Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Mike Chambers at the Denver Post,
In the past year, Avalanche center Paul Stastny has gone from a longshot to make the team to an emerging NHL star. Credit his genes, or the opportunity he was given because of injuries, but good luck finding anyone who thinks Stastny made a mistake by forgoing his final two years at the University of Denver.
In hindsight, even Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky believes Stastny, the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, made the right move turning pro in July 2006.
from Hong Kong News,
While ice hockey is hugely popular in North America and Europe, only now, with the advent of indoor rinks, is it catching on in Hong Kong. And the arrival of former NHL star Barry Beck through the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme is sure to write a new page in local ice hockey history.
He believes Hong Kong could compete in the Winter Olympics by strengthening its youth hockey training scheme.
“[There are] many intelligent players. They can learn quickly, so we are able to compete well. We have to continue to work on our youth programme. We might be able to get into the Winter Olympics,” he said.
from the Guardian,
Jyri Talja, 35, came from Finland hoping to see national treasure Teemu Selanne. The Finnish Flash, last year’s leading scorer, did not play for Anaheim but Talja said watching a live NHL game was well worth the trip anyway.
“It’s fantastic,” he said between periods. “It’s much faster live.”...
Judging by the number of countries represented on jerseys as fans streamed into London’s O2 Arena and filled the stadium’s numerous pubs, the NHL succeeded in attracting a wide range of people from countries across Europe.
from Evan Weiner at MCN Sports,
When publications and websites put out lists of the Top 100 this, the Top 100 that, they are should always to be taken with a grain of salt. BusinessWeek has posted a list of the Top 100 Power People in sports with National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell on the top of the list. BusinessWeek should have asked me to be part of their panel because their list is filled with questionable choices and omissions. But BusinessWeek in their wisdom didn’t ask me or Darren Rovell at CNBC or Ronald Blum at the Associated Press or Murray Chass at the New York Times for our opinions or sports business experts in Europe or Asia for their thoughts which is why it is flawed and nothing more than an exercise in futility.
It’s too bad because that Power 100 list might be far more accurate with real sports business experts than the BusinessWeek 100 that was presented. There really is nothing on the list that indicates that the panelists thought about the UEFA 2008 football tournament. That happens to be the second most watched sports event in the world behind the World Cup.
There is nothing about cricket or boxing on the list. The National Hockey League Commissioner is rated just 27th on the list even though the NHL has lots of eyeballs watching its product in Europe far more eyeballs than the NFL on that continent.
From the CP,
Paul Holmgren might be the only person in Philadelphia with a framed photo of the 2006-07 Flyers in his office.
The team otherwise known as the worst in Philadelphia’s 40-year franchise history. And what does the Flyers general manager think when he looks at that picture?
“Uh, well,” he chuckled. “It was a very difficult year for our franchise. It was bizarre for sure. A lot of things went wrong.”
from the AP via Sports Illustrated,
Hockeytown needs to get its groove back.
The organization has aggressively tried to market its once-popular product, dropping some ticket prices as low as $9 and plastering images and messages on billboards.
A week before the opener against the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena, a block of 15 seats was available - at $44 apiece - in a corner of the upper bowl.
“The No. 1 thing that has hurt us from a fan’s standpoint is the Michigan economy,’’ general manager Ken Holland said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Want to discuss the opening game today between the Ducks and Kings?
How is the TV coverage, likes, dislikes, this is the place to be heard.
from the Tennessean,
At this time last year, defenseman Greg Zanon was skating the thin line between the big league and the developmental one.
This season he will play a vital role for the Predators, in the big league. A fearless and skillful shot-blocker, Zanon played in 66 games for the Predators last season and became invaluable on the penalty kill. Now he will be counted on as part of a young but solid defense.
“I love him,” goaltender Chris Mason said. “He is the kind of player that is so intense he will do anything to break up a play. I really can’t say enough about how much he helped us out last year. I am sure he exceeded everybody’s expectations. He deserves to be here.”
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
The private car was a place for bonding during the regular season and for all-night wet parties when the Canadiens were returning home after winning Stanley Cups on the road.
The trip to Chicago was a marathon on rails. The Canadiens would play a Saturday night game at the Forum and, immediately after it, would head for Westmount Station. Departure time: somewhere around midnight. Breakfast and lunch (thick steaks to die for) in their private dining car, after which most of the players would take their afternoon naps.
Normally, the team would arrive there at 6:30 p.m., head directly to Chicago Stadium - now and then with a police escort when the train was late. They would play the game, head back to the train and arrive in Montreal at 11 p.m. on Monday.
from the Calgary Sun,
“Dean is a friend of mine, but if it was Dean or somebody I don’t know, there’s no need for that.
“There’s nobody that can say, ‘I never hit anybody kinda cheap’ because you can get your elbows up or stick up, but you can’t hit somebody like that.”
Although the league has taken heat for being lenient on violent incidents, players were applauding Colin Campbell—the NHL’s disciplinarian—for taking a stand.
“It’s good the league did something,” Conroy said.
more on the suspension of Downie from Craig Conroy and other Flames too…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org