Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
As part of the National Hockey League's ongoing attempt to win back fans, the league is planning to give away miniature replica Stanley Cups to everyone who attends an opening night game in their 30 member cities. The massive giveaway — which will begin on 15 fronts, including Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver during Wednesday's opening night of play — was the brainchild of the league's marketing department. "The notion here is, one, to thank the fans and two, to reinforce that we are in a new era and the opportunity for everyone to compete for the Stanley Cup is very real," said Ed Horne, the president of NHL Enterprises.
from Stan Fischler of MSG Network,
-Although the Goaltenders’ Union won’t agree, it’s already evident that too little has been taken off goalie equipment to make a scintilla of difference. You can bet your bottom puck that the enlarged nets will be introduced next NHL season. -The new rule that stands the best chance of being killed by next season is the goalie-trapezoid. Lots of folks agree with our point that the liberty of goalie-roaming should be accompanied by letting them be fair-game for legal bodychecks. -Amazing, isn’t it, that one year Chris Chelios is scabbing for the Motor City (UHL) Mechanics and now he’s heading the bloc trying to block Ted Saskin’s NHLPA leadership. Next Chelios will be running for head of the AFL-CIO!
Anyone remember TSN's Power Rankings. It has been a long time but they are back!
Finally, after nearly a year-and-a-half on the sidelines, TSN.ca's NHL Power Rankings are back. A seemingly endless barrage of changes -- both rule and player transactions -- makes uncertainty the order of the day. Will the NHL stick to their guns on the penalty crackdown? Will the new rules result in more goals? Is this game going to be better than ever or the same old thing? If the league sticks to its guns, the skilled teams will be able to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack, and that bodes well for Canadian teams, most of which are strong skating squads.
from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
Sports Illustrated, USA Today, NBC, OLN, ESPN, ESPN The Magazine, The New York Times, among others, are scheduled to make Crosby the center of their NHL coverage Wednesday even though he has yet to take a shift in a regular season NHL game. All the attention doesn’t bother Crosby, who is more than accommodating to any interview requests. “No, this is part of it,” he said. “I understand that.”read on
from the CP via TSN,
Referees will wear microphones and announce penalties to spectators and to viewers watching at home when the NHL restarts with all 30 teams playing Wednesday night. It's the latest innovation for a league eager to attract attention and lure fans after the setback losing the 2004-2005 season to a collective bargaining impasse. The new set-up might not be in place in all arenas opening night but it will be there for each team's second home game, league officials promised Monday. Referees will announce single and offsetting penalties in English. If there are multiple penalties at the same time, to avoid delaying games announcements will be left to arena public address systems. In every instance, the in-house announcer will repeat the referee's call, which will enable penalty calls in Montreal to continue to be relayed to spectators in French. Also, every fan entering the 15 arenas in which openers are to be played will receive a mini Stanley Cup replica courtesy of the NHL. Individual teams also have their own giveaways.
Scott Burnside of ESPN lists players who can make a difference for their team and players who may not. He has this to say about Dominik Hasek,
Too old, too brittle and too long away from it all. Unless Hasek has found the goaltending equivalent of the fountain of youth, the Senators might be in the market for a proven NHL netminder before Christmas.
-Jaromir Jagr said he didn't think he should be captain. So, the New York Rangers went in a different direction. After Darius Kasparaitis and his $3.4 million salary were kept on by the Rangers, the team on Sunday announced that Kasparaitis would also serve as team captain. -Reports out of South Florida this weekend indicated that linemates Olli Jokinen and Joe Nieuwendyk left a Saturday practice with injuries. Both players will be out of the team's final preseason game Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. oach Jacques Martin said he didn't think either injury was serious. -Curtis Leschyshyn retired Monday, ending a 16-year NHL career in which he was a key part of the Colorado Avalanche's championship team in 1996. The 36-year-old defenceman returned to Colorado this offseason and was competing for a roster spot. But with the Avalanche set to start the season Wednesday, Leschyshyn decided to retire. update 2:50pm, The competition for the Predators’ second-line center has come to an end. The team signed veteran center Yanic Perreault to a one-year, two-way deal this morning and he’ll be in Wednesday’s lineup for the season opener. Perreault, an 11-year NHL veteran, had been in training camp on a tryout basis. -The Montreal Canadiens hope to stage the NHL all-star game, entry draft and world junior championship in 2009 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the NHL's oldest club. Team president Pierre Boivin said Monday the team would begin the countdown to the anniversary this month by retiring the jerseys of three former players. The names are to be announced on Oct. 15. -Let the betting begin. Odds on favorite for most goals and points go to Jarome Iginla. Best GAA, Marty Brodeur. Check out the rest.
from sports Ticker via the San Jose Sharks,
They held meetings and bargained and made offers and counter-offers at nauseum. They gave fans false hope for months before the inevitable finally was announced - the 2004-05 season was canceled due to their inability to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. They all but wiped a sport that barely was a blip to begin with right off the professional sports radar screen. Then, in the middle of the baseball season, they ended their 301-day battle, the longest labor dispute in North American sports history. The NHL and the Players Association owe the fans - big time.
Over the last few weeks, I have had a pretty positive attitude regarding the future of the NHL. However, some teams will still struggle to make their bottom line, advertising is way down in cities where the NHL is an afterthought. Fans in most established NHL cities are anxiously awaiting for the season to begin, but will hockey take off or is there a wait-and-see attitude? My question to you, will the salary cap for the 2006-07 season decrease or increase?
The late Stephane Provost is being memorialized on the NHLOA website. Provost, 37, was an 11-year NHL veteran when he died in a late April motorcycle accident. “What Stephane leaves behind as his legacy is more than his love of the game, it is the importance to live and enjoy the present moment,” lamented referee Stéphane Auger. “What I will miss most is his unwavering and unequalled friendship.”
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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