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The Gearhead: TPS Hockey And The Art Of Stick-Making

By George James Malik

Charlie had the Chocolate Factory, and Ralphie had his Red Ryder bb gun.  Me, I’m a hockey gearhead.  I’ve handled hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sticks, gloves, skates, pads, and goalie gear over the last fifteen years, and I was recently given my Gearhead Experience of a Lifetime as TPS Hockey opened the doors of its Wallaceburg, ON factory to me.  TPS graciously opened its doors and gave me an all-access pass to their stick-making facility, and there’s only one word to describe it—AWESOME!

When I parked my Pacifica in a suburban business park in Oakland County and shook hands with Mr. Graham Watson, TPS’s tremendous TPS Sales Representative for the Detroit area, I was almost immediately given a piece of advice that I must emphasize from the get go: “These days, everybody makes good gear.”

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A Big-Picture Assessment

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet:

Through the years the National Hockey League (particularly the NHL commissioners) has always had a catch phrase, the hockey equivalent to a politician’s stump speech.

Gary Bettman, who appears destined to outlast them all, is fond of buying time with the tried and true: “Don’t take a snapshot, look at the big picture,” a device that has bought more time than the legend of Santa Claus.
We here at Sportsnet.ca have our own favorite phrase, it’s “bullspit”, or a word to that effect. We find it remarkably effective at cutting through the various spin cycles so common to hockey as a business. With that particular word in mind, we take a hard and clear look at the NHL at the halfway point of the season and even beyond.
To do so we break things down into three parts: the league as a business; the teams themselves; and a handful of key individuals. The goal is to give you a state of the NHL on and off the ice and despite what you hear, see and are told by a variety of spin masters. In many cases it’s simply somewhere in between.

much more


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Conspiracy Theory- All Star Edition

from James Mirtle,

In case you’ve missed the news, there’s just a wee bit of controversy over the final ballot totals in the case of the Rory Fitzpatrick business. As in, some appear to be missing.


The comment from snafu in the Mirtle post is perfect…

Who fudged the numbers here? If there are a few fans smart enough to figure out how to set up bots to cast repeated votes, and to tie up the interface so others can’t get in, who’s fudging here?

added 10:22am, The Ice Block- How To Prevent This From Happening Again…

added 3:41pm, from the Globe and Mail,

National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said via email this afternoon that measures were taken in the beginning to ensure against tampering with the all-star balloting system:
“There were no changes made to the vote counting process at any point in time from the start of the voting to the end,” Daly said. “But there were procedures and safeguards in place from the start to prevent automated or other fraudulent voting methods.”

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Sabres Have Holes

fromm Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The Sabres have played the game on and off the ice almost perfectly. But in an environment in which it appears difficult to make deals, Regier has to make something happen this year before the deadline.
Maybe it means finally moving Biron, last night’s losing netminder who wears an unpainted mask as though he’s awaiting new team colours elsewhere.
But standing still, Connolly or no Connolly, just doesn’t seem a viable option for a team that seems so very, very close. Again.


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Here’s A First

Brett Hull appearing on “Today” this morning, promoting the game…
Hull in goal, ha!!!


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Trade Talk

Make sure to check out Spector today- Forsberg talk and Rangers looking for offense…

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Classless Flyer Fans

via the Montreal Gazette,

Eric Desjardins, who retired at the end of last season, was honoured in a brief ceremony before last night’s game.
Desjardins, who was part of the Canadiens’ last Stanley Cup-winning team in 1993, included the Canadiens in the celebration. He thanked former general manager Serge Savard for having faith in him and drafting him in 1988, and also thanked former head coaches Jacques Demers and Pat Burns, along with longtime defence coach Jacques Laperriere. When it came time to talk about his former teammates, he described Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau and Patrick Roy as “great leaders.”...
The only discordant note was supplied by the Philadelphia fans, whose bad manners are legendary. The folks who once booed Santa Claus, showered Desjardins with catcalls when he mentioned the Canadiens and again when he acknowledged his years in Montreal with a short message in French.


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Where Are The Nashville Fans

from the Tennessean,

...And Leipold would have to exercise an option that would activate the 14,000 Or Bust provision for next season before there would be any real chance of moving the team.
“That’s not anywhere on our radar right now,” Leipold said.
Let’s be clear here: Far be it from me to tell the Average Joe how to spend his disposable income. If hockey factors in, fine. If not, hey, it’s your money.
Likewise, I’ll keep my nose out of the budgets of area businesspeople. The boss knows whether purchasing tickets is good for the bottom line.
But we no longer can ignore the fact that empty seats equal an empty feeling about the future of the NHL in Nashville.


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Bantam Coach Suspended For Three Years

from the CP via the Edmonton Sun,

MONTREAL—A local hockey association has slapped a three-year suspension on a former semi-professional hockey goon who, as coach of his son’s team, allegedly hurled water bottles, plywood and abuse at a referee last week.
Clint Butler was coaching the St. Michel Cardinaux - a bantam A team of boys aged 13 and 14 - when he became outraged after a referee ejected his son for punching a player on the other team.
After Butler’s outburst, the game was called off. Butler was escorted from the arena.


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Yotes See Red

from the Arizona Republic,

A popular eye-drop product has long vowed to “get the red out.” But nothing seemingly works when the vaunted Detroit Red Wings skate into town, not even a new pricing system put into place this season in Glendale that doubles the individual-game ticket cost for Coyotes’ home games against Detroit.
As usual, hundreds upon hundreds of Red Wings fans showed up for Thursday’s game sporting Detroit gear and, as Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said, “the other red.”
“It’s going to take a long time,” Gretzky said of shedding the Red Wings’ perceived home-ice advantage in places such as the Valley and other non-traditional NHL venues, where the Wings routinely draw huge crowds. “There’s only a few teams that have that sort of following in North America - the Red Wings and maybe the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers…


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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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