Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Terry Frei at ESPN,
Usually, it involves a franchise with deep roots, but not always, because fan affinity simply can come from picking out a team without geography or tradition as major issues. Maybe someone is the great nephew of the Igloo’s original Zamboni driver and despite never having been to Pittsburgh, always has rooted for the Penguins.
Hockey fans often are good-natured, tolerant and accepting of it.
But at what point do the fans of the “other” teams have it coming? At what point do they deserve to get grief?
Yeah, sometimes—sometimes, not always—the relocated fans of the “other” team might deserve it.
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from the CP via TSN,
For a team that has been motivated by its absence from last year’s playoffs, Brind’Amour’s injury gives Carolina - which earlier in the week dealt away two key components of its 2006 Cup run and is missing nine other key players with concussions, illnesses and other ailments - another obstacle to overcome.
“There’s no question (that) in the locker room and on the ice, he’s going to be missed,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “From leadership, to the example in the weight room, on the ice, as a person, as a player, he’ll be missed.”
The injury to the two-time defending Selke Trophy winner and notorious workout warrior - he’s perhaps best known for his lengthy post-game sessions with the weights - creates a hole in the middle of the Hurricanes’ most productive line of late.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
All of which suggests a lot of sleepless nights for the 15-20 general managers whose teams sit in that great mud puddle in the middle of the NHL standings. These GMs must examine and weigh their short-term needs (making the playoffs and moving up in the standings to secure a more favorable matchup) against the long view (getting assets for players who may walk away as free agents and trading players they have no intention of re-signing for draft picks and/or prospects).
To put a new riff on an old saying, an NHL GM can’t win a Stanley Cup in February, but he can sure put his job in jeopardy depending on what he does, or doesn’t do.
Here’s a look at six GMs who could well determine their future and the future of their teams, at next week’s meetings in Naples, Fla….
From Risto Pakarinen at Hockey.com,
I’m sure you’ve heard about all the great plans for a super league that would challenge the NHL in Europe. Well, let me just say that the NHL already as several great challengers in Europe. There’s the Swedish league, the Finnish league, the Russian league, the Swiss league, the German league ... you get the point.
It all depends on how you define the challenge, I suppose.
However, while thousands of Finns, Swedes, and Czechs begin their days by checking the NHL scores from the night before, the local leagues are also doing better than ever.
But the dream of “NHL Europe” lives on.
From Jim Gintonio of The Arizona Republic,
Two things fans know about Shane Doan: The Coyotes’ captain had a slow start, and then he cranked up his offense to the point where he was the third-leading scorer in the NHL during January.
What was not known: He did it with a broken hand.
Doan just smiled when asked about the injury, which is healed.
“He plays the same way all the time,” coach Wayne Gretzky said. “He played hard at the beginning of the year; he just wasn’t scoring any goals.”
from Scott Cullen at TSN,
Slumping Jaromir Jagr could be available, the Devils are ready to make moves and the Leafs’ Tomas Kaberle is generating interest.
Rumors, you want them, you got them, go get them...
From Tom Hoffarth at the LA Daily News,
On last season’s version of “The Apprentice: Los Angeles” reality show, Heidi Androl - aka “The Hottie” - made it all the way to the final six contestants before the inevitable: Donald Trump fired her.
A few months later, Luc Robitaille hired her. And the Kings, immersed in their own reality show disguised as the 2007-08 NHL season, may have trumped every local TV station in the process.
More than just an apprentice reporter for the team’s “Kings Vision” element to their official Web site, Androl has become part of a forward-thinking element to TV sportscasting, something that has forced other professional teams to reconsider how they get their message across directly to their fans. In turn, it will alter the big-picture thinking of local news organizations.
more… about both the success of Androl as well as the Kings publicity efforts this season.
Video below shows some of Androl’s work on a recent trip to Vancouver:
from Lightning Strikes,
Here is coach John Tortorella after the game:
“As I’ve always said, everybody always talks about the three guys,’’ he said of Vinny Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Dan Boyle. “But there is no one more important to our team than Danny Boyle. He is our transition key.’‘
Perhaps Boyle, who wants to make the Tampa Bay area, perhaps even St. Petersburg, his long-term home, takes a little less to stay, though he already did that in his current contract of three-years, $10-million. Much could depend on what the Lightning wants to be. Does it want to compete next season under would-be owner Oren Koules, or does it want to take some steps back now to take more forward later. The answer to that riddle may be the key to getting a new contract done.
From this week’s “Friday Faceoff” with Damien Cox and Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Scott: Hello, Damian. Everywhere I look, I’m reading discussions and debates about the Vancouver Olympics, which are just under two years away. I see you wrote on it earlier this week. I did as well. What’s the deal? Why are people so pumped about an event that’s some 730 days away?
Damien: Well, I can’t speak for the United States of America and how much interest there is there as of yet. But here in Canada, this will be, of course, the first Olympics held in our country since the Calgary Games in 1988.
more, and worth the read. At one point Cox even remarks to Burnside, “I think you’re just not very bright.”
I think these two are gradually morphing into a bitter, married couple.
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 email@example.com