Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
(On Tuesday’s Young Stars game) “We know who those people [in the upper levels] are,” one league official stated emphatically on Wednesday. “We know they paid to be here. And that’s not the game we wanted to showcase. We can’t sell the game with an effort like that. The fans deserve a better effort than that. We made that clear to the players [taking part in the All-Star Game]. It has to be better.”
So the league can consider Tuesday’s black eye sufficiently covered up by Wednesday’s All-Star tilt. Here’s hoping they don’t forget the lesson learned about playing a game that at least somewhat resembled hockey.
Of course if it slips their mind, the fans who actually paid to be there will be sure to remind them.
from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News,
In the Penguins’ search for a new home, put Vegas on the shortlist. If the Pens stay in Pittsburgh, then push for moving the next team that relocates to the city of desert and lights. No offense to Kansas City or Portland or Winnipeg. But put a team in Las Vegas, Mr. Bettman. Don’t be afraid.
In an e-mail, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he didn’t think the league had a definitive position on the possibility of putting a franchise in Vegas but “certainly, there would likely need to be some changes to current practices” for Las Vegas. He said he was not in a position to say what those changes might be.
A change is necessary—in the mentality of league management.
via the Chicago Blackhawks,
General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that goaltender Patrick Lalime has rejoined the Blackhawks after his conditioning stint with the Norfolk Admirals in the American Hockey League.
Lalime appeared in four games for Norfolk posting a record of 3-1-0 with a 2.49 goals against average and a .930 save percentage.
Lalime underwent back surgery in early September to repair a herniated disc and has not yet played for the Blackhawks this season.
The Blackhawks currently have three goaltenders on their roster with Nikolai Khabibulin, Brian Boucher, and Patrick Lalime.
from John McGourty of NHL.com,
Gordie Howe has one piece of advice for aspiring young hockey players, or for anyone contemplating doing anything: Don’t do it if you don’t love it!
That was Howe’s answer when asked which of the 1950s dynastic NHL teams was better, his Detroit Red Wings that won four Stanley Cups in six years or the 1956-60 Montreal Canadiens that won five-straight Stanley Cups.
“How would I know?” Howe said. “I never saw myself or my teammates play. I’m no judge. I didn’t play the game to be called the best or be the leading scorer. I played because I loved it and I loved to win and I was lucky to play with others who felt the same way and we won a few championships.”
from the CP via Canada.com,
All-star goalie Patrick Roy says he’s staying as coach and co-owner of the Quebec Remparts junior hockey team.
And a complaint filed with police against Roy has been withdrawn.
Pierre Cardinal of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens is dropping legal proceedings against Roy.
via a Pinnacle Sports press release...
Odds To Win 2007 Stanley Cup
Buffalo Sabres 5/1, Anaheim Ducks 11/2,. San Jose Sharks 8/1, Nashville Predators 9/1, Ottawa Senators 12/1.
Detroit Red Wings 12/1, Calgary Flames 17/1, New Jersey Devils 17/1, Atlanta Thrashers 19/1, Vancouver Canucks 21/1.
Montreal Canadiens 22/1, Dallas Stars 26/1, Pittsburgh Penguins 29/1, Carolina Hurricanes 31/1, Minnesota Wild 41/1.
Tampa Bay Lightning 44/1, New York Rangers 52/1. Colorado Avalanche 55/1, Toronto Maple Leafs 75/1, Edmonton Oilers 80/1.
Any Other Team 200/1
from Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News,
The NHL trade deadline is one month from Saturday. The Sabres should be looking to get better for a Stanley Cup run. But it won’t be easy for Darcy Regier to deal with potential trade partners while Tim Connolly’s playing status remains up in the air.
The Sabres are still hoping Connolly will recover from his concussion in time for a playoff push. If Connolly doesn’t return, his salary average of $2.9 million won’t count against the cap. So until Regier knows exactly how much wiggle room he has under the cap, his ability to negotiate will be compromised.
By George James Malik
Competition Committee founder Brendan Shanahan held court before the All-Star Game’s skills competition on Tuesday, and the Human Quote Machine made an interesting comment regarding the league’s crackdown on goaltending equipment:
“The goalies are going to hate me for saying this, but I think we failed a little bit with the goaltenders and streamlining their equipment,” said Shanahan, one of a handful of players on the NHL’s competition committee.
After the lockout, the committee pushed the league to downsize goaltender equipment by about 10 percent. But Shanahan—and others—aren’t so sure the changes had the desired effect.
“So much of the focus was on the width of their pads, and it’s really about the upper body,” Shanahan said. “You want to make sure these guys are protected.
“But I just don’t understand how a cop can walk down the street in a bulletproof vest and look normal, yet our goalies have to look like lacrosse goalies, or Michelin men, to stop a puck.”
Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal, blogged at the ASG…
Mike Baker, coordinating producer at Versus, is standing in the tunnel outside the players’ locker room — buzzing. Western Conference goaltender Marty Turco, who was mic’d up for the night, was more candid than any player he’d worked with in 22 years.
“He was utterly unbelievable,” Baker said. “He talked to us the whole third period.”
After having a goal scored on him, Turco said, “Can you guys go celebrate somewhere else.”
He also talked to the truck the entire time. When action approached, Baker said, Turco would say, “Hold on. I’ve got to stop this.”
“You can’t ask for better television,” Baker said. “He’s got a spot reserved in the Versus booth the second he retires.”
check out the blog that was set-up for the ASG…
from the Houston Chronicle,
As I was saying, the NHL offers a terrific game. Its best players have as many skills as athletes in any sport, including the NBA.
Some years ago, I asked an NHL coach about Mario Lemieux, who was the league’s top star at the time.
“First of all,” he said, “look at him. He’s a tall guy with long arms. He’s deceptively fast. He’s stronger than people think. He knows the game instinctively and has great competitive fires.”
That coach could have been describing Michael Jordan or Ken Griffey Jr. In his prime, Lemieux was as good as either of them….
There’s no loafing in hockey. The rink is too compact, the action too easy to follow. Again, it’s not a sport that translates onto television. The NHL is working hard to improve the way television does hockey, but until everyone has a 54-inch plasma, it may not be a TV sport.
If you like a fast sport, a graceful sport, if you like players who perform with joy and passion, you’ll love the NHL. Here’s hoping the Penguins give us a chance.
thanks to a KK reader for the heads-up
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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