Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Could the Rangers have engineered this Prague-on-the-Hudson success story if Messier had decided to stay on; or if Brian Leetch had returned as a free agent? It's doubtful, even if both players still had something to give. Sometimes, the hardest part of playing professional sport is learning when to cede your place to the next player in line. It also illustrates, in a round-about-way, the problems facing one of the Rangers' divisional rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins. In much the same way that Messier's departure helped the Rangers turn the page, it may have been necessary for Mario Lemieux to step away in order for the Penguins to allow Generation Next to come to the fore.read on
The hockey franchise that produced Esposito, Orr, Neely and Bourque hopes to increase attendance and revenue for every home game at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston using StratTix data analytics technology from StratBridge. The Boston Bruins will rely on StratTix to gain a real-time view of sold and available seating in advance of home games so sales staff can develop promotions and strategies that will increase sales. This will help them fill seats and get an early read on per-game revenue so they can react quickly.more How about putting a better team on the ice, that may help a bit more.
As noted yesterday, the Pens called up two goalies while putting Thibault on IR. What does this mean? from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
It could mean that the Penguins seriously are considering sending Marc-Andre Fleury back to the American Hockey League before he can cash in on some big bonuses. Or it might suggest that the Penguins really don't know what to do with their goaltending.more
1050 ESPN radio is reporting Mike Millbury will step down at the end of the year. update 11:50am, from the New York Islanders,
At a press conference this morning at Nassau Coliseum, Islanders owner Charles Wang made the following announcements: Steve Stirling has been relieved of his duties as head coach. Assistant coach Brad Shaw has been named interim head coach. Islanders general manager Mike Milbury, upon the naming of a successor, will step away from the GM position and become a Senior Vice President for Wang's sports properties, which include the Islanders, New York Dragons (AFL), Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) and Islanders Iceworks.more update 12:44pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
There isn't much question who the New York Islanders want to be their new general manager-head coach. In fact, sources close to the Islanders' ownership say the NHL team has set its sights on getting Red Deer Rebel owner-GM-coach Brent Sutter and has already put in a call to the man who has won back-to-back gold medals as the head coach of Canada's national junior team.more update 2:01pm, from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Thursday's announcement that GM Mike Milbury will step aside as soon as a replacement can be found was greeted in an entirely different fashion. Finally!, they shouted. What took you so long?more
Updates today will continue around 11:00am today.
from the Toronto Star,
Former NHL star Theo Fleury made throat-slitting gestures and used obscene language during an altercation with fans in a British Elite Ice Hockey League game on Sunday night, according to a statement from Fleury's opponents. Fleury, playing for the Belfast Giants, was in the penalty box in the second period when fans of the host Coventry Blaze team began yelling at him. Fleury then reportedly tried to get at some of the spectators, earning him a game misconduct.read on If you want to listen to the seven minute interview The Fan 590 in Toronto did with Fleury yesterday, you can find it on their homepage.
Head deep into America's south to Huntsville, Alabama, and there you'll find king cotton, a space rocket arsenal and, for young Canadians like Marc Narduzzi, a perfectly logical place to play hockey. You would be hard-pressed, however, to find two more disparate cultures in North America than those of Vancouver and the Alabama city amidst cotton fields. "We're in what you call the Bible belt down here, the people down here are very nice, you get a lot of southern hospitality, but it is the Bible belt," Ross said. "But the weather is warmer."more
from the Globe and Mail,
Richard Pound is about to be proven right or wrong. The testing will finally begin on Sunday, when the league's 700-plus players will start sending a message in a bottle as to whether they are clean or cheating. "I know I've been constantly watching what I put in my body," Edmonton Oilers defenceman Chris Pronger said yesterday. "I think this process has us on edge because it's not an exact science. "When you play 82 games, 28 to 30 minutes a game, you need to replenish your system with a protein shake now and again. But you're putting a lot of faith in the company that makes the protein powders. When these products are made, you never know what substances get mixed up or left on the conveyer belt."read on
from the Delaware County Times,
There he sits on the end of the bench every game. He wears a Flyers sweater, so you know he’s part of the team, but other than that, he’s about as mysterious figure as there is. Meet Jamie Storr, the backup goalie. "I had a midseason review a couple weeks ago and that was the first time (Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock) talked to me," said Storr, who has been the backup for 15 games this season without seeing one second of action. "At that point, he said I was just here in case Niitty got hurt."more
from Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post (Friday edition),
As Alex Ovechkin walked past a television hanging from the ceiling in the Washington Capitals' practice facility yesterday, he stopped, and his eyes lit up. "Hey," he said. "It's me. I made Top Five Plays!" Ovechkin has already achieved one bonus. By scoring his 20th goal on Dec. 23 in a 4-2 victory over Montreal, he earned $212,500. "I know when I score 20 goals, I have one bonus," Ovechkin said yesterday at Piney Orchard Ice Arena, his eyes fixed on the television. "But I don't know how many points I must have for [additional] bonus[es]." He may not, but his agents and the Capitals' salary cap crunchers are certainly playing close attention. The incentives contained in Ovechkin's contract are divided into two schedules: Individual A, which are paid out by the Capitals, and Individual B, paid by the NHL and supplemented by the team.read on (reg. req.) Ovechkin should become the focus of an NHL marketing campaign plus an ad agency would be very smart to grab him right now, before he becomes too expensive.
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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