Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch,
It’s going to be an interesting season. Can new GM Scott Howson build something? Can coach Ken Hitchcock do anything with overpaid leftovers and wet-eared kids? Is there any leadership in the locker room? Any fire? Is the younger talent worth a reinvestment? A good number of fans, thousands of jaded consumers, are taking a wait-and-see posture. That’s fair enough.
If there’s a mere glimmer of hope, they’ll be back. And if there’s something more, they’ll be filling the building before long. Good God, if there’s just a whiff of the playoffs, Columbus will be gripped by the chase.
from the Dallas Morning News,
And what about the Stars? Dallas ranked 12th in average tickets distributed at 17,914 last season. It ranked 16th in percentage of capacity at 96.7 percent.
This season, the Stars could fall slightly below that. The season-ticket base is down 10 percent to fewer than 13,000. On some nights, there could be a lot of empty seats.
The same goes for Colorado and Detroit. If those two can’t sell out with Anaheim and Dallas in town on opening night, what kind of crowd will show up for Columbus on a Tuesday in November?
from the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Then Martin Havlat’s name came up and things soured.
Because when the Hawks’ go-to guy skated off the ice, bent over from the waist in obvious agony late in the third period after being sandwiched by a pair of Minnesota players in front of the Wild net, it suddenly didn’t matter that they had played so well in dropping a 1-0 decision in the season opener.
What mattered was that after the game Havlat’s right arm was in a sling and his right shoulder had already been X-rayed with results to be announced today.
from the New York Times,
“We’ve been a close-knit bunch in a couple of weeks,” Guerin said Wednesday. “That means we’re going to play well on the ice.”
The Islanders’ top line, centered by Mike Comrie with Ruslan Fedotenko at left wing and the 37-year-old Guerin at right wing, was acquired through free agency. Half of the defensive corps was not with the team a year ago.
“I know a lot of faces have changed,” Guerin said. “I don’t think the attitude has.”
From Eduardo A. Encina at the St. Petersburg Times,
For Doug MacLean and Oren Koules, opening night was just one reason to celebrate.
Their group, which is attempting to purchase the Lightning, is pleased with the progress of the application process. And one of the investment partners, Mark Burg, believes in the acquisition so much that he has doubled his stake, Koules said Thursday.
Koules said he hopes the sale to Absolute Hockey Enterprises - MacLean, the ex-Blue Jackets president, Coral Springs real estate developer Jeff Sherrin, Hollywood producers Koules and Burg and Tampa attorney Steve Burton - by Palace Sports & Entertainment will be finalized by the time the NHL board of governors meets in late November at Pebble Beach, Calif.
Says Wayne Gretzky:
“As my Dad always said, skate to where the puck is going – not to where it has been. I know that’s exactly what we will accomplish with my new website. I’m really looking forward to using Gretzky.com as a great place to relive my greatest hockey memories and to also develop this website into a unique hockey resource for all fans.”
Here’s the website and be prepared for flash running on your system. There are some interesting videos available, though - definitely worth a bit of exploration for Gretzky fans.
From Kevin Allen at USA Today,
Nashville Predators vice president Gerry Helper was a public relations staffer for the Sabres that season, and he recalls when 5-10, 170-pound Housley arrived at training camp he was so small “and boyish looking” that he didn’t fit the physical profile of a NHL player.
“But when you saw him on the ice it was a completely different story,” Helper recalled. “He was such a terrific skater. When he had the puck, he was unbelievable in terms of vision and creativity for an 18-year-old or a 28-year old.”
When he looked sharp in the training camp drills, critics said wait until the preseason games. When he was dominant in preseason games, they said wait until the regular season. “And when I was doing well at the beginning of the year, they said, ‘Wait until January,’ ” Housley said, seeming both amused and proud of the memory.
From Allan Maki at the Globe & Mail,
Not only that, Sanderson played against Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish, the Oilers’ general manager and head coach, respectively.
“He’s played for a lot of years,” Edmonton teammate Sheldon Souray. “It seems like every team I’ve played against, he’s on it.”
This is somewhat true since Sanderson is beginning his 17th season and has now played for eight teams, some of them twice. But given the number of youngsters the Oilers are breaking in this season, Sanderson could end up playing a key role on a team he grew up idolizing from his home in suburban St. Albert.
from an editorial in the Tennessean,
Nashville’s new mayor, Karl Dean, and new Metro Council should do what’s necessary to keep the Nashville Predators hockey team from leaving — as difficult as those decisions may be.
The Metro officials, many of whom are just settling into their new positions, may feel like the clock is ticking and they’re being asked to score a short-handed goal. But increasingly, the Predators issue has become more a case of what the city will lose if the National Hockey League franchise goes to another city, not just what’s to gain by keeping them.
The Globe & Mail’s Eric Duhatschek has co-authored a book with Dave King:
Had a chance to catch up with Dave King last night for the first time in months. It was at the launch party in Calgary for the book we collaborated on about his year of coaching in Russia, a crazy and wildly successful season in which the team won so many games in the regular season that they ran out of bonus money to pay the players and as a result, dipped into their travel funds to stay within the budget (dooming them to commercial instead of charter flights for the final quarter of the regular season).
Called King Of Russia and published by McClelland & Stewart, it chronicles the 2005-06 season of the Super League team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, which coincided with Evgeni Malkin’s final year in Russia.
Book available at Amazon.com if anyone is interested. Probably be quite fascinating, actually.
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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.
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