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Afternoon Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

As uncomfortable as Bud Selig looks when confronted with a microphone and an audience, Bettman beats him.

-Lindsey Willhite of the Chicago Daily-Herald.  More on Bettman’s press conference from Lindsay.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gary+bettman

Signature Schedule For 2010-2011 NHL Season

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

NEW YORK (May 28, 2010) – The National Hockey League announced today its schedule of signature events for the 2010-11 NHL season.  A record number of events are slated for this upcoming season, setting up the NHL’s business for another successful year.  Revenue generated from the League’s large-scale events last season was up 22 percent over the previous year and helped propel the League’s fourth consecutive year of business growth, which included record-setting television ratings and digital metrics across its platforms; as well as an unprecedented level of NHL business partner activation.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

After Four Decades, Rod Phillips Career Coming To An End

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from an Edmonton Oilers press release,

Edmonton Oilers radio play-by-play hall of famer Rod Phillips will highlight the 2010-2011 Edmonton Oilers season by calling radio play by play for 10 ‘Rod’s Classics’ games. The ‘Rod’s Classics’ Series will mark the end of Rod’s illustrious career as ‘Voice’ of the Oilers, a career that spanned 37 years.

The ‘Rod’s Classics’ games will be carefully selected to highlight the biggest games, the biggest playoff series, Stanley Cup victories, and the storied connection the Oilers radio games have established between listeners and the team. The ‘Rod’s Classics’ series will be announced when the NHL Schedule is officially published.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rod+phillips

Should The Canadian National Anthem Be Played At The Stanley Cup Final?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from CTV Toronto,

A York region hockey fan is hoping to bring some Canadian spirit to the Stanley Cup final.

Sandro Liburdi has started up a petition with hopes of convincing the National Hockey League to play both the Canadian and American national anthem at the games.

The finals will be a best-of-seven games showdown between two U.S. teams – the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers. The series starts Saturday at 9 p.m.

“Although there are two U.S. teams in the final, there are 38 Canadian players and only 24 U.S. and international-born players combined,” he said in a telephone interview with ctvtoronto.ca. He also pointed out that the captains of both teams are Canadian.

“Those Canadian players deserve to hear their anthem.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Do The Flyers Want The Cup More Than Chicago

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The Flyers have become, as great teams always do, a group that plays better than the sum of its collective parts. Coach Peter Laviolette says the team has all “bought in.” The players have come together after an inconsistent regular season and bonded into something that three rounds of the playoffs have not been able to pry apart.

“When you are overcoming adversity and winning games, your team builds, it grows,” Laviolette said. “When there are setbacks you go through, you hope the glue is sticking on the team and it becomes stronger. I think ours held.”

You can see it on the ice in dozens of ways, in little things - not giving up on a play, taking a hit in the corner, trusting in a teammate. But there is nothing more evident of a commitment to team than sprawling in front of an opponent’s shot to keep it from reaching the goalie.

“This next round,” said Ian Laperriere, who bears the scars of that commitment, “it’s going to be the team that wants it more that’s going to get it.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Chicago Blackhawks Are Not An Elite Team

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

With the Stanley Cup finals upon us, it is time to look at the two finalists.  It is sad that neither team is a historically elite team that belongs in an argument about the best hockey teams in history.  It takes away from the Stanley Cup finals prestige.  Here is my finals prediction.  I pick Chicago as the most likely winner, but they fall short as an elite team.

I argue that it is necessary, but not sufficient, for an elite team to have several (three or more) players on Hall of Fame career tracks and an elite goalie (who may be one of the hall of Fame track players), who is among the top five or so goalies in hockey.  It is also necessary that this group of players play well as a team (hence the necessary but not sufficient condition).  Any of the best teams in history (historical Stanley Cup winners) satisfy these conditions.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Morning Line

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

I wrote for a local newspaper for nine years. I’ve seen dozens of editors bend to the will of a vocal minority, altering coverage plans to quell an uprising. If you don’t believe your local rag is giving hockey its due during the championship round, call or email the sports editor and let them know about it. If you’re watching the local news, and Champ Kind or that bubbleheaded blonde on the sports desk isn’t showing at least one highlight from the Cup Finals, call or email the newsroom and demand it.

-Greg Wyshynski.  Read more from Greg at PuckDaddy on what your obligation as a hockey fan is.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Montreal GM Has Work To Do

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,

Gauthier’s first problem will be dealing with the salary cap. The good news is that it will be close to the current $56.8 million U.S. The bad news is that the Canadiens have nearly $46 million committed next season to 14 players, and one of them is Georges Laraque.

That gives Gauthier about $11 million to sign a minimum of seven players, including Tomas Plekanec and two goaltenders.

The Canadiens will save a little money by buying out Laraque. They can save more by trading the underachieving Andrei Kostitsyn and his $3.25-million salary, and throwing younger brother Sergei into the mix.

The Kostitsyn brothers have great talent, but they don’t exhibit it on a regular basis. Sergei’s tenure in Montreal effectively ended in Philadelphia when coach Jacques Martin gave him a reprieve from the doghouse and the Belarusian responded with a total lack of effort.

There have also been suggestions the Canadiens could buy out defenceman Roman Hamrlik, who has a year left on a contract that carries a $5.5-million cap hit.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

A New Face For Chicago Sports

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times,

If they win now, could it be that Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews or Dustin Byfuglien or some other Blackhawks player will become the iconic face and personality and star presence that defines our city?

The position, after all, is vacant.

‘‘The face of Chicago sports?’’ says McDonough, who came to the Hawks after many years with the Cubs. ‘‘I don’t think there is one.’‘

There sure was when Michael Jordan reigned with the Bulls. Go anywhere—anywhere in the world—and people would connect Chicago instantly with Jordan.

Before him there was Mike Ditka, who still rules in a kind of eternal royalty.

There was Dick Butkus, and Gale Sayers. But each of them left town for long periods, and Butkus, amazingly, settled in perhaps the softest place in America, Malibu, Calif.

To be a Chicago sports face, you better hang around town, and you’d better not go Hollywood.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Right Coach For The Right Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News,

In early December of last year, Peter Laviolette walked into this very unique sporting enterprise. When you think about it, there really are very few teams in any sport with an image that has been as recognizable over years and decades. Oakland Raiders. Pittsburgh Steelers . Los Angeles Lakers. But who else? Who else but the Flyers?

“People have always talked about Philadelphia like that,” Laviolette was saying the other day, stopping for a few minutes in the reception area of the team’s offices in Voorhees, N.J.

“Even when I wasn’t here, for all of those years I was around, it was always ‘the big, bad Flyers,’ ” he said, laughing. “I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. And then to have people come into your building and really fight for the ice, fight for the space - not literally fight, but just to compete at that level - it’s a good thing.”

Less than 6 months later, Laviolette has his team in the Stanley Cup finals against the Chicago Blackhawks . When he replaced John Stevens as coach, he brought with him a faster, more persistent forechecking style of play that fits this team and fits these times in the more wide-open NHL.

He is, in many ways, the perfect Flyers coach: outwardly passionate, sometimes loudly and outwardly; tactically aggressive, always

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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