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Entries with the tag: nhl home ice

NHL Thoughts and Musings with Terry Mercury of NHL Home Ice

Just because it is the off-season does not mean there is no hockey to talk about.

This is why NHL Home Ice is one of the best hockey outlets out there. The Sirius/XM channel continues to bring the latest news, notes, interviews with people in the hockey world and much more.

One of NHL Home Ice’s great hosts, Terry Mercury, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to give us his thoughts on what has gone on this off-season, his thoughts on the Wild, the Rick Nash situation and much more.

PH: What are your general thoughts regarding what has happened so far this off-season whether it has been a trade, signing, draft pick, etc.?
TM: The rich are getting richer…as they’re the only ones who can offer these incredible multi-year, hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars deals. I’m curious to see if this will be one of the major sticking points in the Collective Bargaining Agreement talks. I mean…it’s even affecting the kinds of offer sheets Restricted Free Agents are getting.

PH: How much of an impact do you think Zach Parise and Ryan Suter will have on the Minnesota Wild? Do these two signings automatically make the Wild a playoff team or is there still a lot of work to be done to make that happen? Why?
TM: Not only do the Minnesota Wild become playoff contenders….they’re now on the map as a place future top-flight free agents will seriously consider signing with. Mind you…with those signings they now trail only the Boston Bruins as having the league’s highest payroll…so both Suter and Parise are really under the gun to produce.

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A Great View of the Opening Face-Off Craziness at MSG

From Mike Ross at NHL Home Ice:

Hockey fights though, never seemed that gratuitous because of what I’d been sold for years:

-  Hockey fights breed accountability
-  Hockey fights do not result in anyone getting hurt
-  Hockey fights happen because of the passion in the game
-  Hockey fights are necessary so players have a way to vent frustration

And for years, I bought it…much the same way my parents smoked for most of my childhood without ever giving a second thought to the effects of second-hand smoke.  How were they supposed to know?  It was never drilled into them.

But when I saw 3 scraps of the opening faceoff between the Rangers and Devils on Monday (the 2nd time there have been multiple fights off the start of a game between these two teams), I tried to understand which of the above criteria were met.

Click here for more from Rossy.

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  Tags: mike+ross, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nhl+home+ice

Need More Hockey? I have the Answer

If you are a hockey fan, than you are probably following your favorite sport in a number of different ways.

May be you are one that watches the games on television, listens to the game on the radio, purchases the NHL Center Ice package for your family’s television, buys the NHL GameCenter Live package for your computer, or follows everything by hopping online and checking out all the hockey blogs, hockey beat writers, and so on and so forth.

Believe it or not, folks, there is another way and it is three words: NHL Home Ice.

NHL Home Ice is Sirius/XM’s 24/7 hockey channel. NHL Home Ice has great hosts, great producers, terrific content and an awesome Boss in Joe Thistel.

This outlet is dedicated to hockey like no other. The hosts are not only some of the most knowledgeable hockey people out there, but they are also true fans of the game we all know and love.

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  Tags: aron+papernick, breakaway, bruce+bolton, face+off, hockey+on+campus, hockey+primetime, hockey+prospects+radio, hockey+this+morning, hockey+unfiltered+with+todd+lewis, jamie+shalley, joe+thistel, josh+rimer, mick+kern, mike+ross, nhl+home+ice, peter+berce, terry+mercury, the+fourth+period, the+point, the+power+play, the+war+room

Talking Puck with Terry Mercury of NHL Home Ice

As we all already know, I am a huge fan of Sirius/XM NHL Home Ice channel. I love the content, the hosts, the banter, the interviews, the programs and everything and anything else that has to do with NHL Home Ice.

As you are also well aware of, I have done many e-mail interviews with the hosts of NHL Home Ice. Today, I am proud to bring back Terry Mercury, who has been kind enough to do many of these with me over the past few seasons.

Terry was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to give his thoughts on the recent NHL trade deadline while also giving us his thoughts on the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and what is going on at NHL Home Ice.

PH: With the trade deadline having come and gone, which team (s) do you think improved the most? Why?
TM: The Nashville Predators are a team that no one is going to want to play in the post season. Adding Hal Gill….Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad gives them depth…experience…and more of the physical presence needed to win in the post-season. Add solid coaching from Barry Trotz and company…and the experience of playoff success last season…and this is a team that will give anyone a rough ride in the playoffs.

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Jamie Shalley of NHL Home Ice Stops By To Talk Puck

As everyone already knows, I am a big and proud supporter of Sirius/XM NHL Home Ice. In my opinion, it is the best hockey outlet out there with terrific hosts, producers, content and much, much more.

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to do an e-mail interview with NHL Home Ice Jamie Shalley. Shalley is a man of all trades at NHL Home Ice and is the host of ‘Breakaway’.

Shalley was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to give us his thoughts on the current season, which teams and players have surprised/disappointed him and much more.

