Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star:
About a half hour after they’d peeled Detroit Red Wings defenceman Brett Lebda off the ice and on to a stretcher to be taken to hospital, Kelly Chase, one-time resident tough guy for the St. Louis Blues and currently a broadcaster for the team, reminisced about what might have happened to someone had they taken such liberties with a Wings player in his day.
“I didn’t have to call (National Hockey League commissioner) Gary Bettman to find out what the punishment was for running a guy from behind in Detroit,” Chase said. “The punishment was (Bob) Probert and (Joe) Kocur.”
While the tall foreheads at the NHL offices pontificate over what to do about fighting, the real ugly problem in the league revealed itself once more Saturday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.
Unbalanced schedules mean some teams play more, brewing more bad blood. And quite simply, the players hold no longer hold respect for each other.
“We can talk to them all we want, but ultimately, it’s up to the players,” Murray said regarding the potential for change this frightening and growing culture.
The scariest art of all this is that there’s a possibility that in a clandestine manner, the league favours the violence.
from GoBlue Wolverine Magazine,
Jack Johnson, the No. 3 pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, has reached agreement with the Los Angeles Kings and is expected to sign with the pro team on Sunday night. Johnson will be forgoing his final two years of eligibility with the Michigan Wolverines.
More from the Michigan Daily...
That’s right folks, 9 1/2 minutes of goalie masks- nothing more, nothing less.
from The Maven,
I’m thinking back to those dark Rangers days of yester-month, when legions of Blueshirts’ fans thought I was this side of The Nut House.
Over and over, I kept insisting that Tom Renney’s renegades would somehow make the playoffs despite howls of derisive laughter in the background.
So, who’s got the last chuckle now as point after point is garnered; all of them solidifying a playoff berth that many thought impossible.
No, the Rangers are not in – neither like Flynn, Avery, Jagr nor Nylander – but they just happen to be so HOT, that no NHL team at this time would want to touch them without super-protective gloves.
from Erin Nicks at the Ottawa Sun,
When you’re a media member, you’re not supposed to show preference towards a specific franchise. It’s not “professional.” Whether you believe that isn’t the issue. Everyone is prone to favouritism—there isn’t a single person on Earth that cherishes all 30 NHL teams, and is simply a “fan of the sport.”
However, these biases aren’t reserved solely for the media. They extend far beyond, into the NHL itself. But how could the league have team preferences?
Two words—Television ratings.
from the Boston Herald,
Ward was a member of the Red Wings at the time, and vividly recalls the night Detroit finally exacted revenge for Claude Lemieux’ brutal cheap shot on Kris Draper in the previous year’s playoffs. Darren McCarty pounded Lemieux into a bloody mess, while goalies Mike Vernon and Patrick Roy took center stage in an unlikely main event.
“The funny thing about that situation is we had already had games (since the Draper hit),” Ward said. “There was no indication given by anybody that anything was going to happen. I was in complete disbelief.”
Ward was never known as a fighter, but ended up in the middle of the fray, matched up against Avalanche enforcer Brent Severyn in one of the night’s many bouts.
“I think that was the worst ass-kicking I’ve ever taken in a fight,” Ward said. “We started off the second period with me and Larry Murphy on defense and I said to Larry if anything happens, don’t worry, I’ll take care of it. . . . I didn’t realize that before the shift even started, Severyn had already taken off his elbow pads and his shoulder pads
more... On page 1 of this article, read all about diving…
from the Tenneessean,
Speaking hours before Saturday’s contest, Trotz said he’ll continue to give both goalies – Vokoun and Chris Mason – playing time in the immediate future before making a postseason choice.
“We want to keep them both going and at one point, probably here in the next five or six games, I’ll probably decide in my mind who I’ll start in the playoffs,” said Trotz, whose team has six games left in the regular season. “Hopefully someone gets really hot and takes that position. But right now, I don’t think I can go wrong (with either goalie).”
from the Detroit Free Press,
Will Schneider continue to smile on Detroit? Maybe, maybe not.
He is eligible for free agency this summer, and so far talks that began during training camp haven’t progressed. Schneider has touched base with general manager Ken Holland on the matter and wants to remain with the Wings.
In addition to Schneider, Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi, Kyle Calder, Danny Markov, Kirk Maltby, Chris Chelios and Dominik Hasek are some of the players whose contracts expire in July. Schneider makes $3.3 million this season and given his offensive prowess, especially on the power play, he’s guaranteed to draw competitive offers from other teams. The Wings can’t bring everyone back, so Schneider could end up finishing his career elsewhere. He is determined to play at least until 2010 in order to have a shot at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
Is any athlete on the planet worth $7.5 million a year? Probably not. But, at the very least, you’d expect someone earning that kind of green to be an impact player who makes your team significantly better than it would be without him.
In the final analysis, that can’t be said about the Bruins with Chara.
The trouble with standing 6-foot-9 and weighing 275 pounds is that you become an even bigger target when things go wrong. And when your salary matches your imposing physical stature, the expectations can be even greater.
Chara hasn’t lived up to them.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
The place is jam-packed and jumpin’ (they don’t use g at the end of many words here) and from the atmosphere inside you’d never know the club is fighting for its life.
Step outside, however, and you’d never know that Nashville even has a hockey team. You almost never see a Predators hat, or sweater, or licence plate cover. There’s no hockey buzz whatsoever. In a sports bar across the street from where the Predators are late in the third period against rival Dallas, long after the Vanderbilt game is over, every TV in the joint is still tuned to the hoops tournament.
That’s Nashville hockey in a nutshell: a loyal, vocal fan base—unfortunately, it usually fits under one roof.
“When we came here this was a market that had never seen hockey before in their lives,” said David Poile, the GM in Nashville since the Preds opened for business in 1998. “Over a nine-year period, the progress has been good, but, having said that, it needs to be better.”
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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