Kukla's Korner Hockey
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
from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal,
The unbalanced schedule is whacked, the new Reebok uniforms are nothing more than a greedy cash grab, the computerized fan-driven All-Star voting nearly sent journeyman Rory Fitzpatrick down there to Dallas, a sham of a travesty of a mockery of a sham, if ever there was one.
Come to think of it, nobody’s watching the NHL in the U.S. on Vonage or Viacom, or whatever that new network is called. Oh, yes, Versus, that’s it.
Mind you, a lot of those talking are grim, humourless types whose only spasms of happiness seem to come when they’re bashing away at the New York-based NHL front office. Now, commissioner Gary Bettman and his Ave. of the Americas posse need no help from me to defend themselves.
Rather, let this serve as a gentle suggestion to those getting all wound up about the various alleged NHL outrages to sink into the sofa, toss back a little mulled wine and mellow out just a bit.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The most boring story of the hockey season got a little more boring on Tuesday when, after much anticipation that spectacular, earth-shaking changes were at hand, the NHL once again voted to maintain the status quo.
“It’s been a long walk down a very short trail,” one general manager quipped.
The only new matter of interest was the thick layer of hypocrisy that enveloped the GSD in Dallas, emanating chiefly from western Canada and thinly disguised as protecting the best interests of the game.
What a bunch of prairie baloney.
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
This week’s all-star celebration in Dallas is a perfect example of how far hockey has to go in America. Strolling around the city, it was hard to believe there was any all-star “celebration” taking place.
When the NHL hired Bettman, it wanted a commissioner who would help grow the game in the States. He wasn’t hired for his hockey expertise because, at the time, he didn’t have any.
That’s why when the board of governors fails—twice—on a resolution to produce a schedule that fans can embrace, you have to question Bettman’s leadership.
from William K. Wolfrum of WorldGolf.com,
So it was nice to see that the NHL All-Star Game was outshined by a golf news story about Tiger Woods possibly missing the British Open due to the birth of his first child. Think the British Open would be outshined if Lubomir Visnovsky was debating missing a big game?
It’s a small victory, but when the NHL’s best combine for 21 goals and get shown up by Tiger possibly missing a golf tournament several months from now, I get a warm feeling. I know it’s yet another sign that hockey will be eradicated in my lifetime, taking that nasty-ass equipment with it.
more... Hmmm, this is the first I heard about Tiger missing the Open. So Mr, Wolfrum, to me, it looks like golf is losing the luster…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
For one would think that a franchise that reflexively defers to Sandis Ozolinsh (or maybe the deference in this case is paid to agent Paul Theofanous, who curiously has helped himself to a seat beside GM Glen Sather in the Meadowlands press box during each of the Blueshirts’ last two visits to New Jersey) would at least have had the common courtesy to inform Kasparaitis of the decision either directly or through his representative.
But that was not the case. Indeed, Mark Gandler, who represents the 14-year NHL veteran, first learned of the move when contacted by phone by The Post shortly after 1 p.m. yesterday,...
from the Windsor Star,
The Wings’ senior vice-president attended Tuesday’s Board of Governors meeting in Dallas and expressed disappointment over the decision to retain the current schedule for another season.
“There’s no question we’re the victim of our popularity,” Devellano said. “That’s been the case for a number of years now.
“The reason is because we’ve produced excellent clubs year in and year out. We’re the team in the United States in my opinion.
“We’re needed by NBC and Versus and we’re needed to draw in other rinks in the Western Conference. It’s just a fact.”
thanks to a KK reader for the link…
from the CP via the Windsor Star,
I didn’t feel restricted, I didn’t feel there was a big change in the way they felt,” said Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams. “I would call it an improvement.”
Players wore the new uniforms during Tuesday’s skills competition, a day after they were officially unveiled by the league.
“When everybody goes to them, I don’t think you’re going to get many complaints,” said Montreal Canadiens defenceman Sheldon Souray. “They don’t absorb water, I mean you can feel it - it’s pretty unbelievable.
“The socks were really comfortable and the pants were good. Everything was really positive.”
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
A little love and understanding, please, for the commissioner. This time, it’s not really his fault.
Blame is falling on Gary Bettman from all over for the failure of the National Hockey League’s governors to ditch a scheduling system that clearly works against the larger interests of the game….
And Bettman couldn’t change their minds. As he acknowledged this week, he is not a caster of lightning bolts from on high. He works at the pleasure of his employers, the club owners, and when push comes to shove, they call the shots.
But there’s more to it than that.
KK member Mac takes the cake with his pick of Phaneuf. Mac, are you really going to accept this prize with that 200 foot dump out?
By the way, Mac was first to respond, maybe he knew something!
Mac, I will be in touch with you tomorrow.
Thanks everyone for playing this game and more to come in the near future.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org