PH: We are well into the 2011-12 NHL Campaign. What are some of your general thoughts on the season?
JS: Certainly it’s been a rollercoaster season. We’ve had many positives, including the amazing run by the Bruins to finish 2011, the incredible push by the Blues under Ken Hitchcock, the Winter Classic between the Flyers and Rangers, and an outstanding hosting of the All-Star Game by the city of Ottawa. However, we’ve had the unfortunate side too. The Lokomotiv tragedy and the death of several former NHL enforcers cast a tragic cloud on the start of the season. Concussions continue to be a threat to many careers. The early rash of suspensions and continued supplemental discipline handed out by Brendan Shanahan and the department of player safety has been one of the major stories of the season. We’ve also replaced nearly half the coaches in the NHL in less than a calendar year.

PH: Which teams/players have surprised you this season? Why?
JS: I’ve been surprised by the Panthers. They gelled quickly, despite bringing in a ton of new faces. Plus, they’ve managed to survive despite getting most of their scoring from their top forward line. The Senators, while they’ve been slumping lately, have been a surprise. Paul MacLean seems to have changed the culture quickly, and with their key players healthy, they’ve been able to outscore their mistakes on a lot of nights. I’ve been impressed by the Devils. They haven’t had Travis Zajac for most of the season, and their blue line corps wasn’t regarded as one of the best in the conference, but they’re still right in the middle of things in the East. Surprise players for me include Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Brian Elliott, and Ryan McDonagh. While Nugent-Hopkins has all the skill in the world, I didn’t think he’d be able to take the physical pounding in his first season playing against men. Elliott looked to be on his way out of the NHL, but hard work in the off-season and a defensive system in St. Louis has resulted in a resurgence. I’ve been impressed with McDonagh’s ability to log top-pair minutes and responsibility as a young player on one of the top clubs in the NHL. 

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  Tags: breakaway, jamie+shalley, nhl+home+ice

NHL Home Ice’s Bruce Bolton Checks in at the Half-Way Point

With the National Hockey League officially past the mid-way point of the season, there have been lots of things going on in the 2011-12 campaign.

For starters, the hockey has been excellent. There have been great games, big goals, lots of hits, terrific saves and more.

“I love it,” Bruce Bolton, Producer of Hockey This Morning on NHL Home Ice on SIRIUSXM Satellite Radio, told me when I had a chance to catch up with him about the NHL season so far. “The first half of the season is usually always good hockey.”

One thing that Bolton really likes about the first half of the season is that every team for the most part is competitive and is fighting for one of the top eight spots in their respective conferences.

“It is great because of the parody that is in the league now,” Bolton said. “Not only is there parody in the first half, but there is parity the whole season. It is great to see how tight it is in a 30 team league.”

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Taking a Game In with a Hockey Hall of Famer

Many of us crazy hockey fans have probably wondered what it would be like to watch a game with a Hall of Famer.

As it turns out, Mike Ross of NHL Home Ice’s Hockey This Morning had the chance to do that a few weeks ago with former New York Islanders’ great and Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin.

“Rossy” was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to tell us about his experience with Potvin.

PH: You had quite the hockey week recently, Mike. Not only did you get to catch a special Buffalo Sabres’ game, but you also got to take in the Ottawa Senators vs, Toronto Maple Leafs game with Denis Potvin. Does it get any better than that for you?
MR: Well, I have been twice blessed in this way…Firstly, I did the Power Play show with Phil Esposito for an entire season and that was a thrill. Espo is legendary not only on the ice but in the story-telling department so you can imagine how cool it was to start my work day everyday by calling Phil up and setting up the show with him, only to have him regale me with great tales. In one word: Awesome.

Then as you mentioned, I got to hang with Denis Potvin, one of the top 2 or 3 defencemen of all-time…Denis and I have worked on Hockey This Morning together for 2 1/2 seasons and have a great working relationship. But when you add some of the extra curricular activities we have engaged in, like playing together in a charity hockey game or watching the Sens and Leafs in the ACC press box, it goes to another level. To watch the man skate and stick handle 20 years after retiring like he was still in the game…the hands and skate stride are still there…very cool.

PH: What was it like watching a game with one of the greatest defensemen of all-time? Was he able to point out things that many fans would probably never pick-up on?
MR: Absolutely. Denis, like anyone who achieved what he did, would point out nuances of the game that I would not have noticed. He also gave me insight into why a player made a certain move or decision.

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  Tags: denis+potvin, e.j.+mcguire, hockey+this+morning, mike+ross, nhl+home+ice

Talking Hockey Jerseys with Mike Ross of NHL Home Ice

If you are a fan of or listen to NHL Home Ice on Sirius/XM radio, than you know that the staff is big into wearing hockey jerseys to work.

One such staffer that was kind of enough to “talk” to us about his hockey jerseys was Mike Ross, a.k.a. “Rossy”, of Hockey This Morning.

PH: First off, how many hockey jerseys do you own?
MR: I own 31 hockey jerseys and a host of other football and baseball jerseys.

PH: Which jersey that you own is your favorite? Why?
MR: Have to go with my Senators, heritage wool sweater. I love it because it’s such a true throwback, given the old logo on it and the fact that it is truly a sweater.

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NHL Home Ice Takes in A Special Night in Buffalo

On Tuesday night, the hosts of Hockey This Morning on NHL Home Ice, Mike Ross and Mick Kern, had the pleasure of being invited to see the Buffalo Sabres take on the Winnipeg Jets at the First Niagra Center.

