Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at MSG Network,
• Is a Darcy Tucker-to-Edmonton move possible? Perhaps, if the Oilers return with Raffi Torres and prospects.
• Glenn Healy is rapidly becoming the New Don Cherry for Canadian hockey broadcasts but he admits that he made one statement on the air that he would like to have recalled; Rat’s rectum. I used it on a couple of occasions and I was told not to use it.
more from the Maven…
(L-R) NHL All-Stars Marian Hossa (Atlanta Thrashers), Martin Havlat (Chicago Blackhawks), Jonathan Cheechoo (San Jose Sharks), Matt Carle (San Jose Sharks) and Brian Campbell (Buffalo Sabres) pose together at the Texas Motor Speedway as part of the 2007 Dallas All-Star Game on January 23, 2007 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Click the pic to enlarge and yes, some of them took a spin around the track.
added 7:07pm, You can now watch (link takes you to page with video) the interview if you wish…
Gary Bettman took part in a media Q & A today….
Q. Commissioner, concerning Pittsburgh, when is it going to be too late for them to reach any kind of an agreement on the building?
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: I don’t think it would be constructive or wise for me to say, ‘This is the date,’ because deadlines, as we’ve seen in lots of negotiations, can come and go. The fact is, we’ve got to be talking about weeks. We’ve got a schedule to do. Arrangements have to be made. My hope is that a building on terms that make sense to the franchise will be achievable in Pittsburgh and this will become a non-issue. But at some point in the not too distant future, in a matter of weeks, we have to start focusing with some certainty on what the schedule is going to look like.
Time is of the essence, but I wouldn’t want to overly portray an urgency today. It’s urgent, but it’s not imminently urgent, if you know what I mean. It will be shortly.
Q. Commissioner, Bill Daly mentioned yesterday that you received a new proposal for the IIHF agreement that includes Russia. Would you comment on that to say how reasonable it looks to you?
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: Actually, I’ve been busy the last 18 hours since we got the proposal. So I haven’t seen it in its entirety.
Bill tells me it’s interesting. It probably needs some work. But we haven’t had a chance to discuss it. We’ve been waiting for a while. It can wait until tomorrow, until I get done doing what we’re doing here. But I do take it as a good sign that on some basis, even though I don’t know what it is, the Russians are indicating a willingness to participate.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Bettman, who usually says little about the internal workings of the board, acknowledged that he supported one of two alternatives, either retaining the status quo, or adopting the least dramatic change — which would have reduced the number of divisional games from eight to seven and replaced them with four out-of-conference games.
If Bettman had pushed harder for a change, could that have swung a couple of votes to the yes side?
He didn’t think so.
“Some of you think I throw lightning bolts,” said Bettman. “The fact is, I do report to a board and the board has the final say. “Unlike lots of other things we’ve done as a league, where everybody can focus on doing things from a league-wide basis, the schedule’s kind of personal. It’s market-specific. It’s rivalry specific. It gets emotional….”
from the Montreal Canadiens,
An unexpected knock on your front door early on Sunday morning is rarely met with much enthusiasm. That is unless it’s the Canadiens who are standing on your front porch.
As the winner of the “Grande Visite” contest, nine-year-old Maxime Dubé ran to the door that morning along with five of his friends to welcome Steve Bégin, Francis Bouillon and Guillaume Latendresse, who arrived bright and early at 8:30 am.
Men and women in uniform returning from the Persian Gulf for rest and recovery got a special All-Star welcome Tuesday.
A pair of NHL All-Stars greeted the 120 service members arriving at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller and New Jersey Devils defenseman Brian Rafalski shook hands with arriving troops.
pic via Reuters
He puts Nashville and Buffalo at the top!
Based on the number of arenas with empty seats and falling TV ratings, “obviously, their marketing is not working very well,” said sports marketing expert Brad Robins, who likes the league’s new Internet content ventures, but says it is still not doing enough to expose the game to new audiences.
Take the All-Star Game, which has been moved back to midweek from its previous Sunday slot. The league thus avoids clashing with NFL playoffs and other sports that crowd the U.S. calendar. But more important, NHL owners no longer lose their regular Saturday night games, by far the most profitable on the schedule.
The all-star game is returning to Montreal.
The Canadiens will host the big contest during the 2008-09 season, which coincides with the club’s 100th anniversary.
The announcement was made by the NHL today in Dallas, home to the all-star game Wednesday.
Breakdown (pdf file) of players participating in the different skills competition.
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