Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Evan Weiner at NHL.com,
Happy Birthday Gordie Howe!
You are 79 (on Saturday, March 31) and have a legacy that may never be topped in hockey – or all sports for that matter.
There are so many stories about the guy who was simply called “Mr. Hockey” that it’s almost impossible to figure out which is true and which is legend. Even Gordie himself isn’t certain what stories really did occur, joking that he isn’t sure if he is Gordie Howe or Paul Bunyan.
from the Tennessean,
Jordin Tootoo will return from a five-game suspension tonight to the cheers of thousands at Nashville Arena, where he is loved by fans, appreciated by teammates and supported by coaches.
They recognize him for the hard-hitting, energy-supplying thunderbolt that he is.
Or is he?
Around the NHL, opposing players and fans have a decidedly different view of Tootoo. Some say he pushes the envelope too far; some call him reckless; and some say he’s just plain dirty.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
In exchange for a Cinderella playoff run and a shot at their first Stanley Cup in 16 years, the Edmonton Oilers would surrender their fate to the Prince of Darkness for all eternity.
Only somebody messed up the wording on the contract and they ended up with an eternity’s worth of hardship in one season.
“It’s been weird, frustrating, tough, every bad word you can think of applies to our team this year,” sighed winger Fernando Pisani, shaking his head at the Oilers’ stunning nosedive. “A season to forget, that’s for sure.”
from the Patriot Ledger,
Comments from Jacobs such as ‘‘(Chiarelli) can fire (Lewis) or keep him, that’s up to him. He is not going to be second-guessed, in any case’’ do not suggest he is impressed by Lewis’s performance in the first season of a four-year contract. Jacobs’ admission that ‘‘More than once, I’ve told (Chiarelli), ‘If you feel the best thing to do is make a change, then you have to make it’’’ suggest the owner is willing to swallow hard and eat what’s left of Lewis’s deal.
But as difficult as it has been to watch the Bruins spiral out of the playoff race, the better move is for Chiarelli to leave the Lewis issue right in his lap, where Jacobs threw it, and not bring it to the table.
There’s a lot we forget, or ignore, about Lewis.
from On Frozen Pond,
The first 5,000 kids who attended Friday’s game against the Capitals received a nice Stanley C. Panther bobblehead.
Too bad no one knew about it.
Members of their PR staff say they didn’t hear about the promotion until Friday morning, way too late to get word out on the street….
Instead of having thousands of kids (and, yes, their eBay-lovin’ parents) storming the gates trying to get their paws (ha!) on one of these bobbles, the most famous arena in west Plantation was pretty empty once again.
from the Chicago Tribune,
Here’s how far big-league hockey has fallen in Chicago: The Blackhawks can’t give away their tickets.
One of the National Hockey League’s charter franchises, the Blackhawks have been so desperate to attract fans to a half-empty United Center that the organization has been offering free seats through numerous promotions, including an e-mail campaign that put top-notch freebies the length of a hockey stick from the ice.
For Friday night’s game at the United Center, “I bought 40 tickets for $3.06 each,” said 25-year-old Jason, a part-time ticket broker and full-time culinary student. That small sum accounted for the fees Ticketmaster charged to process the seats.
These weren’t in the nosebleeds, either.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
When the Stars moved to Dallas 13 years ago, knowing how tough it would be to make inroads in a non-traditional market, they wanted to do more than attract fans.
They wanted to grow them. So they began building and operating rinks in the area, projects that don’t make any money, but pay off with a steady stream of new players/fans.
“We run 15 rinks now,” said team president Jim Lites. “It’s hard and it takes a lot of work. I can’t tell you how many city council meetings in Texas I’ve attended, trying to get deals done with communities to build hockey rinks for amateur hockey programs. But that’s why this market can be sustained, because of the infrastructure in place. We’re a hockey town.”
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
But what if the league decided to try another points system? Would there be a different look to the standings?
For the most part, the answer is there would be slight adjustments, but nothing really jumps out, other than the Ottawa Senators would be a lot closer to divisional rival the Buffalo Sabres and the San Jose Sharks would be ahead of the Anaheim Ducks in their division.
Still, it’s interesting to see where the teams would stand if there was no point awarded for a loss in overtime or shootout (no OTL point), or if the shootout was not implemented and each team would get a point for a tie after completing a scoreless overtime (no shootout). Or if three points were granted for a regular-time win, two points for an overtime or shootout win and one point for an overtime or shootout loss (a 3-2-1 system).
read on for some charts…
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star, buried in a junior hockey round-up:
Tampa Bay Lightning owner Bill Davidson, who also owns the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, has pulled the NHL team off the market after failing to receive sufficient interest in the team, a veteran sports banker told the Star. Davidson had been seeking roughly $200 million (U.S.) for the Lightning.
from ESPN’s Scott Burnside:
You really want to help eradicate the kind of senseless, potentially devastating hits to the head we’ve seen lately? Why not add a couple of tools to the referees’ tool box?
Referees are expected to call an interference or obstruction penalty if a player without the puck finds his progress impeded. Similarly, an interference call should be made when a player who has just had the puck is hit long after he’s given it up, because he’s being interfered with, right?
Moreover, if a referee had the ability to levy a major penalty for interference, if such a late hit warranted it, wouldn’t that be a good thing? Take the Cam Janssen hit on Tomas Kaberle—a hit that cost the Leafs their best defenseman for three weeks of the playoff drive. No penalty was called on the play, but if the referees had a major penalty for interference in their bag of tricks, it might have been employed then. More important, the implied threat of such a penalty might have given Janssen pause before he headhunted the unsuspecting Kaberle.
Even if Joel Lundqvist didn’t perform what Ren and Stimpy once called the “flying butt pliers” on Nik Kronwall’s hip, I’d say the same thing—these “run-‘em-‘cause-you-can” hits are senseless and silly.
Since when did “the code” say that “finishing your check” means “impale your opponent if at all possible?” Some sort of penalty for stupid “finishes” needs to reel in the Tootoos, Lundqvists, Janssens, and all the morons that believe that taking a run at a player is part of normal forechecking.
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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