Kukla's Korner Hockey
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The NHL is close to reaching a contract extension with NBC that will keep hockey broadcasts on the network through the 2008-09 season, sources say.
“We are in conversations with the league about an extension,” NBC spokesman Brian Walker confirmed yesterday. “I can’t comment further than that.”
The likelihood of NBC picking up the NHL option has been the subject of speculation, because of spotty ratings and starting times of the Stanley Cup final.
via Slap Shot at the NY Times,
Scotty Bowman answers your questions on the regular season just ending and the playoffs about to begin. From right this instant until Monday morning, send in your question and the man who coached nine Stanley Cup-winners will answer the ones he finds most intriguing.
from Tracey Myers at Five for Fighting,
Sergei Zubov had a “procedure” done overseas to fix “lingering problems from a sports hernia,” according to coach Dave Tippett on Thursday morning. Zubov will fly back to Dallas tomorrow, and the Stars will re-evaluate after that. This procedure apparently, according to Tippett, “allows him to come back quicker.”
Now what constitutes “quicker”? Tippett said he’s unsure when Zubov will actually be back skating, practicing, playing, etc. So we’ll see what shakes out of that.
read on for more on the Stars…
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
One of the great aspects of covering hockey for so long is I’ve gotten to make so many trips to Canada. At first, I felt almost as awestruck as James Cook, John Cabot or Samuel de Champlain must have been in their explorations. By now, it’s old hat, yet still invigorating.
When it comes to hockey, for many reasons, the more Canadian teams involved in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the better. A Montreal-Calgary final would be a blast.
It’s energizing and contagious when the playoff chase involves Canadians, who have favorite-team emotional stakes in the proceedings, rather than more dispassionate fans of the sport and individual players, but not the teams themselves.
from Scott Morrison of Viewpoint at CBC,
The Pittsburgh Penguins are for real. Very much for real, actually.
And in a conference in which any of the eight teams that ultimately make the playoffs have a reasonably good chance of going all the way to the final - where they will lose to the Western Conference winner, of course - there are signs that perhaps the Penguins are just a little better than the rest.
Now, that isn’t entirely born out statistically, given they are tied with the Montreal Canadiens for first overall and have been playing at roughly the same clip for the past dozen or so games.
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
With all due respect to Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, the true real MVPs in the NHL these days are guys like Tim Burke in San Jose, or Jim Nill in Detroit or David Conte in New Jersey and others who shepherd scouting staffs on premium teams.
When the salary cap was introduced, the league was supposed to be about younger free agents moving from team to team.
Instead, it’s probably more about scouting and drafting than it has ever been.
from Adrian Dater of the Denver Post,
Because of the NCAA Frozen Four at the Pepsi Center, the Avs will start a first-round series on the road, even if they win the division and gain home-ice advantage - still a possibility. For that to happen, the Avs will need to beat Minnesota in regulation Sunday in their season finale, and have Calgary win in regulation tonight against the Wild but then lose to Vancouver in the Flames” final game.
Giguere said a schedule hasn’t been finalized with the NHL should the above happen, but most likely the Avs would have a 2-3-1-1 format, with a seventh game at the Pepsi Center.
from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
I’ve gone on record a few times on Hockeycentral saying I don’t think the Canadiens have enough experience to go deep into the playoffs. And yet, I’ve got this unshakable feeling about this team ... like something special is going on here.
First of all, the Eastern Conference is wide open. There is no San Jose or Anaheim or Detroit in the East. Just a bunch of good teams. There isn’t a team in the East where if Montreal beat them in the playoffs you would call it an actual upset.
Then you’ve got this rookie goaltender Carey Price, who seems to fight off a yawn at the most critical moment of a game. He’s that calm.
NBC and TSN analyst Pierre McGuire will be the guest on today’s edition of NHL Hour hosted by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman on XM Satellite Radio.
The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from Moscow News,
Loko clinched its first final in five years thanks in part to the performance of acquisition Alexei Yashin, who signed a one-year deal last season, and whose arrival was greeted with great excitement by the Russian hockey world.
Here was one of Russia’s top players, a star originally from Yekaterin-burg who went to the NHL, and whose career was by no means washed up, agreeing to come back to his homeland. This even though he left behind probably more money, and disadvantaged his parents, who now live in Canada, and his girlfriend, former supermodel Carol Alt, in New York.
It signaled that the league, just as it was preparing to revamp itself into a serious challenger for hockey global supremacy, was legit. And it seems that Yashin enjoyed a bit of a lift in Russia in his slumping career
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.
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