Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the AP via ABC News,
Earlier on Thursday, Selanne had a phone conversation with a close friend in Finland. The friend has terminal cancer and asked Selanne to send him the puck if he had three goals.
Selanne promised to oblige but warned the friend that he hadn’t had a hat trick since March 29, 2001, in a game against the Ducks when Selanne played for the San Jose Sharks.
“Today he found out that the cancer has spread to his brain,” said Selanne, who has 19 career hat tricks. “I don’t think he has much time to live. So I told him if I scored a hat trick I’d keep the puck. I told him the odds weren’t very good that it would happen. Obviously it was really a sad day today, but what are you going to do? Life is not fair sometimes.”
from the News-Democrat,
As a result, Blues fans will be able to get free hot dogs, chicken tenders, peanuts, popcorn, chips, soda and water at their 1 p.m. game Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings. The food will be free from noon, when the gates open, to the time the puck is dropped to start the third period.
A little more than 2,000 tickets remained as of late Thursday afternoon for the game, which is being televised by NBC.
“The response has been incredible,” McLoughlin said. “We announced the promotion on Dec. 30 during the Colorado game and 10 days later, we’ve sold 4,500 tickets.
more... the have 30,000 bags of peanuts on-hand…
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The NHL should know by Friday whether there’s enough support to change the league’s schedule format and/or alignment for next season because that is the deadline for the 30 teams to answer a league survey on what they would, or wouldn’t, like to see.
Teams are being asked to vote on three options.
Option No. 1 is the most radical and least likely to fly. It is the realignment proposal that would see one eight-team division and one seven-team division in each of the conferences.
from Bill Clement at MSNBC,
Looking for players who could make their marks for this season in the months leading up to the playoffs?
Well, there are seven at the top of my list, starting with Eric Lindros, who is over a decade removed from winning the Hart Trophy with the Flyers in 1994-95.
Staying healthy is a key for Lindros as he has not played in more than 39 games in the past two seasons.
continued...six more, a few may surpirse you…
from Debbie Elicksen at NBC Sports,
The life of an athlete can be very demanding. The schedule, the pressure, the travel – all of it wreaks havoc on families.
Before the kids are born, it’s all about the player—his schedule, his pre-game meal, his pre-game nap and what time he leaves the house for the rink. But after kids -– well, it’s hard to tell a two-year-old they can’t play with their riding toy because daddy has to rest before the game.
St. Louis Blues RW Bill Guerin has four children (Kayla, Grace, Lexi, and Liam). He says juggling the kids’ schedules with his hockey schedule wouldn’t be possible without his wife Kara. But even though she takes care of business while he’s away, with kids, stuff always happens.
from the Tennessean,
Predators owner Craig Leipold says he’s looking for local ownership to buy up to 40 percent of the team, in hopes that such a move would make inroads into local businesses and improve attendance.
Leipold’s comments come two days after a Tuesday crowd of less than 12,000 watched the Predators beat Anaheim in a match-up of the top two teams in the Western Conference.
“Attendance has been an issue for six or seven years,”’ Leipold said. “I think our players were very disappointed in attendance when the number one team is playing the number two team in the league. That hadn’t happened in our history and it doesn’t happen that often in the NHL.”
from George Johnson at ESPN,
Doug Risebrough doesn’t recall Scotty Bowman being a big pep-talk guy.
“But before the last game of that year, in Washington, I think it was,” reminisced the Minnesota Wild general manager, “Scotty walked into the room, cleared his throat and gave a little speech. That in itself was odd. And I remember he said something like, ‘Boys, do it tonight and we’ll become the first team in NHL history to win 60 games!’
“And I’m sitting there, getting my stuff on, totally oblivious to what we’d been doing, and thinking, ‘What? Are we that good?!’”
from the East Valley Tribune,
The Coyotes would like a home crowd at their home arena. And if they can make some money along the way, they wouldn’t mind that either.
Light will be shed on the first test of the club’s new ticket policy for games vs. the Detroit Red Wings — single-game tickets for tonight and for Feb. 17 are doubled in price — when the two teams hit the ice shortly before 7 p.m.
The idea is to charge the same for season tickets and for ticket packages — fans could get regular-priced Red Wings tickets by buying at least three other games — but double the price for single games against the visitors from Michigan.
continued... thanks to a KK member for passing this along…
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
Blackhawks winger Martin Havlat returned to practice Thursday and showed no ill effects of the groin injury that has kept him out of the lineup the last three games.
Havlat said he had a good, hard skate and felt fine. The Blackhawks’ leader in goals and points will be evaluated at Friday’s practice but coach Denis Savard said there is a good possibility he will be in the lineup Saturday at Detroit.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Normally, the announcement that NBC (or Fox or whoever happened to hold the national television rights for the NHL in a given year, if anyone at all) is starting its annual run of games would be greeted with a collective yawn.
The fact that more people sat up and took notice this season had everything to do with the presence of one man, Brett Hull, on the tiny screen.
As a player, Hull spoke his mind at every turn, which occasionally alienated the head office in New York, but helped create a lively dialogue about the game at a time when everyone else was so worried about stepping on toes that you thought they were running for political office.
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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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