It ended up being a special and emotional night for all as it was also Dale Hawerchuk and Rick Jeanneret night as the two Sabres’ legends were being inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame.

“Rossy” was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to tell us how the night went.

PH: How did you and Mick Kern get invited to be at Dale Hawerchuk and Rick Jeanneret night in Buffalo?
MR: Actually, we got to pick the game. A few weeks ago, I got a call from Marc Heintzman of the Sabres Public Relations department saying that team President Ted Black had heard Mick and I talking about the renovations at First Niagara Center and was inviting us to pick a game and be his guest for a night. So we looked at the schedule and decided that seeing the Jets would be cool and in the end, it was a coincidence that Hawerchuk and Jeanneret were being honoured.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, dale+hawerchuk, jason+pominville, mick+kern, mike+ross, nhl+home+ice, rick+jeanneret, winnipeg+jets

Listen to Me Tonight on NHL Home Ice

I am not saying this as a direct order. Rather, I am giving you folks a heads up that I will be on NHL Home Ice tonight sometime after 10:00 p.m. talking Rangers’ hockey with Terry Mercury on Ice Cap.

I hope you will give it a listen!

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  Tags: ice+cap, new+york+rangers, nhl+home+ice, terry+mercury

A Positive Rangers’ Preview From NHL Home Ice Boss Joe Thistel

Back in mid-August, I was listening to NHL Home Ice boss Joe Thistel having a positive outlook on the New York Rangers for the upcoming season.

Since the season is just several days away, I decided to see why Mr. Thistel has such high hopes for the Blueshirts.

PH: Back in your season preview for the Rangers on NHL Home Ice, it sounded like you have high hopes for the Rangers this season. Why is that?
JT: What’s not to be optimistic about? One of the game’s top goalies, a Stanley Cup winner behind the bench, a young and talented batch of home grown talent that’s prepared to blossom as players and leaders, and the top free agent of the off-season in Brad Richards…someone who will fit perfectly into the fabric of this team without any disruption or change in team philosophy. So, yes…I like the team very much this season.

PH: How much of a difference do you think Brad Richards will make to this year’s Rangers’ team?
JT: He will make a big difference, although subtle. He’s not a free agent that will bust open your lineup like Kovalchuk could have done and he’s not going to carry a team on his back any time soon. But he’ll be an asset in every situation and bring quiet confidence to a very talented group. Plus, he’s the type of guy that can pay double dividends if he can get Gaborik ignited – which is a real possibility.

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An Exciting season Ahead on NHL Home Ice

The return of the hockey season not only symbolizes the return of the NHL, its players, its franchises, and its fans, but it also marks the return of Sirius/XM’s NHL Home Ice for their seventh season.

This morning on Hockey Today with Mike Ross, the boss of the channel, Joe Thistel, came on and talked about how the season is going to look for channel so I figured I would summarize it for you here. There are some small changes but no matter what they are, they will always be a positive end result for the most important part of the channel, the fans.

As always, the mornings will kick off with Hockey This Morning with hosts Mike Ross, Mick Kern, Bruce Bolton and Aron Papernick. From 7:00 to 11:00 a.m., the gentlemen will break down the previous night’s game with highlights and recordings as long as bring in insiders such as Denis Potvin, Pierre McGuire and Peter Weber to analyze the NHL. “Rossy” and Mick have undeniable chemistry on the air so this should make for a terrific season on HTM.

From 11-12, the channel will have it’s War Room show with Mick Kern and Peter Berce. Some of our esteemed bloggers here on Kukla’s Korner are frequent guests on this show as Kern and Berce debate the latest happenings in the hockey world.

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Mick Kern of NHL Home Ice Feels for the Jets

While it is great that there is hockey back in Winnipeg, there have been reports that the housing available for the players is not exactly great.

Yesterday, Mick Kern at NHL Home Ice blogged about understanding what the Jets are going through in a very funny way:

Take a moment to skate a mile in their shoes; most of these guys spent the past few years in Atlanta, where no doubt there were Southern mansions a-plenty to be had.  Who cares if a paltry sum of souls attended your home games?  If anything, that anonymity provided a shield from the prying eyes of the hockey mad, mouth drooling, Northern-based hoser.  Heck, you could probably even drive your boat and pop open a few cool ones there, and nobody down there would care.

Not in Winnipeg.  Not in Canada.

Every move here is scrutinized, analyzed, dissected, interpreted, and duly reported, like football in Texas.

Which explains why these hockey playing migrants require only the best fortress available from the unrelenting waves of unconditional love they are receiving from the populace of One Great City.

Click here for more from the great Mick Kern at NHL Home Ice.

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  Tags: mick+kern, nhl+home+ice, winnipeg+jets

Jump Into the Action with NHL Home Ice

As you all know by now, I am a big supporter of NHL Home Ice. You have seen plenty of e-mail interviews with hosts as well as just general promotional blogs on Sirius/XM’s terrific hockey channel.

Despite it being the offseason, the channel has done a terrific job providing great hockey content on a daily basis. On “Hockey Today”, Mike Ross and Mick Kern keeps hockey fans updated on the latest hockey headlines/news going on throughout the league while also bringing on great guests to talk about our great sport.

