Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Adam Ptoteau of the Hockey News at the Globe and Mail,
That’s why the NHL still hasn’t gone far enough in the statement it makes about fighting. That’s why we still see sideshow acts such as the one that took place at the Air Canada Centre Saturday night, featuring Rangers tough guy Colton Orr and Toronto’s designated enforcer Wade Belak.
Five-minute punishments obviously don’t deter players from indulging impulses they easily ignore come playoff or international tournament time. But suspend an NHLer for a game or two, or eight, or 20, or put a serious-type dent in his bank account the way Stern likes to do, and maybe then he’ll discover other avenues by which to release his frustrations.
via Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
When Florida Panthers Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark visited New York for a Rangers game earlier this season, he called NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and asked if he could spare a few minutes to meet with Yormark and one of the Panthers’ sponsors. Bettman cleared 20 minutes out of the day for the meeting to sit down with the sponsor and discuss the league.
“There are not many commissioners who would do that,” Yormark said. “I found it absolutely remarkable.”
“He’s got a strong, healthy league he’s leading right now,” said Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins. “We owe him a real debt of gratitude for working through it.”
Sustaining current interest and increasing the popularity of the sport remain Bettman’s biggest challenges. He’s already addressed it in part with steps to improve the quality of the product on the ice, but the league’s future on TV will be critical to propelling long-term growth.
It happened overnight- Welcome Alanah to the KK blogging group.
This should be fun folks, but she is looking for another job after about five hours at KK.
from Kevin Baxter of the Miami Herald,
The first thing Detroit’s Brett Lebda does when he gets a new shipment of hockey sticks is grab a marker and write an inscription on the back.
‘‘I have a little superstition,’’ says Lebda, who has religiously adhered to the practice since he was kid playing on the frozen ponds of Illinois. ``Just something that means something to me.’‘
Keith Tkachuk of the St. Louis Blues, meanwhile, makes sure he takes his three kids with him every time he steps on the ice, writing their names—Matthew, Braeden and Taryn—in neat script on the nob of his stick.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
The Atlanta-Washington game Friday was the teams’ first meeting since Nov. 22, when 176 penalty minutes, 10 fighting majors, seven game misconducts and three player suspensions resulted. Preceded by talk of a second war on ice, the game passed without major incident.
“As business people, we have to look at our sport,” Hartley said.
“Look at the Steve Moore incident in Vancouver (Hartley once coached him in Colorado). We should learn our lesson. There’s a kid out of hockey, lawsuits everywhere, black marks all over our sport. We don’t need this.”
read on... much more on the NHL…
from the Calgary Sun,
Certainly, a case can be made Sid the Kid is indeed the best player in the game, as has been stated by his Pittsburgh Penguins head coach, Michel Therrien, and Montreal bench boss Guy Carbonneau.
But the Calgary Flames believe captain Jarome Iginla is still very much in the running for that title, as well.
As defenceman Andrew Ference pointed out yesterday, the title of ‘Best Player in Hockey’ is about more than just goals and assists.
Remember, Ference played on a Pittsburgh Penguins team that featured Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Alexei Kovalev, so he knows a thing or two about playing with superstars.
from the St. Peterburg Times,
Step into Aaron Downey’s office.
It is a simple bench in front of his locker at the Bell Centre. But it is here the Canadiens right wing has come up with a marketing device he said would boost NHL attendance and TV ratings:
Get rid of the instigator rule, which doles out heavy penalties for starting a fight.
Downey said he doesn’t want to go back to the bad old days of the Broad Street Bullies and bench-clearing brawls, but there is something to be said for allowing players to police themselves on the ice.
from the Toronto Sun,
The Maple Leafs are finalizing plans for an outdoor regular season game to be played around New Year’s Day 2008 at their new 20,000-seat BMO Field.
“I have spoken to commissioner (Gary) Bettman and he likes the idea,” said Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. “We haven’t signed off on it yet, but it would be a special event for a new stadium and put it on the map. It’s certainly feasible to put the ice in, but now we have to work with the City of Toronto on such things as the sports bubble (that is to cover the field for winter community use)....”
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
The Ducks, whose Anaheim home at the newly renamed Honda Center is only 40 minutes away, have the best record in the National Hockey League.
But there are no flags. No giant portraits. And their games might not even be on the TV at the local sports bar — Lakers, Clippers, Bruins and Trojans often take precedence. And in the spring, add Dodgers and Angels to the list.
more (reg. req.)
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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