Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Sun:
Think of the worst nightmare you have ever had.
For those selling the Gary Bettman-led vision for top-level pro hockey, it would be the fight-filled, Ligue Nord Americaine de Hockey (LNAH), or the North American Hockey League.
As the NHL spins shootouts, fuzzy-faced teenaged sensations, aero-dynamic new uniforms and corporate talking points, fighting majors continue their steady decline. Fighting has been declining or levelling off at the minor-pro level as well, in leagues such as the 27-team American Hockey League, the 25-team East Coast Hockey League, and the lower-level eight-team Southern Professional Hockey League, according to statistics gathered by websites like hockeyfights.com.
All except in places like Sorel-Tracy, 80 km northeast of Montreal, in a 56-year-old rink called Colisee Cardin. This is a place where bare-knuckle hockey is not only condoned but marketed. As the heavyweights gradually disappear from pro hockey’s landscape, as minor pro leagues adapt to a faster, offence-oriented game in lock-step with the NHL, this is where many come to find their final hockey resting place.
from the London Free Press:
“[Gump Worsley] was a terrific goaltender,” former North Stars teammate Lou Nanne said. “If I could pick any goalie to win a big game, it would be Gump.
“He was one of the first real characters in the NHL,” Nanne said. “He had a lot of personality and really showed the human side of the game. He didn’t look like an athlete and smoked like a chimney between periods, but he was terrific when he put the pads on.”
He was given the Gump nickname as a child because his hair stuck up like Andy Gump, the comic strip character.
But his sense of humour was legendary. Many think fondly of a between-periods interview with Gump and Eddie Shack, alongside host Ward Cornell, as one of the funniest moments ever on Hockey Night in Canada.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
“We just haven’t been consistent,” Carbonneau said. “We’ve had good effort, good games, good periods and good production from some players, but not enough production from enough players. Our best players have to be our best players, game in and game out.
“Everybody knows that we are a good team, but not a great team. We need everybody going and not enough players are going right now.”
“We know it’s not something that you turn on and off like a tap,” Montreal defenceman Sheldon Souray said. “This should concern us because the end of the season is near.
from the Toronto Sun,
Among those teams said to have asked about Tucker are the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, the two NHL teams that are rooted in Tucker’s native province of Alberta….
He does not want to be traded.
“I think both sides have made their opinions known,” he said. “They want me, and I want to stay. (Leafs general manager) John Ferguson has been very good to me, and I think Paul (Maurice) and I have a very good player-coach relationship.
“Still, the bottom line is, it’s something that has to work.”
KK member SteveNJ points out NBC is doing video recaps of the games that appeared on NBC today.
Good overall coverage of the games and glad to see they are taking advantage of the web.
from Evan Weiner of NHL.com,
Neither Ted Lindsay nor Jean Beliveau will be part of the National Football League’s Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation on Feb. 4 following this year’s Super Bowl clash between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts in South Florida. But the NFL is either knowingly or unknowingly paying homage to Lindsay, Beliveau, and all the other NHL captains who have been summoned by various NHL Presidents and Commissioner Gary Bettman to come on over and claim the Stanley Cup for winning the league’s championship series.
On Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL plans to showcase the Lombardi Trophy in a much more elaborate ceremony than it has in the past.
continued... and if the winning NFL coach puts on a pair of football spikes….
from the CP via Canada.com,
It is by having his jersey retired that goaltending great Ken Dryden says he will connect to other legendary players in the Montreal Canadiens’ history.
Dryden’s No. 29 is to be raised to the Bell Centre ceiling in a ceremony before the Canadiens game against the Ottawa Senators Monday night.
“The greatest were the stars you saw when you were nine or 10 years old,” Dryden said Sunday. “They looked like they could skate and shoot 100 miles per hour.
“The people with their names on the banners here like (Jacques) Plante and (Doug) Harvey were of a different dimension. You never connect yourself to that.”
from the Atlanta Thrashers,
National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman visited Atlanta today to unveil the official logo for the 2008 NHL All-Star Celebration…
“We look forward with great anticipation to bringing the 2008 NHL All-Star Game to Atlanta, the Thrashers organization and their loyal fans,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “This event showcases the greatest players in the world, and also brings a terrific and diverse line up of events and entertainment in celebration of the game.”
from Craig MacBride of the Toronto Star:
Standing in a Saturday evening mist outside the south-end service entrance of the Air Canada Centre, Graig Abel smokes a cigarette and watches the traffic on Lake Shore Blvd., waiting for the Maple Leafs game to begin.
Though unknown to the public, Abel’s pre-game smoke – he’s there before every home game, and during most intermissions – is probably the oldest of all Leaf rituals. (Unless, that is, not winning the Stanley Cup counts as a ritual.)
Consider: since 1977 the Leafs have had six captains, 15 head coaches, three sets of owners and hundreds of players, but there has been only one official team photographer – Abel.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal:
Mark Messier’s eyes light up as he talks about the progress his 19-year-old son Lyon is making, playing on the blue-line for the junior Texas Tornado in the North American Hockey League. Some U.S. colleges are starting to look at his progeny.
“Lyon had his first knockout and his first fight the other night ... the old man was proud of him,” laughed the ex-Oilers star whose No. 11 will be raised to the Rexall Place rafters on Feb. 27.
“He caught a guy coming out of his zone with his head down and hit him on the chin with his shoulder and knocked him out. He said, ‘Dad, it was just like (R.J.) Umberger in the playoffs last year (Sabres defenceman Bryan Campbell nailing the Flyers forward)’ ” said Messier.
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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