On “The Power Play” Jim “Boomer” Gordon, Peter Berce and Joe Thistel (the great Scott Laughlin) is on vacation just wrapped up their annual 30-team season previews. This is one of NHL Home Ice’s staples as they interview members of the specific organization being previewed and also give us “5 burning questions” regarding said team.

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A Look Back at The RDO Camp with Terry Mercury of NHL Home Ice

As we all know by now, last week, the NHL held its 2011 RDO camp in Toronto. At the camp, potential rule changes were discussed/demonstrated and members of the league’s brass all had opinions about it.

Stopping by here today to discuss what went on at the camp is Terry Mercury of NHL Home Ice. Terry was lucky enough to be at the camp last week and was kind enough to share his thoughts on it:

PH: Going into the 2011 RDO camp, what were you most looking forward to seeing? Why?
TM: I really wanted to see and hear what hockey people thought about possible changes to overtime…in order to eventually do away with the shootout. 4-on-4 for 4 minutes…and then 3-on-3 for three minutes is a great idea…and it seemed to have a lot of support.

PH: Which potential rule changes that were experimented with do you think could be implemented into the NHL in the near future? Why?
TM: The shallower net and the green verification line could be incorporated very soon. In fact…I think both could be on-line by the 2012-2013 season.

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Terry Mercury of NHL Home Ice Checks In on The NHL Offseason

Terry Mercury, one of the great hosts and staff members of NHL Home Ice, was kind enough to answer a few questions I had regarding the offseason, long-term contracts and of of course, free agency.

PH: So, what is your overall impression of the NHL offseason so far? Any surprises? Any disappointments?
TM: Total surprise at the Brad Richards frenzy. Everyone knew he was headed for the Rangers….but still rushed to present their offer. Strong player….but not nearly worth the kind of money he got.

PH: What do you make of all these long-term contracts that are being given out? Given injuries, players changing their minds and other factors, isn’t it risky for NHL general managers to give them out so willingly?
TM: So many of these deals are going to come back and bite the G-M’s who are handing them out. Tomas Kaberle worth 4+million a season? The same for Tomas Fleischmann? What are you G-M’s smoking?

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Hockey Never Dies with NHL Home Ice

While most of the United States and Canada is going through an extreme heat wave right now, XM 92 NHL Home Ice is doing everything possible to keep us cool, in the good way, with terrific hockey content 24/7.

It may be the summer but the hockey talk has not stopped at NHL Home Ice. For example, morning commuters can listen to the summer version of Hockey This Morning, “Hockey Today”, with Mike Ross and Mick Kern Monday through Friday. “Rossy” and Mick discuss the latest happenings in the hockey world, bring in great guests throughout the hockey world and make a hockey fan’s commute to work more than bearable.

Next week, “Hockey Today” will be hosted by the great Jamie Shalley and Peter Berce as Rossy heads on his summer vacation. As always, Shals and Bearcy will bring great hockey content to us.

The Power Play has also stepped up this summer providing puckheads with terrific content, especially this week. Hosts Scott Laughlin and Jim “Boomer” Gordon debated about what changes they would make if they were the commissioner, the most dominant team they have ever seen and also previewed some cool upcoming features such as their annual GM report cards and of course, team previews.

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An End Of Season Wrap-Up with Scott Laughlin of NHL Home Ice

It is my pleasure to bring another end of season wrap-up e-mail interview, this time with Scott Laughlin of The Power Play from Wayne Gretzky’s on NHL Home Ice.

Scotty was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to give us his thoughts on the Stanley Cup Final, the NHL season as a whole and what the league can do to improve going forward.

PH: So, did the Stanley Cup Playoffs turn out as you expected them to? Why or why not?
SL: No, they didn’t turn out as I expected. I was sticking to my pre-season prediction of Washington over Detroit. ‘Nuff said!

PH: In your opinion, did the Bruins “win the cup” or did the Canucks “lose the cup”? Why?
SL: The Bruins won the Cup and proved to be very deserving of their Championship. Any team that showed the resiliency they displayed in winning three Game 7’s should be saluted.

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A Season Wrap-Up with Terry Mercury of NHL Home Ice

Now that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are over, I figured now would be a great time to conduct an e-mail interview with aone of my favorite interviewees, Terry Mercury of NHL Home Ice.

Terry was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to give us his thoughts on the Stanley Cup Final, the season in general and what the league is doing to try and improve the game.

PH: So, did the Stanley Cup Playoffs turn out as you expected them to? Why or why not?
TM: Well…I picked the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup at the start of the season in the XM Staff pre-season poll. I wasn’t sure about them against Vancouver because of their horrible power play..but they pulled it out so all’s well that end’s well. Although I have to say this was one of the weirdest Cup Finals I’ve ever seen. Vancouver could just have easily won this as Boston.

PH: In your opinion, did the Bruins “win the cup” or did the Canucks “lose the cup”? Why?
TM: I think both. The Bruins took advantage of a Vancouver team that went south at the wrong time.

