Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
It’s only 18 months after National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman decided to shut down his league for a year, but already the lunacy of that move is clear.
The concept of a salary cap that would “level the playing field’ and “make the game better for the fans,” both of which were Bettman mantras during the dark days, was then and is now, nothing more than a fantasy.
Salaries have risen to the point that the average player earns after the lockout roughly what he earned before the lockout.
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP,
Only one division in the NHL can boast having every single team over the .500 mark. Surprisingly, it’s the Central.
Widely considered the weakest of the league’s six divisions over the last few years, where Detroit has captured six straight titles, the Central has some spine this season.
The Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets are vastly improved while the Nashville Predators have not tumbled badly as many had predicted.
“They’re all good teams,” Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock told The Canadian Press this week.
from Jonah Keri at ESPN Page 2,
Coming off the Devils’ seventh straight win, I spoke to Brodeur about his goaltending style, his new coach and teammates and the league’s progression from the neutral-zone traps of the ‘90s to the more wide-open style played today….
Who’s the player you’d least want to see coming at you on a breakaway or in a shootout?
Jagr. He’s so skilled, he can beat you with his reach, his moves, his shot. He’s really talented, he’s one of the guys I fear most in the league.
Other than yourself, who would you say are the three best goalies in the NHL today?
[Roberto] Luongo has to be one. DiPietro, for sure. [Henrik] Lundquist, he’d be another one.
from Eye Weekly,
At least, on Jan. 1, the NHL’s televising that outdoor hockey game in Buffalo, that “Winter Classic” between the Penguins and Sabres — because, the way it stands right now, watching Syd the Kid skate through a snowstorm is looking like superior New Year’s Day entertainment than anything college football’s gonna provide.
you can read on, but it is all NCAA Football talk & we give them a pass on “Syd”.
via RDS (translated sort of),
The Penguins have placed the name of Mark Recchi to tie. L’attaquant de 39 ans avait été rayé de la formation lors de six derniers matchs. The attacker 39 year old had been removed from the training during the last six matches.
added 1:07pm, via TSN,
The Pittsburg Penguins have placed forwared Mark Recchi on waivers.
Recchi, 39, has had a difficult year - playing in only 19 of the Pens’ 26 games this year and has registered just two goals and six assists. Recchi has been a healthy scratch in seven of the last eight games.
Ironically, Monday was “Mark Recchi Bobblehead” night in Pittsburgh.
from Craig Custance at the Sporting News,
Talk to everyone involved with the team and you’ll get different ideas about the season’s turning point. A wild comeback that fell just short in Ottawa. A gutsy win over the Blackhawks in Chicago. A thrilling shootout win in Montreal. With each of those efforts, each team dinner on the road and every minute of grinding travel from one stop to the next, a bond formed where chemistry had once been a huge issue.
“That’s how your hockey club grows together,” Waddell says. “They can practice all they want, but after practice everyone has their own lives, their own families. On the road you become a hockey club.”
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
“Hockeytown,” which still graces the center-ice circle at Joe Louis Arena, remains a brilliant slogan, a motto so evocative that the Canadiens emulated it this season with “The city is hockey,” evidence that Montreal has game if not syntax. Of course in Detroit in 2007 the Hockeytown moniker seems as appropriate as, well, dipping a beef taco in a glass of milk.
Detroit’s Hockeytown crown has slipped. There were so many empty seats in The Joe during the playoffs last spring that you could have twirled an octopus in some rows of the upper deck and not slimed a soul.
Question from anonymous (Westerville, Ohio): What is your scouting report on the Flyers this year?
Jones: Well, 22 to 24 of the teams are .500 teams. There are four elite teams and there about three or four are above average. I’d put the Flyers in that above-average category. The four elite teams are Ottawa, Carolina, Detroit and Anaheim (once they get Scott Niedermayer back). The Rangers are in the class of the Flyers. I’m not sure how much Jaromir Jagr has left in the tank. He looks disinterested and that’s a big concern.
If you missed the interview Alanah did with Keith, you can listen to it here and also buy the book, Jonesy”.
The National Hockey League posted record attendance for the month of November, attracting 3,367,547 fans to 199 games for a per-game average of 16,922. The per-game figure eclipsed the previous November high of 16,818 set during the League’s successful re-launch season in 2005 and was 2.3% ahead of last season’s 16,538.
from University Sport,
Mike Babcock has indicated that his alma really does matter and he intends on wearing his old school tie when he steps behind the bench for Detroit’s National Hockey League game against the Montreal Canadiens, tonight.
Babcock, who played hockey at McGill University in the mid-1980s, where was captain and MVP of the Redmen, confided to some old school buddies during dinner in Old Montreal, Monday, that he would wear the crimson red silk tie for the game against the Habs.
For close-up pictures of the tie, see a previous KK post...
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