Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
For the third time in 14 years, the final stage of the Tour de Stanley Cup brings us back to the sprawling streets of California.
What seemed a madcap notion back in 1967, when the NHL guessed two California franchises might work as part of a doubling of the old six-team league, has survived through four decades of tumultuous change for both the league and the state.
Today, there are more teams in the most populous U.S. state than in Ontario, and in comparison to the other major professional team sports, the NHL hasn’t done half-bad.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
John Ziegler is 73 now, semi-retired in Stuart, Fla., and nearly 17 years removed from that December day in 1990 when it was his task, as president of the National Hockey League, to announce that expansion franchises had been awarded to Tampa Bay and Ottawa.
To many, the two were the shakiest of 30 cities that had expressed interest. To the NHL, however, they were the only two willing to put down the $50-million (U.S.) expansion fee without seeking special terms, no questions asked.
Nor, it turned out, did the NHL ask many questions.
from the New York Times,
He cares little that the earnest world of hockey has trouble looking past his various tattoos and colorful wardrobe, or the fact that he missed a flight to a playoff game after crashing his Hummer, or the fact that he drives a Hummer at all in this most Chevrolet of sports.
All of that has overshadowed the not-so-small detail that Emery, 24, has led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup finals in his first season as a full-time starter. The best-of-seven Cup series between Ottawa and the Ducks opens Monday in Anaheim, Calif.
“I really could care less what people say or think,” Emery said. “I like winning and I like playing the game. It’s exciting for me and the team and all my family and friends who are watching. That’s all I care about.”
To all who have and are serving this great country, you are remembered today and everyday. Thank You!
from the Pioneer Press,
Count Lemaire among those who will be glued to the television during the Finals. Currently relaxing at his place in Florida, Lemaire has been enthralled by the entire playoffs. He says he has noticed a pattern that likely will alter the NHL landscape a bit next season.
“Looking at where the league is going, it’s going to be a little more aggressive,” he said. “We went the other way for a while. The hitting was there. Now, it’s a little more than that. You see the scrums after the play. They’re pushing, fighting more.
“Every team will try that. Especially now that they see Anaheim doing so well. Everyone is talking about them. Everyone will take that road.”
Successful strategies always have been copied. Lemaire should know. There isn’t a team in the league that doesn’t use a trap. If something works, everybody wants in.
from Steve Silverman at MSNBC,
In an era when other sports have never received more exposure, talk-show hosts around the country all but ban themselves from mentioning hockey, fearing that it will be an invitation for listeners to pop in a CD or change stations. Even hosts who like the game have to pretend they are too cool for the room and ridicule the sport.
I’m sick of listening to it. I don’t care if hockey’s not popular. I will watch the Stanley Cup finals and I believe the unknown cable network — Versus — has done an outstanding job of giving hockey fans what they want.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
How did Anaheim become the under-ducks in this series?
“A lot of the Canadian media are going to pick the Canadian team and that’s fine,” answered Ducks general manager Brian Burke, who knows something about how the Canadian media operates, from his days running the Vancouver Canucks. “We have more Canadians on our team than Ottawa does. That’s fine. We’re content to be the underdog in this and it’s clear to us that we are. We like our team and we’re happy with our group.
“We’re happy to be here.”
from the CP via Yahoo,
The team is representing the nation’s capital in the Stanley Cup final, but there will be fans all across the country cheering against them during Monday night’s series opener.
Just ask Michael Fox, a self-described “big-time” Toronto Maple Leafs fan who said he’ll be rooting for the Ducks all the way.
“If it were the Leafs in the final, they’d be cheering against us right to the bitter end,” he said of Senators fans while lunching at Wayne Gretzky’s bar in Toronto. “They’d probably show up at the game and cheer against us just out of spite, so I have my reasons to cheer for the Ducks.”
Fox said he doesn’t buy into the notion of the Sens as “Canada’s team.”
from Ross McKeon of the San Francisco Chronicle,
When Scott Niedermayer hoists the Stanley Cup following Game 5 a week from Wednesday night, it will culminate what was almost predestined with the events of last July 3.
Anaheim will be the first team in the Pacific time zone to win the Cup since it was awarded to the Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League for their 1925 conquest of the Montreal Canadiens.
California will boast an NHL champion for the first time….
And it will be thanks to the bold yet confident move made by Ducks general manager Brian Burke, who wasn’t afraid to part with a bushel of riches to acquire defenseman Chris Pronger from Edmonton.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Question: What would be the best California song to set the stage for an Anaheim Ducks-Ottawa Senators’ showdown? Every year, before the Stanley Cup final opens, I burn a disc of songs to play in the rent-a-car stereo on the drive to and from the airports and the arenas – and here, where it takes 45 minutes on a good day with no traffic to get from LAX and Orange County and even longer to get to the beaches (must find Ducks fever somewhere!), it’s even more important to have a good, scene-setting musical compilation.
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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