Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Anaheim Ducks,
The U.S. Postal Service and Anaheim Ducks announced today that the world’s largest mail carrier is honoring the 2007 Stanley Cup champions by issuing a Stanley Cup postmark and two pictorial envelopes. The commemorative items will be available at all Anaheim Post Offices beginning Monday, June 18.
from the Columbus Blue Jackets,
The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that Scott Howson has agreed to a multi-year contract to serve as the general manager of the National Hockey League club. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
“I am very pleased to have Scott Howson join the Blue Jackets organization as general manager,” said Majority Owner and Chairman John H. McConnell. “In Scott, we know we found the right person to lead our hockey operations department. He is an extremely bright, hard-working individual who is widely respected and we couldn’t be more proud to have him in Columbus.”
from the BTM at NBC Sports,
Consider this: the voters had Luongo second in MVP voting behind Crosby, so it would stand to reason that they thought Luongo was the best goaltender, since he finished ahead of Martin Brodeur in the voting for the Hart trophy.
But wait a minute. Brodeur finished ahead of Luongo in the voting for the first all-star team, which means that some of the same voters who put Luongo ahead of Brodeur on their MVP ballots reversed the order when they voted for the first all-star team.
That makes perfect sense—if you’re the kind of person who washes their lunch down with a gallon of Jim Beam.
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
At the moment Sidney Crosby’s name was being announced as the Lester B. Pearson award winner as the most valuable player as voted by members of the National Hockey League Players Association the CBC cameras zoomed in on the faces of Vincent Lecavalier of Tampa and Roberto Luongo of Vancouver.
Luongo had the look of a man disappointed but still with the hope of winning the Vezina as the league’s top goaltender. Lecavalier, meanwhile, had the look of a man who had just seen his first and last chance of winning the big one go by the boards.
Such is the impact of Sid the Kid on the NHL today.
more Awards talk…
from the Nashville Post,
NashvillePost.com has learned that a group of local businessmen, including some from the healthcare sector, is putting together an ownership proposal for the Nashville Predators. The bid would be offered only if current owner Craig Leipold’s deal with Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie falls apart.
Those familiar with the deal acknowledge that they have not presented a proposal to Leipold and are prohibited from doing so while Balsillie’s offer is on the table.
Lubos Brabec of eNHL.cz did an email inteview with Dominik Hasek in the last few days.
With the help of Roman Jedlicka, also of eNHL.cz, following is the translation of the interview.
from Ryan Dixon of the Hockey News,
When asked if the Pearson Award meant more to him because it was voted on by the players as opposed to the Hart - voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association - Crosby, facing a room full of hockey writers, made sure he didn’t slight his audience.
“I’m not going to say the writers’ opinion doesn’t matter,” chuckled Crosby, whose comment elicited laughs around the media room. “I’m in the wrong place for that.
“(The Pearson Award) is recognition from guys you’re playing against every night. Just to be recognized by them is something I can sit back and be proud of.”
more on all the awards…
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
“Mike Keenan’s greatest ability as a coach—I’ve seen it—is to get the maximum out of top players and our team has five or six of the top 30 or 40 players in the game,” said Sutter of his longtime associate.
“I think our top players all want it and need it. Our team has evolved from a lesser skilled team and one of the hardest working to a more skilled one that was capable of being very successful.”
Sutter said the move was made after months of evaluations that came down to the fact finishing 14 games above .500 wasn’t good enough. If not Playfair, Keenan was his only other choice.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
As for Leipold, considering that the Predators have fewer than 9,000 season-ticket holders in Nashville, perhaps he was shocked into silence by the fact Hamilton sold almost as many tickets (7,200) in less than a day.
However, a fellow can’t help but wonder why Leipold isn’t making a lot of noise about the reticence of the league’s head office to move this sale along.
If the opposition to Balsillie’s bid is as broad as several NHL sources indicated this week, then Leipold has a lot to lose — somewhere in the range of $48-million (U.S.).
As part of his strategy to convince the NHL owners to accept him in terms they understand — greed — Balsillie agreed to pay Leipold upward of $238-million for the franchise, well above the going rate.
This instantly gave the league’s owners the prospect of seeing the value of their own franchises climb.
added 8:00am, from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
But behind the scenes at Elgin Theatre there was much melodrama in the ever-developing plot about a possible seventh Canadian franchise.
Commissioner Gary Bettman was said to be livid with Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie for flaunting the idea of moving the Nashville Predators to Hamilton during the Stanley Cup final, and putting the rights to purchase season tickets on sale the day the league was holding its gala to honour its best.
“They’re stealing the show,” said one NHL governor from the East.
“He’s going about it all wrong,” a Western Conference governor said of Balsillie’s moves.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League may be hot stuff for the fans, but the heat got out of hand Thursday night.
A CBC broadcast truck almost caught fire during the network’s telecast of the NHL Awards show from the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto.
Technical problems resulted, the worst of which affected Versus in the United States. The overheated CBC truck caused transmission difficulties forcing the U.S. cable channel to cancel its live telecast. Instead, it aired a World Combat League show and carried a tape delay of the NHL show at 11 p.m. EDT.
more on the Show and some HNIC talk…
added 7:29am, Watch a condensed version (32 minutes) of the NHL Awards Show…
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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.
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