Kukla's Korner Hockey
NBC Sports and the National Hockey League today announced an extension of their revenue sharing partnership through the 2007-08 season highlighted by a new, innovative “Game of the Week” flexible scheduling component. The deal includes an NBC option for 2008-09. The joint announcement was made today by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics.
“Flexible scheduling will always allow us to have the best possible games,” said Ebersol. “Nothing could be better for hockey fans, who now will be able to see the best teams and marquee players on national broadcast television each week.”
added 11:24am, NBC release...
Boy do I get emails… and I decided to share some with the readers at my NHL.com blog.
By George James Malik:
I recently spoke to Easton Hockey’s Vice President, Ned Goldsmith, about Easton ‘s present and future equipment line-ups, including their composite hockey skates. We spoke twice, and Formula PR did a stellar job of coordinating the interviews. Mr. Goldsmith was a pleasure to speak to.
Here’s the first part of our conversation:
The Gearhead: I read the press release about the Synergy Elite stick, and there’re dozens of NHL’ers using it. You’ve stuck with the Synergy’s gone through a few generations—the grip, the SL, and the Stealth sticks, but now you’ve gone back to the Synergy name. How is the Synergy Elite a new generation stick, if you will, and what separates it from the original Synergy?
Ned Goldsmith: Easton invented the performance one-piece stick, we’ve driven stick innovation in the NHL, and the Synergy Elite is in fact the next step forward. What makes the Synergy Elite unique is its weight-to-strength ratio; it’s a remarkably light stick that’s also extremely durable. Making sticks is an art, really. Sticks are made with aerospace technology, and while making a stick is 80% science, the other 20% is art. It’s like cooking, to some extent—you can have the recipe, but making grandma’s pie involves a lot of touches and subtleties. In composite stick-making, it comes down to how much pressure you apply, when you apply the pressure, how much heat you use, great ingredients—we’re one of the largest users of aerospace-quality fibre—not all composite sticks are created equal, and we’re the one of the #1 users of Kevlar as well, so the ingredients we use are the best ingredients available.
from Grant Kerr of the Globe and Mail,
“I’ve always been a strong supporter of the twins since they got here,” veteran Trevor Linden said. “They always took some criticism that I felt was unfair.
“Not only are they great players, they’re durable. Their strongest suit is they never seem to get too high, or too low when things don’t go well. They’re just steady. They’re fun to watch for their creativity and intelligence of their playmaking.
“And they’re still getting better. They are so smart and so talented with their sticks and hands.”...
“We’ve been working every summer [to get stronger] and it’s taken a while,” Henrik said last week. “We think we’re strong in the corners and can take pucks to the net, which wasn’t the case a couple of years back.
“I don’t care about scoring goals. If your team is scoring goals, that’s what matters.”
By George James Malik:
You didn’t really think that anything would come of the great fighting debate, now, did you?
Oh, everybody got to weigh in, toss their opinions around, block a few carnage-inducing comments from the nighties, avoid the smarmy jabs of the lefties, watch Grapes get Ron MacLean to turtle on Hockey Night in Canada, and see the smirk on the league’s golden boy journalist’s face.
LeBrun sure was happy on Saturday night, wasn’t he? First it was scheduling, then revising the point system, and now fighting. Ol’ Collie and Pierre are real chummy, eh?
Talk, talk, talk, bluster, bluster, bluster.
A few thoughtful comments from players, a few more from the guy who got leveled, suggesting that scrappers are integral to team “lightheartedness,” and then a rain of lefts, rights, jabs, and uppercuts from the hockey media, in print, online, on the radio, all tuckering themselves out…
In a good, old-fashioned donnybrook.
“The notion that because one player got knocked cold in a fight, that’s going to touch off a debate about eliminating fighting, to me is silly,” said the Anaheim Ducks’ GM.
Burke, whose Ducks lead the NHL with 65 fighting majors this season, said there should be no debate.
“Fighting has been systematically reduced in the NHL,” said Burke. “It’s been reduced to, in my mind, its proper place. It’s no longer utilized as a tactic.
“But the notion that we ever get rid of the players’ ability to regulate what happens, is silly to me.
from the Buffalo News,
It will be another 2½ months before any team skates around a National Hockey League rink, hoisting the Stanley Cup in triumph. But the Buffalo Sabres already can claim they’re No. 1 — in an ESPN The Magazine ranking of all 122 major professional sports franchises.
Called the Ultimate Standings, the listing ranks pro franchises on how well they pay back their fans for all the time, money and emotion fans invest in their teams.
from the Edmonton Sun,
One by one, the Edmonton Oilers filed out of the dressing room after practice yesterday and left for the airport, nearly all of them dressed head-to-toe in black.
Basic black has long been the durable, versatile staple of any extended road trip in the NHL - goes with anything, doesn’t show every little stain - but this time it’s especially fitting.
What else are you going to wear to a funeral march?
With nothing to play for, and six road games left to play, that’s exactly what this is: a badly injured and fatally flawed hockey team wandering off to die.
from James Christie of the Globe and Mail,
Former National Hockey League president John Ziegler believes current commissioner Gary Bettman and his team have done a good job building the game, and that Bettman’s crowning achievement was to get owners to stand together to forge the last collective agreement with the players.
“They let the costs get out of control for too long and had to address that,” Ziegler, president of the NHL from 1977 to 1992, said yesterday. “But not only did they address it, they got a salary cap in place that’s led to this wonderful parity and a race down to the wire to get into the playoffs. I give a real salute to the people who got the game to where it is.”
from the Detroit Free Press,
“That was outstanding,” Mike Babcock said. “That’s the most fun I’ve had since I was a Red Wings coach. It was good. I was really impressed with Lils and I was really impressed with Sammy. Sometimes I think you think when you’re not from North America, if someone washes your face your supposed to say thanks. Well, they didn’t say thanks, they just responded. They’re big men, and they can look after themselves.”
When Lidstrom was quizzed about the rarity of Swedes fighting, he laughed and replied, “We’ve got the toughest Swede in the league right here. Just ask him.” But then Lidstrom must have figured Lilja might hear about it from Tomas Holmstrom, because Lidstrom added, “Homer might have a big argument.”
more on the Wings…
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero, son of famed coach Fred Shero, grew up with a far greater understanding of the league’s history and tradition than others who have risen to his rank.
He appreciated the difficulty of the playoff gauntlet long before he had his first NHL job, and he can testify to the stages of building a championship team, including the time-honored tradition of a team needing to know playoff failure before it knows playoff success. But he doesn’t necessarily buy the idea that history has an impact on the future.
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