Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Star,
The Stanley Cup final is coming here, south of the Hollywood Hills, in the shadow of Disneyland, among the palm trees, sprawl and smog of Orange County.
But the folks in coffee shops are far more likely to be talking about Phil Spector’s murder trial than the remarkable success of the Anaheim Ducks, who dispatched the Detroit Red Wings in six games to claim the NHL’s Western Conference title.
Here in the outskirts of the world’s entertainment capital, hockey remains a tough sell. But not an impossible one, thanks to the plucky Ducks.
from bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
But here’s what’s even harder to imagine: ESPN failing to have hockey mentioned in the first 30 minutes if it were involved with the sport. Once the NHL left ESPN, it basically ceased to exist.
It’s not just “SportsCenter.” If the NHL were carried by ESPN, they’d be talking about it on the “Dan Patrick Show” (not a word Tuesday in the more than 90 minutes we suffered through) and the stars of the sport would be schmoozing with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on their highly popular morning show.
Such exposure generates interest and interest generates ratings and revenue.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The Anaheim Ducks would be smart to stop complaining about things that they can’t control, namely the officials.
In fairness to the Ducks everyone points out the fact that Anaheim was the league’s most penalized team during the regular season, but there is a reason for that. They fought more than anyone else. They haven’t been fighting much in the playoffs but they have been taking a lot of penalties.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
Won’t it feel great tonight to kick back and watch Game 1 between the NHL’s two most deserving teams from Anaheim and Ottawa?
What did you say Mr. Bettman? It doesn’t start tonight?
OK. Tomorrow night will be a good time to begin the clash of the Titans.
Not yet, Gary?
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
A declaration in this space two weeks ago that the Ducks would defeat the Red Wings in the Western Conference finals — and that Detroit could no longer call itself Hockeytown because games at Joe Louis Arena weren’t selling out — generated hundreds of impassioned responses.
Some were even free of obscenities….
The Ducks eliminated the Red Wings in six games and advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, but the idea here isn’t to gloat.
It’s to suggest that the unprecedented torrents of anger sent this way are better aimed at Mike Ilitch, the Red Wings’ owner, and the club executives who set playoff ticket prices too high for an area that has been gut-punched by the auto industry’s decline, the departure of Comerica Bank’s headquarters for Texas and growing unemployment.
read on (reg. req.)
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
Greg Millen will join regulars Bob Cole and Harry Neale in the broadcast booth for Hockey Night in Canada coverage of the Stanley Cup final.
This will be the first time Hockey Night has used a three-man booth in years, and the objective is clear: to bring some energy and enthusiasm to the analysis.
Millen’s work, mostly with Jim Hughson, has been solid, but Neale kept a low profile in the Ottawa Senators-Buffalo Sabres National Hockey League Eastern Conference final. Cole did most of the talking and Neale proved to be a good listener.
continued...plus other hockey broadcasting talk…
Buffalo Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn dropped by the WGR studios on Wednesday afternoon to chat with Mike Schopp and The Bulldog on a number of topics surrounding the organziation….
He expressed concern over the fact that the NHL salary cap may reach $48 million this year. Quinn feels it’s counterproductive to the original plan of the cap during the lockout.
more on the Sabres… Another management type concerned about the cap, the one the owners agreed upon!!!
Regular KK readers may recall another team doing the same about a month or so ago, but it has been a long week and I can’t recall who it was.
via Darren Dreger at TSN,
Jim Balsillie is at it again.
After a failed bid to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins, sources tell TSN the co-chief and executive officer of Research In Motion is negotiating to purchase the Nashville Predators.
added 7:29pm, from Nashville Post.com,
The Nashville Predators are being sold.
NashvillePost.com has learned that Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion (makers of the Blackberry electronic communication device) is purchasing the Predators from Wisconsin businessman Craig Leipold. Leipold has owned the club since it first took to the ice in 1998.
According to NashvillePost.com sources, a press conference has been scheduled for tomorrow to announce the sale of the team. At the time of publication of this article, officials from Predators could not be reached for comment.
added 7:50pm, from WTVF,
NewsChannel 5 learned that team owner Craig Leipold has reached an agreement with BlackBerry owner Jim Balsillie to sell the team as soon as paperwork can be completed.
Leipold met with the NHL Board of Governors at 2 p.m. Wednesday in New York, and then told his staff of the developments.
Leipold told the Predators’ front office personnel that the team will remain in Nashville for at least the next season, but made no promised for the future.
added 8:05pm, via the Tennessean,
Nashville Predators owner Craig Leopold has signed a letter of intent to sell the team to an out-of-town buyer, and an announcement in imminent, possibly by the end of the week, according to a source familiar with the deal.
The source said the deal has been in the works for weeks, but the letter of intent does not mean the deal has been finaliaized.
added 8:27pm, via Bloomberg,
Research In Motion Ltd. Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie is close to buying the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators for $220 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said.
friom the CP via Metro News,
The Ottawa Senators send the best line in the playoffs against the NHL’s best trio of defencemen when they face the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup final.
Game 1 goes Monday night in Anaheim (8 p.m. ET). Centre Jason Spezza and wingers Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley have been the best line in the playoffs, combining for 23 goals and 58 points in 15 games.
The Ducks counter with Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer and Francois Beauchemin at the blue-line, who have each averaged more than 30 minutes of ice time per game in the post-season.
added 7:22pm, from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
The 2007 Stanley Cup finals pairs a juggernaut with few discernible flaws with a could-be juggernaut with a penchant for self-destruction. In other words, the clash between the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks has all the makings of a classic. That is, unless the Ducks lose their collective minds, which they have shown the ability to do, and the Senators have their way with them.
At the start of the regular season, there were many who believed Anaheim was capable of arriving at just this point—the Stanley Cup finals. Not so many thought the Ottawa Senators would get here. But how the teams arrived here has dramatically changed the perception of both heading into the finals.
from the Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Since the modern Senators are only 15 years old, however, it’s not quite waxing nostaligic.
It’s more about looking back and marvelling at how the Sens landed their franchise in the first place.
And probably how they didn’t deserve to. I’ll never forget being there on Dec. 6, 1990 at the plush Breaker’s Hotel in West Palm Beach as then NHL president John Ziegler sat at a press conference with Bruce Firestone of Ottawa on one side and Phil Esposito of the successful Tampa bidder on the other, announcing the NHL’s two newest teams.
added 5:00pm, for a look back at the old Senators, turn to Legends of Hockey!
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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