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A Look at the Stanley Cup Final with Terry Mercury

With the Stanley Cup Final one day away, I figured now would be a good time to get the thoughts of NHL Home Ice host Terry Mercury.

Terry was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to “talk” about the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks and what they both need to do to give themselves a chance to win hockey’s holy grail.

PH: At the beginning of the season, did you see the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks as being in the Stanley Cup Finals? Why or why not?
TM: I definitely saw the Bruins in the Stanley Cup…in fact I picked them to win it all based on the trade for Nathan Horton…and assuming Marc Savard would stay healthy. I didn’t see the Canucks….as I thought this would be the year San Jose would break through.

PH: What do the Vancouver Canucks have to do in this series to be successful?
TM: Vancouver can’t get caught up in a physical contest with the Bruins. They have to be ready to battle…but once they get possession of the puck they have to let their speed and skill take over. They also have to get Tim Thomas moving back-and-forth in the net. He’s a less effective goalie when he has to do this. If they can get the Bruins chasing them…Boston will pick up penalties…and the Canucks power play will make them pay.

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An E-mail Interview with Josh Rimer of NHL Home Ice

As I like to do, I would like to share with you folks an e-mail interview I did with Josh Rimer, a producer of various shows on NHL Home Ice.

Josh was kind enough to take time out of his extremely busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he got his start in the hockey industry and much, much more.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
JR: I was born with a hockey stick in my hand. When I was born in 1978, my father Jeff was the Sports Director and Montreal Canadiens Pre- & Post Game show host at CFCF with Dick Irvin. I always wanted to tag along with my Dad and go to the games.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite player/NHL Team?
JR: Growing up, I lived in Montreal, Baltimore, and Florida. I lived in Montreal till I was 6 years old, and was a Canadiens Fan during that time. I liked Brian Engblom, Larry Robinson and Chris Nilan, whose jersey I’d wear to Montreal Games. I also was a huge fan of Wayne Gretzky and had his jersey too. 

After Montreal, we moved to Baltimore, Maryland where my Dad ended up taking over as Pre- & Post Game Show host of Washington Capitals Games on Home Team Sports after Larry King left for CNN. Again, I always wanted to tag along with my Dad to the Games, even dressing up like him with a suit and tie and the HTS logo on my Sports Jacket! I was a HUGE Caps Fan when we lived there!

My favourite player was Dino Ciccarelli, and to this day still is. I liked Dino because he was always the guy not afraid of anyone, standing in front of the net, taking punishment from the Goalie and Defensemen! Dino was also a good friend of my Dad’s and he would always be at the house. I’ll never forget the time when Dino joined our neighborhoods weekly roller hockey game one time with all my buddies or the time Dino and I were playing street hockey on my driveway and I took a slap shot with a tennis ball and it smashed my Mom’s rearview mirror. Dino took the blame and said it was him, and now 20 years later I’m prepared to fess up and admit it was me. Sorry Mom!

In 1994 Dad got the job doing Play by Play for the Florida Panthers, so we moved to South Florida, and I became a Florida Panthers Fan. Pavel Bure & Dino Ciccarelli were my favourite Panthers!  Last year, I was lucky enough to be at Dino’s Induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and I also still believe that Pavel Bure is next!

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NHL Home Ice: A Worthy Investment for Any Puckhead

I know that with today’s economy, money is tight for everyone. Believe me, I understand.

With that said, there is definitely a worthy investment out there if you’re a eat, sleep, and breathe hockey: a Sirius/XM satellite radio with NHL Home Ice.

I have been listening to NHL Home Ice since January of 2008 and I must say that I come away impressed every single day. The channel has a terrific boss in Joe Thistel who does whatever he can to bring hockey to the masses 24/7 through great content, outstanding hosts and terrific producers.

NHL Home Ice has been very accommodating to us here at Kukla’s Korner. For starters, their hosts/producers have been kind enough to take time out of their busy schedules to do e-mail interviews with me.

Secondly, their hosts have been kind enough to have some of us on their respective shows to talk about the great game of hockey and have always valued our opinions. Furthermore, they keep coming back to us.

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An E-mail Interview with Bruce Bolton of NHL Home Ice

As all of you folks are well aware of, I am a big fan of NHL Home Ice. I love the content that the channel produces, I love the hosts and I love the general enthusiasm everyone at that channel has for the game of hockey.

Today, I am proud to present to you readers an e-mail interview I conducted with NHL Home Ice Hockey This Morning Producer Bruce Bolton. Bruce was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into the game, how he got the gig at NHL Home Ice as well as his thoughts on the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
BB: My father like most Canadian dads had me on the ice at a very young age and had a hockey stick in my hand as soon as I could hold a bottle. My love for the game then only grew when I started to play organized hockey. And then I fell in love with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL during the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
BB: First off with my response to the last answer its obvious that I bleed blue and white, as I am a big fan of the Leafs. In the sports world, I guess I would be called a homer born in Toronto as I cheer for the Leafs, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Buffalo Bills.

A main reason for my loyalty to these three teams is the fact that I started my faith/fan ship with these teams in the early 90’s when all three teams were experiencing success.

