Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Buffalo News,
Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff has opted to go with a monthly captain rotation, and the players voted winger Jochen Hecht to wear it first.
“Jochen does everything,” Ruff said this afternoon in HSBC Arena. “He plays in every situation. He’s got a strong voice in the room, and he’s been through all the battles with us. He’s been there. I think he’ll be good with the younger players. I think it’s well-deserved.”
Since everyone reading these words is either reading them on this blog or via some rss feedreader, the audience here might be a bit biased in believing hockey fans are very tech-knowledgeable. But in this instance, your bias is absolutely correct—NHL hockey fans are indeed very well-wired.
From the Sports Business Journal on Monday, October 1 (sorry, no link. subscription only):
The NHL has long asserted that its fans are the most tech-savvy in sports. Exclusive data provided to Sports Business Journal by Scarborough Sports Marketing seems to support that belief. Twenty-four percent of NHL loyal fans live in households that own an HDTV and more than seventy percent have a broadband connection (cable or dsl) at home.
See the graph below.
The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced it has renewed deals with U.S. cable and satellite distributors DirecTV, DISH Network®, and iN DEMAND Networks to distribute NHL Center Ice, the League’s out-of-market subscription package. iN DEMAND Networks, which is owned by Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner, makes NHL Center Ice available to its cable affiliates throughout the United States.
Throughout the regular season, NHL Center Ice provides fans the opportunity to watch up to 1,000 NHL live games, many of which will be offered in High-Definition. Select games from the Stanley Cup Playoffs (all games subject to local blackout) also will be available.
from Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated,
Thornton watched two games of the 2007 Ducks-Senators final on tape while in India and, between winces, noticed the physical dominance of Anaheim, the Western Conference team. So, why shouldn’t it be San Jose’s turn in 2008? “We have a little more experience from the Edmonton and Detroit series,” he said of second-round meltdowns in the past two seasons. “We realize we had some of those games in hand, but couldn’t find a way to finish them. There are a lot of pieces here, a lot of guys going through their prime years. Realistically, we’ve got a shot at the Cup.”
The Sharks, in fact, have an excellent shot. With Thornton taking the mantle of leadership that has been assigned to him since his teenage years with the Bruins, San Jose is SI’s choice to win it all.
via William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
According to hockey insiders, Glen Sather turned down a five-year contract extension with the New York Rangers during the summer, leading to speculation this will be last season as president and general manager of the club.
NHL watchers would view his departure as the end of era, and also beginning of a new era in which recently retired players such as Mark Messier and Scott Mellanby would begin moving into top management positions.
via the Edmonton Oilers,
The Edmonton Oilers have named Ethan Moreau as their new captain, making him the 12th player to wear the “C” since the team joined the NHL in 1979.
Oilers coach Craig MacTavish says the decision to name Moreau the Oilers new captain was made after careful consideration. MacTavish says, “Ethan’s leadership at this stage of his career is highly developed. The intensity and physical play that he exhibits every shift is a great example for everyone. It’s his voice in our dressing room that has the most impact and at the end of the day, Ethan was an obvious choice.”
Moreau said, “I’m extremely honoured and consider it a priviledge to be named captain of the Edmonton Oilers. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization and will continue to strive towards bringing the Stanley Cup back to Edmonton.”
from Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,
“I need Thomas to play like he’s a $900,000 player because it seemed to do pretty good last year,” Ruff said with a laugh after this morning’s practice in HSBC Arena. “That’s my analogy. Just because you’re making more money doesn’t mean you have to change as a player. My expectations of him don’t change.”...
“If he can be consistent with last year, that would be a darn good year for Thomas,” Ruff said. “Is it realistic to think he can go from 25 [goals] to 44 to 70-something? I don’t think so. But if we can keep him in that consistent area and have him be that 40- to 50-goal scorer, that would be pretty good.”
Sources tell TSN Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mark Bell is expected to be reinstated today, ending his indefinite suspension after being placed into stage two of the NHL’s substance abuse program last month.
Bell will now begin serving the additional 15 game suspension handed down by the National Hockey League and won’t make his Maple Leafs debut until November 6th in Ottawa.
from the Ottawa Citizen,
Scenarios change so quickly, the starting job sometimes falls from the sky.
“You never know what the situation is,” Gerber says. “All I can do is put everything out there, try to work hard and everything else takes care of itself usually. You have to stay healthy. A lot of things play into it.”
The 34-year-old from Burgdorf, Switzerland, is more comfortable in his Canadian environment now, and more comfortable in the same old net. Known as a goaltending technician, Gerber has been working on the athletic side of his game - in particular, quickness and mobility.
Some predictions from me at my NHL.com blog today.
Feel free to come up with your own topics too!
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