Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Calgary Sun,
Around the NHL, an adage resonates that the best players must be your best players.
For the Calgary Flames, the responsibility has been shifted from the injured Jarome Iginla to the likes of left winger Alex Tanguay and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
They are the next two biggest stars on the squad that will be facing the league without Iginla likely until at least after the all-star break.
from Eric Gilmore of the Contra Costa Times,
The Sharks are 64-29-7 in those 100 games, winning at a .675 clip. Only Detroit, Buffalo and Anaheim have done better. Last season Thornton won the NHL’s scoring title with 125 points and earned MVP honors.
This year he’s scored 53 points—tied for seventh through Sunday’s games—and is on pace for 105.
Those are some of Thornton’s key numbers. Here, as Paul Harvey likes to say, is the rest of the story.
Thornton has played much of this season with a broken toe. And a broken finger. Then there was the bout with strep throat. And the pulled groin he suffered compensating for his broken toe. Through it all, he hasn’t missed a game.
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from Lois Kalchman at the Toronto Star,
Life-saving defibrillators in sports arenas may provide some comfort for participants, but studies indicate the equipment is more effective for the older fans on the sidelines than for the athletes on the ice or field.
The sad reality hit home over the Christmas holidays when Alex Corrance, a 17-year-old Oakville hockey player, collapsed and died on the ice during the first period of a game at the Scarborough Ice Sports complex. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound defenceman died in spite of attempts to resuscitate him with a defibrillator. The coroner said it was a heart problem.
from the NY Post,
Lamoriello repaid Rafalski’s loyalty by signing him generously at $4.2 million for last season and this. But this summer, again, the 33-year-old can walk as well as skate.
The Devils would handle it best by extending his current contract with a hefty raise and longer-term deal, the new pay and cap liability not taking effect until next season. His loyalty and performance deserve it.
from Alan Maki of the Globe and Mail:
On the trophy that symbolizes NHL supremacy, and a good chunk of Canadiana, there is no longer a mention of the Leafs’ championship wins of 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951. Greats such as Frank McCool, Ted Kennedy, Babe Pratt, Turk Broda, Syl Apps, Howie Meeker and Bill Barilko are not on the Cup any more as members of the Maple Leafs.
Instead, the ring around the Stanley Cup that included the six Leafs championships (along with those won in the early 1940s to mid-1950s by the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins) was recently removed so that a new ring could be added for the Carolina Hurricanes from 2005-06 and future winners.
So where is the silver ring that celebrated the Leafs’ golden era? It has been flattened out and is now on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, along with the original Stanley Cup, which looks a lot like one of your great-grandmother’s punch bowls.
No Howe on Stanley? That’s downright depressing…
from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail:
It has been the tagline for blog search engine Technorati for a long while now: “55 million blogs… some of them have to be good.”
Debatable logic, perhaps, but in my experience there are more than a few sports blogs — including those that focus on hockey — which are worth picking up as daily reads. There are anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand bloggers dedicated solely to talking puck, a large majority of whom follow the fortunes of one particular NHL team or another, and of those, around 50 hockey blogs enjoy a sizable following. Several of the most prominent bloggers have even been picked up by media organizations’ websites.
With all that in mind, here’s an introduction to 10 hockey blogs of note
from Brian Schiazza of NBCSports.com:
LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi says managing a team involves much more than personnel decisions:
I’m a firm believer—and it’s always the thing that’s underestimated—in building an infrastructure. And I’m not saying my way is right, wrong or indifferent. I just know that it’s different in what I believe an infrastructure has to be. Literally, when I started out here, it was 16-hour days, and people said, “What are you doing?” Some think all you do [as a GM] is make trades! When you’re trying to do things the way you envision them, an enormous amount of time is spent going into your infrastructure. It’s your pro scouting, your amateur scouting, your minor league coaches, your development program, getting all these people in synch and how you use technology today. And in my mind, there’s a place [in L.A.] that I want to get that infrastructure similar to what I had in San Jose, and I can see where it needs to go beyond.
much more in Schiazza’s Q and A…
from the Ottawa Citizen:
Just eight games ago, Ottawa Senators coach Bryan Murray thought Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley were as inseparable as Laverne and Shirley, as smooth as Crosby and Hope.
By the time Spezza returns from a knee injury, though, he and Heatley could find themselves as fractured as Britney and Kevin.
The reconfigured line of Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Chris Kelly has been so productive that Murray said yesterday he’d have to consider doing what he once thought unthinkable: splitting up Spezza and Heatley.
from the National Post:
In the last NHL news release, about a week before voting closed, Scott Niedermayer was first among Western Conference defencemen. Lidstrom was second, fewer than 36,000 votes ahead of Fitzpatrick. It was at that point that the voteforrory.com lobby really went to work.“We were voting so much, the server was slowing down to a crawl,” said founding member Steve Schmid. “It kept popping up with errors. We just killed it the last couple of hours.
“Lidstrom and Niedermayer, they haven’t had one 100,000-vote week yet. We’ve already had two weeks where we had over 140,000 votes,” he added. “Unless the NHL decides to tamper with the results, I’m absolutely positive he’ll get in.”
The man in question isn’t as worried, as he told the Vancouver Province’s Ben Kuzma:
“I could have come out and said this is stupid, but who knows what kind of reaction that would have got or if it would have got more attention,” added Fitzpatrick.
“It could have created more of a stir. I just tried to keep it fun and not stressful. If it got to be a distraction for the team or too much, I might have handled it differently.”
“To be honest, I kind of represent the majority—the 40 or 50 who are going are the superstars and pretty special and that’s why they’re going,” he said. “As far as players, they’d embrace me. It’s just the sideshow effect I wouldn’t want to be a part of.”
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.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com