Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citzen,
While it’s only the first year for the Big Zee in Boston, the Chara deal is just another cautionary tale for NHL general managers who get caught up in the Rotisserie-style lust for a big-name player….
Here’s a sampling (there’s plenty more) of some good money wasted this season:
Toronto: The Maple Leafs have a recent history of painting themselves into a corner with contracts (see the Owen Nolan file). GM John Ferguson Jr. got sucked into the Centre of the Universe hype over Bryan McCabe, handing him an elite defenceman’s five-year deal for $28.5 million.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Sidney Crosby recalls attending prep school in Minnesota in the spring of 2001, getting ready for his entry into major-junior hockey a couple of years later.
Ryan Whitney was a senior at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he was participating in the U.S. national developmental program.
And Mark Recchi was a respected veteran, with a Stanley Cup ring and hair that was thinning a bit on top.
OK, so not everything has changed over the past six years, but one thing finally has: The Penguins are part of the NHL playoffs again.
from the Vancouver Province,
Playoff madness is back!
Vancouver hockey fans will experience the excitement and emotion of playoff action for the first time in three years after the Canucks officially clinched a post-season berth with last night’s 3-0 NHL win over the Colorado Avalanche
“It’ll be huge,” said pub owner Bruce McGregor, who is gearing up for playoff crowds downtown at Jester’s Grill and Tap Room, Smiley O’Neal’s, and the Point Pub in Port Moody. “I couldn’t tell you what the [dollar] numbers would be, but I’m sure our business will jump 30 per cent or even more on those playoff nights.”
from John Niyo of the Detroit News,
“I never, ever asked someone to be the goalie. It was always me.”
“I don’t know exactly,” he said. “But this is what I always liked about it: Even if your team doesn’t play great, you can be the one who can win the game for the whole team. And I like for people to depend on me: ‘Dom is there, and he can do it for us.’ ”
That’s the mentality, perhaps, that drives Hasek’s almost maniacal practice habits.
“Obviously, he still has it—in practice, in games,” said Chris Chelios, one of Hasek’s first teammates in Chicago, Hasek’s first stop after leaving the Czech national team in 1990. “As far as I can see, he hasn’t changed one bit.”
“Aside from maybe flipping out a little less after losses,” he added. “He keeps it in control a little better. You can see when he gets on the bus, he’s holding it in. But it’s still fun to see how much of a sore loser he is. There’s never a good goal with Dom.”
read on... a good read on Hasek…
from the Delco Times,
With assurances that he still believes Niittymaki “is a good young goalie,” Holmgren said he plans to qualify him this summer as the backup, which would pave the way for Robert Esche’s departure. But Holmgren has also qualified that statement by saying he’s still open to Esche returning, if only because Niittymaki might opt to play in Europe.
That’s where the real question burns for Niittymaki, who went from puzzled to peeved Tuesday when that “European Option” was offered up as a topic of interest.
“I don’t know where all this Europe bull came from,” Niittymaki said sharply. “Everybody keeps telling me that I’m going to Europe. That it’s my option. But I don’t know what to say about that right now. I don’t think Homer asked me about it ..he said it’s my option….”
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Right now, it’s about turning a cow pie into an apple pie, and Davidson will do everything he can to make it happen. Davidson’s face and voice can be heard frequently on commercials, and it appears to be making an impression.
Although the Blues are still drawing light crowds to Scottrade Center, they have sold 400 new season-ticket packages since
announcing lower ticket prices for next season. And while it’s the price that drew them in, fans say it’s Davidson that has them feeling good about what they’re buying.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The NBC-NHL television deal is a revenue-sharing agreement. No rights fee is involved. But is the league making money from the NBC telecasts?
Bettman suggested revenue has increased this season. “I think it’s at least as good. And with the playoffs not having started yet, it has the potential to be even better.”
Neither side would discuss specific figures, but Bettman noted that profit from TV is distributed equally among the 30 NHL clubs.
more... plus some Versus ratings numbers…
from the Toronto Sun,
O’Neill pined for the chance to return to the lineup last night for the Leafs’ huge tilt with the Carolina Hurricanes, his former team.
The fact that he wasn’t, O’Neill said, is an indication of how much his stock may have fallen.
“Obviously I’m very disappointed,” he said. “It lets you know where you stand when you can’t crack the lineup at this point in the season.
“I think it’s a disappointing situation. I think with the (diminishing) minutes I’ve played, I’ve been a pretty solid contributor. (Sitting out) is not where I want to be.
“It’s obvious I’m not happy but (coach Paul Maurice) decided to go with other guys. Let’s just leave it at that.”
from the Arizona Republic:
Coach Wayne Gretzky said Tuesday that he hopes associate coach Barry Smith does not pursue becoming the head coach of a Russian Elite League team and stays with the Coyotes beyond this season.
Smith confirmed recent Russian reports that stated a struggling St. Petersburg-based club made initial contact with him about possibly becoming its next head coach, but Smith said he isn’t negotiating with the team.
“I’m not trying to leave here by any means whatsoever,” Smith said. “They just made contact, which is nice.”
“I’ve talked to Barry at length and explained to him his importance to me and the organization,” Gretzky said. “I think it’s something he’s going to think about at the end of the year, but right now he’s definitely leaning towards coming back.”
There’s a beauty quote of Barry discussing his acerbic style in the story…
from the City Pages,
They talk about the Boogeyman as if he were another species. At six-foot, seven-inches tall—add three inches in skates—the Wild left winger stands a head above most NHL players (one writer describes him as “yeti-like”). Weighing 250 pounds, he has a gorilla’s arms and hands the size of concrete blocks. They’re always thrown with bad intentions.
But when Derek “the Boogeyman” Boogaard arrives to meet the press, he almost looks like a model out of GQ. Wire-rim spectacles perch upon an improbably straight nose. His chiseled chin rests on battle-scarred knuckles.
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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