Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the StarPhoenix,
As a regular feature, StarPhoenix sports reporter Cory Wolfe gets personal with a sports figure. Today, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Colby Armstrong talks about winning the world hockey championship, dressing in drag and what it’s like to get chased by Sheldon Souray.
The SP: If you were writing a tell-all book about your teammate Sidney Crosby, which detail would be the juiciest?
Armstrong: I think he has a moat around his house with a dragon guarding the front gate.
The guy is a legend. He’s the only guy in the world with a dragon. I think Tim Hortons hired a dragon to guard him.
from the Tennessean,
Not to discourage anybody in Nashville, but I think their team is gone,’’ said Ken Campbell, a senior writer at The Hockey News. “You’ve got a Canadian owner who’s passionate about hockey and who has all but publicly said he wants to bring a team to Canada.
“He paid $220 million for the team. Billionaires don’t become billionaires by throwing dollars at money-losing investments, and unfortunately, that’s what the Predators are right now.’‘
Bob McKenzie, a hockey analyst at the Canadian-based TSN network, was pessimistic about Nashville’s chances of holding on to the Predators in the long run.
“I don’t think the prognosis is overly bright,’’ McKenzie said. “I hate to say it, but the Craig Leipold press conference was almost a textbook session on why hockey is not going to make it in Nashville….”
from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,
Plan A for Ken Holland should be gauging Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s interest in switching allegiances and becoming a Red Wing, if he’s available. How could the Wings not target him, especially if Giguere wins a second Conn Smythe Trophy in the upcoming Stanley Cup finals?
The bidding might reach $5 million a year. It doesn’t matter. Get it done and the Wings remain serious Cup contenders for at least the next two years.
If Jiggy isn’t giddy about coming here, then Hasek becomes a viable alternative.
from Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel,
“I think the biggest challenge for hockey is finding a way to translate the energy and the speed of the game via television to the people at home,” said McGuire, who will work Games 3-7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks. “Being this close to the ice and the benches, we’re able to better translate the speed, intensity and passion of the game to home viewers.”...
“I think you’re going to see this kind of approach more and more in sports . . . because with high definition people are going to want to get right inside the game.”
This is true. As someone who grew up around the sport and has attended dozens of NHL games, I can honestly say hockey has evolved on television to the point that it’s nearly as enjoyable watching from the couch as it is from the stands.
The NHL’s problems have been well documented, but it’s not the product causing the mess. It’s still one of the best team sports to watch and NBC and Versus have done a good job bringing it to the box.
from the Toronto Sun,
Those officials who call the game strictly by the book are not neccessarily those picked for the most ultimate and lucrative assignment, the Stanley Cup final.
Of course, NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom is looking for the best interpreters of the league’s obstruction standards, but he also has chosen four referees and four linesmen he believes won’t get too hot under the helmet in the most critical games of the year.
from the News & Observer,
Unable to agree on a new contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, Scott Walker plans to test the free-agent market when he becomes eligible July 1.
Pat Morris, Walker’s agent, said the two sides have exchanged three-year contract offers but without any common ground. Carolina’s offer is believed to be worth $2 million per season.
“Right now we’ve got a difference of opinion on value,” Morris said Thursday.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Specifically, don’t expect the Research in Motion czar to divulge even the tiniest detail of his intentions towards the struggling Nashville Predators, at least not until his agreement to buy the team closes June 30.
And when Balsillie is grilled by league commissioner Gary Bettman and various owners, insiders guess his approach will be different than when he was trying to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“He’ll have to lie through his teeth,” said one NHL source.
That’s because most believe the NHL won’t take kindly to Balsillie boldly outlining plans to get the Preds out of Music City as soon as possible, even though many NHL governors undoubtedly won’t miss a team that has been drinking deeply from the league’s revenue-sharing trough the past two seasons.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
When the Stanley Cup final starts Monday in Anaheim, most of the leading newspapers in the United States will be busy doing something else.
They certainly won’t be sending reporters to Canada to cover the games in Ottawa, where connections are difficult and fares expensive.
“It’s Disneyland against Parliament,” one U.S. sportswriter said about the Senators-Ducks series. “Not only is it impossible to get directly from one place to another, but it takes a great deal of time and money.
“If I’m a sports editor, I say forget about it. I can spend my money on something better.”
continued... Even both Detroit newspapers are taking a pass…
from Greg Johnson of the LA Times,
The Stanley Cup finals are approaching and hockey couldn’t be in better shape.
A late-season NHL television broadcast drew almost 10% of the country’s residents, no matter that neither team was playoff-bound. First-round playoff TV ratings dipped but rebounded nicely for subsequent rounds. And Sidney Crosby, who’s been touted by the nation’s media since he was a boy, was named NHL rookie of the year.
Wait a minute, that’s the hockey story in Canada….
South of the border, where 24 of 30 NHL teams are based, hockey remains mired in problems.
read on (reg. req.)
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
This is a league that does not share its attendance revenues. So a Canadian team might draw well at home, but an American owner couldn’t care less. He’s not going to see any of it. What he does know is that Canadian teams are traditionaly the NHL’s worst road draws. An owner in a major American city doesn’t want to try to sell tickets for games against teams from places like Winnipeg, Quebec and Waterloo — or even Calgary and Edmonton for that matter. He wants visits from New York, Boston, Los Angeles and so on.
Now, once Balsillie purchases the Predators, the battle will be on. He will want to move that team out of Nashville and into Canada. Perhaps, down the road, some other entrepeneur will try to follow a similar pattern with the Atlanta Thrashers or the Florida Panthers, and some of the other cities that Bettman brought into the NHL.
And while Canada is a nice place, it’s not the place to be if you’re trying to establish your sports league as a major league in the United States.
This is what Bettman has wrought.
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.
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