Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Chicago Tribune,
Here’s how far big-league hockey has fallen in Chicago: The Blackhawks can’t give away their tickets.
One of the National Hockey League’s charter franchises, the Blackhawks have been so desperate to attract fans to a half-empty United Center that the organization has been offering free seats through numerous promotions, including an e-mail campaign that put top-notch freebies the length of a hockey stick from the ice.
For Friday night’s game at the United Center, “I bought 40 tickets for $3.06 each,” said 25-year-old Jason, a part-time ticket broker and full-time culinary student. That small sum accounted for the fees Ticketmaster charged to process the seats.
These weren’t in the nosebleeds, either.
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
When the Stars moved to Dallas 13 years ago, knowing how tough it would be to make inroads in a non-traditional market, they wanted to do more than attract fans.
They wanted to grow them. So they began building and operating rinks in the area, projects that don’t make any money, but pay off with a steady stream of new players/fans.
“We run 15 rinks now,” said team president Jim Lites. “It’s hard and it takes a lot of work. I can’t tell you how many city council meetings in Texas I’ve attended, trying to get deals done with communities to build hockey rinks for amateur hockey programs. But that’s why this market can be sustained, because of the infrastructure in place. We’re a hockey town.”
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
But what if the league decided to try another points system? Would there be a different look to the standings?
For the most part, the answer is there would be slight adjustments, but nothing really jumps out, other than the Ottawa Senators would be a lot closer to divisional rival the Buffalo Sabres and the San Jose Sharks would be ahead of the Anaheim Ducks in their division.
Still, it’s interesting to see where the teams would stand if there was no point awarded for a loss in overtime or shootout (no OTL point), or if the shootout was not implemented and each team would get a point for a tie after completing a scoreless overtime (no shootout). Or if three points were granted for a regular-time win, two points for an overtime or shootout win and one point for an overtime or shootout loss (a 3-2-1 system).
read on for some charts…
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star, buried in a junior hockey round-up:
Tampa Bay Lightning owner Bill Davidson, who also owns the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, has pulled the NHL team off the market after failing to receive sufficient interest in the team, a veteran sports banker told the Star. Davidson had been seeking roughly $200 million (U.S.) for the Lightning.
from ESPN’s Scott Burnside:
You really want to help eradicate the kind of senseless, potentially devastating hits to the head we’ve seen lately? Why not add a couple of tools to the referees’ tool box?
Referees are expected to call an interference or obstruction penalty if a player without the puck finds his progress impeded. Similarly, an interference call should be made when a player who has just had the puck is hit long after he’s given it up, because he’s being interfered with, right?
Moreover, if a referee had the ability to levy a major penalty for interference, if such a late hit warranted it, wouldn’t that be a good thing? Take the Cam Janssen hit on Tomas Kaberle—a hit that cost the Leafs their best defenseman for three weeks of the playoff drive. No penalty was called on the play, but if the referees had a major penalty for interference in their bag of tricks, it might have been employed then. More important, the implied threat of such a penalty might have given Janssen pause before he headhunted the unsuspecting Kaberle.
Even if Joel Lundqvist didn’t perform what Ren and Stimpy once called the “flying butt pliers” on Nik Kronwall’s hip, I’d say the same thing—these “run-‘em-‘cause-you-can” hits are senseless and silly.
Since when did “the code” say that “finishing your check” means “impale your opponent if at all possible?” Some sort of penalty for stupid “finishes” needs to reel in the Tootoos, Lundqvists, Janssens, and all the morons that believe that taking a run at a player is part of normal forechecking.
via the CP,
Tampa Bay Lightning Vincent Lecavalier is the first NHL player to hi the 50-goal plateau this season.
Lecavalier scored the fourth goal in Tampa Bay’s 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.
Lecavalier also had two assists on the night. He is third in the league in scoring with 103 points.
from Lynn Zinser of the New York Times,
Avery was involved in high-profile altercations as a King, including one in which he made derogatory remarks about French Canadians and another in which he was accused by forward Georges Laraque, who is black, of making a racial slur. Avery denied that, but was suspended last year by the Kings for clashing with team officials and coaches.
With the Rangers, no such problems have emerged. He jokes easily with his teammates — often loudly and ruthlessly — and the laughs cut across the many nationalities of the team.
“Maybe some people don’t like it because he’s too personal,” said Jaromir Jagr, the Rangers’ captain. “He gives it to you, but he takes it, too. I laugh at it. Maybe somebody from other teams, they get mad because he told them something they don’t want to hear. Some guys are too sensitive. In our country, that’s normal. We’ve got the same kind of humor, like he does. He could be easily a Czech.”
more on Avery….
from Wes Goldstein at CBS Sportsline,
His numbers are down a bit, his team won’t make the playoffs and the rival he’ll likely spend his entire career being compared to has risen to greater heights. So why is it that nothing seems to be bothering Alexander Ovechkin these days?
“You know it’s been tough because we didn’t win, but it happens,” said the young Washington Capitals superstar. “We didn’t have much luck, but I think we’re going to move forward. I’m happy about that.”
fro Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
How close is it? Consider that as of Friday morning, with fewer than 75 games remaining on the schedule, only seven points separated the top 11 teams. Parity has been an NHL buzzword for years now, but the gap between Nos. 1 and 11 at season’s end generally fell between 18 and 25 points (the exception being 2004, the year before the lockout, when it was only 12 points).
There are a lot of teams on fire right now, including the Colorado Avalanche, which is 11-1-2 in its past 14 games and probably won’t make the playoffs, thanks to the Calgary Flames’ recent surge (five wins in a row and counting).
It begs the question: How important is it for a team to be playing well down the stretch, if it has Stanley Cup aspirations? Curiously, the answer is not that important at all.
more... plus hockey talk from all over the world…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
The effervescent Brodeur not only exists on the side of light, but will also at some point become the greatest of all time while defying the age-old belief that a goaltender has to be partway crazy.
As longtime teammate Ken Daneyko put it, “He’s one of the normal goalies. He is what you see.”
High praise for a netminder.
“All of his motivations seem to be streaming from a positive pool of consciousness,” added longtime NHL netminder Glenn “Chico” Resch. “The guy’s life is almost too balanced. He doesn’t have anything where you think, ‘Oh, crazy goalie.’”
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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