As for my favorite player growing up that would have to be number 28 tough guy Tie Domi. Most Leaf fans in my age bracket would say Doug Gilmour or Wendal Clark, however my story is different. One of the main reasons I stayed faithful to Domi over the years is because much like myself he didn’t put up many points, yet he still had a unique role on his hockey team. Tie played on every line when he was with the Leafs and did different things on each. And much like Domi, I love the physical side of the game and there is nothing wrong with a good dust up.

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  Tags: bruce+bolton, nhl+home+ice

A Look Back at Round 1 With Terry Mercury of NHL Home Ice

Terry Mercury of XM NHL Home Ice was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to go over the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with me.

PH: Overall, what did you think of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Any players or teams surprise/disappoint you? Why?
TM: The first round was every bit as competitive as I thought it would be. I’m one of the few people who wasn’t surprised that Chicago could come back against Vancouver…the Stanley Cup champs don’t usually go down without a fight. Like that Roberto Luongo came up big in Game 7. Not surprised that Boston finally took their series with Montreal. You go up 2-0 and then lose two in a row at home…you invite the opposition to get back into the series. Was pleasantly surprised by Buffalo…and felt totally bad for Phoenix. Imagine having to face Detroit in the first round…and also have to deal with people telling you you’re headed to Winnipeg when you get eliminated. It was unfair that the Coyotes couldn’t just focus on their battle with Detroit. Was pleasantly surprised by P.K. Subban and Lars Eller in Montreal….was shocked at how ineffective Milan Lucic was for Boston. San Jose looked really good against Los Angeles….but that being said…the Kings sure didn’t look like one of the up-and-coming young teams in the league.

PH: In your opinion, why do you think the Canucks struggled to beat the Blackhawks in the first round? How big of a first step for the Canucks was their series victory?
TM: See above for part A…the Hawks were the champs and they weren’t going down without a fight. The Canucks getting past Chicago was penultimate for their playoff success. Now they know they can weather just about any storm and come out ahead. That being said…they’re in for another battle against Nashville.

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Terry Mercury Talks Stanley Cup Playoffs

As always, it is my pleasure to bring to you an e-mail interview I conducted with a host on NHL Home Ice.

This morning, I bring to you Terry Mercury. Mercury is a great friend of the blog and has done many of these with me so it is great to bring him back once again.

This time around, Mercury and I “discussed” the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

PH: When you hear the words Stanley Cup Playoffs, what comes to your mind?
TM: Tradition. One of the few traditions that really unites Canadians across all lines….economic…..geographic….racial….religious. Want to find the Canadians in a bar in another country? Find anything about hockey on television and then check who starts watching. The Stanley Cup playoffs are our national glue.

PH: What separates the Stanley Cup Playoffs from sports’s championships?
TM: It’s been around the longest….and there are so many stories…and legends associated with it.

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  Tags: nhl+home+ice, stanley+cup+playoffs, terry+mercury

Big but Sad News from Hockey This Morning on NHL Home Ice

It has already been quite the week for XM’s NHL Home Ice but the news from it’s morning show, Hockey This Morning, is the biggest news of all.

The show’s producer for the last six seasons, Shawn Lavigne, a.k.a. “Big Country”, announced this morning that he is leaving the show and the channel for a new job as a producer at the start-up TSN Radio.

If you’re a fan of the show, than you know how big of a loss this is. “Big Country” was a hard worker who along with Mike Ross (Rossy) and Aron Papernick (The Paper Boy), delivered the goods every morning. He was funny, loved the band Abba and was a sad fan of the Ottawa Senators.

I would like to take this time to thank Shawn for always agreeing to stop by the Goal Line Report and give us his thoughts and for also allowing me to blog for the NHL Home Ice web site from 2008-09. It was an absolute pleasure to listen to you each and every morning and we at the Goal Line Report and Kukla’s Korner wish you nothing but the best at your new job.

Keep it real, Big Country!

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  Tags: aron+papernick, mike+ross, nhl+home+ice, shawn+lavigne

Some Changes for NHL Home Ice and the NHL Network

I was just listening to the great Hockey This Morning on NHL Home Ice and heard from the boss himself, Joe Thistel, that there are going to be a few changes made to both the NHL Home Ice programming and NHL Network programming.

For starters, NHL Live will no longer be heard on NHL Home Ice as it has found a home on the NHL Network from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. EST. In its usual 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. time slot on NHL Home Ice, Gord Stellick, former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager and now a terrific sports radio host, will have his own show. Stellick has done some guest hosting this season on the Power Play from Wayne Gretzky’s and has done a terrific job along with Scott Laughlin.

Speaking of the Power Play from Wayne Gretzky’s, the show will no longer be on the NHL Network from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. EST as NHL Live has now taken over that slot. If you are a listener of NHL Home Ice, have no fear because Scott Laughlin will still be doing the show and providing us with excellent hockey content on a daily basis.

These may not sound like big changes but for NHL Home Ice, it certainly is as it has been carrying NHL Live for quite awhile. With that said, NHL Home Ice is by far and away one of the top sports channels on XM/Sirius and does a terrific job of bringing us puck heads all-around great hockey content 24/7.

