Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Canadian Press:
Will Denis Flaro’s new hockey stick turn you into the next coming of Wayne Gretzky?
Probably not. But the president of Flarrow Hockey Sticks, based in Martintown, northeast of Cornwall, says owning the 9000 Turbine—with its one-of-a-kind design—will put you on the cutting edge of hockey equipment technology.
“We’re in the midst of testing it right now,” said Flaro. “I think it’ll capture a lot of the market.”
The 9000 Turbine, which takes its powerful-sounding name from a graphite model the company used to produce, is modelled on a standard one-piece hockey stick.
But unlike most one-piece graphite or fibreglass sticks—called composites—the core of the 9000 Turbine is filled with wood rather than left hollow. That gives it the lightness of a composite, said Flaro, with the feel and durability of a traditional stick.
from Brian Millner of the Globe and Mail:
The National Hockey League has stopped playing games that matter this week while it puts many of its star players in the spotlight during its annual all-star game, the first in three years. In many ways, the non-contest, which is being held in Dallas Wednesday, is a microcosm of the league itself in its struggles to attract wider audiences to the sport.
Commissioner Gary Bettman typically delivers a state-of-the-game assessment during this break, and as always, it will be a rosy one. But all is not rosy. Attendance is down, TV ratings are abysmal and the league still can’t seem to figure out how to market its assets to non-core fans. And it’s not only the owners. The players, too, have paid scant attention to the sport’s marketing woes.
“It’s a bit like pulling teeth during the season,” said Calgary defenceman Andrew Ference, one of half-a-dozen player business representatives who are in Dallas to kick around some marketing ideas. “We have to convince guys that it’s worth doing.”.
from The Hockey News, via TSN:
While there’s no guarantee the schedule will change, one source close to the board of governors said yesterday there is an appetite to alter a format that sees teams play its division rivals eight times a season and teams in the other conference just once every three years.
‘‘I think the ones who want change will get a vote their way,’’ the source said. ‘‘What will probably happen is that they’ll say, ‘Hey, this matrix isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than what we have now.’ ‘’
The league is also expected to discuss the Pittsburgh Penguins situation, but Bettman said yesterday he’s content at the moment to allow the process in Pittsburgh to play itself to a conclusion. Daly said the NHL would likely need to know within a month about the Penguins fate.
Contrary to reports, both Bettman and Daly said there will be no discussion at the meeting about future expansion, making nets bigger or increasing the number of teams in the playoffs to 20. There has been talk that the league might allow 10 teams per conference into the post-season, with the seven, eight, nine and 10 seeds playing a mini-tournament in the first round.
from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
I heard it wasn’t very good,” Lemieux said Monday at American Airlines Center, site of Wednesday’s NHL All-Star Game. “Our people were offended and very disappointed. Now, as always, we have to go out and explore our options. Once we find a deal we like, we’ll sign it up.”
Earlier in the day, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he figured the Penguins would choose among competing arena plans within 2-3 weeks. Kansas City is the other city known to have presented the Penguins with an offer.
Lemieux did not dispute Daly’s projection.
from the Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
But isn’t it interesting how expansion has suddenly crept into polite NHL conversation of late?
Maybe I’m wrong on this. Maybe, hopefully, Gary Bettman will publicly renounce the mere thought of adding more teams this week. After all, the league just straightened out its finances and its game coming out of the lockout, and still has any number of franchise problems to work out.
But the suspicion is the league is working on expansion as we speak.
To anyone who loves the game, of course, the immediate response is to throw up at the mere thought of adding more teams to the Original 30.
Ovechkin & Crosby from a media conference in Dallas today…
Q. Sidney, I’m here from the Kansas City Star. I was wondering what your thoughts are on this situation and what do you know about Kansas City?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don’t know a whole lot. Obviously I think the players in our team are pretty content with being in Pittsburgh. We really enjoy it there. We get great support. That’s where we want to be, but again, it’s out of our hands. We have heard the rumor it’s a possibility to go there, but I think we’re quite content with being in Pittsburgh.
