Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Vancouver Canucks,
“Retiring a player’s sweater is one of the highest honours a club can pay to its most elite players and ambassadors,” said Chris Zimmerman, President and CEO, Canucks Sports & Entertainment. “Trevor embodies the qualities we strive for as an organization; character, hard working, commitment, generous and loyal. We are proud that his sweater will hang beside Stan Smyl’s at General Motors Place.”
“This is a tremendous honour and I am very grateful to the club,” said Linden. “To be drafted by the Canucks organization 20 years ago as an 18 year old and to now have my sweater retired is very humbling and rewarding.”
from Mark Moore at the Hockey News,
Drained by a yearlong lockout, fan support for hockey in the U.S. has waned. After three full seasons back, the effect has lingered to a point where one must wonder if it’s permanent.
In places such as Nashville, Phoenix, Atlanta and South Florida that were among the latest to get franchises, enough time has passed for the novelty of a new game in town to have worn off. Meanwhile, for a variety of reasons that are identifiable, but are a separate story for another day, hockey has not penetrated very deeply into those populations.
In the broader picture, the U.S. economy has been suffering. The war in Iraq, the sub-prime mortgage debacle and political conflict have all put a drag on things. Maybe those issues can be fixed quick, maybe they can’t.
Other problems such as the decline of the American manufacturing industry, a growing scarcity of key natural resources such as oil and water, and an aging population certainly will not.
What is of note in terms of NHL franchise location is that none of these troubles have equivalent parallels north of the 49th parallel.
from Katie Strang of On the Islanders Beat at Newsday,
Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro said he’s had a slow summer while rehabbing his left knee, but one particular date has kept him motivated and focused—the season opener against the Devils.
“I’m not so worried about being 100 percent for training camp, I’m more worried about being ready October 10,” DiPietro said at an interview and autograph session in Manhattan Wednesday. “I’m really optimistic and hellbent on being there for the first game.”
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Moreau’s foot was broken and he says his heart ached too. “I missed the everyday competition, the camaraderie, being around the guys. Sometimes it’s good to sit back and re-evaluate things. It really teaches you a lesson how much you miss the game and how much you appreciate it,” he said.
Over the summer, he’s seen Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene, Raffi Torres and Joni Pitkanen leave and Erik Cole, Lubomir Visnovsky and Gilbert Brule come in. It’s up to the captain to steer the ship with new mates.
“We lost a lot of quality people,” he said. “A big piece of our dressing room is gone, but we added some high-end talent. Visnovksy is a world-class defenceman who puts up more points than almost anybody in the league. And Erik Cole is a Stanley Cup winner…
much more from Moreau…
TSN has added two big names to its roster with NHL coach John Tortorella and 18-year NHLer Ray Ferraro joining NHL on TSN for the 2008-09 season.
Tortorella moves directly from behind an NHL bench into the TSN studio, making his broadcast debut as part of the NHL on TSN panel for 60 games, including weekly appearances on TSN’s marquee Wednesday Night Hockey telecasts. The 16-year NHL coaching veteran and 2004 Jack Adams Trophy winner will appear alongside studio host James Duthie and Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger.
Ferraro will work approximately 30 games as a game analyst, making his NHL on TSN debut in the broadcast booth October 14…
from the CP,
NHL star Sidney Crosby leads the list of Nova Scotians honoured Thursday with the Order of Nova Scotia.
Crosby, who recently turned 21, is the youngest person to receive the award which recognizes those who’ve made “significant contributions to the province and the country.”
“Africa is like the NHL of hunting,” Babcock said Wednesday in preparation for the opening of camp in two weeks. “When you’re in the tall grass, when it’s 14-feet high and you can’t even see the top of an elephant’s back, when you’re hunting a lion and it’s five feet away and you don’t even know he’s there, that’s scary. It gets your heart going.”
-Mike Babcock talking about his hunting trip to Africa to Dave Dye of the Detroit News.
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
“I have one year left on my contract. That’s all I’m thinking about. I’m going to leave everything out there, work hard and enjoy it. And I’m going to try the best I can to help the team win this year like I’ve done always.”
Told that sounds like he has decided to play out the final year of his contract and leave as a free agent, Gaborik said, “I’m not saying I’m leaving. I’m not saying I’m staying. I’m saying I have one year left on my contract. I’m leaving it up to the Wild and my agent to discuss it. But I want to be left out of it.
“I like it here. Of course, it’s been great times and experiences here. But I still have one more year on my contract. I want to be respected that I still have one year left, and I want to just focus on this year and just try to play the best I can. That’s how it is. I don’t want to think about my contract right now, and I don’t want to be put in a position where I have to talk about it.”
from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Calgary Herald,
In any event, the decline in the loonie is great news if Canadians have a product Americans want (wonder what that might be?) that they can now buy at it lower price. But it is not a good omen for industries that get a bounce from parity between the dollars.
Exhibit A for those businesses that crave a dollar at par would be the National Hockey League. With 31 per cent of league ticket revenues reportedly coming from Canada last season, even a five-cent drop in the dollar is a major issue. As well, NHL teams doing business in Canadian dollars and paying out salaries and benefits in American greenbacks don’t want any decrease in the dollar. Even a drop of five cents on Miikka Kiprusoff’s $8.5 million salary costs Calgary an extra $425,000.
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette via the National Post,
The Montreal Canadiens have included a 2009 game at Olympic Stadium as one of their centennial projects, though the match is far from being confirmed….
“A game (at the Big O) is a project that we’ve discussed with the RIO,” Canadiens vice-president Donald Beauchamp said Wednesday of talks the club has had with the stadium’s provincial-government landlord. “That’s as far as the project has gone.”
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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