Kukla's Korner Hockey
Before the NHL lockout, you might never have heard of Brian Gionta, who had 89 points last season.
Maybe last fall your buddies couldn’t stop laughing when you selected Alexander Semin with a mid-round draft in your hockey pool.
On the other hand, maybe you’re still waiting for Patrik Stefan to find his form.
In honour of all-star week, below are a dozen players who have been flying under the radar and deserve some recognition during break-out seasons:
from the NHL.com editorial team…
With the 2007 NHL All-Star Game taking place mid-week this year, we realize it’s going to be darn-near impossible for most of you to get time off to fly to Dallas. Don’t feel left out!
NHL.com’s intrepid staff of hockey reporters will be there to take you on a personal tour through each day of All Star Week.
We’ll give our readers virtual access to all the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on at All-Star, including the American Airlines “NHL Salute to a Generation of Stars” featuring the All-Star Game skaters and former League
greats, the YoungStars Game, all the concerts, parties and celebrity sightings, and finally the main event, the 55th NHL All-Star Game from American Airlines Center.
In addition to all the blogging, you’re encouraged to ask questions of NHL.com’s All-Star staff – the editorial team of Shawn Roarke, Evan Grossman, Rich Libero, Phil Coffey, Darryl Haberman and Rocky Bonanno.
visit them often here...
update 10:20am, Here is the NHL.com streaming schedule for ASG week…
from a KK reader,
I thought you might be interested in the NHL exploits of a mate of mine called Chris Maclean.
He is part way through a road trip around North America, stopping in on each city that hosts an NHL team.
That’s 30 cities, 30 games. So far he as watched 4 games and travelled more than 4000 kilometers.
He is blogging about his trip at pondhoppa.blogspot.com.
Chris originally hails for Nova Scotia but has lived the last 7 years or so in Sydney, Australia.
It seems his “hockey lust” overcame him and he embarked on this trip at the start of this year.
I have no commercial interest in his trip and as far as I can tell neither does he, but I thought I would contact you to generate a little “publicity” for his adventure and who knows maybe someone with NHL connections might even sling him a free ticket for his enthuisasm and dedication.
The News (link is touchy at times) in Nova Scotia ran a story about him a few days ago too…
from Daniel I. Dorfman of the Northwest Herald,
This year was supposed to be a fresh start for the Blackhawks and a chance to emerge from a decade-long doldrums.
But 2006-07 appears to be more of the same. Unless something truly dramatic happens in the second half, it will be another year without postseason play.
The Hawks stagger into the All-Star break having lost nine in a row and 12 of 13. With 41 points, they are 13 points out of the final playoff position. Conversely, they are tied for 13th position in the Western Conference, three points out of the cellar. After 48 games last year, the Hawks were 16-26-6 with 38 points.
The struggles can be traced to several areas.
from the Democrat and Chronicle,
The question is being asked over and over wherever Buffalo Sabres hockey is discussed.
Just 14 months ago, could you have ever imagined Brian Campbell starting on defense in the NHL All-Star Game?
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is asked the question outside the team’s HSBC Arena dressing room.
“No. Easy answer. No,” Ruff said.
At the Ed and Lorna Campbell house in Strathroy, Ontario, Mom and Dad ask each other the question.
“No,” they say. No way.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The only news of any consequence that may come out of the NHL’s All-Star festivities won’t happen until Tuesday’s much-anticipated board of governors meeting which will, once again, address the possibility of a scheduling change. In the past week, the league gathered feedback from its 30 clubs on three revised schedules that could be introduced for next season and the sentiment for change remains high among 22 or 23 of the league’s 30 clubs.
A KK reader emailed me last week and pointed out the pure filth and garbage that has spammed the NHL Forum at the Versus website.
I contacted Versus by phone and email to alert them of this problem.
As of this morning, nothing has been done about it and I do see the Forum is un-moderated. Perhaps they should just shut it down….
from the Calgary Sun,
As the future of NHL jerseys is unveiled in Dallas today, fans can say their fond farewells to one of the old Calgary Flames silks.
While it hasn’t been officially retired, the team’s alternate jersey—the black version featuring a flame-breathing buck crest—is no longer being manufactured.
You won’t find it for sale at the FanAttic, the team’s official store, and the Flames have yet to pull on the sweater this season.
It’s not expected they’ll do so anytime soon, either, although Flames president and CEO Ken King suggests the design still exists as an option.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
I want the people running the Rangers to decide what’s best for the Rangers; not the person who runs Hartford. (Is it better for the Rangers organization or is it better for the 2006-07 Wolf Pack to have Hugh Jessiman playing in the ECHL right now?).
I want Renney this week to make personnel evaluations based on the best interests of the Rangers. And in conjunction with Renney’s visits to Wolf Pack practices, I want Sather to use waivers to cut the safety net of veterans the head coach has used as a security blanket right out from under him.
I want to see two or three fresh faces - Brandon Dubinsky, and maybe Ryan Callahan, maybe Lauri Korpikoski, maybe Dane Byers, maybe Nigel Dawes - when the Rangers reconvene Thursday.
via the Tennessean,
Predators Coach Barry Trotz said Tomas Vokoun remains the team’s top goalie heading into the NHL All-Star break.
“Tomas is the No. 1 goalie, plain and simple,’’ Trotz said. “We’ve just got to get the rust off him like we would with anyone coming back. I’m actually the luckiest coach in the league to have two guys who can step up like that.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org