Q. Sidney, All-Star game players tend to not exactly give 110 percent. What percentage would you say you’re going to put out there?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don’t know. I’m going to work hard obviously. Not going out there throwing hits everywhere, but it’s still a time to have fun, show some creativity and go out there and try to impress some fans.
So I think it’s a fun time. Obviously, like I said, you’re not going to be throwing your body around, but it’s a time to have fun and show some skills. So I think that’s what we’re all going to try to do.
Q. Both of you guys have been compared to each other so much. Are you looking forward to playing each other, how excited are you about that idea?
ALEX OVECHKIN: I’m looking forward to play against, together with Sidney and it will be a great time to play with a great player and we’re both young and I think we have the next game play together, too. It will be good.
SIDNEY CROSBY: I’m looking forward to it, obviously. As he said it’s always myself against him type of thing. It’s always built up when we play against each other. It’s nice to be on the same line. Obviously if you give him a puck he’s scoring for us and not against us. So it’s nice. Hopefully we can have some fun out there and create some things.
ALEX OVECHKIN: I just wait one time.
Eastern Conference Head Coach Lindy Ruff
Eastern Conference Assistant Coach Bob Hartley
Western Conference Head Coach Randy Carlyle
Western Conference Assistant Coach Barry Trotz
Q. Randy, Lindy, you don’t mind, so many All Stars at this game, in some ways I guess you could say it’s a changing of the guard, but can I get an opinion from both of you, so many new faces being displayed worldwide in their first All-Star game.
RANDY CARLYLE: Obviously the landscape of the NHL has changed in the past two years and it’s vital importance for your group to have the skill level and the skill level that’s being afforded from the junior level and from the colleges, it might be at an all-time high. But I think a lot of it has to do with the amount of dollars being spent.
You need these young players, skilled young players to make a contribution to your lineup to have success with the parody that’s now taking place in the league and the amount of dollars that are spread out, it’s a tougher job for your general manager and your scouting staff to provide you with the highest skilled players.
But everybody is looking out for the same thing.
from the CBC:
The NHL All-Star Game has undergone many transformations since the first official matchup 70 years ago.
It had its origins in several unofficial all-star games organized in the 1930s to raise money for the families of Ace Bailey, who suffered a career-ending injury, and later Howie Morenz and Albert (Babe) Siebert, who met untimely deaths.
Seeking a celebratory showcase following the Second World War, the NHL revived the all-star format to kick off the 1947 season, with the defending Stanley Cup champion taking on the best players from the remaining Original Six rosters.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
The NHL and RBK Hockey unveiled their new “uniform system” (jersey, pants and socks) on Monday in Dallas as part of the buildup to Wednesday’s All-Star Game.
(Well, actually, the league and its corporate partner pulled the curtain back on their latest creation for a select group of media in New York this past Wednesday.)
For now, I’d say the league gets an “A” for effort but an “incomplete” for every other element of the project.
First, let me give you the good news.
from the Daily Miner:
History didn’t repeat itself but the week-long celebration commemorating Kenora’s Stanley Cup victory over the Montreal Wanderers in 1907 will be rehashed with as much fervour as if it did.
Sunday afternoon, former Winnipeg Jets hero Dale Hawerchuk nailed the game winning goal late in the third period as the Team Canada Selects quashed the Kenora Thistles’ hopes of reliving the glory of the club’s Stanley Cup win 100 years ago to the day in an 11-10 nailbiter.
In old re-creation jerseys for both sides, the match was a throw back to the early days of the game, even the referees wore black cardigans and collared shirts and ties.
Louie McKay, the oldest surviving Kenora Thistle at 90 years of age, put the home team on the board first, with a blistering shot from the blueline into the open net just prior to the game’s actual commencement.
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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