Tag: Chris Clark

Olaf Kolzig

Kolzig looking forward to new role with Capitals


After spending the 2013-14 season as the team’s goaltending coach, Olaf Kolzig is looking forward to his new role in Washington as the club’s professional development coach.

Kolzig, 44, asked for a reassignment during the offseason in order to be closer to his his three kids.

The former Capitals first-round pick (19th overall in 1989) is hoping to use his new role as a stepping stone to bigger front office responsibilities.

“I’ve always thought about trying to get into the management side of things,” Kolzig told the Monumental Network. “This is a great way to start. You’re developing players, you’re watching them and nurturing them. And at some point, when my kids get older and I feel that I can spend more time up here, then maybe that’s something that I’d like to pursue. But for now, I was very appreciative that the organization accepted my new role and the proposal that I sent to them. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s great because it does allow me to get back and be with the kids, and at the same time have that chance to get my name on the [Stanley] Cup.”

Kolzig, who spent parts of 16 seasons in Washington, ranks 22nd among goaltender in games played (706) and 26th in wins (303). He’s trying to learn from former teammates Craig Billington and Chris Clark, who have also transitioned from their playing days to front office jobs with NHL clubs.

“When Biller first went to Colorado, he introduced this proposal to them, and I think it’s a vital thing in the game today, developing these kids,” said Kolzig, who will also be a fill-in goaltending coach. “And not just from how they are on the ice and their skills set but their transition from junior hockey or college or European hockey to all of a sudden pro hockey.”

Kolzig knows what that development process is like first hand. After being drafted in ’89, he didn’t become a full-time NHLer until the 1996-97 season. His development took him through a number of stops in both the American Hockey League and East Coast Hockey League.

“It takes some time to develop a routine and to develop something that works for you,” says Kolzig. “It’s a huge transition. I don’t think people understand how big it is. What you try to do is to keep them busy so they’re not constantly thinking about the game. You need a break. There is a lot of pressure in pro hockey. If you’re in a bit of a slump, your tendency is just to go home and dwell on it and at the end of the day, it will probably snowball and you’ll put yourself in more of a funk. It’s better to leave whatever it is at the rink and then go home and do whatever else it is. Maybe you have a dog, or a girlfriend, or you’re learning a language or an instrument. Just something to be productive.

“I know we all like to live and breathe hockey, but at the same time you also need something away from the rink. When I was younger, I played golf. It was a different time back when I came in; you had a lot of veterans and you did a lot of team bonding stuff away from the rink. And that’s not the case nearly as much now. If I can get the guys to be a lot more comfortable and keep the mountains low and the valleys high, and just keep them at a consistent level, then I think I’ve done my job.”

Kolzig begins his new role with the club this weekend.

PHT’s Morning Skate: Dan Carcillo used to be an altar boy

Left Wing Dan Carcillo
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

You know what they say about those kids who went to parochial school, they either turn out to be hockey bloggers (like yours truly) or hockey tough guys like Dan Carcillo. (CSNChicago.com)

Speaking of Carcillo, he and Patrick Kane are having a mustache battle for Movember. Methinks this won’t bode well for baby face Kane. Call us when the mullet battle goes down. (ESPN Chicago)

Teemu Selanne tore his team a new one after their OT loss to Washington. When Teemu roars, you’d better listen. (OC Register)

Dominik Hasek is 46 years-old and he still wants to keep playing hockey. Who does he think he is, Chris Chelios? (NHL.com)

Mike Fisher has been cleared to play for Nashville after getting rung up by Francois Beauchemin. Resume your duties Nashville paparazzi. (Tennessean)

The Ilya Kovalchuk at right wing experiment lasted less than one game. Maybe they could’ve told him it was like left wing, just in reverse? (Fire & Ice)

Corey Perry is getting his number retired… By his junior team the London Knights. (Ducks)

Nathan Horton says he doesn’t feel like himself. He also says it’s not concussion-related. Hmm… (CSNNE.com)

Evander Kane is playing great in Winnipeg and silencing the critics. Wait, there are critics in Winnipeg? (Winnipeg Sun)

Chris Clark is getting a tryout with the AHL Bruins after missing out with Boston in training camp. (CSNNE.com)

Andy Sutton says it’ll take more than a suspension to change how he plays the game. He would know, he’s an expert in suspensions by now. (Edmonton Journal)

Peter Regin is finally seeing a finish line in his injury recover for Ottawa. Sadly, it’s about six weeks away. (Senators Extra)

College hockey: If you thought the battle over the North Dakota Fighting Sioux nickname was over, you were sorely mistaken and haven’t been paying attention to this saga. (USCHO)

Finally, Lauri Korpikoski proves that you don’t need balance at all to be able to score a goal. (NHL)

Is Chris Clark the guy to fill Mark Recchi’s veteran role in Boston?

Chris Clark

When Mark Recchi retired this summer after helping the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup, it ended a stellar career for the 43 year-old veteran. Recchi’s departure also left the Bruins lacking a bit on their forward lines. While Recchi’s knack for the net and veteran savvy won’t be around in Boston this year, there’s another older player who’s looking to impress coach Claude Julien and GM Peter Chiarelli in camp this year.

Former Capitals captain Chris Clark is joining the Bruins in camp on a tryout basis looking to find a way onto the Boston roster this season. Clark is coming off a season in Columbus that saw him hit the ice for just 53 games scoring five goals and adding 10 assists. Since being traded from Washington two years ago, Clark’s career has quieted down a bit in Columbus scoring just eight goals in a season and a half in Ohio.

