Kukla's Korner Hockey
Two guys from two.one.five Magazine get together to discuss what is wrong with the NHL…
Piers: Still, my question remains: What happened to all the fans the NHL used to have? At one time, it was right up there with hoops—remember the ‘80s?—below MLB and the NFL, but not by terribly much. Now, the only TV contract they can get is with an obscure cable channel known for showcasing outdoor fringe sports. Where’s the disconnect? Was this just from the strike?
Scott: The Strike, sure. And the evolution of the competition, the NBA in particular.
read on if you wish, but geez guys, the strike? HA!
from Lyle Richardson at the Hockey News,
Only one month into the 2007-08 season and already the trade rumor mill is churning furiously.
But while much of what’s flying around makes for good discussion, it’s had little basis in reality.
As the old line goes, “Denial ain’t a river in Egypt,” and it was the word of the month for some general managers, coaches and players forced to respond to media-and internet-generated speculation.
continued ( Good luck Lyle!)
from The National Post,
An unlikely name popped up Tuesday at provincial public hearings looking into reasonable accommodation for religious minorities in Quebec: Saku Koivu.
Lawyer Guy Bertrand, a separatist-turned-federalist-turned-separatist-again, dropped the gloves about the Montreal Canadiens’ captain’s lack of fluency in French.
Bertrand was critical of the Finnish-born Koivu’s failure “to respect the right of Quebecers to be served in French.”
Updated 6:46pm ET:
From TSN, a response from Koivu,
“I’m not perfect,” he told a scrum of reporters at the Bell Centre. “There’s nothing we can do when politicians have opinions on the team or on me Sometimes you can’t control what’s being said out there.”
How about some Smashing Pumpkins to celebrate Halloween…
from E.J. Hradek at ESPN,
Halloween is a time for masks, right?
That being the case, I guess I should talk about the two masked men who’ll likely face one another Wednesday night in Hollywood.
Those two goaltenders are the Kings’ Jason LaBarbera and the Blue Jackets’ Pascal Leclaire. The Kings bring a four-game winning streak into their meeting with the Jackets, who are on their own three-game roll.
I’ll start with the 24-year-old Leclaire, who might be living up to the billing that led the Jackets to select him with the eighth overall pick in the 2001 draft.
from the News & Observer,
A long offseason of recovery and rehabilitation have paid off, however. Diving in front to block two 5-on-3 slap shots in Toronto, notching a goal and two assists last week en route to posting a gaudy plus-5 against Buffalo, Hedican has convinced himself and his coach that “the old Bret” is back.
And clearly, that’s not another way of saying “too old,” not for a defenseman who ranks second on his team in ice time (19:06) while ranking among the league leaders at a healthy plus-9 for the season.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
“We’re three games above .500,” Weight said in reference to the team’s 6-3 mark before the 2-1 loss. “If I didn’t produce much in the first nine games, which is my job, then I’ve got to do something about it. But I’m going to try to be upbeat. All you can do is work as hard as you can and get the coach to get you back out there.”
Weight is referring to his challenging relationship with Blues coach Andy Murray, who has limited the center’s playing time and kept him off the No. 1 power-play unit as a result of his slow start.
from The Columbus Dispatch,
There seems to be a consensus, however, that faceoffs include ample strategy, gamesmanship and as much cheating as any other facet of the sport.
“I don’t think the average fan understands them,” said Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis, a center who played 23 NHL seasons. “They aren’t glamorous, but people inside the game know how important they are.”
The Blue Jackets, enjoying their best start in franchise history, never have finished higher than 12th in faceoff percentage. Three times in six seasons they ranked in the bottom third of the league.
from the Vancouver Province,
What the Vancouver Canucks tried to do this offseason was stand still.
Because he had virtually no other choice, GM Dave Nonis essentially did nothing in the offseason—at least nothing that could possibly have had any significant impact on the existing roster.
With $38 million of last year’s payroll already committed to this season and needing to sign 10 players to fill out the roster, he was left shopping the bargain basement for free agents like Byron Ritchie and Brad Isbister and making trades that involved such luminaries as Jason King and Ryan Shannon.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
It’s hard to decide who is better in front of the goal crease—Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom or Colorado’s Ryan Smyth.
Both grinders make their livings in the high-traffic areas where collisions abound and tempers flare, with goalies and defencemen trying in vain to move them.
“They’re the best in the world at it,” said Detroit general manager Ken Holland.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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