Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Adrian Dater at All Things Avs,
The NHL’s biggest problem in the U.S. remains an absolute lack of coverage from the talking heads on all the shouting columnist shows, and the sportscenter-style highlight shows. Coverage is through the roof still in Canada, and much of Europe, but not here. It will NOT surprise me one bit if, in 20 years or less, the NHL is primarily based in Canada and Europe. Anybody who doesn’t believe me should check out the numbers in European arenas for games, especially in the Super League in Russia - which is paying NHL-comparable salaries for most players now.
from James Fitzpatrick at About.com,
Just about every team is running hot and cold this season. In Ottawa, the once-mighty Senators are barely showing a pulse. The Devils couldn’t do anything right in October; now they can’t lose. Dallas fired the general manager a few weeks ago. Now the Stars lead the Pacific Division.
Atlanta, Montreal and Toronto are among the other cities where wins and losses come in bunches. Most other teams are ambling along at a win-one-lose-one pace. Carolina was pounded 8-1 by Buffalo (last in the Northeast Division) last weekend, and rebounded to beat the Rangers (first in the Atlantic) two days later.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
If you watch Hockey Night in Canada, you may assume there has been no increase in NHL goal scoring, despite the crackdown on restraining fouls.
And even if there has been a small improvement, you may believe it is attributable to the large number of power plays being called.
A big part of the Hockey Night message is: Zero tolerance has not helped improve the game offensively.
But the first assumption is wrong and the second is questionable.
from the CP via the Hockey News,
The Montreal Canadiens commemorated their 81 year-old rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings before the two Original Six teams played their only game of the season Tuesday.
It is that disparity in the NHL’s current schedule that has Red Wings Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay believing that Detroit will never have a similar rivalry with another team ever again.
Lindsay said Tuesday that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is to blame if attendance numbers are down in Detroit because fans in Hockeytown are sick of seeing teams like Columbus and Nashville so often every year.
“We had it for a couple of years there with Colorado and Detroit, but Bettman has taken advantage of Detroit because of it being a great hockey city and it being a well managed hockey team,” Lindsay said.
Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice asked Devils’ GM Lou Lamoriello, “What’s Wrong with the Ice?”
Lamoriello said the problem has been with a malfunctioning computer that is supposed to regulate the ice’s temperature, hardness, etc. These things can be affected by numerous factors: the outdoor temperature, humidity, being covered for basketball games, concerts and other events. For Sunday’s game against Atlanta, they turned off the computer and changed the settings manually. The idea, however, is to get the computer working properly.
“We’ve been talking to CIMCO and had people from the NHL here to work on (the ice),” Lamoriello said. “This is the best system in the country. There’s no excuse not to have the best ice. We’re completely comfortable that this is all going to get straightened out.”
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Truth be told, the player the Ducks would most like to ship out is Todd Marchant who earns $2.517 million - too much for what he brings to the table as a fourth-line checking forward. Who would take Marchant, up front, at the figure? No one. That’s why the Ducks might need to get creative to make a deal happen. Someone with salary-cap space might take Marchant off their hands, provided Anaheim sweetened the deal by including their own 2008 first-round choice in the transaction.
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
Could this be the week Scott Niedermayer ends his retirement and returns to the Anaheim Ducks?
It’s beginning to look that way.
Sources close to Niedermayer suggest he is prepared to return to the NHL team in the near future.
from the Ducks Blog at the OC Register,
Todd Marchant admitted it was a tough pill to swallow Sunday when he was a healthy scratch for only the second time in his 14-year career.
“As a player, I’m not happy about it, but the only thing I can do is control what I can control,”
Marchant has been moved around the forward spots and played on mulitple lines this season. Coach Randy Carlyle said he would like to see more tenacity from Marchant, a former Olympian who has been known as one of the faster skaters in the NHL.
“Todd Marchant’s a skating hockey player, and he’s got to be on the puck all the time,” Carlyle said. “My expectations for our whole group are that we have to more of a skating group.”
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
In an era of pro leagues seemingly trying to curtail individualism through rules about what can’t be worn or done on the field, the NHL celebrates, even promotes, the goalie’s right to turn essential equipment into works of art.
“Like snowflakes and fingerprints, no two masks are alike anymore, which is fabulous for the goalies and fans,” says Frank Brown, the NHL’s group vice president for media relations.
from the CP via TSN,
Log on to the Facebook social networking website and there are 500-plus newsgroups dedicated to the 20-year-old from Cole Harbour, N.S.
One is dedicated to counting down the days until Crosby leaves Pittsburgh as a free agent to join the team of his childhood love, the Montreal Canadiens.
There’s an “I Hate Sidney Crosby” group, complete with his head pasted on a pink flower print dress. The antidote is the “I Hate Crosby Haters” group.
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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