-killing and energy.’’

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darren+helm

Harding Hears That ‘Pop’

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Josh Harding heard a “disturbing pop,” threw off his blocker and gripped the net in dread Friday night in St. Louis.

“I kind of went into shock. I knew something was wrong. I was hoping it wasn’t this,” the Wild goaltender said dejectedly.

Harding’s worst fear was confirmed Saturday morning when doctors determined he tore both the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee. After swelling in his MCL subsides, Harding will undergo reconstructive surgery that could cause him to miss the season, although he refused to rule out a return.

“It’s going to be a battle. I’m ready to take on that battle, though,” Harding said. “It’s not like I’m going to just lay in my bed and feel sorry for myself. That’s not going to help anything.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: josh+harding

NHL Has Their Eye On Rob Blake

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

The NHL’s head office may soon add another former big-name player to its ranks.

Having already brought in Brendan Shanahan last year as the league’s vice president of hockey and business affairs, two sources have told ESPN.com that Rob Blake could be next.

Blake, who retired this past summer after a star-studded career, is slated to meet with league officials this upcoming week to see if there’s a fit for him. The idea is he would work alongside Shanahan, although remain based in Southern California.

Blake told ESPN.com during this past postseason that he wanted to remain involved in hockey after his playing career was over. He’s always been one of the brighter minds in the game, taking an active role in NHL Players’ Association affairs and being an original member of the competition committee after the lockout. Colin Campbell, the NHL’s executive vice president and director of hockey operations, has spoke highly of Blake for his competition committee work.

read on for more hockey talk

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+blake

Broadcasting Live From The Studio

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The Bruins are among five teams that won’t have their television play-by-play guys working their games in Europe. Of the half-dozen squads that will open the season with a pair of games each overseas, only the Sharks will have their play-by-play and color guys in the booth. Here in the Hub, Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley will call the two games vs. Phoenix, both in Prague, off a monitor in NESN’s Watertown studios. Let’s not forget, the Bruins are partners with the Red Sox in NESN ownership. If the Sox were to open with a pair of games in, oh, Antarctica, would they have Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy on the job? Bet your Aunt Gert’s pink BoSox hat and apron on it. NESN’s A team made it to Japan when the Sox opened there, correct? True, NESN’s Sox ratings tubed this year, along with ad revenue, but the network’s presence on basic cable still makes it, as we have said here before, a bloated cash behemoth. What the Bruins must do, post haste, is convince John Henry’s wife, Linda Pizzuti, to view NHL games as sort of an offbeat, aberrant entertainment viewing experience (as much of America does), and then maybe a little NESN love would come the Black and Gold’s way.

more hockey topics…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

NHLPA To The Rescue

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Just when you thought there was nothing more to learn about the NHL’s prosecution of Ilya Kovalchuk and the Devils, Slap Shots can inform you that GM Lou Lamoriello was on the phone with NHLPA attorneys on the day the union and league were crafting the amendment to the CBA to allow for No. 17’s uncontested 15-year, $100 million contract registration.

Slap Shots has been told that the delay of approximately 12 hours in finalizing the agreement reached in the early hours of Sept. 4 was caused by the PA’s insistence that the Devils not be penalized with a loss of cap space for having been found guilty of circumvention by arbitrator Richard Bloch on the first Kovalchuk contract submission.

The NHL, we’re told, finally yielded after it became clear that the union, protecting up to $3 million of New Jersey’s potential payroll, was not going to surrender on the issue.

Somehow we doubt that Lamoriello will be spending much time badmouthing Donald Fehr over the next two years.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Getting Kovalchuk off His Game

Blog: KK Hockey By Michael Smith

There’s one player who seems to have Cliffs Notes on taking Ilya Kovalchuk off his game.

It’s not a top-pair defensive defenseman nor anyone who will ever have to clear space for a Selke Trophy on his shelf. 

No, the one guy who can infuriate Kovalchuk to the point of ineffectiveness is none other than Sean Avery

While the New York Rangers are going to have trouble finding answers for New Jersey’s top line—if their 4 goals and 8 assists combined in two games are any indication—Ilya will likewise lack an answer for just what it is that bothers him so much about Avery. 

And that could be an issue.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk, sean+avery

Late Saturday Night Hockey Notes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

• Ron Wilson has every reason to hate the schedule that Brian Burke and ownership have saddled him with in training camp. Wilson’s backside is on the line as this season begins and the Leafs have played five pre-season games in the past five days. That’s five days where he can’t practise with his full roster, work on what needs to be worked on: It’s wasted time for a coach with the clock ticking.

• The New York Rangers missed an opportunity Saturday. They placed defenceman Wade Redden on waivers. They should have done the same for the retired but still working general manager, Glen Sather.

a few more hockey notes…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Kovalchuk Gives Avery Some Advice

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,

Yes, Devils wing Ilya Kovalchuk did make a gesture with his hand toward his mouth during his exchange of words with Rangers’ pest Sean Avery when the two were on their respective benches in the third period. But it was not the throat slashing gesture that earned Blackhawks defenseman Nick Boynton a one-game regular season suspension earlier this week.

“I just told him to zip it,” Kovalchuk said after the Devils’ 5-4 overtime loss to the Rangers tonight. “I didn’t tell him I will kill him, so don’t suspend me.”

Rangers coach John Tortorella confirmed that Kovalchuk made a “zip your lip” motion and Avery himself said Kovalchuk should not be suspended for whatever gesture he made.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I saw the whole thing,” Tortorella said. :It was just shut your mouth. There was no slash.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ilya+kovalchuk, sean+avery

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