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  Tags: gord+stellick, joe+thistel, nhl+home+ice, nhl+live, power+play+from+wayne+gretzky's

Terry Mercury of NHL Home Ice Talks Concussions, Cooke and NHL Playoff Races

Terry Mercury of NHL Home Ice, the best sports channel on XM/Sirius, was kind enough to take time out of his busy hockey schedule to talk to us about concussions, Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Matt Cooke and of course, the NHL Playoff Races.

PH: How do you think the NHL will handle the concussion issue now that some rules have been put in place? Do you think they’ll work?
TM: Any rules designed to deal with concussions are a good idea. I know the league will follow those rules to the law…especially now that they’re dealing with a “Superstar” getting injured…instead of a third or fourth-liner…or a goon.

PH: What place do you think Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Matt Cooke has in the NHL? Do you think he will finally learn his lesson or will it fall upon deaf ears?
TM: I think he’s definitely learned his lesson…but what made it sink in what his meeting with Mario Lemieux. He knows that even his owner won’t back him if it happens again…so he knows he’s on the bubble.

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Joe Thistel Gives Us His Hockey Thoughts

Recently, I was lucky enough to conduct another e-mail interview with the great and powerful Joe Thistel of NHL Home Ice.

Joe was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to give us his thoughts on concussions and what the NHL is doing about them as well as his thoughts on the playoff races.

PH: How do you think the NHL will handle the concussion issue now that some rules have been put in place? Do you think they’ll work?
JT: Nothing really seems to be effective for any duration, so I guess it will work until the next time somebody crosses the line.  Heatley and Marchand were suspended as the GM meetings wrapped up. But I applaud everything that the NHL is doing to try and curb the situation as best they can. They can’t, nor should they, ever take hitting out of the game so the next best thing is to levy extra punishment for the crime and take steps to deal with safety concerns. It’s really always going to be up to the players to figure it out on their own, but that’s not going to happen, period.

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  Tags: joe+thistel, nhl+home+ice

Mick Kern of NHL Home Ice Blogs on The Trading Deadline

From good friend of the blog Mick Kern at NHL Home Ice:

For whatever reason, there were a number of trades in the NHL today, a full ten days before the Trade Deadline.

The hockey media scrambled to get reporters to press conferences, and to book guests for on-air appearances.  TSN briefly considered launching 24-hour Trade Centre coverage ten days early.

There was the usual litany of insiders, experts, and players making their way to the airport, all commenting on today’s action.

One phrase that kept being repeated, like a Holy Hockey Mantra, was “If Gretzky Can Be Traded, Then Anyone Can Be Traded”.

Click here for more trade deadline thoughts from Mick Kern.

 

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  Tags: mick+kern, nhl+home+ice, nhl+trade+deadline

The All-Star Weekend Experience with Joe Thistel of NHL Home Ice

Joe Thistel, the “boss” of NHL Home Ice, was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to talk to us about his experience at the NHL ALL-Star Weekend down in Raleigh, North Carolina.

PH: How was the All-Star Weekend experience as a whole?
JT: Meeting the fans in Carolina was one of the most positive experiences of my tenure at XM. They were polite, knowledgeable, forthcoming and very appreciative of our channel and how much we put into it. 10 out of 10 for the people of Raleigh.

PH: What did you folks think of the All-Star Fantasy draft? What did you like about it? Do you think the league will implement it again next season?
JT: The Fantasy Draft is here to stay and I have to admit it was a lot more fun and interesting than I ever thought it would be. I agree with some of the NHL brass when it comes to the last few picks though. There must be a better way to get to the final picks, maybe alphabetically for the last six players…they’re all forwards anyhow. I hated seeing Phil Kessel sitting there by himself. He’ll get over it, but I think it was unnecessary.

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  Tags: joe+thistel, nhl+all-star+weekend, nhl+home+ice

Scott Laughlin of NHL Home Ice Stops By to talk NHL at the All-Star Break

As always, it is a pleasure for me to bring you the latest e-mail interviews I have done whether it is with a hockey writer, analyst, blogger, author or radio host.

Today, I’d like to bring you the latter as Scott Laughlin, host of “Power Play from Wayne Gretzky’s” on NHL Home Ice was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to give us his thoughts on the NHL at the All-Star break from general thoughts, surprising teams in the Eastern and Western Conference, and what NHL Home Ice listeners can look forward to as the league heads towards the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

PH: We are just past the half way point of the 2010-11 NHL season. What are some of your general thoughts?
SL: The Western Conference continues to intrigue me with all of the teams within striking distance of a playoff berth. Also, interested to specifically see whether or not Los Angeles and San Jose can be all we think in the stretch run and what they may or may not do at the deadline.

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  Tags: nhl+home+ice, power+play+from+wayne+gretzky's, scott+laughlin

NHL Home Ice Producer and Host Shawn Lavigne’s Experience at the Winter Classic

Shawn Lavigne, a host/producer of Hockey This Morning on XM NHL Home Ice, was kind enough to take time out os his busy schedule to tell us about his experience at this year’s Winter Classic in Pittsburgh.

PH: First off, tell us about your thoughts when you were first told that you would be covering the Winter Classic for NHL Home Ice?
SL: Well when the game was announced for Pittsburgh, I said no matter what I could not miss it! I love watching both the Capitals and Penguins and wanted to be part of the best rivalry in the league right now. I will call my experience a great working vacation.

