Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the CP,
The Calgary Flames filed out the doors of the Pengrowth Saddledome on Friday and some of them for the last time.
The backbone of the team - captain Jarome Iginla, goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff and defencemen Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr - are all under long-term contracts for the next five seasons and Kiprusoff and Phaneuf another year beyond that.
A veteran team with a veteran coach was expected to do better than finishing seventh in the Western Conference and losing in the first round of playoffs, even though it was a hard-fought, seven-game series with San Jose.
Changes are in the offing for Calgary’s supporting cast.
via Chris Stevenson at Best of Seven blog,
Habs winger Alex Kovalev had a funny quote about the buzzcuts a lot of his teammates are sporting in the playoffs.
When asked if he would be shearing off his blond, flowing locks, Kovalev replied: “The way I always see it is we can’t all be Indians. Somebody has to be the chief.”
Kevin Lowe has stated he’s not likely to consider doing business in the future with the new Canucks GM, given their previous run-in as agent-vs-GM last summer over Michael Nylander. But not everyone has sympathy for Lowe’s position.
From Jason Botchford at The Province:
“I am horrified that someone’s integrity is called into question for something they didn’t do and by someone who did something much worse than Mike Gillis could ever be accused of,” agent Rich Winter said. “It’s an embarrassment to the game that Kevin Lowe would use the news media to make these accusations given what he’s done.”
In December 2003, Lowe was shopping Mike Comrie, Winter’s client, and found a taker in then-Ducks GM Bryan Murray. The pair agreed to a deal that would send young Anaheim forward, and future Stanley Cup champion, Corey Perry and a first-round pick to Edmonton for Comrie and a second-round pick.
Murray was worried he would lose Comrie to free agency if he made the deal. To appease Murray, Lowe authorized the Ducks’ general manager to begin negotiations with Comrie. Anaheim then signed the forward to an extension and, in its view, the deal was done.
But “not so fast,” says Botchford. The rest of the story…
From Michael Arace and Ron Carter at The Columbus Dispatch:
John H. McConnell, son of a steelworker, father to a new branch of the steel industry and majority owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team, died today after a long illness. He was 84.
Despite his business success, he never forgot his hardscrabble beginnings, the iconic industrialist who ran Worthington Industries as if he still wore coveralls. He was known as “Mr. Mac” to one and all, and when he removed the cigar from his mouth, he talked plain.
“It just came natural,” he said in a 1996 interview. “You don’t cheat. You don’t lie. You help your neighbor.”
continued… (*thanks to a KK member for passing on this news)
Update 6:27pm ET: A tribute to McConnell from the CBJ organization…
From ESPN The Magazine:
(6) A few weeks after the first event at American Airlines Center in Dallas, it was found that the glass installed in the bathrooms was not the same as what was originally intended. Apparently, people had a clear view into the restrooms (YOW-ZA!) The glass was changed immediately.
(7) When Evgeni Nabokov was selected late in the 9th round by the Sharks, they had NEVER seen him play; rather, they based their selection of him on the skills of his father, a goaltender who played for 18 years in his native Kazakhstan.
In today’s Canadian Business Online, writer Andy Holloway gives a brief rundown on the numerous ways that the NHL seems to have made gains in the U.S. this season, summarizing the positive situation with renewed television contracts, the increasing criticisms of traditional sports networks for non-athletic sports broadcasting, and even mentioning NHL.com’s record-setting online numbers from earlier in the week.
Also included in the article was a link to CBO’s annual assessment of the best values in the NHL:
Canadian Business Online put the NHL to the test to find the players who offer the best mix of high performance and low cost. These are the best value players. They’re not necessarily hockey’s most skilled in absolute terms — nor are they always the cheapest monetarily — but it’s the dream team for fans and cash-strapped owners.
And who are the worst value players?
Includes charts and slideshows. Data current to April 6, 2008.
From Willa Ford (Mike Modano’s wife) at her NHL.com blog:
We’ve handled one big, strong, quick-skating tough team, and now we have another. But this goaltender is up for the Vezina, and they have potentially an even greater set of forwards to throw against our young D.
(I said to Mike this morning, “This goaltender probably isn’t going to like you very much in the next few days and he replied with “He’s a great guy off of the ice, but no, hopefully he isn’t happy with me when this series is over.”)
To top it off, the San Jose arena is one of the loudest and most violent crowds that I’ve ever seen in person. It worries me, but for some reason Mike loves it. He said he hopes they boo him, he hopes they give it to his goaltender and his team and his teammates because it drives him…
from the CP via TSN,
Colorado Avalanche forward Wojtek Wolski will not play in Game 2 against the Detroit Red Wings and likely will miss the rest of the second-round series because of an upper-body injury.
Wolski was hurt in Detroit’s 4-3 win Thursday night.
Star forward Peter Forsberg, who was scratched from the series opener with a groin injury, is questionable for Game 2.
Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville expects Jose Theodore to play Saturday after being pulled and sent to the hotel during Game 1 because he was sick.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
This was more than your customary vanilla pre-series press briefing from Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby.
This morning, hours before the puck would be dropped here for the opener of the Rangers New York Rangers -Penguins Eastern Conference semifinal, No. 87 reacted angrily when asked to respond to innuendo from Tom Renney that Crosby embellishes possible penalties and takes dives.
Thursday, Renney, asked if he were concerned about a potential bias toward Crosby, who has been known to embellish in order to draw penalty calls, said he would speak to the series supervisor of officials about a number of topics.
“I haven’t changed one bit; I never dove and I don’t dive now,” Crosby said today with a flash of anger. “That’s just part of the playoffs; part of gamesmanship.
from Duffer’s Dabbles,
As a youngster in Calgary, Colorado’s Ryan Smyth grew up watching the heated Battle of Alberta between the Flames and Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s and then got to experience it as a member of the Oilers. Though admitting it’s a close call, he goes with Edmonton-Calgary as the nastier feud than Detroit-Colorado. “That’s tough,” Smyth admitted. “Back in the day, we saw a huge rivalry (between the Flames and Oilers), but over the course of the mid-nineties, these guys, Detroit and Colorado had some wars. It’s comparable, but I think it’s a little different in Canada.”
more on the Detroit/Colorado series…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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