Clark was never really the goal scoring, point production kind of player as he’s a prototypical grinder, but that sort of player in Boston can become a folk hero if they play well enough. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty caught up with Clark as he tunes up for training camp and finds out that he knows just what his role will be if he can crack Boston’s lineup.

“I’m always excited for camp, but I’d rather be two weeks into camp,” said Clark. “I know who everybody is from playing against them, but I’m looking forward to getting to know them on a personal level. I had a couple of camp offers, but nothing great.

“I talked to Peter [Chiarelli] and they were looking for somebody like me. Whether it becomes me or not remains to be seen. It’s up to me, but we’ll see what happens. The off-the-ice stuff was definitely important [for a potential role with the Bruins], but the on-ice stuff is pretty important too.”

You’d have to think that “somebody like him” would mean a guy who can play a solid 12-13 minutes a game in a defensive forward role. Expecting Clark to come in and do the things that Recchi would do is asking him to go outside his realm of abilities. If the Bruins are in need of a third or fourth line grinder, however, Clark is the guy that could fill that role admirably. After a miserable go of it in Columbus and looking to win a Stanley Cup, going to Boston could be the exact opportunity he’s been waiting for.

Chris Clark reportedly accepts tryout offer with Boston Bruins

Columbus Blue Jackets v Toronto Maple Leafs

It’s been a tough summer for a lot of the NHL’s fringe free agents. While many of those players have their flaws – and most have seen their best days – it’s still surprising to see that no one is willing to give the likes of John Madden or J.P. Dumont a shot.

Many of those fringe players have been forced to accept training camp tryout offers instead of actual contracts. Ray Emery will continue his fight to regain his footing in the NHL by attempting to make an impact with the Chicago Blackhawks this month. While some players have better chances than others to actually make the respective teams, the list goes on with Michael Nylander (Philadelphia), Jordan Hendry (Minnesota), Manny Legace (Vancouver), David Aebischer (Winnipeg) and more.

Kirk Luedeke passes along a New York Newsday report that veteran winger Chris Clark is expected to get his own tryout opportunity with the Boston Bruins. The 35-year-old right wing might have a chance to make the Bruins’ roster since the team could use another winger after Michael Ryder left town.

Clark spent the first six seasons of his NHL career with the Calgary Flames, where he was part of the team’s Cinderella run to the 2004 Stanley Cup finals. He then spent parts of five seasons with the Washington Capitals, where he scored 20 goals once and reached a career-high 30 in 2006-07, leading him to become the team’s captain. Injuries and a reduced role eventually prompted the Caps to trade him to Columbus in 2010, where he had limited success during the rest of the 2009-10 season and only played in 53 games last season.

So even though the Bruins have a slight need at forward, Clark is far from guaranteed a spot. He could be a moderate asset in Boston if he can stay healthy and produce at a moderate level, but the South Windsor, Connecticut native will need to impress in training camp to land a job.

Clark’s training camp will rank as one of many we’ll keep an eye on as the preseason approaches.

(H/T to Puck Daddy.)

Blue Jackets let three former captains walk

Patrik Berglund, Chris Stewart, Matt D'Agostini, Craig Rivet

The Columbus Blue Jackets are dropping plenty of hints that the organization is going to shake things up. One of the most recent hints, albeit not surprising, will be changes to the roster. Pending free agents Ethan Moreau, Chris Clark, and Craig Rivet have all been notified by the Blue Jackets organization that they will not be returning to the team next season. Each of the (now former) players were brought in by Jackets management with the intention of bringing veteran leadership. In fact, each one of these players was the captain on their previous team. The announcement that each of the players will not be offered contracts could signify a change in philosophy for the team who only has one playoff appearance in franchise history.

The announcement is only the latest move that is making headlines around the league. First, the team announced they were firing their director of pro scouting and their assistant general manager. Next, they have been publically linked to rumors that have them acquiring Jeff Carter from Philadelphia in a salary dump move for the Flyers. Now we hear the team is shedding themselves of the majority of their (perceived) veteran leadership.

The change isn’t simply for the sake of change. Aaron Portzline from the Columbus Dispatch explains exactly what the Blue Jackets stand to gain by letting the veterans go:

“… but it frees up $8.13 million in salary cap space and roughly $7.75 million in actual salary. The Blue Jackets are expecting to be aggressive in free agency, but it’s unclear if GM Scott Howson still feels as if the dressing room needs a veteran voice to steer the youngsters.

The word around the league is the Columbus Blue Jackets are going to be active participants in the free agent market. The mandate from management is to start winning more games so the team can limit the $25 million in losses they incurred last season. Instead of simply slashing payroll to save cash, the Blue Jackets are expected to make acquisitions and put a more competitive product on the ice to bring in the fans. From a fan’s perspective, you can’t ask for anything more from an ownership group.

For the veteran trifecta, it could mean the end of the road for all three. While all three have made a name for themselves around the league as great locker room guys, their productivity on the ice last season left plenty to be desired. Waiver wire pick-up Ethan Morrow was on the shelf twice with various injuries. Craig Rivet was acquired via re-entry waivers, played 14 games for the Jackets and still managed to post a minus 7. Chris Clark only managed 8 goals and 20 points in 89 games since being acquired from the Washington Capitals.

Never say never as the offseason always provides plenty of surprises. But unless there’s a team out there willing to sign a guy strictly for leadership qualities, we may have seen the last of all three players.