Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bob McKenzie at TSN,
The NHL has been trying for weeks to tinker with its schedule configuration, but is now considering a significant overhaul of the face of the league that includes realignment and a reduction in the number of divisions from six to four.
Nothing is carved in stone at this point, but the NHL is floating an aggressive trial balloon to its governors for consideration. Earlier this week, six club executives, (a mix of governors, teams presidents and GMs), representing the six current divisions met in New York with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and brainstormed to produce a new-look alignment and schedule that they’re taking back to other clubs in their respective divisions for feedback.
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren on Thursday updated the status of center Peter Forsberg. Forsberg suffered a slight concussion last Saturday during a game in Washington against the Capitals.
Paul Holmgren: “Peter did skate today for about 15 minutes. Actually, he didn’t feel very good. He is going to see Dr. Gerri McGuinnes tomorrow morning and have his baseline testing done and then he is going to see Dr. Gary Dorshimer after that. We will see how he feels tomorrow. I think the fact he lasted only 15 minutes today, that’s probably not ideal. We will see how it goes tomorrow. I would say the chances of him playing on Saturday are not very good.”
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
As this is the season for giving, we give you, not one but, two Top 12 Lists for your holiday reading pleasure (they were steeply discounted at Wal-Mart if you really must know)…
Santa’s Top 12 NHL-related Granted Wishes:
12 freedom for Mike Kitchen
11 extra thick insoles for Gary Bettman
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via the Arizona Republic, Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said Thursday he thinks the NHL should intervene in the “Vote for Rory” phenomenon to make sure the players who most deserve to play in next month’s All-Star Game in Dallas are included.
“I’m not trying to be controversial,” Gretzky said. “Maybe he deserves to be in the game. I can’t stand here and tell you that he doesn’t deserve to be in the game because I’ve never seen him play. But if he thinks he deserves to be in the All-Star Game, then good for him, he should go. If he doesn’t believe he should be in the All-Star Game, he should stand up and say, ‘You know what, there’s other guys that deserve to be there.’ That’s kind of what my take on it is.”
from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,
In the spirit of the season and because it won’t cost us a penny, we’re happy to hand out gifts to each NHL team. After that, it’s up to them to make the playoffs.
Boston: Retro uniforms. The Bruins need to return full-time to the Bobby Orr-era sweaters when this franchise ruled the NHL world. Failing that, new owners.
Detroit: TV set locked to Comedy Channel. Coach Mike Babcock seems to have a perpetual frown, even when his team wins, so maybe this will cheer him up.
Nashville: Relish. The Preds have hotdog players and mustard-coloured third jerseys. This will complete the trifecta.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Eager to allay fears the team will leave, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato spoke with National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman by phone yesterday. Afterward, Onorato minimized the NHL’s threats to allow the Penguins to move.
“Nothing’s really changed, other than Mario and Bettman, in their last two statements, have stressed the legal ability for them to move the team, which is not news. We all knew that,” Onorato said. “They have a legal right to shop it around.”
Ravenstahl said he was encouraged after talking to Bettman, but stressed the need to talk with Lemieux.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
It may be early to judge, but Gary Bettman might have really done it this time.
You never know with the NHL owners of course, but this latest fiasco over the Pittsburgh Penguins just might be the one clanger that will open their eyes to who is running their league.
Research in Motion head Jim Balsillie was all set to pay a monstrous amount of money to buy a team with very low revenues, even though if everything went well and the rink had been built by the casino group, it would have been several years before he saw any type of return.
from the Columbus Dispatch,
Who is this man? Hitchcock’s life as a salesman is just as simple as Death of a Salesman. He has been content everywhere he has been, yet he has kept moving. He has been sought, he has been fired and he has won championships, including the game’s ultimate prizes, the Stanley Cup and an Olympic gold medal. For his first big job, he submitted a resume written in pencil on a sheet of lined paper. He got his latest job after a 10-hour interview that included much philosophical discourse with a self-made billionaire.
Hitchcock has evolved, and continues to evolve, but some constants remain. As his old boss at United Cycle in Edmonton put it: “Ken is not set in his approach, but he is set in his philosophy.”
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
(Question: When did hockey last appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, that arbiter of mainstream American sports taste? Answer: Aside from a Steve Yzerman commemorative edition produced for the Detroit market, it was Oct. 14, 2002.)
But Bettman is undeterred. He is still trying to accomplish the mission he was hired to perform. He can’t make a hard left turn now, or ever.
When might the NHL add teams in Canada? When the business implodes, or when the vision changes — which might amount to the same thing.
Either would require, or inspire, a change at the top.
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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