PH: What was it like seeing one of the NFL’s better stadiums turned into a hockey rink/arena for a few days?
SL: I arrived in Pittsburgh on Thursday morning and immediately I saw a huge Winter Classic banner on the outside of Heinz Field. The stadium looked incredible inside and out. It is a great facility and the NHL did an outstanding job converting the stadium into a hockey environment. Heinz Field had a more intimate feel to it compared to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo when I was there for the first Winter Classic.

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  Tags: hockey+this+morning, nhl+home+ice, nhl+winter+classic, pittsburgh+penguins, shawn+lavigne, washington+capitals

An E-mail Interview with NHLer turned Hockey Analyst Mike Johnson

It is not everyday that you get to interview a former NHLer.

Luckily for me, I had the chance to do an e-mail interview with NHLer turned hockey analyst Mike Johnson. Johnson played in the NHL for 13 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs (4 1/2 seasons), Tampa Bay Lightning (1 1/2 seasons), (Just over 4 seasons), Montreal Canadiens (1 season), and the St. Louis Blues. He enjoyed his best season in in 2002-03 when he recorded 63 points (23 goals and 40 assists) with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Johnson is now a hockey analyst for the NHL Network, TSN, and NHL Home Ice and really does a terrific job for all three outlets.

Johnson was kind enough to take time out of his extremely hectic schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, his NHL playing days, and what it is like to be behind the microphone covering hockey.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
MJ: I started hockey like most other kids in Canada. I learned how to skate on the lake at my cottage when I was 4 and 5, and I started playing in the local house league the first year that I was allowed, which was when I was 6. From there I just followed the natural progression through the years.

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  Tags: mike+johnson, nhl+home+ice, nhl+network, tsn

An E-mail Interview with Scott Laughlin of NHL Home Ice

A few days ago, I did an e-mail interview with Mike Ross of NHL Home Ice that took a look at the quarter pole in the NHL season.

This morning, I bring you an e-mail interview with another NHL Home Ice host, Scott Laughlin of “The Power Play”. Scott was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to take a look at the NHL at the quarter pole mark of the season.

PH: So, we are just several inches past the quarter pole of the NHL season. What are some of your general early thoughts?
SL: I’m amazed at the competition/parity amongst the clubs so far this season. From one night to the next, and I know it’s still relatively early, you never know what you’re gonna get and who might jump up several spots based upon one win. As I write this there are only two points separating second from ninth in the Western Conference. It’s amazing!

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  Tags: nhl+home+ice, scott+laughlin, the+power+play

An E-mail Interview with Aron Papernick, a.k.a. the “Paperboy”, of NHL Home Ice

If you’re an avid NHL Home Ice listener, than you may know the host that I recently completed an e-mail interview with.

His name is Aron Papernick but you may know him as the “Paperboy” from Hockey This Morning. Aaron was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he got his gig at NHL Home Ice as well as his predictions regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
AP: All Torontonians are born watching the Toronto Maple Leafs. Whether that counts as “hockey” is debatable. I grew up watching the Leafs in Harold Ballard’s horrible 80s when the only good thing on the ice was Wendel Clark’s moustache.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
AP: I’ve always looked up to the Leafs’ recent captains and held them in high regard as my favourite player: Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, and Mats Sundin. All three led the team with grit, heart, skill, emotion, and as best a playoff performance as they could muster.

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  Tags: aron+papernick, hockey+this+morning, nhl+home+ice

Power Play’s Scott Laughlin Drops By To Chat Off-Season Hockey

Recently, I was lucky enough to do an e-mail interview with Scott Laughlin of XM’s NHL Home Ice. Scott Laughlin hosts the Power Play and also used to host Hockey This Morning.

Scott was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk about NHL free-agency and the Illya Kovalchuk situation. Take it away, Scott:

PH: Which free agent signings do you like? Why?
SL: I like what Pittsburgh did in signing Paul Martin and the unheralded Zbynek Michalek. Even without Sergei Gonchar you could make the argument that they’re a much-stronger defensive team as compared to last season. Unfortunately, big bucks for the two defencemen has meant they don’t have enough left under the cap to upgrade on the wing. However, with Crosby, Malkin, and Staal they’ll find a way to score enough to win.

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  Tags: free-agency, nhl, nhl+home+ice, scott+laughlin

Looking back at Predictions

In a recent blog on XM 204’s NHL Home Ice Channel blog, host Mick Kern went back in time and looked at the predictions he made before the 2009-2010 season started.

I found these two predictions to be the most intriguing:

- bloggers for the Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals will continue to show their complete ignorance of the game of hockey � HALF RIGHT.  That one was for fun.  Red Wings’ fans ignored it, and continued to show why they and their team are a class act.  Some, and I stress SOME, Capitals’ fans took the bait, which only proves the point.

- except for Paul Kukla, who, unfortunately for him, will have at least two of his hockey viewing parties crashed by Rossy and Mick � GIVE IT TIME.

Interesting, right?

 

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  Tags: nhl, nhl+home+ice, paul+kukla

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